Yes it’s cold, but is it really going to snow in NJ this week?
Chilly temperatures and an approaching storm system could drop some wintry mix in North Jersey early Thursday morning; but it won't amount to much, if anything.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, October 26, 2016...
Coolest Temps since May
At least half of New Jersey experienced the first freeze of the fall season Wednesday morning, with most low temperatures in the upper 20s to mid 30s. The "warm spot" has been along the Jersey Shore - in the "balmy" 40s.
It's not going to warm up much Wednesday, with thermometers limited to the lower to (maybe) mid 50s by the afternoon. At least wind will not be a factor Wednesday, as it has been in recent days, with gusts peaking at about 15 mph. Sunshine should win the sky for the first half of the day, before clouds increase later.
The cold continues for Wednesday night, as lows dip into the mid to upper 30s for most of the state. Patchy frost will be possible. Clouds will continue to increase, eventually breaking into showers as our next storm system approaches.
Rain... And maybe a little wintry mix
Thursday's forecast is a complicated one, with a warm front fueling morning showers and a cold front enhancing rain chances by the afternoon. The most interesting aspect of this forecast is the chance for some early season wintry mix in North Jersey. That's no typo - it's notable as our first instance of winter precipitation of the season. Let me be crystal clear though - this wintry mix will not be notable due to the expected impacts or accumulations.
First drops/flakes are forecast in the neighborhood of 2 a.m. to 8 a.m, depending which model you believe. As this timing coincides with the day's minimum temperatures, just below the freezing mark at the surface, a period of wintry mix (snow, sleet, freezing rain) will indeed be possible. The intensity of such precipitation is expected to remain light - but it might be enough to slicken up the roads during the morning commute. This should only be a problem along and north of Interstate 80 - Sussex, Warren, Morris, and western Passaic counties.
As temperatures rise by late Thursday morning, any wintry precipitation will turn to all rain. That rain could become steady or heavy for a time Thursday afternoon. By the end of the day, we could see upwards of an inch of rain in the bucket.
Final raindrops are expected early Friday morning. Low temperatures will stay above freezing Thursday night into Friday, so there will be no additional risk of ice or snow.
The Last Weekend of October
It's back to sunshine and dry weather on Friday, but a newly refreshed pool of cool air will limit high temperatures to the 50s for the fourth day in a row. We'll have to contend with a gusty wind on Friday too, gusting to about 30 mph.
The forecast for the weekend contains mixed news. I like our chance for a brief warmup on Saturday, with most highs in the mid to upper 60s. Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy, with a stiff breeze. An isolated shower will be possible, but I'm leaning toward a dry forecast for most of New Jersey.
Sunday flips back to the cool side of the thermometer, with highs in the upper 50s. Not a terrible day. Although, as a shortwave tracks across New Jersey, another chance for showers will pop up Sunday afternoon.
The current forecast for Halloween is cool (55 to 60 degrees), but sunny and dry.