Thursday NJ weather: Farewell wind, hello sunshine
The Bottom Line
Oh, the wind! It has been a wild couple of days around here. The nasty nor'easter that drove in 40-60 mph wind gusts, along with the rain and snow early this week, is now centered off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.
So, good news for windswept New Jerseyans: Conditions have already calmed down significantly.
Additionally, as high pressure builds in from the southwest Thursday, we will enjoy a beautiful springlike weather day. Calm, dry, mild — can't ask for much more than that.
Our next weathermaker will be a cold front arriving on Friday. That will drive in clouds. And a couple rounds of spotty rain showers. It will kick up a stiff breeze. Temperatures will fall back by about 10 degrees for the last weekend of winter. And that's about it.
As of this writing, the top wind gust in New Jersey is 17 mph. Much calmer than NJ's top gust of 62 mph over the last 48 hours. (At Atlantic City Tuesday afternoon.)
Thursday will be bright and sunny, with some passing clouds. Just like Wednesday, but with much lighter winds. Northwesterly gusts may touch 20 mph at times Thursday — but it will be a much calmer, more pleasant day overall.
We are starting Thursday morning with temperatures in the 20s (inland) and 30s (cities and coast). Pretty chilly. But we will warm up quickly, averaging mid 50s Thursday afternoon.
There is some nuance with that forecast high temperature. The cool spot may be the Jersey Shore, if a sea breeze forms. (The land mass warmer up faster than the water, a local circulation sets up, and blows chilly ocean-influenced air toward the beaches.) Temps may be stuck in the 40s there.
Meanwhile, I would not be surprised to see 60+ degrees in inland South Jersey.
Thursday night stays quiet and dry. Expect partly cloudy skies, with low temperatures around the 40-degree mark.
We will hold on to above-normal temperatures for one more day, to close out the work week. However, things will turn somewhat unsettled by the end of the day.
Although you may catch a glimmer of sunshine early on Friday, clouds will fill in pretty quickly and thoroughly by midday. The first batch of showers will arrive Friday afternoon. They will be spotty (spread apart) and light (not heavy). You might be able to skip the umbrella altogether.
High temperatures will come close to 60 degrees.
A cold front will push northwest to southeast across New Jersey Friday night, setting up another chance for a quick rain shower. Winds will also start to pick up, into the "breezy" category.
A third and final rain chance will come Saturday morning, mainly along the southern coast. This could be the heaviest and steadiest of the bunch — still, don't expect much.
The sun should come out by Saturday afternoon. But as our new cooler air mass takes root, it will be a breezy and cooler day. Highs come down to around 50 degrees. Close to normal for mid-March.
The last full day of winter! And it will be the coldest of the next week — how appropriate.
20s in the morning. Mid 40s in the afternoon. Mostly sunny and dry. But also breezy. Not terrible. Just chilly.
The Extended Forecast
Early next week should be quiet, with a warming trend slated for the first few days of Spring. 50-ish on Monday, then mid 50s Tuesday and Wednesday. Our next chance of raindrops should hold off until the second half of next week. And I do not see any threat of wintry weather on the horizon.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.