Big weather changes coming to NJ later this week: Rain, cold
The Bottom Line
Here's a fun weather/climate statistic to start your Wednesday. Over the last 70 days — since the remnants of Ida struck on September 1 — New Jerseyans have seen approximately 20 days with measurable rainfall. (That's admittedly a fuzzy average, as some areas have been wetter and some have been drier.) The other 50 days have been mainly marvelous.
We'll add Wednesday and Thursday to that tally of terrific days, before some big chances arrive at the end of the week. We'll get soaked Friday morning. And then temperatures take a big tumble heading into the weekend.
The day begins with a weak cold front draped right over New Jersey. As of this writing (5:30 a.m.), the front extends from Monmouth to Salem counties. And that frontal boundary will have four impacts on our weather Wednesday morning:
1.) Radar is picking up on a few sprinkles over South Jersey. Those raindrops may not be even reaching the ground. But don't be surprised if you get "spritzed on" through about 8 a.m.
2.) You'll find a blanket of clouds overhead through as late as 11 a.m.
3.) It will be breezy through Wednesday morning too. Blowing out of the northwest, occasionally gusting above 20 mph.
4.) In a cooler air mass, temperatures will end up about 5 degrees cooler than Tuesday.
To be clear, it is going to be another very nice day. Especially once the sun comes out, the breeze dies down, and temperatures warm into the 60s Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday night looks clear and dry. The threat of patchy frost across inland New Jersey will resume. Low temps will bottom out in the upper 30s to lower 40s.
One more dry and mild day. Increased cloud cover will keep temperatures even cooler, limited to the lower 60s Thursday afternoon.
Any chance of showers will hold off until about 10 p.m. Thursday evening, at the earliest. Things only turn wetter late Thursday night.
Our next storm system — a strong cold front — will make its presence known Friday morning. We will get soaked by a period of steady rain. At the moment, it looks like "prime time" for that wet weather will be Friday morning between about 4 a.m. and Noon. Showers may linger into part of the afternoon too.
Rain could be heavy at times. Total rainfall will probably end up between a half-inch and an inch, with the highest totals likely in North Jersey. Rumbles of thunder are possible. However, the risk of severe weather, winter weather, and/or flooding is very low.
By Friday afternoon, a brisk northwesterly wind will gust to about 30 mph, carrying in colder air. Say farewell to the 60s and 70s, as the weekend turns much more November-ish.
The Weekend & Beyond
Highs on Saturday will only reach the 50s. And we'll be lucky to hit 50 degrees on Sunday — 5 to 10 degrees below seasonal normals for mid-November.
Two compact shortwaves over the weekend will present a chance for some precipitation:
1.) Scattered rain showers Saturday afternoon.
2.) A few more showers Sunday night. If temperatures are cold enough, some snowflakes are possible to the north and west. (Hunterdon, Morris, Warren, Sussex, and Passaic counties)
We settle into an unseasonably cool weather pattern next week. Monday's probably the coldest of the bunch, with highs only in the mid to upper 40s.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.