UPDATE as of 7 a.m. Monday...

Looking at the latest spread of models, I'm a little concerned the most likely axis for heavier snow has shifted east. Possibly into the NYC metro area down to the Monmouth County bayshore. Temperatures are also colder than expected along the coast this morning. Just something we'll have to watch and nowcast through the steadiest snow Monday afternoon.

Also, western Essex and western Union counties were upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning earlier, in effect through 7 a.m. Tuesday. I can't argue with that change, as my 6 to 9 inch snow contour clips the higher elevation areas west of about Route 24.


ORIGINAL POST from 5:58 a.m. Monday...

Good Monday morning. Ready or not, the time has come for most of New Jersey to see the first accumulating snow of the season. We've been talking about this storm system for almost a week, and it's finally here. It is still a complicated and precarious forecast. Not a major storm for all of the Garden State. But truly a lose-lose situation for New Jerseyans and meteorologists alike.

Bottom Line

Monday starts off fairly quiet through the morning commute. Then as temperatures drop and heavier snow bands push through the state, road conditions will deteriorate rapidly through the afternoon. That is a precarious and treacherous situation, as the evening commute doesn't look good at all.

Monday's final snow forecast, as of Monday morning.

Advisories

Pink=Winter Storm Warning... Purple = Winter Weather Advisory... Green = Coastal Flood Advisory

—A Winter Storm Warning continues until 4 a.m. Tuesday for eastern Bergen, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties. (The NWS added Middlesex and extended some expiration times overnight.) I believe this warning is placed perfectly, as heavy snow in this area will affect travel conditions for most of Monday. School closures are likely in this area.

—A Winter Weather Advisory also runs through early Tuesday morning for eastern Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union counties. Slightly less severe and urgent than a warning, bands of snow here will cause travel conditions to deteriorate through Monday afternoon and evening. Some school closures and early dismissals are possible.

—A Coastal Flood Advisory has been issued for coastal Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and southeastern Burlington counties from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday. Minor flooding of low-lying areas is possible at high tide.

Totals

After Sunday's last-minute scramble to bump up snow totals, I think forecast models have settled on a semi-consensus that makes semi-sense. At one point, I saw the suggestion of 17 inches of snow encroaching upon southern New Jersey — that's off the table. Similarly, our chance of escaping Monday with a total bust of a snow forecast is minimal. This storm system is beastly.

It's still a very tricky forecast though, as we can't pinpoint exactly where the heaviest snow bands will set up. We have a pretty good idea — western edge of NJ, I'm looking at you. Just keep in mind, this winter storm has a better chance of overperforming the forecast than underperforming.

Here is our updated snow forecast — see the map above for a visual depiction...

—6 to 9 inches of snow accumulation is expected for the coldest part of the state to the north and west, piling up throughout the day and night.

—3 to 6 inches from west-central Jersey (the Trenton area) stretching to the New York metro area, mainly from midday through evening.

—1 to 3 inches from the Philadelphia metro area to coastal Ocean/Monmouth counties, starting in the afternoon through the evening hours.

—A coating to an inch south and coast, mainly in the evening hours.

Timeline

—Early Monday morning... Fairly quiet. Scattered showers drifting through New Jersey. These will be snow/mix in Sussex, Warren, Morris, and Hunterdon counties. Just rain elsewhere.

High-res NAM model forecast as of mid-morning Monday, showing snow surging into New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

—Mid-morning Monday (after 9 a.m.)... Storm system intensifies, snow bands surge from the northwest, and temperatures really start dropping again. At this point, we're looking at snow throughout the Winter Storm Warning area (generally west of the NJ Turnpike). Weather will be quieter and/or just rainy to the south and east.

High-res NAM model forecast for Monday early afternoon, as moderate to heavy snow envelops most of New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

—Midday (after 1 p.m.)... Northeastern, southwestern, and coastal New Jersey potentially flips from rain to snow. It won't be a clean transition — there will be flip-flopping between wintry mix until things turn to all snow later in the afternoon. Any bands of heaver snow will cause road conditions to deteriorate rapidly through the afternoon.

High-res NAM model forecast for Monday evening, as snow lightens up but continues to fall across almost all of New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

—Early evening (after 5 p.m.)... Almost all of New Jersey should be cold enough for snow at this point, even along the southern coast.

—Late evening (after 9 p.m.)... Storm system starts to wind down, with snowfall becoming lighter and more scattered.

—Overnight (by 4 a.m. Tuesday)... Snow finally wraps up statewide. Skies quickly clear.

You Know What to Do

Common sense. Patience. Extra caution. Use them.

This isn't New Jersey's first snow storm, and it won't be our last this season. Please stay smart and be safe out there. As always, we'll be here on-air and online with the latest info all day.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.