NJ weather: A lion-ish start to March, with rain, wind, and cold
The Bottom Line
Roar! Welcome to March. Renowned as a turbulent weather month, it is (on average) New Jersey's 2nd wettest, 4th snowiest, and 4th coldest month of the year.
The "March roars in like a lion" cliche absolutely holds true this year. We'll wrap up soggy weather Monday afternoon, as a cold front sweeps across New Jersey. That will spark an arctic blast, with ferocious wind and cold air blowing into the state overnight. But we'll quickly bounce back to the mild side by Wednesday, as a long stretch of quiet weather begins.
We start the new day and the new month with a continuation of soggy weather. Periods of steady rain will last for several more hours Monday morning, making for a puddle-filled, slippery AM commute. I think things will become more scattered and showery by lunchtime. Final raindrops will exit from west to east, between about 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Skies will start to clear shortly thereafter.
The daytime hours will be breezy, with high temperatures popping to around 50 degrees.
Our next concern is a cold front, which pushes through New Jersey behind the rain. That leading edge of a colder air mass is going to lead to a dramatic change in weather Monday night, as a gusty northwest wind kicks up. Gusts between 40 and 50 mph are possible from late Monday evening through early Tuesday morning. (Let's say 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) The strongest winds are expected in northern New Jersey, where a Wind Advisory has been issued.
That wind will carry in much colder air, and temperatures will nosedive overnight. We'll bottom out close to 20 degrees by Tuesday morning. The wind chill (or "feels like" or "apparent" temperature) may approach the single digits. #BundleUp
A snow shower or squall is possible in North Jersey overnight too, but no significant accumulations or travel impacts are expected.
A blustery, wintry day. As the brisk wind blows (gusting to 40 mph), high temperatures will only make it into the mid 30s. At least it will be sunny and dry.
Just like that, the arctic blast is over, after just one day! Wednesday will feature sunshine and mild temperatures in the lower 50s. Easily the nicest day of the week — enjoy!
Thursday & Beyond
A weak cold front probably won't bring any precipitation to the Garden State, but we will see clouds and a reinforcing shot of cool air. Highs on Thursday will scale back to the 40s, with a stiff breeze.
This is the beginning of a stretch of quiet, cool weather. (Quiet weather in March? Pinch me please!) There are a couple of near-miss storm systems worth watching, around Wednesday and Saturday. But the preponderance of model guidance suggests our next significant weather and chance of precipitation doesn't come along until the middle of next week — about 10 days away. At the moment, that looks like a big warmup, followed by some rain.
I can't say we're "all done" with wintry weather for the season just yet. And we won't start seriously answering that question until right around the first day of Spring, on March 20th. (As we learned last year, it can snow in New Jersey in early May!)
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.