Friday NJ weather: Another blustery day, with a few snow/rain showers
Holy cow! (Moo!) It was windy Thursday! Peak wind gusts across New Jersey topped 50 mph, as garbage cans were toppled and trees were blown around. That wind blew in a much colder air mass. (Remember when we were in the 60s just a few days ago?) That sets us up for a chilly transition from February to March over the weekend.
It's definitely feeling blustery on this Friday morning, as the wind continues to blow. Wind is a double-edged sword of sorts in the wintertime. On the one hand, it keeps the air stirred up, preventing temperatures from really bottoming out. (We're starting the day with thermometers primarily in the 20s.) However, we have to factor in the wind chill effect. (It "feels like" the teens for most of the state.)
Wind gusts to 30 mph are expected Friday, not quite as fierce as on Thursday. Skies will be mostly sunny, with high temperatures in the lower 40s — less than 5 degrees below normal for this time of year. Given the wind, you'd be smart to bundle up with an extra layer on this "February feel" day.
Additionally, models have been picking up on a batch of showers late-day Friday, between about 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Could be snow, could be rain — depends on the exact temperature profile of the atmosphere, which will be borderline. There is a chance for a snow squall — a quick burst of heavy snow, which could result in markedly lower visibility and even a coating of snow on the ground somewhere in the state. Best chance for a shower or squall will be the southern half of New Jersey, with more available moisture in the atmosphere.
Friday night will be cold. (Surprise, surprise.) Under mostly clear skies, low temps will bottom out in the mid 20s. The wind chill will bite you, as it "feels like" about 20 degrees overnight.
We dive into the weekend with the coldest day of this stretch. Saturday afternoon's high temperatures will be limited to the mid to upper 30s.
We're certainly not breaking any records here. Of course, it's been a mild winter. Even so, I'm actually surprised this will be Newark's 22nd day below 40 degrees this season. (I can't believe there have been that many!) So far, that is the 3rd least number-of-below-40-days since records began in 1931. (First place is 2011-12, with just 15 days. Second place is 2001-02, at 16. The most was 1977-78, at 79 days — brrr!)
Saturday will be breezy, with westerly sustained winds at about 10 to 20 mph. Partly sunny skies will accompany occasional flurries (especially in North Jersey).
I like the forecast for Sunday better, thanks to lighter winds (10 to 15 mph) and warmer temperatures (highs in the lower to mid 40s). Skies should be bright and sunny — not a bad way to start the month of March.
Another warmup is on the way for early next week. But yet again, the warmth comes with clouds and raindrops.
As it stands now, I see mostly cloudy skies, spotty late-day rain showers, and highs in the lower to mid 50s for Monday. Temperatures hold steady on Tuesday, with more widespread (but still scattered) rain showers. And then Wednesday turns windier and warmer, with scattered showers leading to steadier rain at night. There is a chance that South Jersey hits 70 degrees on Wednesday afternoon!
Then temperatures plummet again through late next week. It is still winter for another three weeks, after all.