New Jersey’s temperatures stuck below normal through April’s end
A combination of cool air masses and an on-shore flow will keep temperatures in the 50s and lower 60s, with scattered rain chances in the forecast too.
Tuesday was a day of extremes for the Garden State: strong to severe thunderstorms, with temperatures well into the 80s. In case you're keeping score at home, here are a few numbers from Tuesday from the NJ Weather and Climate Network at Rutgers University:
--Top Rain Total: 0.85" at Wayne, Passaic Co.
--Lowest Rain Total: 0 at many stations in Cape May and Cumberland counties
--The Hot Spot: 87 degrees at Sicklerville, Camden Co.
--The Cool Spot: 57 degrees at High Point Monument, Sussex Co.
--Top Wind Gust: 61 mph at Cream Ridge, Monmouth Co.
Wednesday will be a much quieter weather day for New Jersey. There are still some clouds covering the southern half of the state. And a few showers can't be ruled out, especially for the area around Cape May County. For the most part, New Jersey will enjoy breaks of sunshine and light winds on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Wednesday afternoon's high temperatures are forecast to reach the lower 60s. While much cooler than the day before, it's just below normal for late April (mid 60s). So I'll call it a pleasant, comfortable day. The Jersey Shore will be a bit cooler, with temperatures limited to the 50s.
Another important note: Jersey Shore ocean temperatures have popped above 60 degrees for the first time this season! Cape May's water thermometer was reading 61.2 degrees as of 6 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures will peak in the mid 70s in August.
Chilly air really settled on top of the Garden State for Wednesday night, pushing some thermometers into the upper 30s by Thursday morning. That's low enough to sustain some patchy frost, in the coldest spots.
On Thursday, clouds are expected to increase once again, and we'll see another chance for rain in the forecast as well. I have to call it a "chance" because there's still poor model agreement and consistency in terms of the exact spread, intensity, and timing of the rainfall. I have also been debating whether to call the expected rainfall "showers", which would imply the rain would be light and "on-and-off" in nature. The latest model information shows the rain will be light, but potentially steady for several hours on Thursday afternoon and evening. We certainly won't see a repeat of the loud storms as on Tuesday, especially since high temperatures will only reach the upper 50s. However, I wouldn't rule out a localized downpour or rumble of thunder.
Friday could bring a lingering morning shower, followed by partly sunny skies through the rest of the day. The NAM suggests a little wave could bring yet another round of rain through Friday afternoon. But I'm leaning heavily on high pressure winning out, and therefore a dry forecast. High temperatures on Friday will only reach the mid 50s - that's pretty cool, about 10 degrees below normal for late April.
Confidence is low in the weekend forecast, but I am keeping Saturday and Sunday dry, for now. Look for mostly to partly sunny skies and high temperatures mostly in the lower 60s. As long as rain ultimately does stay away, it should be a pleasant weekend of weather, even though the current forecast calls for temperatures still a hair below normal.