Like or or not, cold air takes over NJ through the weekend
And a bit of snow could be on the way by early next week too.
Here are your weather headlines for Friday, December 9, 2016...
Welcome to the Arctic! Well, sort of. The coldest air of the season so far has officially arrived, and that's going to keep our weather forecast chilly.
Admittedly, temperatures are a few degrees warmer and winds are a few miles per hour lighter than I expected. So, while the cold isn't quite as painful as it could have been, the vast majority of New Jersey is waking up to subfreezing temperatures, between 27 and 33 degrees as of 5:30 a.m.
The problem is that thermometers aren't going to progress very far Friday, with high temperatures expected to only reach 34 to 40 degrees. That's it! Additionally, a brisk pressure gradient driven, west-northwest wind will add a blustery characteristic to the day. That will, of course keep the wind chill (or "feels like" temperature) below what the thermometer may suggest. Gusts to 25 or 30 mph will be possible.
Most of New Jersey will enjoy sunny skies through Friday afternoon. However, as narrow bands of snow stream off Lake Ontario through Central New York, some snowflakes and/or clouds could drift into the northwestern corner of New Jersey at some point.
Friday night is going to be cold. Period. At least winds will become light. Lows will fall into the mid 20s, continuing a theme of temperatures hovering 5 to 10 degrees below normal.
Saturday will be less windy and mostly sunny, but also just as cold as Friday. High temperatures are forecast to reach the mid to upper 30s.
Chance of Wintry Weather
Changes are ahead for Sunday, but not on the temperature side. Once again, daily maximum temps will be limited to the mid to upper 30s. More importantly, our next storm system will come into view with a chance for wintry weather.
Clouds will increase by Sunday mid-morning, and the chance for precipitation will begin around Sunday afternoon. (The GFS model holds off precip onset until Sunday evening, so there's still some issues with confidence and consistency.) Temperatures will likely be cold enough for at least North Jersey to see a bit of accumulating snow, before an eventual change to rain by Monday morning. The chance for snow/rain could continue as late as midday Monday. Rough estimate, highest snow totals in NJ could end up in the 1 to 3 inch range. Wintry mix and/or rain would limit snow accumulations.
There are still several question marks, but I'm confident to say this Sunday-Monday winter weather event won't be "major," by any means. We will, however, have to be vigilant in case sloppy travel conditions develop at some point late Sunday through early Monday.
Crazy Roller Coaster Weather Week
A warm front is expected to lift through New Jersey on Monday, causing a temporary but certainly noticeable temperature spike. Thermometers could actually come close to 60 degrees at some point on Monday!
Oh, but then the chill returns. Tuesday's highs will come back down to the 40s. Tuesday will be a rare quiet weather day, with partly sunny skies and a healthy breeze.
Beyond Tuesday, confidence in exact numbers weather conditions falls through the floor. Choosing precise forecast temperatures is particularly difficult, as another blast of arctic air seems imminent in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame. Other than sharing those vague details of the long-range forecast, I'll just keep my meteorological mouth shut for now.
We'll keep you updated on the Sunday-Monday snow chance throughout the weekend. Stay warm!