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NJ Braces for Week's End: New Snow System Set to Sweep Across the State

We are preparing for yet another snow storm, which is looking to impact our region come early Friday (January 19th) and last through the early morning hours of Saturday (January 20th).

Analyzing the Storm Dynamics:

Key to this storm are two short waves, indicated by blue "X" marks on weather maps. These waves are expected to merge, or 'phase,' over the Virginia/Delaware region (as shown within the red circle) and then swiftly move northeast, gaining strength along the way. What's particularly notable about this system is its speed. The 500mb upper-level low, marked by a black circle over Canada, is moving northeast instead of lingering in Southeast Canada. In weather dynamics, such a position often acts as a blocking force, slowing down storm systems. However, in this case, there's no indication of a slowdown that could result in a more significant low-pressure system off the coast.

The Norlun Trough Phenomenon:

The term 'Norlun Trough' might be new or recently heard by many. This phenomenon is gaining attention as all major weather models hint at its potential occurrence with this storm. I've delineated the models with a yellow dotted line to emphasize where the Norlun Trough might form. But what does this mean for New Jersey? In layman's terms, a Norlun Trough can generate a narrow band of intense snowfall in a highly localized area. Pinpointing the exact location of this trough is challenging and is often only possible during 'nowcasting,' which is the real-time analysis as the event unfolds. Consequently, there's a significant chance that certain areas in New Jersey will experience heavy localized snowfall – a stark contrast to neighboring regions that might see much less.

My Initial Forecast Snow Map:

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

Summary of What to Expect:

  • Nature of the Storm: A rapidly moving low-pressure system is forecasted to intensify off the coast on Friday, bringing light to moderate snow across the entire state. We do not anticipate any changeover in precipitation type.

  • Timing: The snowfall is expected to commence in the very early hours of Friday, January 19th, and last throughout the day, tapering off in the early hours of Saturday, January 20th.

  • Snow Accumulation: A general accumulation of 1" to 3" is expected statewide. However, due to the Norlun Trough effect, localized areas might experience up to 6" of snow.

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