A wave of low pressure will form along a frontal boundary on Thursday. Through tonight, rain showers will increase in coverage and turn into some steadier periods of rain on Thursday. Temperatures which are in the 60s currently will begin a steady decline tonight into the low 50s, then eventually through the 40s during Thursday. By Thursday night after the rain ends, temps will be dropping into the 30s and heading for a low near and even below the freezing mark (northwest).
Thankfully the trend with this system has been somewhat weaker and faster with the area of low pressure which should cut down on the chances of seeing snowflakes in our immediate area. The higher elevations of Sussex County still stand the best chance at this by Thursday evening. The worst case scenario is that higher elevations see a coating on grassy surfaces. Temps there will also drop into the upper 20s making for potentially slick roadways late Thursday night. The first snow of the season, a general 1-3” of wet snow, can be expected later Thursday from the Catskill Mountains through southern and central New England (higher elevations away from the coast).
The sun returns on Friday and high temperatures will struggle to reach the low 50s. Then we will watch storm threat number 2 on Saturday.
There have been some changes on the computer models since last night, though my general thoughts on this system haven’t changed much since that time. The European and GFS computer models have converged somewhat on a solution showing a strengthening nor’easter just to our east, giving us a glancing blow. Nevertheless, they are not far away from producing a high impact event 3-4 days out.
Changes will continue to occur, but we should get a better idea especially on Thursday. While the potential does exist for early season snow in our area (mainly northwest of the coast and in higher elevations) with this storm, it will take a very specific solution for this to happen because of the inherent warm air at the ground this time of year. We will need a rapidly strengthening coastal storm to track just close enough to the coast to produce heavy precipitation on top of the area. The heavy precipitation could then change the rain to snow in certain areas. Any other outcome will not get you snow this time of year. Even in the case where we get a glancing blow from the storm, the precipitation would not fall heavily enough to change the rain to snow.
My preliminary best guess right now is that the storm will only give central/northern New Jersey a glancing blow on Saturday, and hence a threat of some chilly rain with temps in the 40s.