Snow Saturday

Linda Estelle and her daughter, Kiersten, check out the snowy beach in Ocean City. For snow-day photo galleries, reader photos, videos of the storm and more, see


. For a look at what the weather has in store for us Sunday, see Press Meteorologist Dan Skeldon’s forecast on



If Thursday night’s underperforming coating of snow disappointed area snow lovers, Saturday’s overperforming storm more than made amends.

Five to nine inches of a fine, powdery snow fell across South Jersey on Saturday, and that snow will blow around as a result of strong northwest winds throughout the day on Sunday. Winds gusting as high as 40 miles-per-hour will create areas of blowing and drifting snow despite the sunny skies.

The winds will also cause dangerously low wind chills in the single digits through the day on Sunday.

Cold will be king across South Jersey on Sunday, with ineffective sunshine and highs struggling to reach 25 degrees. With clear skies and a solid snow cover, Sunday night will be the coldest night of the winter thus far. You know it’s cold when you can count the degrees of the temperature on the fingers of one hand. Gusty winds will drive wind chills to bitterly cold levels.

Monday is still cold, but the winds will ease so it may not feel quite as brutal. It’s also the sunniest day of the forecast, and the last to enjoy the snowpack before the melting process accelerates for the rest of the week as another January thaw arrives.

While cold, record low temperatures are not currently expected. At the Atlantic City International Airport, the record low for January 9 is two below zero (-2), set in 1981. The forecast low for tonight is in the single digits, possibly as cold as three or four degrees.

Winds will diminish overnight, but enough of a breeze will remain to drive wind chills to around or even a few degrees below zero through early Monday morning.

No additional snow is in the forecast, but roads will remain slick for several more days, as sunshine can still cause snow melt despite the below freezing temperatures, and any water will refreeze at night, leading to areas of black ice.

After Monday, a January thaw is expected to bring warmer temperatures and rapidly melting snow later this week. Highs should surge past 50 degrees starting Wednesday, and may flirt with 60 by Thursday.

The milder temps after Monday will be accompanied by occasional chances of rain showers: The first arrives Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, then perhaps another by the start of next weekend.

As promised, the snow we got was a powdery and easy-to-shovel snow, unfortunately not ideal for snowball- and snowman-making. For that, you’ll have to wait a few days until a thaw begins. The snow began before sunrise and ended by sunset, also as planned.

The surprise, at least somewhat, was in the amounts. I forecast a general 4- to 8-inch snowfall, with the most at the coast and less farther inland. Instead, the entire area experienced some locally heavy bands of snow, which allowed some to exceed their snow expectations — although overall I’m relatively happy with the forecast.

I’m most impressed with the ability — or luck — to have told you back during the last week of December to circle Jan. 7 for our first potential snowstorm. Of course, our first-inch-of-snow contest winner, Debi Moss, of Linwood, nailed the Jan. 7 date way back in November. Apparently my prognosticating abilities are not what they could be. Congratulations Debi! Any hints for next year?

After you dig out from Saturday’s snow, there will be no additional shoveling to do for the foreseeable future, though our current snow isn’t going anywhere for a few days.

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In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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