Warm Wednesday for New Jersey, with late-day showers possible
Pleasant breaks of sun and a warming wind will push most temperatures into the 60s Wednesday, although a band of rain is expected by the afternoon hours.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, March 16, 2016...
Warm with Showers
Late Tuesday, New Jersey's grey clouds finally started to clear, and skies have continued to improve through the overnight hours. That has allowed temperatures to drop into the 30s in spots. And, as the temperature met the dew point, we have developed some patchy fog - mostly light, but some visibilities have fallen to a quarter-mile.
Wednesday will feature a mix of sun and clouds and pleasantly warm temperatures, mostly in the lower to mid 60s. As usual, the northwestern corner of the state and the immediate coastline will probably be a bit cooler, in the 50s. The one hiccup in an otherwise nice day? A line of showers pushing through the state between about 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. The rain will generally stay light, although an isolated downpour and/or rumble of thunder can't be ruled out.
After the showers end Wednesday evening, skies will clear to partly cloudy. Low temperatures will end up in the cool lower to mid 40s by Thursday morning.
We will enjoy one more warm day on Thursday. In fact, it will probably be the warmest day of the week, in the mid to upper 60s. (I would not be surprised at all to see a 70 on the temperature map.) An isolated shower will again be possible for Thursday late afternoon to early evening.
On Friday, the effects of a cold front will start to be felt across New Jersey. As cooler air leaks into the state on a brisk northwest wind, temperatures will be limited to the lower to mid 50s. Not a terrible day, just maybe a bit blustery. And yet again, I can't rule out a stray shower - that timing would be Friday late morning.
By Saturday morning, we will be fully entrenched in our new cold air mass. Saturday's high temperatures will be limited to the chilly lower to mid 40s. (Keep in mind normal highs for Saturday are about 52 to 53 degrees.) At least we'll have plentiful sunshine and only a light breeze for the last full day of winter.
First Day of Spring
Spring officially begins Sunday at 12:30 a.m. And the first day of Spring could get very interesting here in New Jersey, as a coastal storm system threatens to deliver some messy weather.
The forecast for this storm system is still low confidence. The latest model data suggests that New Jersey will be clipped by this storm at most (Euro, CMC). There's still a chance the system steers completely our to sea (GFS). And there are still about 96 hours for the track and intensity forecast to "wiggle" which could change our expected weather impacts dramatically.
I think everyone in New Jersey could see a period of mostly light rain and snow for New Jersey, from Sunday into early Monday. Please keep in mind it's going to be really difficult to get significant snow and ice accumulations here. Daytime temperatures on Sunday will be well above freezing in the 40s, and the ground is pretty warm (soil temperatures are also in the 40s).
Worst-case scenario, as it stands now? An inch or two of snow, especially for interior and higher-elevation sections of New Jersey. Bands of heavy rain will be possible, especially if the storm tracks further westward. Coastal flooding will be a concern too, as this strong low-pressure system and its gusty winds churn up the Atlantic Ocean.
Best-case scenario? Nothing.
Again, the first day of Spring could feature some very un-springlike weather, depending on how this system plays out! Stay tuned for finer forecast details on Thursday and Friday.