NJ weather: 3 rounds of rain this weekend, limited snow, not a total washout
The Bottom Line
Three impulses will ride through New Jersey's atmosphere throughout this final weekend of February, leading to three periods of rain. There will be very limited winter weather along the way. And some pockets of dry weather and mild temperatures too.
Early next week, we're staring down another arctic blast to start the month of March. (Cue the lion's roar.)
Just as bright and sunny as Thursday, but with lighter winds and slightly cooler temperatures. There's a chill in the air Friday morning, with temperatures averaging 30 degrees. Highs will reach into the lower to mid 40s, which is close to seasonal normals for late February. Our weather will stay pleasant and dry through the daytime hours.
Showers look to arrive in southwestern New Jersey after about 10 p.m. Friday evening. They will spread throughout the entire state by 4 a.m. Saturday morning.
In general, we're looking at just plain rain from our weekend series of storm systems. The exception will be northwestern New Jersey early Saturday morning, where it will probably be cold enough for a period of snow. Models even suggest upwards of a half-inch to an inch of accumulation, before precipitation changes over to rain. Just to be most specific, the best chance for those light accumulations would be Sussex, Warren, and Morris counties. And I wouldn't rule out a few flurries to a dusting in Passaic, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties too.
For most of New Jersey, we face a period of rain from Saturday morning through about midday. Total rainfall will probably average a quarter-inch to half-inch across the state. Not heavy at all. Just wet.
All forecast models show a drying trend by 2 p.m. at the latest. That means I expect to salvage most of the afternoon. Don't expect much sun. But drier weather, and highs in the mid 40s (north) to mid 50s (south)? A nice opportunity for a breath of fresh air.
Saturday night looks dry too. Low temperatures will fall to around 40 degrees.
Our second of three rounds of rain is expected during the daytime hours on Sunday, between about 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mainly light stuff, although a pockets of steadier, heavier rain may fire up at some point. High temperatures will be a bit cooler, settling in the upper 40s Sunday afternoon.
Monday & Beyond
One more round of rain showers looks likely for early Monday morning, wrapping up by around 10 a.m. We'll see high temperatures on Monday on either side of 50 degrees. But that warmth is not going to last.
A strong cold front is forecast to arrive late Monday. That will kick up a strong northwesterly wind, gusting to 50 mph. And cause temperatures to nosedive sharply into Monday night.
Luckily, this arctic blast is only going to last one day. Tuesday will be cold and blustery, with highs barely above freezing and a continuing stiff breeze. Bright sunshine will try (and fail) to cut through the chill.
Temperatures should moderate into the 40s and 50s for the rest of next week. There are still significant differences in model guidance regarding a midweek storm system, so we're not ready to make a "hit" or "miss" call yet. We'll see how things continue to develop.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.