For the third time in a week, NJ gets soaked by rain Tuesday
Tuesday into Tuesday night turns wet again. Rainfall totals will range from about a half-inch to an inch (south to north). Wind gusts may top 20 mph. So nothing extreme. And nothing wintry. Just grab the umbrella.
As of this writing (6 a.m.), all is quiet across New Jersey. Temperatures across interior New Jersey have fallen to the freezing mark. It is considerably warmer along the coast, in the 50s. It is raining over Pennsylvania and Maryland, but not in NJ just yet.
A southeast (on-shore) breeze is an important aspect of this forecast. It is funneling warmer, wetter air into New Jersey. Not only will that help to fuel our impending rain. Not only will that make temperatures more comfortable. But moderate humidity means you can ditch the lip balm and moisturizer for a couple of days.
Spotty rain showers and drizzle will creep into New Jersey from the west Tuesday morning. And the general rule will be a shift toward steadier, heavier, and more widespread rain as the day goes on. So I expect a damp n' dreary Tuesday afternoon. And downright wet weather is likely statewide Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, high temperatures will aim for the mid 50s Tuesday. Above-normal for early December. But not exactly "warm".
Periods of rain will continue Tuesday night. (It actually looks like the wettest period of time in the forecast here.) Temperatures will hold steady, in the 50s, through Wednesday morning.
I am hopeful we'll find some breaks in the gloom. But Wednesday will start wet, with showers and drizzle, fog and mist lingering through at least the early morning hours. I can't rule out a few isolated patches of rain later in the day too (especially far north and far south).
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy, but mild. High temperatures shoot for about 60 degrees — it turn out to be our warmest day of December.
Late Wednesday night (more like Thursday morning), a cold front will sweep out "the junk". Rain goes away, skies partially clear, and cooler/drier air arrives. Overnight lows will stay well above freezing though, bottoming out in the 40s.
A drier, cooler day. It's actually our best shot at a completely dry weather day through the rest of the week.
I will even be optimistic and promote a partly sunny sky on Thursday. It will be breezy and cooler. Current model guidance suggests a morning-midday high temperature in the lower 50s, before temperatures start to tank.
Thursday night will be our next opportunity for a widespread freeze. Temperatures will probably dip well into the 30s by Friday morning.
Friday & Beyond
Here is where the forecast becomes incredibly muddy and unclear. An area of low pressure will track over the Ohio Valley, aiming for the Atlantic Ocean. But we still have two very different possible tracks and possible scenarios in play.
Scenario number one is a direct hit — another batch of persistent rainy weather from Friday morning all the way through Saturday morning. I am concerned that this solution could end snowy for NW NJ early Saturday — the GFS is suggesting some light accumulations. (On the order of "a few inches" or less.)
In scenario number two, the storm system dives south, keeping most precipitation away from New Jersey on Friday. However, we could still see some showers. And given the fact this is a colder solution, those showers could be wintry. I doubt there would be enough for substantial accumulation though.
It is unsettling to have such uncertainty within the 5 Day Forecast. But it's just a tricky setup. We'll get there. I am hopeful we will learn on Wednesday which scenario is becoming more likely. And then we'll be able to add some pinpoint details to the forecast, like timing, potential accumulations, etc.
Beyond that potential late-week system, it does look like temperatures will trend below-normal into next week, with highs mainly in the 40s.. Our next storm system down the 'pike would be around the middle of next week.