Feb 14: Another Ice Storm Approaching

Written on 02/14/2021
Jonathan Carr

Discussion: Another ice storm is approaching and this one looks more potent. Where the recent one hit mostly 95 and SE, this one is targeting 95 and NW. There’s not much to say. The atmosphere is warm over New Jersey at the low-mid levels and cold at the surface, especially with the existing region-wide snowpack.

This storm should begin dropping light precipitation overnight tonight/early Monday morning. Precipitation should be on-and-off light through Monday afternoon before picking up into Monday evening. It looks like precip ends early Tuesday AM from W to E.

The storm should start colder and end warmer. I think we’ll see a snow/sleet line establish and quickly push NW out of NWNJ. Then the sleet/rain line should start near I-95 and push further NW into WCNJ/NENJ. With that said, the lower 2/3 of NJ should see rain falling on above-freezing ground by Monday night. Areas where it’s still below freezing at the surface will only be the concerning locations for icing (N of I-80/NW of I-287) heading into early Tuesday morning. Cold air damming could occur, especially against the NWNJ Appalachian Mountains and with that snow pack. So the wildcard is a colder solution overall but still not SE of I-95. Here’s our ice impact map for Monday morning into Tuesday morning:

Full Resolution Ice Map

Zone A is likely all rain for the entire event (Monday AM-Tuesday AM) and too warm for wintry concern. Zones B and C see all their ice Monday morning through Monday afternoon before changing to plain rain through Tuesday AM. Zone D sees light snow change to light ice Monday morning into Monday afternoon then sees heavier icing Monday PM into Tuesday AM.

In English: Another ice storm is coming primarily in the form of rain that falls and freezes after impact. Sleet (falls and hits ground as an ice pellet) is also possible but not as probable as the freezing rain threat. This one should hit NWNJ/WCNJ/NENJ pretty hard. Sort of supplemental to the one that just hit SWNJ/SENJ/ECNJ. Most of NJ SE of 95 should escape the worst of this one. This storm seems stronger though meaning more ice accrual, especially for NWNJ. Branches will be heavy and falling, likely causing outages. Untreated roads and walkways will be horrible to travel on. I’ll cover more on the Feb 18-19 storm signal tomorrow. Please be safe!