Winter waited until the last moment to pack a punch.
One week before the start of spring, the area is gearing up for what could be the largest storm of the season. Although much of South Jersey will not see high snow totals, the threat of high winds, flooding and heavy rain could make for a messy commute Tuesday morning.
The strong nor’easter is expected to spare South Jersey the worst snow, as warmer ocean air will lead to an extended period of rain and sleet for much of the area. Much of the northeast corridor of the United States may face blizzard conditions, with snow totals above 1 foot.
Well, "highly certain" snowfall forecasts in South Jersey are rare, and there is still some …
The northern and western parts of Atlantic, Cumberland and Ocean counties could still get 6 inches or more of snow.
“We are closely monitoring the storm and encourage residents to do the same,” Atlantic County Public Information Officer Linda Gilmore said. “We will have more information (on Monday) and will pretreat roadways as necessary to ensure their safety.”
But snow isn’t the main concern along the coast. Coastal residents should be most worried about the strong winds and tidal flooding that will accompany the storm Tuesday.
Winds may gust as high as 60 mph along the shore, with significant beach erosion also expected as a result of the high tides and pounding waves.
The powerful winds, coupled with the recent full moon Sunday, will cause at least some moderate tidal flooding during the Tuesday morning high tide along the shore and in Delaware Bay. Road closings and widespread flooding are expected, although the current forecast keeps the tide levels well below the levels the area saw during Winter Storm Jonas last year.
Frank Tedesco, a spokesman for Atlantic City Electric, said the company will have crews and contractors on call in the case of widespread power outages.
The winds are usually the biggest issue, but heavy, wet snow can also be problematic,” he said. “We just ask customers to prepare, especially if they have medical equipment that runs on electricity.”
On Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued both coastal-flood watches and high-wind watches for the shore to highlight the potential winds and flooding. These are expected to be upgraded to warnings Monday.
The strongest winds, heaviest rain and snow, and worst tidal flooding are all expected to occur between midnight Monday night and early Tuesday afternoon.
Representatives from Cape May and Cumberland counties did not immediately return comment.