NJ weather: The warmup continues, watching weekend rain chance
The Bottom Line
Ahh, spring is in the air. Flowers are blooming. And the ocean is still pretty cold. That is going to be a huge factor in our weather forecast for the next two or three days. We are talking about a big warmup for most of New Jersey. But high temperatures will be muted significantly by chilly ocean air.
In other words, our weather will be quite pleasant. It's just a question of how warm it will be where you are.
There is still only one substantial chance of rain in the forecast, arriving Saturday evening. It looks like a quick hit of much-needed raindrops along with rumbles of thunder. And that's it.
Thursday morning is cool, but not as chilly and frosty as Wednesday morning. You'll probably want a jacket with temperatures starting off in the 40s.
Inland central and southern New Jersey will reach for the lower 70s Thursday afternoon. That is decidedly above normal for mid-late April.
However, along the Jersey Shore, an east-southeast breeze will blow off the chilly Atlantic Ocean. (Water temperatures right now are only 52 to 55 degrees.) That will probably keep air temperatures in the 50s for coastal communities Thursday.
The question is how far inland will that chilly air blow? Will it be the immediate coast only? Up to the Garden State Parkway corridor? The entire eastern half of the state? I do not have a good answer to this question — we will just have to watch the temperature map with great anticipation.
Look for sunshine with passing clouds. While radar showed some sprinkles early Thursday morning, the rest of the day should stay bone dry and comfortable. The ocean breeze will be noticeable, but not overly strong.
Thursday night will be cool, but not cold. Low temperatures will dip to around 50 degrees, give or take.
Same deal as Thursday. Potentially even warmer. But only away from the coast.
Lower 80s inland — that is almost 20 degrees warmer than normal. Hopefully we'll see 60s at the beaches — hopefully a few degrees warmer than Thursday.. Thursday will begin with a nice bright sky, before clouds take over later on.
A strong cold front will cause wet weather everywhere in New Jersey this weekend, followed by a cooldown. But Saturday's daytime hours look fine.
Highs will mainly push into the 70s again. It will be cloudy and breezy though.
I could see a spotty shower coming into play as early as 5 p.m. Saturday. But the main event — a line of steady to heavy rain, and possible thunderstorms — will sweep from west to east between about 8 p.m. and 2 a.m.
For any given spot in New Jersey, it will amount to a few hours of rain. Probably a half-inch in the rain gauge by Sunday morning. Nothing crazy, just wet and a little bit stormy.
Although I'm keeping an early morning shower chance in the forecast, just in case, model guidance now resoundingly paints a dry scenario for Sunday. Skies will brighten, but it will be breezy and noticeably cooler. Latest estimates put highs in the mid 60s. That is par for the course for this time of year.
The Extended Forecast
Slightly cooler than normal temperatures will be the name of the game next week, with highs hovering around 60. There will be a few opportunities for rain showers through the final week of April. But I don't think it will be enough to break us completely out of this dry spell.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.