NWS: If you don't have to travel Wednesday, don't

4 p.m. Tuesday forecast from the NWS.

4 p.m. Tuesday forecast from the NWS.

Buckle up!

Another winter wallop has already started in New Jersey, with a wintry mix impacting the area as of 5 p.m. Tuesday and causing travel disruptions.

But the main event follows on Wednesday, when possibly 18 inches of snow could fall through Central Jersey down to Philadelphia by the nighttime hours.

A late Tuesday afternoon forecast briefing from the National Weather Service makes one thing clear: Wednesday will be a mess throughout the region. “Travel is not recommended,” the forecasters say.

Here are the major takeaways:

  • Mix of rain, light snow, sleet is expected into tonight. There may be localized freezing rain as well. The changeover to all snow will occur through the overnight hours into Wednesday morning.
  • Snow rates of two to three inches per hour are possible on Wednesday.
  • The snow will be wet and heavy, difficult to shovel, and it will collect on trees and wires. Power outages are likely.
  • Uncertainty remains with where the heaviest snow bands will develop on Wednesday, and thus with the exact snow amounts.
  • Strong winds, especially Wednesday morning, could exacerbate any tree and power issues with the snow. Gusts up to 50 miles per hour will be possible near the coast.
  • Coastal flooding will be a concern through the next three high tide cycles. Minor coastal flooding is expected tonight. Minor to moderate coastal flooding is expected with the high tide cycles Wednesday and Wednesday night.

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