NJ weather: A blustery end to Winter, then sunny and warmer to start Spring
The Bottom Line
The soggy storm system that drove over an inch of rain through New Jersey is departing ahead of schedule. Monday morning will be damp and windy. Friday afternoon will turn sunny and breezy. And it will be blustery and cold all day.
But improvements are on the way this weekend. The forecast for the next 3 or 4 days is pretty simple: Sunny and 50s.
It is the last full day of Winter. And it sure is going to feel like it, with generally cold and blustery conditions all day.
As of this writing (5:30 a.m.), our latest storm system is almost completely done. There will be some showers, sprinkles, and flurries around through early Friday morning. But sunshine should emerge by Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the wind continues to howl. We had a few gusts over 40 mph overnight. Let's call it "windy" through Friday morning (literally until Noon), with occasional 30+ mph gusts. And then dialing back to "breezy" conditions through Friday afternoon.
High temperatures will only reach the lower 40s - about 10 degrees below seasonal normals.
With clear skies, calm winds, and a return of dry air, Friday night is going to be quite cold. Lows will dip into the mid to upper 20s. A freeze for almost the entire state. In fact, it could be our last widespread freeze for quite a while.
We officially "spring" into Spring at 5:37 a.m. The Vernal Equinox marks the moment that the Earth's northern and southern hemispheres are equidistant from the sun. We are now seeing more day than night, with over 12 hours between sunrise and sunset.
Saturday will be a nice Spring day. Temperatures will be perfectly seasonable - right on our normal high in the lower 50s. Sunny, dry, and light winds. Probably cool enough to warrant a jacket or sweater. But a pretty lovely start to the new season.
There is one exception though: the Jersey Shore. Ocean water temperatures are still holding about 42 to 44 degrees. When you have such a chilly body of water in the neighborhood, air temperatures struggle to warm. Especially when a southeast breeze blows that marine air toward the Shore. Coastal communities - especially on barrier islands - will probably get stuck in the mid 40s this weekend.
Even better, as temperatures push a little warmer. Still sunny. Still dry. Highs in the upper 50s (away from the oceanfront).
About the same. Mostly sunny, dry, and mild. Highs again in the upper 50s.
The Extended Forecast
There are two batches of rain in the forecast for next week: 1.) Tuesday night into Wednesday, and 2.) Thursday night.
Other than that, we will enjoy pleasantly mild temperatures. Probably some 60s by midweek. And I'll even say that 70 is a possibility by the end of the week.
Even though we put freezes on hold for a while, we're not necessarily done with chilly, even wintry weather just yet. Long-range models do show a burst of cold and a sizable storm system around next weekend.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.