This storm will bring a variety of severe winter weather conditions including snow, sleet, rain, strong winds and coastal flooding. As a result, the National Weather Service has issued a "Winter Storm Warning" for which will be in effect from 7 p.m. Wednesday evening until 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
Primary concerns with this system will be strong northeast winds, high surf, and at least minor coastal flooding on Thursday morning. Snow is also expected.
A coastal low-pressure system is predicted to lumber up the coast during the early portion of the week and intensify when it reaches the Middle Atlantic States.
As a result, the Jersey Shore could receive 2-4 inches of snow because some of the precipitation could fall as rain. Areas farther inland, however, including Mercer and Middlesex counties, could get 4-6 inches.
Those living along the I-95 corridor receive the grand prize for a 6- to 8-inch storm total.
Weather forecasters are struggling with determining the exact track and intensity of the storm. Even the slightest change in direction, speed or intensity can have a huge impact on weather conditions.
However, based on current forecast, the following weather events are expected in the Mercer and Middlesex County area:
1. Snow should start between midnight and 3 a.m. Thursday morning with it continuing through the morning rush. There could be an inch or two of snow accumulation during this time period.
2. The Thursday morning rush will be difficult as most likely roads will be snow covered and icy. Also, moderate snow will greatly reduce visibility.
3. Snow should change over to a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain during Thursday morning. Also, there is a possibility of the wintry mix changing to just plain rain during Thursday afternoon, before switching back to sleet and snow Thursday evening.
4. Snow and sleet Thursday evening should end as a period of all snow prior to sunrise Friday morning.
5. Winds will increase Wednesday night and by Thursday morning, will be sustained at 20 to 25mph with gust up to 40mph. These strong winds combined with the wintry mix of precipitation will lead to the possibility of power outages.
6. Minor coastal flooding could occur along the bayfront and lagoon areas of both towns with the high tide cycle ofThursday morning.