Weekend weather forecast – nice start, but a rainy and cool finish
Aside from a few isolated showers, both Friday and Saturday will bring decent weather to New Jersey, while Sunday will be a big transition day.
Here are your weather headlines for Friday, May 29, 2015...
Friday & Saturday: Not Bad!
Our weather over the past few days have been unsettled, to say the least. (Residents of east Toms River would probably say that's an understatement.) I'm happy to share that we're going to squeak out 36 to 48 hours of decent weather to start the last weekend of May.
Friday looks very nice, with mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures in the 80s. (As usual, the Jersey Shore will be cooler, with highs likely in the 70s today.) Furthermore, yesterday's weak front has delivered less humid air, as dew points are now 10-15 degrees cooler than they were yesterday. That will lead to a much more comfortable day than the past several. Additionally, every model keeps New Jersey dry during the daytime hours.
Saturday also looks OK, although there may be some hiccups along the way. For the most part, skies will be partly sunny, and we'll have a stiff breeze with regular gusts to 20 or 25 mph. We'll also stay warm with highs in the lower to maybe mid 80s.
While there could be an isolated shower at any time on Saturday, by late afternoon, those rain chances will start rising. The best chance for Saturday rain will be the northwest corner of the state, and the best timing would be after about 3 p.m. The air mass overheard should be fairly stable, so the risk for strong thunderstorms will be low. We'll just have to watch out for a few raindrops as the weekend presses on.
I hate to be 48 hours away from a forecast and not having a clear picture of what the weather will look like. Unfortunately, that's the case here, as the model forecasts for Sunday have two drastically different solutions. Just a few hours difference in the arrival of a cold front paint two very different weather scenarios.
Scenario #1 is the NAM, which keeps most of Sunday dry and very warm. In this scenario, high temperatures on Sunday would once again climb well into the 80s for most of New Jersey. And, while skies would mostly stay mostly cloudy all day, most if not all rain would hold off until the late afternoon and evening. Additionally, the NAM shows that any rain would be rather light, with totals by Sunday night in the quarter- to half-inch range. Behind the evening frontal passage, temperatures would drop rapidly, and we would be stuck in a fairly cool and wet pattern through early next week.
Scenario #2 is the GFS, which presents an earlier cold front arrival. That means thermometers would have less time to rise on Sunday, and so high temperatures would end up significantly cooler, likely only in the 70s. All day Sunday and Sunday night would end up quite wet, with a much more impressive total rainfall forecast of 1 to 2 inches. By Monday, the end result is the same as in Scenario #1... We get stuck with cool, wet weather through Monday and Tuesday.
It's incredibly difficult to pick a favorite when the two outcomes are so very different. I suspect the GFS is too wet - it's been too wet a lot lately. So I'm leaning toward the showery impacts of Scenario #1, without ruling out the earlier timing of Scenario #2. My final forecast reads "Steady showers and cooler air will arrive at some point, with temperatures in the 70s to 80s"... I think that properly parlays the high uncertainty in this forecast, but also describes the potential impacts.
In any case, Saturday will be the better day of the weekend for outdoor activities, and Sunday will require keeping an eye on the sky for the raindrops to arrive.
The Beginning of June: Wet & Cool
Yes, we do start the month of June on Monday... and it's going to be a rude awakening with much cooler weather and continued rain chances. In fact, we have to keep showers in the forecast all day Monday and for at least the first part of Tuesday. Highs on Monday appear to end up mostly in the lower 60s, but I wouldn't be surprised if part of North Jersey is limited to the 50s all day. (Normal highs right now are in the mid 70s.) The current forecast shows rain chances and cloudiness to end Tuesday morning, before sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures in the 60s return for Tuesday afternoon. A warming trend then picks up for Wednesday and Thursday, and I'm thinking we'll be back to about 80° again by the end of the week.