Well, that escalated quickly. As you probably noticed, some incredibly powerful storms rolled through New Jersey early Monday morning. The worst of it arrived around 3:20 a.m. as Lower Alloways Creek Township in Salem County reported a wind gust of 80 mph followed by a gust of 81 mph. Wow! A Tornado Warning was issued for SW NJ. Over an inch of rain fell across parts of the state. The lightning show was incredible.

Intense storms! And an intense morning in the weather center.

Top winds from Monday morning's storm. Note the 81 mph report at Lower Alloways Creek Township in Salem County. (NJ Weather & Climate Network)
Top winds from Monday morning's storm. Note the 81 mph report at Lower Alloways Creek Township in Salem County. (NJ Weather & Climate Network)

As of this writing (5:30 a.m.), things are starting to calm down, as the strongest storms have now exited the Jersey Shore. It's still going to be a soggy morning commute, with pockets of moderate to heavy rain persisting through about 7-8 a.m. And I wouldn't rule out wind gusts up to 40 mph until the rain ends.

Looking ahead to the rest of Monday, drier weather and partial clearing will take over by mid-to-late morning. A gusty northwesterly wind will kick up, probably gusting to 40+ mph Monday afternoon. That wind will carry in cooler air, so the warmth and humidity is done. Temperatures will tumble through the 50s by sunset.

Skies will clear out completely Monday night. It will still be windy too, with occasional gusts to 20-30 mph. That combination leads to a pretty chilly night! Thermometers will bottom out in the mid to upper 30s. (NW NJ could experience a light freeze in the lower 30s.) Given the combination of the chill and the breeze, pockets of the state could experience wind chills in the 20s overnight!

Tuesday looks OK overall. We'll enjoy sunshine for most of the day, with some afternoon clouds and a continuing stiff breeze. A weak shortwave looks to drive a band of showers through mainly northern New Jersey Tuesday evening. No big deal this time around, and most of the state looks to stay dry.

Wednesday reads like a pleasant spring day. Mostly to partly sunny skies, light winds, and seasonable temperatures in the lower 60s. Nice!

Things become unsettled on Thursday, thanks in part to a southeasterly wind returning humidity to our atmosphere. Skies become mostly cloudy to overcast. A few scattered showers and sprinkles will be possible. And temperatures end up slightly cooler, in the upper 50s (coast) to around 60 degrees.

The next storm system worth watching is set to arrive Friday afternoon. We'll warm up Friday to in the lower 70s (away from the coast), with decent moisture to work with too. So I think the initial band of rain late Friday could involve some stronger thunderstorms.

I'm concerned the upcoming holiday weekend will be plagued by clouds and occasional rain. Not a washout, but not quite ideal either. Latest guidance shows a fairly warm Saturday, with highs near 70. Rain in the morning, then showers in the afternoon. Easter Sunday should be cooler, with highs in the 60s and more scattered areas of rain. That's my best guess at least — we'll put a finer point on the weekend forecast as it gets a bit closer.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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