NJ weather: Beautiful Tuesday, but springtime showers roll in soon
The Bottom Line
It's the first full day of Spring! And if you liked Monday's weather, you are going to love Tuesday's forecast. Truly a beautiful Spring day, with plenty of sunshine, dry conditions, and mild temperature. (Just watch out for the pollen.)
As this week goes along, the weather forecast only gets more and more unsettled. A stray shower or sprinkle is possible on Wednesday. More numerous spotty showers on Thursday. And then a chance of widespread rain and clouds on Friday and Saturday, with falling temperatures.
It's a sign of the season. Spring is all about transitions: Flip-flopping temperatures, variable weather, windy days, and rainy days. So this week's sunny-then-showery forecast really shouldn't be that surprising.
Normal high temperatures here in early Spring range from 52 to 54 degrees across New Jersey. We are blowing past those numbers today, ending up about 10 degrees warmer than Monday.
Tuesday will truly be a beautiful Spring day. Yes, we are starting the morning with a chill in the air — 20s across the interior of NJ, with 30s along the edges of the state.
High temperatures should shoot into the lower 60s for most Tuesday afternoon. (A sea breeze may keep coastal communities considerably cooler.) We will enjoy lots of sunshine, with some clouds dotting the sky by late afternoon. Winds will stay light, humidity low, and weather dry.
Tuesday night stays quiet, although cloud cover will continue to increase. It will be cool, but probably not a freeze. Look for low temperatures in the upper 30s to around 40 degrees.
My best description for Wednesday: Not bad.
Skies will progress from partly to mostly cloudy. That will slide temperatures back a degree or two, with highs around 60 degrees. Still mild, still pleasant so far.
The only hiccup for Wednesday is a chance of a shower or sprinkle (or two) at some point during the day. Isolated, light, and brief. And I suspect most of New Jersey will stay completely dry all day.
Skies turn even more unsettled. But again, it will not be a washout.
There will definitely be more clouds than sun overhead. And a prominent southwest breeze will fuel a warmup into the mid 60s. Thursday will probably be our warmest day of the week. (70 degrees is potentially still in play for inland South Jersey.)
Spotty rain showers are possible during the daytime hours. And given the influx of warmth and moisture in the atmosphere, there could be some localized downpours or mini-thunderstorms around.
The forecast gets tricky starting on Friday, as a cold front approaches. That frontal passage now looks earlier than we've talked about previously. So it seems like a safe bet to now expect cooler temperatures by Friday afternoon.
The big question mark about Friday, however, is whether that frontal boundary will charge all the way across New Jersey? Or will it stall (get stuck) right on top of us?
In the first scenario, we would see a quick batch of morning showers, and then a mainly dry day. The second scenario would provide a highway for impulses to pass over New Jersey, driving in periods of rain all day. Two very different situations, of course.
I would estimate temperatures will fall from around 60 just after Midnight, into the 40s for most of the state by sunset. Not a ferocious arctic blast, but a noticeable change of pace from this week's mild, springy weather. Some big wind gusts — over 40 mph — are possible Friday into Friday night too.
Saturday & Beyond
Saturday is also up in the air, although rain seems to be the most likely weather phenomenon during the day. The intensity and amount of rain depends on which model you believe, ranging from a tenth of an inch (GFS) to over an inch (Euro).
Sunday looks like the better day of the weekend. Sunny, breezy, and 50s.
Another disturbance drives in Monday with another round of scattered rain. With a pool of cold air close by, this would be our next chance for some snow action. But only in NW NJ. And I am not concerned about accumulations or travel impacts at this time.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.