Quick shot of rain and mild temperatures to end February
This weekend's 60-degree temperatures will continue for Monday, but a line of rain is expected to push through New Jersey around lunchtime.
Here are your weather headlines for Monday, February 29, 2016...
A Little Bit of Sun, A Little Bit of Rain
Happy Leap Day, New Jersey! We are closing out the record books for February AND for climatological winter on Monday, with a continuation of Sunday's mild, pleasant temperatures. A small line of rain is expected to push from west to east across the Garden State as well.
Monday will begin with sunshine and just a few clouds. Meanwhile, radar has been tracking a line of rain over Pennsylvania through Monday morning. I expect this light to moderate rain to push through New Jersey between about 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Nothing heavy at all, and the raindrops should not affect either the morning or evening commute.
Behind the rain, I think skies will clear quickly. (Maybe mostly sunny again by late afternoon?) High temperatures will hold around 10 to 15 degrees above normal, in the upper 50s to lower 60s. We'll see a brisk wind on Monday too, out of the southwest up to about 20 mph.
Tuesday will turn a bit cooler, but with dry weather it looks like a decent early March day. High temperatures will be around or just above normal, in the upper 40s to lower 50s.
Another Rain Chance
New Jersey's next storm system is forecast to arrive just after Midnight on Wednesday morning. Through about Noon on Wednesday, we'll again see bands of light to moderate rain push through the state. (The rain's exit timing is a bit uncertain. The NAM model does keep the rain over New Jersey through part of Wednesday afternoon, while all other models show clearing skies.)
Once again, there won't be any big concerns from this system. Depending on temperatures and timing, there could be a few snowflakes mixed in with the rain. (But just to be clear, this is going to be almost exclusively rain.)
Additionally, with a small amount of instability showing up on models early Wednesday afternoon, there could be a few rumbles of thunder and some heavier pockets of rain. That would be limited to the tail end of this system around Noon on Wednesday.
Colder, Rain/Shower Showers?
Behind Wednesday's rain will come a cooler air mass. And therefore, Thursday's temperatures will turn significantly colder. While Wednesday's highs should hover in the mid 50s, Thursday's high temperatures will only reach the upper 30s to maybe 40 degrees. A stiff breeze will make the cool air feel brisk as well.
There will be one more storm system to watch this week, on Friday morning. There has been little model consensus so far on this storm. However, I think as of this morning, a predominant southern track is taking shape. That would take the center of this system over the Carolinas, only clipping New Jersey with some showers. Since we'll be on the northern edge of the storm, those showers could include some snow.
The Canadian model even shows 2 to 5 inches of snow accumulation for New Jersey on Friday. But that forecast is an outlier, and seems excessive. The GFS and European both show only a light snow/rain solution. However, timing of the onset of precipitation differs a bit between the GFS (8 a.m. Friday) and the Euro (2 p.m. Friday).
For now, I'm content and comfortable with our Friday forecast calling for "a chance of rain or snow showers". If the system wiggles further north or south, or if the timing changes, the impacts could become more serious or disappear completely. We'll hopefully be able to pinpoint that further as the week presses on.