Cold air to bookend NJ Thanksgiving holiday weekend
It's not quite a perfect forecast for the Garden State, with periods of rain, wind, and cold temperatures on the way.
I have to admit the forecast for the big Thanksgiving weekend is a mixed bag, with a wide variety of weather conditions that will vary from day to day. Some rain, some wind and a cooldown, a warmup, and another cooldown are on the way.
Here are your holiday weekend weather headlines for Wednesday, November 22, 2017...
Wednesday is starting off wet for part of New Jersey, as a weak coastal storm system and an approaching cold front combines to sweep some rain through the Garden State. The steadiest rain has fallen over the Jersey Shore (a direct result of the low's track, hugging the coast). Further inland, there have been a few showers — but they've been scattered at best.
The threat for periods of steady rain will continue for the coast through about 9 a.m. Wednesday, with lingering showers statewide until about Noon. That's when the cold front will sweep out the rain, dry out the air, clear out the skies, and cause temperatures to tumble.
Some Wind and a Cooldown
As a brisk northwesterly wind gusts to about 25 mph Wednesday afternoon, thermometers will begin to fall. I think we'll hit a high temperature around the mid 50s by lunchtime. (Some weather stations are already in the 50s, as of this writing.) We may very well fall into the 40s by sunset.
And then Wednesday night will get just plain cold. Almost all of New Jersey will see a freeze overnight, with forecast low temperatures mostly in the upper 20s to around 30 degrees. If you're going to a football game, attending a Thanksgiving Day parade, or have other outdoor plans through early Thursday, you'd better bundle up!
Thanksgiving Thursday will stay cold all day, with high temperatures limited to the mid 40s. That's in the neighborhood of 7 to 10 degrees below normal for late November. Skies will be mostly sunny for most of the day, with a few extra clouds arriving later.
As high pressure builds and winds become southwesterly, temperatures will start to moderate on Black Friday. It will be a chilly morning, likely at or just below freezing. But the afternoon won't be half bad, with high temps near 50 degrees. Plentiful sunshine will keep shoppers happy.
The warming trend will continue on Saturday, as thermometers climb into the upper 50s. South Jersey may very well make a run for 60 degrees. However, there is some discrepancy in the models regarding rain chances on Saturday — the NAM says wet, the GFS says dry. Either scenario seems plausible, so I would just be prepared to be flexible at this point. Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy and winds will remain light.
By Sunday, the arrival of our next cold front will bring another dose of cold air to the Garden State. There's still a bit of uncertainty regarding just how cold it will get and how fast. Wind gusts to 30 mph will be possible, and my current forecast calls for mid to upper 40s by Sunday afternoon.
Monday also looks cold and breezy, although sunny. Long-range models have been pretty consistent showing another warmup kicking in for Tuesday and beyond.