Back to pleasant, mild Spring weather for Wednesday
After yesterday’s clouds and rain made for a dreary day, sunshine returns for Wednesday along with warmer temperatures.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, April 15, 2015...
Pleasant, Dry Days
Despite the rain, the clouds, and a cold front, temperatures squeaked just above normal across the state yesterday. That makes it the 5th day in a row with at least some part of New Jersey above 60 degrees. And today will be day number six!
Wednesday will start with mostly sunny skies across the state, although it appears a few extra clouds could creep across the sky by the afternoon. Winds will also increase this afternoon, to about 20 mph statewide. It will still be a delightful spring day, with forecast high temperatures ranging from 64° to 69°.
The combination of dry air and winds, however, will lead to elevated fire danger today. That means any fire that gets started (particularly wildfires) will be difficult to fight and extinguish. Please keep that in mind before you flick that cigarette out the car window.
As winds switch around to an easterly, on-shore direction for Thursday, skies will range from partly to mostly cloudy. Consequently, temperatures will be a bit cooler, with forecast highs from 59° to 63°. Again, a nice day... but not as picture-perfect as some of the beautiful weather we’ve enjoyed recently.
April Showers Return
A fairly disorganized storm system is expected to drag across New Jersey at some point on Friday. And so, April showers appear in the forecast once again. For now, the timing of this rain appears to fall on Friday morning. Expected rain intensity should be light, less than a half-inch, although a few rumbles of thunder will be possible. If the current forecast holds, we would dry out to mostly cloudy skies and seasonable temperatures in the 60s for Friday afternoon.
There are two reasons why I’m uncomfortable with the standing forecast for the upcoming weekend. First is the fact that I’ve had to flip-flop my rain forecast since yesterday... I had been thinking we would see a wet period from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning. But this morning’s models have convinced me to shift all the rain to Friday and Monday.
The second reason that confidence is low for this weekend's forecast is the model temperature range. I have found that temperature (particularly the daily high temperature) is the weather variable that is most indicative of a weather forecast’s accuracy and confidence. You can check this out yourself in my 5-Day Forecast: when I give a forecast temperature range wider than about 5 degrees, it generally indicates lower-than-usual certainty that the forecast will come true. This also holds true for the weather forecast models that meteorologists use as our primary tools to build a forecast. The current model temperature forecasts for Newark Airport for this weekend range from 68°-73° on Saturday, 54°-62° on Sunday, and 45°-59° on Monday. That’s right, a 14-degree difference in the temperature scenarios for Monday, with a wide range of impacts from cool to mild. How can we possibly know what the weather is going to do when the models are so divergent?
This is when my job as a meteorologist really gets challenging... and fun too. Despite the low confidence, I can’t just leave blank spots in the 5-Day Forecast. So I’ll put a “chance of showers” into the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. At the moment, I honestly don’t think it’s going to rain much over the weekend proper, but I’m covering myself in case the models switch back again to a wet solution. Regarding temperatures, there are signs that we’re going to stay on the mild side for the time being, so I’m optimistically keeping forecast temperatures around 70 for Saturday, and around 60 for Sunday and Monday.
As always, this low confidence forecast is subject to change... or more accurately to evolve as the weekend approaches. I’ll bring you the latest updates online and on-air. And, especially if I can remove those rain chances, it may turn out to be another very nice spring weekend.