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Shore Environment

Confidence Building Among Forecasters for ‘Significant’ Nor’Easter This Weekend, Frigid Temps

The Jersey Shore may be in the path of a looming nor’easter that is expected to form when two storm systems – once from the central portion of the country and one from the south – converge along with cold air from Canada.

The result could be a “significant winter storm” Friday into Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

“While it is too soon for the details, heavy snow, strong winds and coastal flooding are all possible,” the office posted through its social media accounts.

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The NWS released a short briefing package Tuesday night that included the current forecast highlights. Among them, “Confidence is increasing that a significant winter storm will create considerable Friday through the weekend from the mid-Atlantic through the northeast.”

The briefing said heavy snow is most likely in parts of New England, though recent forecast models have indicated a significantly greater chance of the storm affecting New Jersey as compared to several days ago. The European forecast model calls for an aggressive storm while the American GFS forecast model leans more toward coastal areas being affected with high tides and some snow, but no historic impacts. The forecast for the inner I-95 corridor from New York to Washington remains uncertain.

Since the storm will be a nor’easter, coastal impacts are expected, the NWS said. “Significant” impacts will include coastal flooding and major beach erosion. Strong winds driven by the coastal system may also lead to blowing snow and reduced visibility if, indeed, snow moves into the region.

In addition to the threat of the storm, the NWS also issued a rare advisory on potential dangers of hypothermia to anyone exposed to the elements on Saturday due to frigid temperatures.

“Low wind chills are forecast on Saturday, with frostbite and hypothermia possible with prolonged exposure,” the forecast said.

As it currently stands, the official NWS forecast calls for a slight chance of rain or snow after 2 p.m. Friday, with the mix changing to all snow between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. when the storm would begin to ramp up. Snow would continue until at least 2 p.m. Saturday, with additional rounds of snow showers lingering into Saturday night.

The high on Friday is forecast to be 37 degrees, however temperatures will plunge into the mid-20s at night, then stay below freezing Saturday, with a high of just 30 degrees. The overnight low Saturday night is forecast to be 15 degrees.

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