Thursday NJ weather: One last warm day, before fall temps return
The Bottom Line
Once again, Thursday's warm temperatures will feel more like early September than late October. But our next cooldown is just around the corner, as more typical fall conditions will prevail by the weekend. We also have to discuss the return of clouds and rain — including the threat for some really soggy weather next week.
I left my jacket at home this morning! We won't be able to say that much longer...
Early morning temperatures range from the chilly mid 40s in NW NJ to lower 60s along the southern coast. Most of the state is waking up to 50s — cool, but not too cold.
I've seen some hints of patchy fog in spots early on, but that shouldn't last much past daybreak. The rest of the day will feature plenty of sunshine and blue sky, with some extra clouds building this afternoon. The daytime hours look completely dry.
High temperatures will once again reach the mid 70s for most of the state, running 10 to 15 degrees above normal for this time of year.
80 degrees isn't out of the question — Newark Airport hit that mark yesterday, tying the day's record high last set in 1969. Fun climatology fact: That is Newark's 9th record high temperature of the year.
Thursday evening looks good too, although a cold front will be approaching from the west. It's a delicate situation, with a line of strong thunderstorms expected to be in central Pennsylvania around sunset. But as those storms enter our deliciously dry mass, they should fizzle out almost completely by the time they reach the Delaware River. That's why I've put a slight shower chance in the forecast from Thursday night (after 10 p.m.) through Friday morning (8 a.m.)
Otherwise, expect increasing cloud cover and mild lows in the mid-upper 50s overnight.
Tapping into a cooler, drier air mass, dew points will drop starting Friday morning and temperatures will end up cooler too.
But with partly sunny skies and highs in the still-above-normal upper 60s, Friday should be a very nice day. After the aforementioned early morning shower chance, the rest of the day looks dry.
Eh. Not quite as nice. Skies will be mostly cloudy. And temperatures will be much more autumnal, only reaching the lower 60s.
In addition, a few waves of light rain showers look to pass through New Jersey throughout Saturday too. It's not going to be a washout. Rainfall totals will be light — no more than a tenth of an inch. And I don't think everyone in the state necessarily gets wet. But still, it's not something I like to see over the weekend. (Especially with so many fun fall activities happening outside!)
The better, brighter, drier day of the weekend. I'm optimistically keeping Sunday rain-free, with periods of sun mixed with some clouds. It's the only warmup day in the forecast, as high temperatures pop back into the mid-upper 60s.
Late-day Sunday will become breezier. And rain chances will start to increase Sunday night.
The Extended Forecast
Have you heard about the "bomb cyclone" developing off the U.S. West coast? (Such a dramatic term!) "Bombogenesis" simply refers to rapid intensification of a storm system, as central pressure quickly drops. The Pacific Northwest will get soaked by some much-needed rainfall. And we need to carefully watch that system as it tracks across the country, for potential NJ impacts next week.
Forecast models are still all over the place in terms of rainfall timing and totals.
Worst case scenario? Persistent periods of rain from Monday through Saturday (yes, 6 days in a row) with several inches of total rainfall for most of the state (up to 5"). Windy, cloudy, and generally miserable, with high temperatures only in the 50s.
Best case scenario? A few periods of rain next week, totalling an inch or more. Less wind, less clouds, and almost-seasonable temps in the lower 60s.
I'm not really concerned about dialing in forecast details at this point. This is a hype-free zone. We'll resolve those question marks and have a better sense of how things are going to play out soon enough.
Needless to say, soak in the jacket-free and umbrella-free weather. You know it's not going to last forever!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.