A major winter storm will impact the New Jersey region Tuesday, delivering heavy snowfall, gusty winds, and bitter cold, forecasters say.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for 20 of the 21 New Jersey counties (Winter Weather Advisory in Sussex County) from Tuesday morning until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Snow will overspread the area during the late morning hours, the National Weather Service advises. The heaviest snowfall is expected to fall during the afternoon and evening hours before tapering off from west to east overnight.
In a forecast discussion, John Homenuk, lead meteorologist at New York Metro Weather, is calling for 4-8″ over interior northwest New Jersey and 6-10″ over much of the remainder of the state, with potentially 10-14″ in spots along the Jersey Shore. The National Weather Service warns of 10-14″ on either side of the NJ Turnpike, including Philadelphia and the city’s immediate metro area.
Snowfall rates could exceed one inch an hour during the late afternoon and evening, according to Homenuk, with rates approaching or exceeding two inches an hour where the heaviest snow bands form.
“Our highest confidence in this banding developing is east of the I-95 corridor but there is certainly the potential for some variance,” Homenuk advises.
As winds increase during the afternoon, the snow, which will be light and fluffy, will blow and drift, causing reduced visibilities and hazardous travel through the evening, according to the National Weather Service.
Coastal flooding is not a concern, forecasters say.
The precipitation will coincide with the arrival of polar air, although it will not be as cold as the arctic blast earlier this month.
But temperatures will likely be in the single digits Wednesday morning, with wind chills below zero for several hours beginning late Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
“The magnitude of this cold blast is still dangerous enough to put residents who do not properly bundle up at risk for frostbite and hypothermia,” AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski notes in a report.
There are additional concerns. Roadway chemicals lose effectiveness with colder temperatures, forecasters warn, and water pipes may freeze and burst with the bitter cold Wednesday morning.