NJ weather: Cooler temperatures and occasional showers this week
I want to start with a follow-up from my bold assertion in Friday's weather blog post: This could be NJ's warmest weekend since September. It was! By far! With temperatures well into the 70s (even 80 in a few spots), it was indeed our warmest Saturday-Sunday since September 28-29, 2019. (And our warmest 2-day streak since October 1-2, 2019.)
FYI, even though temperatures were 10 to 15 degrees above normal on Sunday, we did not break any records. Our record high temperatures right now are in the 90s, thanks to a hot streak two years ago in 2018.
Unfortunately, the unseasonable warmth is about to come to an end, as temperatures slide backward over the next few days. Sure, there will be pleasant weather along the way. But I do not see a return to widespread 70s until the end of next week (May 15th), at the earliest.
We are starting off this Monday morning with mild temperatures, averaging 60 degrees from top to bottom across the Garden State. A batch of rain drove through overnight, which has since departed. So the morning hours look just fine, with mostly to partly sunny skies. High temperatures for Monday will max out around 65 to 70 degrees, near-normal for early May. That high will occur around Monday midday (lunchtime).
Then we hit some speed bumps Monday afternoon, as the big cooldown begins. Some hit or miss rain showers are expected. And the wind will kick up a bit, gusting to 30 mph out of the northwest. You won't need to batten down the hatches so to speak, as that wind probably won't be strong enough for widespread downed trees and power outages. But your garbage cans and lighter lawn furniture may be relocated to the other side of the yard.
By Monday night, we will be firmly back in "jacket weather" territory. Under mainly clear skies, overnight lows will fall into the upper 30s to around 40 across most of the state, with a continuing stiff breeze. A frost is possible in the very coldest spots.
And Tuesday won't be terrible, just below normal. You'll see clouds and some sun overhead, with a high temperature around 60. That is 5 to 10 degrees below normal.
I should pause here to mention that normal is a relative term, depending on the time of year. At Newark Airport, the last 16 days of April had below-normal temperatures. But EWR's normal high on April 15 is 61 degrees. One month later, on May 15, normal is 71. Yes, May's normals are warmer than April's. So saying May is below-normal isn't necessarily quite as cold a forecast as a below-normal April.
Wednesday looks to be the "blah" day of the week. Cloudy, showery, and cool, with highs only in the mid 50s. Blah.
On Thursday, our air mass dries out thanks to a northwest breeze. With clearing skies and highs 60 to 65, it has the potential to be a nice day.
Temperatures turn around again starting Friday, with highs near 60 and partly sunny skies.
The early preview of the weekend shows mixed weather news. Rainy, windy conditions are possible on Saturday with highs in the 50s. (The GFS has continually pumped out a chance for accumulating snow in North Jersey — but I don't buy it for a second! According to the latest guidance, Sunday would be the better weekend day by far, with sunshine and 60s.