Snow. The simple, four-letter word that hasn’t made its presence known much in the New Jersey region this winter is starting to creep back into the forecast.
But snow enthusiasts will likely have to wait a few more weeks before we get any sizable amounts of frozen white precipitation.
“Patience is gonna be the key word for snow lovers the next few weeks,” said Jim Sullivan, a long-range meteorologist for the WeatherWorks forecasting company, based in New Jersey.
Although a series of storm systems will be developing to our south and west and moving in our direction this weekend and early next week, no blockbuster snowstorms are on the horizon because temperatures are expected to be too mild to support heavy snow, Sullivan said.
Instead of snow, most of New Jersey will get drenched with batches of light to moderate rain Friday and Saturday, thanks to a slow-moving storm system drifting up from the southwest. As the storm winds down early Sunday morning and colder air pushes in, some hilly areas of northern New Jersey could see a few snowflakes, Sullivan said.
While Sullivan doesn’t expect accumulations this weekend, the National Weather Service is calling for the possibility of a half-inch of snow in parts of Bergen and Passaic counties during the brief changeover from rain to snow Sunday morning.
In addition, a fast-moving clipper system could bring a light coating of snow to many areas of New Jersey Sunday night into Monday morning, Sullivan said. After that, a low pressure system is expected to bring more rain to the Garden State on Tuesday into Wednesday, although some snow cannot be ruled out.
Sullivan said there are indications the milder-than-normal weather pattern will shift to a colder one — and boost the chances of significant snow — during the second half of January, especially at the very end of the month and the start of February.
That may be a long wait for snow lovers, but many drivers and school administrators are probably not complaining.
One thing to keep in mind about the low-snow winter we’ve had so far: Even though January is typically a snowy month, February usually brings more snow in New Jersey.
The North Jersey region gets an average of 9.3 inches of snow in January and 10.1 inches in February. The Central Jersey region averages 7.9 inches of snow in January and 9.0 inches in February. And the South Jersey region typically gets 5.8 inches of snow in January and 6.5 inches in February.
For anyone disheartened by the absence of major snowstorms, Sullivan has this reminder: “There’s still a lot of winter left.”
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Len Melisurgo may be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @LensReality or like him on Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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