Memorial Day Weekend weather forecast for NJ: A mixed bag
The forecast for the "unofficial start of summer" is not perfect, but there will be moments of happy weather throughout the holiday weekend.
Here are your weather headlines for Friday, May 26, 2017...
The last 24 hours have been incredibly wet and stormy across the Garden State, as a sizable storm system impacted the East Coast. Top rainfall totals in NJ were in the neighborhood of 2 inches, and it looks like almost everyone in the state picked up at least a half-inch of rain. Of course, this was a continuation of a very wet and unsettled May. And the month isn't over yet!
As the aforementioned storm system pulls away from the Jersey Shore, our weather will improve. Residual showers and drizzle will end by 9 a.m. at the latest, and skies will clear shortly thereafter. We'll see nice breaks of sun through Friday afternoon, pushing high temperatures into the mild lower to mid 70s. It will be breezy, with a northwest wind up to about 20 mph.
I've been advertising Friday as "turning into a nice day," and I still think that's true. I have to hesitate for a moment though, as models provide decent support for a few stray raindrops Friday afternoon on the backside of our departing system.
I am happy to say our coastal flooding threat is done, as tide levels return to normal. The surf will remain rough on Friday, with 5 foot waves and a Moderate Risk of rip currents expected up and down the Shore.
Saturday: Best Day of the Weekend
Saturday morning will be quiet, dry, and comfortable with temperatures in the 50s. And we'll enjoy partly sunny skies throughout the day, with high temperatures expected to climb into the mid 70s. That's right on the normal for late May.
Overall, Saturday looks quite pleasant. But again, there's one little hiccup that's worth mentioning. A storm system is diving southwest of New Jersey may clip us, providing for a few late-day showers (after about 3 p.m.) I'm still leaning toward (and hoping for) a dry forecast, but the rain chance is admittedly not zero for Saturday afternoon and evening.
Sunday: Return of Showers
The weekend forecast beyond Saturday gets even more "iffy". It looks like the wind will shift to a southeasterly direction on Sunday. Uh-oh... The dreaded on-shore flow! That will keep temperatures cooler. And it will also inject moisture into the atmosphere, thickening cloud cover.
Sunday will start off OK, as skies progress from partly sunny to mostly cloudy. Thermometers will be held cooler, especially along the coast. High temperatures will generally range from the upper 60s to lower 70s.
In addition, our weather turns unsettled again starting around 4 p.m. Sunday, as showers return to the forecast. Instability looks low, so I don't anticipate any big bad thunderstorms. And I'm hopeful the rain will be scattered.
So, not a washout. But not perfect either.
Monday: Cool, Cloudy, Wet
Earlier in the week, I was advertising a warmup for Memorial Day Monday. But I now have to flip that forecast cooler, as the southeasterly ocean breeze looks to dominate our weather for another day.
Forecast highs on Monday will range from the lower to mid 60s along the Jersey Shore, to the lower 70s in SW NJ. Skies will probably be mostly cloudy or overcast all day. And, no surprise, a round of showers and thunderstorms will be possible, especially later in the day (from about 2 p.m. onward).