Jan 26: Active Pattern Continues

Written on 01/26/2021
Jonathan Carr

Discussion: The weak wave has just about passed. Just another small batch of light precip is expected to move through NNJ later tonight and taper off by early Wednesday AM hours. The primary low involved in the generally weak transfer of low pressure made it into W NY state instead of near ~Pittsburg before the transfer. That allowed it to get a little bit stronger. This allowed a little more sleet and freezing rain to happen instead of snow today for lower NNJ elevations. The snow last night/early this morning in SWNJ encountered a lot of dry air as expected. A nuisance event overall and time to move on.

The slightly stronger and further N low will impact the Thursday coastal system by lowering the geopotential height fields along the east coast (the steering wind tracks for the approaching low). That should keep the meat and potatoes of the Thursday coastal system to our S and SE as the low tracks into the Ocean between OBX and Myrtle Beach. Periods of fringe snow showers cannot be ruled out for at least extreme SNJ/SENJ but that’s about it if current model guidance were to verify. I wouldn’t hold my breath for it. Temperatures will drop behind today’s weak wave and then even more behind Thursday’s coastal. That should set up a colder weekend ahead of the next synoptic winter storm signal in the Sunday-Tuesday (Jan 31-Feb 2) period.

The GFS is earlier and warmer, brining most of the storm’s impact to NJ on Sunday Jan 31…another snow to rain nuisance situation with lower snow accumulations. The Canadian and Euro models delay the system until Monday-Tuesday due to a stronger high in SE Canada positioned further to the S/SE. This would allow a much stronger and colder snowstorm to occur for all of NJ then what was produced by the GFS today. I will probably wait until Thursday afternoon to move this Jan 31-Feb 2 signal from “just watching it” to “tracking seriously.” We wouldn’t know it’s “game on” time until likely Friday.

After the Jan 31-Feb 2 signal, the active pattern continues with a synoptic-scale low pressure system moving through the E US every 3-4 days. Plenty of cold also. Such ingredients just need to time together for a larger snowstorm low track to happen.

In English: This weak wave is almost over. Just another batch of wintry precip to move across NNJ this evening. All should be through by early Wednesday AM hours. The Thursday system is likely a miss to the S with maybe some snow showers for extreme SNJ/SENJ. I’ll only report more on that if anything changes. Other than that, all eyes turn to the Sunday-Tuesday period as the next winter storm signal to track. Let’s see what another 24 hours of model data and live observations produce. I’ll check in tomorrow. Have a great rest of your Tuesday and please be safe! JC

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