The third nor’easter in about a week hits the Jersey Shore and leaves residents hoping for Spring.
There’s good news for everyone who’s sick of nasty winter weather: the National Weather Service says it’s less likely that a major nor’easter will strike the first day of spring Tuesday.
Don’t let your guard down yet, though.
Forecasters say there is still a lot of uncertainty about the exact track of the storm and whether or not it will bring accumulating snow, strong winds or serious coastal flooding.
“While the trends recently have been for sort of an evolution toward a lower impact storm, it’s probably a little early to say that that is how it will be,” said Chad Shafer, a meteorologist at the weather’s service’s Mount Holly office.
Shafer said there’s been a lot of variability with the track of the storm, which is expected to arrive early Tuesday morning. The most recent models have kept the storm farther to the south, which would mean less impact for Monmouth and Ocean counties.
CONTROLLED BURNS TODAY: Controlled burns planned today in parts of Monmouth and Ocean counties
An area of low pressure is expected to move eastward along the Virginia-North Carolina border Monday night and deepen as it moves off the Mid-Atlantic coast during the day Tuesday. A second wave of low pressure may develop, but models now have it passing south and east of the area Wednesday.
Light snow gently coats street signs in Toms River as Nor’easter quietly rolls in. (Photo: Peter Ackerman)
Here are the National Weather Service forecasts for three Jersey Shore towns:
Ocean Grove: There is a 50 percent chance of snow after 8 a.m. Tuesday, with snow expected to mix with rain after 3 p.m. High temperature: 37.
Toms River: 60 percent chance of rain, snow and sleet on Tuesday and breezy. High temperature: 38.
Stafford: 70 percent chance of rain, snow and sleet. High: 39.
Shafer said it’s too soon to predict any potential snow accumuations.
He said it’s worth keeping an eye on for possible changes to the forecast.
“One of the worries is, because of the previous systems’ impacts on the area, it’s even more advisable to keep tabs on this one,” Shafer said. “Given that we had such a large number of power outages with the high wind event, we’re especially sensitive right now to systems like this.”
BOMB CYCLONE SNOW TOTALS: NJ Weather: Final snow totals from the bomb cyclone
SNOW TOTALS FOR MARCH 13 STORM: NJ weather: Snow totals in, focus shifts to the next storm
Since March 2, New Jersey has played host to three coastal storms. Check out some scenes from the March 13 storm in the video above.
The storms brought wind, snow, rain and flooding to coastal areas, and heavy snow to some interior sections of the state. Downed trees and high winds left thousands without power for days.
NO MORE PLEASE: NJ weather: Three March nor’easters, so far
Shafer said forecasters are concerned that the string of storms have left New Jersey particularly vulnerable to the next one. Beaches have been eroded, the ground is saturated and tree limbs may have been weakened by heavy snow.
“It’s worthy of keeping an eye on,” Shafer said of next week’s storm.
Spring may be arrive on Tuesday, but OId Man Winter seems unwilling to loosen his grip. Temperatures are expected to remain 5 to 10 degrees below normal through Friday, with highs after the storm in the low to mid-40s, with lows in the upper 20s to low 30s.
Jean Mikle: 732-643-4050, Twitter: @jeanmikle, firstname.lastname@example.org
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