NJ weather: Back to the cool side, only one storm system this week
The Bottom Line
After a week of above-normal (even record-smashing) temperatures, thermometers descend to the cool side once again Monday. We start the new workweek with lots of sun, dry weather, and decreasing wind speeds.
The week ahead will feature some mild days and some cool days. And really only one weathermaker, in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame. March won’t exactly go out like a “lamb,” with another good soaking and a (limited) chance of snowflakes as we turn the calendar page to April.
Big changes in the air generally come with violent weather, and that certainly was the case Sunday evening. Strong thunderstorms kicked up some dramatic wind, estimated at 60-70 mph. And we did have reports of damage from Trenton to Scotch Plains to Neptune.
The storms are long gone, but a chilly westerly wind will greet you to start the day. Occasional gusts over 30 mph will be the weather nuisance of the day.
Winds will lighten up by Monday afternoon, with gusts decreasing to about 20 mph. We’ll call that “breezy” instead of “gusty”.
Skies will be mostly sunny. And it will be our coolest day in over a week, with highs limited to the lower 50s or so. That is a few degrees below normal for the closing days of March.
The combination of clear skies, calm wind, and cool/dry air will lead to a pretty chilly Wednesday night. Low temperatures will average upper 30s across the state. Frost will be a possibility away from the coast. An outright freeze will hopefully we limited to the coldest, most vulnerable corners of the state (NW NJ and the Pine Barrens).
A very nice day. Sunny, dry, and mild. High temperatures will push into the lower 60s across most of the state. A sea breeze will keep Jersey Shore towns cooler, in the 50s. (Ocean water temperatures are rising, currently 46 to 50 degrees - that helps negate the “sea breeze effect” to an extent!)
Once again, highs will reach the lower 60s. But here comes our next storm system, arriving from the west around midday Wednesday.
Scattered rain through Wednesday afternoon will likely get heavier in pockets from Wednesday evening through early Thursday morning. Total rainfall is forecast to range from about a half-inch in North Jersey to over an inch in South Jersey. Another thorough soaking to close out March.
Rain will come to an end by about 10 a.m. Thursday. Colder air will “whoosh” into New Jersey between about 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. Hmmm, that overlap could get interesting? A chance for snow at the tail-end of this thing?
In actuality, it is really difficult to get accumulating snow so late in the season. The sun angle is higher, the soil temperature is higher, and air temperatures are running warmer too. If the timing and track are absolutely perfect, I could see a few hours of snow to the north and west. More likely, you’ll just see some flakes flying around as precipitation ends, if that.
The rest of Thursday will feature mostly cloudy skies and blustery conditions. Highs only around 50, with wind gusts above 30 mph. Not very springlike at all!
The Extended Forecast
Friday will be breezy, as skies continue to clear. High temperatures may get stuck in the 40s Friday afternoon, making for a rather wintry Good Friday.
A warmup kicks in for the Easter Weekend. Our latest forecast shows mid to upper 50s on Saturday, and then lower to mid 60s on Sunday. That would be quite pleasant and springy.
I don’t see any significant storm systems on the horizon for next week, hopefully making for another stretch of dry, mild weather through the first full week of April.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.