Snowfall amounts will range from several inches, to as high as 14 inches, across the New Jersey. Areas north and west of the I-95 are expected to see the highest snowfall totals.
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.
Col. Rick Fuentes, State Police superintendent and director of the state Office of Emergency Management, said conditions will "deteriorate" after midnight, and his office will be closely monitoring the situation along with the National Weather Service and the 21 county Offices of Emergency Management.
"We are asking New Jersey residents to do the same," he said in a statement. "Be especially careful if you are on the road; driving will be difficult. Check in with elderly or disabled relatives, neighbors and friends. Those who live in coastal communities should be aware of the potential for high winds and minor coastal flooding."
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 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 and north, however, icould 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 most areas of New Jersey:
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 of Thursday morning.
The following is a list of general winter preparedness tips, a detailed list of actions to take can be found on the NJOEM website at:
At home: Have your heating system checked by a professional once a year. Make sure your home is properly insulated. Protect pipes from freezing, inspect and flush your water heater, replace smoke detector batteries.
Power Outages: Call your utility to determine area repair schedules. Remember to turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when the power returns. To protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning, never operate generators or use charcoal to cook indoors, In addition, do not use your gas oven to heat your home and only use space heaters with proper ventilation.
Pets: Create a place where your pets can be comfortable in severe winter weather, or bring pets indoors.
In the Neighborhood: If someone you know is elderly or dependent on life-sustaining or health-related equipment such as a ventilator, respirator or oxygen concentrator, make plans NOW to ensure their needs are met during severe winter weather and possible power outages. Check
on them after a storm or power outage.
On the road: Winterize your vehicle to avoid breakdowns. Have a mechanic check key vehicle systems. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Always wear a seat belt. Brake properly to avoid skidding. Be alert for snowplows.
Outside: During a snowstorm, stay inside - long periods of exposure to severe cold increase the risk of frostbite or hypothermia. If you must go outside, dress in many layers of clothing with a hat, mittens or gloves, and a scarf to cover your mouth. Most body heat is lost through
the top of the head, so always wear a hat. Mittens are better than gloves, because fingers maintain more warmth when they touch each other. A scarf worn over your mouth will protect your lungs from extreme cold.
The state Office of Emergency Management has provided resources for staying in-the-know:
On the Web - Use credible websites to get information about natural hazards and emergency preparedness. The NJOEM works closely with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center regarding storm predictions and forecasts. The NJOEM website contains links to the County OEM social media pages and alerting systems.
National Weather Service - www.erh.noaa.gov/er/phi/
New Jersey Office of Emergency Management - ready.nj.gov
ReadyNJ Alerts & Updates Blog: readynj.wordpress.com
Social Media - Social media is used by the NJOEM, and by emergency managers statewide.
NJOEM on Facebook: www.facebook.com/READYNEWJERSEY
NJOEM on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ReadyNJ
NJ State Police on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStatePolice
NJ State Police on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NJSP
Alerts - Mobile / Text (SMS) & E-Mail
NIXLE - http://local.nixle.com/new-jersey-state-police/. New Jersey residents can register to receive messages by sending a text message with their zip code to 888777 (data rates may apply depending on your plan). Online registration is also available at www.nixle.com
NJ Alert - NJ Alert is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows NJ Office of Emergency Management officials to send E-mail or text messages to cell phones, and other email enabled devices during an emergency event. Sign up for NJ Alert by logging on
CMAS -the Community Mobile Alert System - this nationwide system is now being used the National Weather Service to transmit urgent weather info to your cell phone. A warning means the hazard is imminent; a watch means conditions are favorable for the hazard to occur. Your cell phone must be WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) enabled to receive these
Traditional Media - Continue to monitor traditional media sources - TV, newspapers and radio - to stay informed of breaking news and continued coverage of emergency events.
Find out if your community has a "reverse 9-1-1" system or if you can opt-in for email updates from municipal officials.
NOAA Weather Radio - is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service Office. NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard
information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NOAA Weather Radios are typically inexpensive, easily available in stores and can often be programmed for your specific area.