The melt is on! Unseasonable warmth, heavy rain ahead for NJ
Solid snow melt will continue for the Garden State this week, thanks to widespread temperatures in the 50s and 60s and the chance for thunderstorms and heavy rain.
Welcome to February! It's final month of climatological winter, as normal highs and lows start to dig out of the cold cellar of January. And, of course, we'll have to see what the weather rodent has to say tomorrow...
On Sunday, Atlantic City International Airport hit 64 degrees, breaking the day's previous record high temperature of 63 set in 2012. The warmth and the sun caused quite a bit of snow melt this weekend - that's good news! The potentially bad news comes later this week... Keep reading.
Monday will likely deliver more clouds than sun to New Jersey, putting a damper on our warming trend. Still, high temperatures are expected to reach the 50s statewide today - at least 10 to 15 degrees above normal for early February.
A weak cold front will approach from the west this afternoon and evening, and it will carry a dollop of moisture along with it. So, we add a chance for rain showers to the forecast from about Noon through Midnight tonight, as this front traverses the state from northwest to southeast. Again, it will be "rain" - it's way too warm for any wintry precipitation. And it will be "showers" - on the light side (rainfall totals will be less than a quarter-inch).
The light rain will move off-shore Monday night, and skies will clear by Tuesday morning. Actually, Tuesday looks like a nice early February day. Expect mostly to partly sunny skies and highs in the mid to upper 40s. That's still above normal, by the way.
Wednesday's weather will get interesting again. A morning warm front will rapidly push high temperatures into the lower to mid 60s - wow, that's warm! However, a fairly strong cold front will push toward and across New Jersey through the day on Wednesday. So, we will once again add rain to the forecast. The warmth will likely spawn some instability in the atmosphere, so I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear a few rumbles of thunder. Additionally, models show a pocket of particularly heavy rain over New Jersey between about 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
The chance for heavy rain is a bit worrisome. Torrential downpours may very well combine with rampant snow melt to cause localized flooding of streets, streams, etc. There is still a lot of water locked up in those massive snow banks across New Jersey. Meanwhile, many storm drains remain completely blocked with ice. So the flooding risk is definitely one to watch.
Meanwhile, behind the front will be a much more seasonable air mass. Highs on Thursday and beyond will probably be limited to the 40s at best.
There are no winter storms currently forecast for New Jersey. However, we are monitoring two "near-miss" coastal storms: one on Thursday-Friday, and one for Sunday-Monday.