the National Weather Service has expanded its watch for winter storms in northern New Jersey to include Morris County, saying roads could become treacherous from a mix of snow and ice expected to build up from Thursday night through early Friday afternoon.
The watch also covers Sussex and Warren counties, as well as western Bergen and western Passaic counties, where 4 to 6 inches of snow and sleet could fall, along with a light layer of ice cream.
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Morris County was placed under a winter storm watch late Wednesday afternoon, with forecasters calling for 2 to 3 inches of snow in that area with up to a third of an inch of ice – which would be thick enough to create dangerous driving conditions.
Winter storm watches will be in effect at the following times:
- Bergen County (western region): 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.
- Morris County (whole county): 7:00 p.m. Thursday to 1:00 p.m. Friday.
- Passaic County (western region): 10 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.
- Sussex County (whole county): 7 p.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.
- Warren County (whole county): 7:00 p.m. Thursday to 1:00 p.m. Friday.
Even though the upcoming winter storm will likely drop only 1 to 3 inches of snow across most parts of northern New Jersey and a lighter blanket of snow in central New Jersey, forecasters say the snow will turn in sleet and freezing rain or will become a mix in many parts of the state – which could create slippery driving conditions during the late evening hours Thursday and also during the Friday morning commute to work and school .
“Travel could be very difficult at the height of the storm,” the weather service said in its winter storm watch. “The period surrounding the Friday morning commute will see the greatest impacts. A few power outages and instances of tree damage are possible due to ice.
Although a few spotty flurries may arrive Thursday afternoon, the main batch of precipitation is expected to move into New Jersey Thursday evening, intensify and continue through Friday afternoon, officials said. forecasters.
At this time, the weather service is expecting a winter mix — starting with snow and graduating to sleet and freezing rain — primarily from the Interstate 95 corridor to areas north and west. In areas north of Interstate 78 and Interstate 80, the snow will stay longer before mixing with sleet Friday morning, which will make driving difficult, forecasters said.
The Jersey Shore and much of central Jersey will likely end up with less than an inch of snow or no snow at all, with mixed precipitation and light snow changing to regular rain Friday morning. Forecasters are still concerned about the possibility of a slight ice cover in these areas.
Most of South Jersey is likely to receive mixed rainfall as the storm lands, with the risk of a light ice glaze. But the mix is expected to turn into regular rain as temperatures warm.
The weather service’s New York office noted that snow and ice forecasts are difficult and could change as the storm approaches, as impacts are highly dependent on temperatures on the ground and in the lower atmosphere.
“If warmer air aloft moves faster, snow/sleet amounts will be reduced, but could introduce higher amounts of ice buildup,” the weather service said in its latest storm briefing. “If the warmer air is slower, snow/sleet amounts could be higher, even on the coast, and could lead to less ice buildup.”
Impacts and timing of the storm
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NJ Advance Media writer Jeff Goldman contributed to this report.
Len Melisurgo can be reached at [email protected].