A winter storm watch had been in effect much of Sunday for most of New Jersey, except Cape May County. Snowfall projections, however, remain the same, with large sections of North Jersey and Central Jersey positioned to get hit with possibly up to 18 inches of snow from late Monday night through early Wednesday morning.
The weather service’s New York regional office has a blizzard watch active for some of the state’s northernmost counties in New Jersey, including Hudson and the eastern parts of Bergen, Essex and Union.
Whiteout conditions are likely, and up to 2 feet of accumulated snow is possible, according to the office’s most recent briefing.
Winds in the northeastern portion of the state may reach up to 50 mph Tuesday in the morning and afternoon, the weather service said.
But Walter Drag, a meteorologist with the Mount Holly office, says he’s not ready to throw around the “b-word” just yet.
“We know New York has (a blizzard watch) out, but there’s nothing locked in at all for a blizzard,” Drag said Sunday afternoon.
While there’s still some uncertainty this far away from the storm, Drag said it’s certain the storm will have a “considerable” impact on the Garden State.
“What really should be communicated, in my opinion, there’s going to be a considerable impact to travel and businesses through the state of New Jersey for Tuesday morning,” he said. “That is basically guaranteed.”
The central and northern parts of the state will receive anywhere from 12 to 18 inches of snowfall, the National Weather Service said. Areas in South Jersey, closer to Vineland and Atlantic City, will see between 6 and 8 inches of snow.
Drag said he also has concerns about coastal flooding and up to 60 mph wind gusts along the Jersey Shore. Residents along the Shore should brace for the greatest risk of coastal flooding on Tuesday morning’s high tide cycle.
The brunt of the storm is expected to hit New Jersey late Monday night into Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said. It then begins to taper off Tuesday evening, forecasters say.
How much snow New Jersey receives depends on the track of the storm, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather. The storm will start to get organized off the Carolinas on Monday and then head up the coast.
Kines said “a lot would have to go wrong” for New Jersey not to receive a “significant” snowfall.
“The odds of it going out to sea and not giving us much are pretty small,” he said. “Prepare for the worst.”
Anyone who doesn’t need to travel on Tuesday morning should keep off the roads, Kines said.
“It’s going to be a ferocious storm from New Jersey on up to New England,” Kines said.
NJ Advance Media staff writer Thomas Moriarty contributed to this report.