A "significant winter storm" is expected to hit Bergen County from early Friday until Saturday afternoon and could cause blizzard conditions, according to the National Weather Service.
The NWS issued a winter storm watch from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon, predicting 6-12 inches of snow and some ice from sleet and freezing rain.
Visibility could be limited to several hundred feet due to heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain. Driving conditions may be "dangerous."
Winds are expected to blow at 20 or 30 miles per hour, with gusts hitting as much as 50 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. The gusts may bring down some tree limbs and could cause power outages.
The storm could be even worse, according to Mark Edgerton, a hobby meteorologist and teacher at Indian Hills High School in Oakland who runs his own weather blog.
As of early Thursday afternoon, Edgerton said he was expecting 12-24 inches for Bergen County, but previously said he had a feeling more could be coming.
"My gut instinct, I think we're going up to 2-3 feet," Edgerton said.
Bergen could be facing blizzard conditions as early as noon Friday, he said.
Edgerton studies the European and Canadian weather models to make his forecasts, which he says are generally more accurate than the American models because they use higher-definition data and consider 51 different "tweaks."
The European models predicted this storm a week or longer ago, according to Edgerton.
"I would say it's a safe bet that we're going to get a significant winter storm," Edgerton said.
Mahwah issued an alert Wednesday night about the storm to residents via its Nixle text message alert system. The alert also predicted the storm would be significant.
"By Thursday night snow will begin as two lows move closer to the area. This will set the stage for significant winter storm to develop on Friday. Some warmer air may work its way in on Friday to allow for an early rain/sow mix but this will soon turn back to snow Friday night into Saturday as the low offshore deepens. Total snows amounts are now predicted to be between 10 to 18 inches for our region. These amounts could change in future forecasts with any shifts offshore. We will issue future updates, but reasonable preparations should be taken as the storm event approaches," the alert said.