The latest forecast for this evening's snow event is now calling for only about an inch of accumulation overnight.
The National Weather Service is continuing its winter weather advisory for Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland from 6 p.m. this evening through 4 a.m. Friday.
The forecast was downgraded from a winter storm watch, which is now only forecast for southern Delaware and sections of Maryland, and no longer includes Ocean County.
AccuWeather's prediction called for 1-3 inches for the Cape May-Atlantic county region.
Greg Heavener, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the storm is likely to create snow for the southern Delaware region, but late Wednesday night he could not predict how much snowfall South Jersey will receive.
Heavener said the area could get flurries or up to 4 inches of snow.
“It’s a question of how far north the storm will move,” he said. “Once you get north of southern Delaware it’s a lot less clear.”
The service said there is a 90 percent chance of precipitation for the South Jersey this evening and overnight. The forecast for the weekend is dry with highs in the 40s.
The storm, centered in Georgia late Wednesday, has a relatively narrow strip of heavy precipitation associated with it, and forecast models have increasingly shown a northern trend to the storm, which is why South Jersey may be in the target zone, said Gary Szatkowski, Meteorologist-In-Charge at the National Weather Service, Mount Holly office. The highest amounts of snow are expected in the far southeast portion of the state, though lighter amounts are likely directly on the coast, he said.
“Because it looks like it’s shifting northward into colder air, that’s what raised the possibility of snow out of it,” Szatkowski said. “Small changes in the track of the storm mean huge shifts in the forecast.”
Rain should start sometime later this afternoon and begin changing over to snow by sunset, Szatkowski said.
Regardless how much snow falls and accumulates, conditions later today and into Friday morning could be quite slippery, Szatkowski said, as temperatures are expected to drop into the mid to upper 20s by early Friday.
The last significant snow the region saw was on Nov. 7, when 2.5 inches fell at Atlantic City International Airport in Egg Harbor Township, according to weather service records.
This storm could mean the end of the cloudy and wet pattern that New Jersey has experienced for days, but a strong trend toward colder than average temperatures could arrive early next week.
New Jersey State climatologist and Rutgers University professor David Robinson said that next week’s cold snap, bringing the coldest air of the season, could seem much harsher than it is because this winter just has not had any significant frigid air.
“It’s going to shock people’s system because we just haven’t seen many cold days in a while,” he said.
Temperatures so far this month have averaged 5.7 degrees above normal at Atlantic City International Airport, according to weather service records.
The National Weather Service forecast for early next week calls for highs near the freezing mark by Monday and low temperatures in the upper teens by Wednesday, Szatkowski said. “It’s going to feel more like January.”
Staff Writer Joel Landau contributed to this story.
Contact Sarah Watson:
Follow Sarah Watson on Twitter @acpresssarah