Winter Storm Watch issued for much of NJ

     Overnight/morning model runs, indicating a stronger storm than earlier on Sunday. (Images courtesy of New York Metro Weather)

    Overnight/morning model runs, indicating a stronger storm than earlier on Sunday. (Images courtesy of New York Metro Weather)

    “What a difference 24 hours makes.”

    That’s what the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ wrote in its morning forecast discussion, referring to the latest forecast model guidance becoming much more bullish about snow on Tuesday.

    Accordingly, the service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Tuesday morning through late Tuesday night for most of New Jersey, excluding Sussex, Warren, and western Passaic counties. 

    Forecasters currently expect between four and seven inches of snow throughout the area, with up to eight inches in northeast New Jersey. A “worst case scenario” map issued by the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center indicates potentially up to a foot in portions of coastal areas. (The accumulation forecast, of course, could change — even during the event — so stay tuned.)

    Snow will begin Tuesday morning and continue through Tuesday evening, with the heaviest snowfall between the afternoon and evening hours, according to the Winter Storm Watch bulletin. As winds increase Tuesday evening, blowing snow will result in hazardous travel.

    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, according to a National Weather Service temperature map. When combined with a gusty northwest wind, wind chills will likely be below zero for several hours beginning late Tuesday, according to a weather briefing issued by the service yesterday. 

    “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.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.