NJ weather: Cold and quiet this weekend, big warmup next week
The Bottom Line
Just plain cold. It's not unusual for the first weekend of March to be cold — this transition month almost always features wild temperature swings. And we're not threatening any record temperatures here.
The long-range forecast has a big warmup for next week. In fact, over the next 7 days, New Jersey's high temperature forecast ranges from the 30s to the 70s.
As I lay in bed early Friday morning, listening to the howling wind outside, I really was not looking forward to stepping out the front door. That bitter breeze is going to smack you in the face — so you'd best bundle-up like it's the middle of winter.
Morning temperatures are mainly in the 20s. With wind gusts as high as 30 mph, the wind chill is in the singles and teens in many spots.
Thermometers will struggle to reach the 40 degree mark Friday afternoon. The wind gusts will dial back slightly start around Noon, but it'll still be be blustery and breezy. At least skies will be bright and sunny and blue.
Winds will continue to die down into Friday night, but I don't think they'll calm down completely. It'll be clear and cold, with lows in the mid 20s.
Cold and quiet weather will carry through the first weekend of March. Saturday looks partly sunny, with a few flurries. High temperatures will get stuck near 40.
More of the same. Lots of sunshine, with highs near 40. I can't even tell you which weekend day will be "nicer" as temperatures really hold steady.
Monday & Beyond
Let the warmup begin! On Monday, our wind direction back from northwesterly to westerly. That little shift will be enough to allow temperatures to climb into the mid 40s. Still below seasonal normals, but at least winds will be light and skies will be sunny.
The upward temperature trend will continue on Tuesday, with widespread 50s under partly sunny skies. One or two models have painted a little shower over New Jersey Tuesday morning.
If all goes well, parts of the state should pop into the 60s by Wednesday. (Woohoo!) We have to be very careful about forecasting temperatures for the Jersey Shore though. The ocean is still very cold right now, with water temperatures around 40. Any little sea breeze will have a huge impact on air temperatures along the eastern edge of the state.
Our next rain chance will be Thursday. And the track and timing of that storm system will dictate what happens next. Latest models show that front largely stalling out before driving through New Jersey. That will limit our overall rainfall. And it will limit (or eliminate) the arrival of any cooler air mass.
In fact, the European model is aggressively promoting highs in the 70s for next Friday, just one week from today! A lot of things have to play out perfectly for New Jersey to see the first 70-degree day since mid-November. But hopefully the thought of next week's spring-y warmth will help you through this weekend's winter chill.
Have a great weekend! "See" ya on the radio!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.