Blizzard conditions, heavy snow forecast for parts of the region


A winter storm watch was expanded to include more of the New York, New Jersey area on Thursday as confidence grew for a strong storm system.

The region should expect moderate to heavy snowfall as well as strong winds from Friday night through Saturday. A winter storm warning was also issued for parts of southern New Jersey.

A cold front is expected to arrive Friday morning, which could trigger a few snow showers on Friday. However, the main event is scheduled to arrive from Friday night to Saturday. The frontal boundary will reinforce extremely cold air, setting the stage for snow to accumulate quickly.

At this time, it is certain that a low pressure system will develop in the mid-Atlantic and head north. The counter-clockwise flow around it will combine freezing temperatures to the north and humidity from the Atlantic to make it a fully snow-covered event.

The amount of snow will be determined by the location of the center of the low pressure tracks. The GFS model indicates that the system will be quite far offshore with little accumulation across the three states.

The New York City Sanitation Department issued a snowfall alert for 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday morning; this is the department’s “upper level” winter weather message. More than a foot of snow is possible, the department warned.

Up to 15 inches of snow is possible on Long Island, according to National Weather Service forecasts. The area could experience blizzard-like conditions.

In New York, northeastern New Jersey and much of the lower Hudson Valley, less snow is expected. Up to 10 inches are provided.

If the easternmost storm scenario occurs, most of the region would see no snow, with some areas seeing only a few centimeters. But the potential for this has diminished in recent models.

Travel will be hazardous. Expect delays and cancellations at the airport due to high winds and snow. Tree branches and power lines could be downed by the storm.

The impacts of minor to locally moderate coastal flooding and beach erosion will also be a concern, particularly during high tide periods.

There is still some uncertainty in the models for the duration of the moderate and heavy snow bands late Friday evening through Saturday. A clearer picture should develop over the next 36 hours.

Dry weather returns on Sunday with freezing temperatures. Winds can continue to be gusty, especially in the morning, causing additional blowing snow and blowing snow. The risk will decrease as the winds ease at the end of the day.

You can expect milder weather by Wednesday with a chance of showers. As always, stay tuned for updates.

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