Chilly start ahead of a warmer, sunny, windy Monday for NJ
While Monday's weather will remain dry across the Garden State, Tuesday's forecast is looking cloudy and wet.
Here are your weather headlines for Monday, May 16, 2016...
Chilly Start, Warmer Finish
Welcome to Monday - and wow, what a chill in the air! By my estimation, this has been New Jersey's coldest morning in almost a month (April 17th), with widespread 30s and 40s on thermometers across the Garden State. Brrrrr!
Trenton has unofficially broke the daily low temperature record, 41 degrees last set in 1987. Parts of North Jersey have experienced a late-season frost, and a few reporting stations even dipped to the freezing mark early Monday morning. Furthermore, when the wind blows, the "wind chill" may send a brief shiver down your spine.
I'm happy to report that plentiful sunshine will help temperatures moderate quickly by mid-morning. High temperatures are forecast to rise into the mid 60s by Monday afternoon. That's certainly better than Sunday (upper 50s), but still below normal for mid-May (lower 70s). Meanwhile, the brisk wind continues Monday, gusting at times over 30 mph.
The wind is expected to die down significantly by Monday evening, although clouds will increase through Tuesday morning.
Rain will return to the Garden State around sunrise Tuesday, starting in the southwest corner of the state and spreading northward through the rest of the morning. For the most part, the rain should be light and showery. But there is some big forecast uncertainty here, raising some big questions regarding this impending wet weather:
--Pockets of Heavy Rain? The NAM model in particular paints pockets of heavier rain, especially for Tuesday afternoon. It's worthwhile to point out the possibility for occasional heavier downpours, which may impact the Tuesday evening commute. But it doesn't look like an all-day deluge or a total washout.
--Periods or Persistent? The National Weather Service posed this question in their forecast discussion. While it's a good question, it's not one I'm going to lose any sleep over - I don't think the difference really matters for the average New Jerseyan. It's pretty clear that Tuesday will be a wet day, particularly in the southern half of New Jersey. Get the umbrella ready.
--End Time? The biggest question of them all. By Tuesday night, the GFS and European models taper off all rain but a stray shower for New Jersey. But the NAM shows persistent rainfall through Wednesday evening (for South Jersey, at least). At this time, I'm leaning toward the consensus toward an earlier finish, which would lend to breaks of sun and warmer temperatures (near 70 degrees) on Wednesday. IF the rain does hang on, temperatures will be dramatically cooler (lower 60s?) on Wednesday than our forecast currently suggests.
Later in the Week...
Ultimately, the weather conditions for Wednesday and beyond will depend on the departure speed of Tuesday's storm system. For now, the forecast shows slowly rising temperatures from Wednesday through Sunday, returning to the seasonable lower 70s by the weekend. A few meager rain chances are scheduled for Thursday night to Friday morning, and again for Sunday afternoon. But again, that's all subject to change as this forecast continues to evolve.