When will New Jersey’s temperatures finally tumble?
The unseasonable, record warmth continues for now, but colder air is in the forecast for the Garden State, along with some rain.
Here are your weather headlines for Monday, December 14, 2015...
Very Warm, Blah Monday
Wow, what a weekend! Widespread 70+ degree temperatures not only broke records... they smashed them to pieces! Much of New Jersey hovered 25+ degrees above normal for mid-December.
An atmospheric inversion has set up on this Monday morning, which means temperatures increase with height for the bottom kilometer of the atmosphere. This sets up a "cap" or a "lid" - so all the water vapor below that point is trapped and allowed to condense as dense fog. Visibilities have been noted below a quarter-mile across much of New Jersey this morning, so it's a good idea to use caution when driving and leave extra time to reach your destination this morning.
The fog will dissipate a bit by around 10 a.m. Monday morning... However, I suspect a "blah" character to the day overall as we'll probably keep some fog, some drizzle, and overcast skies all day long.
The clouds and fog will be a slight hindrance to one more day of near-record warmth. I think highs will still reach the mid to upper 60s across the state - but it will be tough to peak over that 70-degree mark for the third day in a row.
Cold Front #1: Monday Night
By the late afternoon and evening hours on Monday, a strong cold front will push some rain through New Jersey. I don't expect anything too heavy or severe tonight, although a few rumbles of thunder are certainly possible. Rainfall totals are forecast to end up between 0.25" and 0.75". Any showers should wrap-up by daybreak Tuesday morning, and then skies will clear quickly as high pressure builds in.
Our new air mass will be cooler... but only slightly. (There is actually some disagreement between models regarding this initial temperature decrease - I'm favoring the warmer GFS forecast over the cooler NAM.) A brisk westerly wind will pick up on Tuesday, potentially gusting to 40 mph. But high temperatures should still make it to around 60 degrees on Tuesday - still 15+ degrees above normal for this time of year! But is only the first of several steps downward of the week...
Wednesday's high temperatures will come down to the lower to mid 50s. With mostly to partly sunny skies and lighter winds, it should be a very nice day.
Cold Front #2: Thursday
Our second cold front of the week will arrive on Thursday, along with another period of rain. Models show Thursday's rain to be steadier and heavier than Monday's.
Models currently show the rain to start around Noon on Thursday. And it should last all day, and into the early morning hours on Friday. (The Euro shows the rain will linger through the day on Friday too, but our forecast doesn't favor such an extended period of wet weather for now.) Rainfall totals are forecast to top an inch across the state. And by the way, all the precipitation looks to fall in the warm sector... so it's all rain.
Following this front, New Jersey will finally get a taste of real December temperatures. Highs on Friday will be limited to about 50 degrees with a stiff breeze. By the weekend, high temperatures will barely make it to 40 degrees, with a hard freeze below 30 degrees expected each morning. Yeah, that's the cold, winter-esque air many have been craving!
But will the cold air last? Nope. Long-range models show a resurgence of mild air by the middle of next week, returning above-normal temperatures to the Northeast U.S. just in time for Christmas.