They blew it.
That was the collective reaction of Jersey Shore residents after a small trough of air developed over Pennsylvania during the day on Monday, forcing a nor’easter to remain about 90 miles further offshore than expected, curtailing the effects of a storm that could have been.
Meteorologists lined up apologies by Tuesday morning, with areas such as Brick receiving – depending on the neighborhood – three to six inches of snow instead of as much as 36 that was predicted 24 hours earlier. Residual snow from the weather system could pile on another 1-2 inches before the entire storm was forecast to pull out of New Jersey by 1 p.m. Lingering snow showers could last until 5 p.m. Tuesday, with the potential for a scattered snow shower Tuesday night, the National Weather Service said.
Tuesday will remain blustery with a high near 30 degrees and winds gusting between 20-24 m.p.h.
“My deepest apologies to many key decision makers and so many members of the general public,” Gary Szatkowski, meteorologist in charge at the NWS’s Mount Holly office, said over Twitter before 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. “You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn’t.”
Though the snow totals in the Jersey Shore area will be kept to single-digit measurements, blowing snow could still make travel tricky for motorists, officials said.
“The worst of the snow this morning should be in NJ where untreated surfaces are slippery with areas of snow and blowing snow,” a statement from the weather service said.
“The science of forecasting storms, while continually improving, still can be subject to error, especially if we’re on the edge of the heavy precipitation shield,” the statement went on to say. “Efforts, including research, are already underway to more easily communicate that forecast uncertainty.”
Despite the blown forecast, Brick schools will remain closed on Tuesday, a decision that had been made a day earlier.