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From Frost to Thaw: Recapping the Winter Storm and Welcoming Warmer Days Ahead

Snowfall Totals for all Season

Our active pattern did not disappoint, from the beginning of January I was talking about a wave of opportunities we were looking at to bring wintry precipitation to our region. Southern sections finally got over 1.0" snow accumulations to end the nearly 2 year drought of snow accumulations. The image above shows how active we've been thus far, with all that snow falling within the last month.

Winter Storm Recap

The most notable aspect of the recent winter storm was the impact of the inverted trough, which brought about significant localized snow accumulations, some areas receiving over 6.0 inches. This inverted trough, playing out as anticipated, was crucial in doubling potential snow accumulations in several regions. Although we didn't witness any extreme snowfall exceeding 7.0 inches, Mount Royal, NJ, topped the charts with 6.5 inches.

Across the state, the snow distribution was largely in line with forecasts – the southern half experienced a widespread 3"-6" blanket, while the northern half saw a lighter covering of 1"-3". However, there were some surprises, particularly in the southern regions and Cape May County. Here, snowfall exceeded our initial estimates, notably due to a southward shift in the trough's banding and less mixing than expected.

The storm's pace was another point of interest. It moved through the state faster than predicted, concluding its snowy visit by early evening, contrary to expectations of lingering flurries till around 9pm.

Reflecting on this event, I believe my overall forecast captured the essence of what to expect – a modest yet surprising winter system. The general snowfall predictions held true, aside from a few areas I've mentioned. I invite you to compare my forecast map with your local observations and share your feedback. This level of transparency in weather forecasting is rare, and I value your input in assessing the accuracy of my predictions.

Snow Map Verification

If you are having issues viewing the map, please click here to view

Shifting to Milder Temperatures

6-10 Day Temperature Outlook

As we bid farewell to January, New Jersey is transitioning into a slightly warmer temperature cycle. The bitter cold we've experienced is set to give way, making room for more temperate conditions. According to the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), our state is likely to see above-average temperatures as we close out the month. This means that instead of the typical freezing daytime highs and single-digit lows, we can anticipate steadier temperatures hovering in the 40s, with occasional peaks around 50 degrees. While we're not expecting any dramatic leaps into the 60s, this period will definitely feature temperatures slightly above the usual upper 40s to 50s range for this time of year.

Rainy Conditions Ahead

6-10 Precipitation Outlook

As January's warmer temperatures melt away the winter chill, don't expect to fully enjoy this thaw. The forecast indicates an active pattern of rainy conditions. Looking ahead to the long-range forecast for the rest of the month, at least four different systems could bring rain as the primary form of precipitation to our region. With the impending snowmelt, it's crucial for residents to clear their street drains to prevent potential flooding. Be prepared for a significant reduction in snow and ice as these systems pass through, potentially affecting local conditions and travel.

Anticipating a Wintry February

As we edge into February, the meteorological patterns suggest a possible resurgence of winter conditions. Presently, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is transitioning from a deeply negative to a more positive phase as January concludes. Similarly, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) is also moving from a negative to a more neutral or positive phase. However, both NAO and AO indices are expected to dip back into negative territory around mid-February. This shift is typically favorable for East Coast snow events.

While it's not a certainty, there's a reasonable chance that mid-February could mark a return to more wintry conditions, potentially bringing additional snowfall to New Jersey. It's advisable for weather enthusiasts and residents alike to keep a close watch on the mid-February forecast. This period could very well reignite the wintry patterns we've experienced, offering more opportunities for snowfall.

NAO Long Range Forecast

AO Long Range Forecast

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