Even though Thursday will be a bit cooler than Wednesday with a brisk wind, New Jersey’s weather will stay pleasant and comfortable until our next storm system arrives this weekend.

Cooler, but Seasonable

Melting ice and snow yesterday at Quail Brook Golf Course in Somerset, NJ (photo from Dave Robinson, NJ State Climatologist)

Temperatures on Wednesday hit 63° at Newark and Atlantic City. The state’s warm spot was 64° at Sicklerville. For many, it was the warmest day so far in 2015, and hopefully a sign of more beautiful spring days ahead.

Even though Thursday will feature lots of sunshine, cooler air has arrived on a brisk northwest wind, gusting over 20 miles per hour today. It’s not cold - just cool. So temperatures will be held to the upper 40s at best today, which is still around normal for mid-March and still quite comfortable. As long as you don’t mind the occasional wind gust, today will be pleasant.

Tonight looks to be the coldest night of the week, so keep the jacket handy for Friday morning, and be prepared to deal with some black ice.

Clouds will increase on Friday, but we should stay dry during the daytime hours. Temperatures will end up just below normal, in the mid 40s.

Weekend Washout?

Our next storm system will push into New Jersey Friday evening, and looks to bring us a lot of precipitation on Saturday. I feel your anxiety - we’ve had so many winter storms this season, and you’re wondering how much snow we’re expecting. Well, almost none. With high temperatures around 50° during the peak of the storm on Saturday, this one will be mostly rain.

That rain is expected to be heavy and/or steady at times, especially Saturday morning through midday. Saturday really does look to be a washout, as an inch or more of total rainfall is expected throughout the day.

Showers will still be possible on Sunday, although this morning’s models have dried out the forecast a bit. So you can still hold some hope for any outdoor plans on Sunday.

As for the chance of wintry precipitation, I’ll say that I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few snowflakes mixed in with the rain. The best chance for any frozen stuff would be late Friday night and early Sunday morning, in North Jersey, where temperatures both at the surface and aloft might drop below freezing temporarily. No accumulation is expected though; the ground will just be too warm and too wet, and any snow should be brief.

Next Week’s Temperature Forecast

Following the rain this weekend, we’ll enjoy a slow warming trend through Monday and Tuesday, as temperatures once again climb into the 50s. That should make for a nice St. Patrick’s Day. Currently, colder air is expected to return on Wednesday. But don’t worry, this chill will not be of the caliber of February’s brutal cold. Highs look to drop to about 40° temporarily through the middle to late part of next week.

With all these mild temperatures, are we officially done with winter storms for the year? No way... Not by a long shot. The atmospheric cold air machine hasn’t shut off yet, and all it would take is one marginal arctic blast and one storm to bring snow back to New Jersey. To be clear, there’s nothing wintry on the horizon. But there have been enough April winter storms in the Garden State to stay vigilant for a few more weeks.