Bundle up, NJ: Widespread frost and biting cold Wednesday night
If you haven't dug out the sweatshirts and jacket yet this season, the time has come. We are not just talking about the first widespread frost of the season — it's going to be surprisingly cold outside when you wake up Thursday morning.
Wednesday is starting off chilly, but otherwise OK. Skies will clear to sunshine by late morning, pushing morning temps in the 40s to about the 60-degree mark.
The biggest weather headache of the day will be a brisk wind, gusting over 30 mph across the state throughout the day. Initially that wind will blow from the west, shifting northwesterly as the effects of a cold front sweeps through the state.
It's worth noting that a few model solutions paint spotty showers over northern New Jersey Wednesday afternoon. Brief and light, we'll see a few extra clouds overhead at the very least.
And then... Wednesday night gets cold. Clear skies and a newly refreshed cool, dry air mass will allow temperatures to dip into the mid 30s. That's the coldest of the season so far for most of the state, sparking the first widespread frost since April. A light freeze is possible in far northern NJ, as temps dip into the lower 30s.
But as you know, the thermometer does not tell the whole frigid story. Remember that gusty wind? It won't be as fierce overnight, but still pretty brisk. That stiff breeze of 10 to 20 mph will probably be enough to push the wind chill (the wintertime "feels like" temperature) into the 20s! (Just to run you through the math... If the low temperature is 37, with a noticeable breeze of 15 mph, the wind chill would be 28. Brrr!)
Look, I'm not trying to hype this cold snap. It's not quite life-threatening or dangerous cold, and these kinds of temperatures will be a daily occurrence in a couple of months. Just don't be surprised by how cold it will be — this is really unseasonable for this time of year!
Allow me to further chill you to the bones with this forecast, as Thursday stays cold and blustery (wind gusts once again over 25 mph). High temperatures won't make it past the 50 degree mark — that's almost 20 degrees below normal for mid-October! At least skies will be bright and sunny.
Thursday night will be very cold again, with another risk of widespread frost and/or freeze.
Temperatures are forecast to bounce back on Friday, with high temps recovering to around 60 degrees. We'll start this "better" day with sunshine, then clouds increase late-day.
Our next storm system will impact New Jersey in the Friday night to Saturday morning timeframe, with a batch of scattered rain showers pushing through the state. We'll dry out late Saturday with clouds and seasonably mild highs climbing into the 60s. Sunday will be sunnier, but also cooler, with highs back down in the 50s.