Spring weather kicks in for NJ, featuring sun and a warmup
As the snowy early Spring coastal system moves further away from New Jersey, skies will clear rapidly and temperatures will warm through midweek.
Here are your weather headlines for Monday, March 21, 2016...
Farewell Snow, Hello Sun!
This weekend's coastal storm system overcame some of the usual late-season challenges, and managed to dump an inch or two of snow on grassy surfaces in New Jersey's coastal counties. The rest of the state? A healthy dusting at best.
While even my low-end forecast of 1-3" was a bit over, it didn't bust nearly as hard as those who were still predicting 5" or even 6" on Sunday. But it was always a tricky forecast and a close call: If this storm drifted a few miles further west and/or occurred a month or two ago, those higher totals probably would have verified.
As the coastal low swings out to sea, skies should clear rapidly across New Jersey on Monday. By about 10 a.m., sunshine and blue skies should dominate our weather picture. The sunny skies will kickstart a warming trend, with high temperatures generally reaching the upper 40s. Yes, that's about 5 degrees below normal for mid-to-late March. But it will be noticeably warmer than this weekend. Meanwhile, a fairly brisk wind will pick up, to as high as 20 or 25 mph.
Our weather will stay quiet on Tuesday, as the brisk wind and the warmup continue. Afternoon highs should rise to the lower to mid 50s statewide.
This week's wonderful warmth will peak on Wednesday and Thursday with widespread mid 60s on thermometers across the Garden State. My admittedly optimistic forecast puts us about 10 degrees above normal for this time of year.
Could we reach 70 degrees on Thursday? It's a possibility, especially in South Jersey.
New Jersey will see a slight chance for a shower on Wednesday, as a weak wave/backdoor cold front potentially pushes through North Jersey. But it's not a sure bet - I'm keeping my official forecast dry, for now.
Our next significant weather-maker is currently scheduled for Thursday night into early Friday morning. This cold front will bring a period of steady precipitation to New Jersey. And with temperatures staying above freezing, it looks like all rain for now.
Behind the front will come a noticeable cooldown for Friday and the weekend. Even so, I think will still make it to seasonable levels, in the lower 50s.
And then another storm system is modeled for Sunday into next Monday. Too early for details.