Wednesday NJ weather: Nice day, evening showers, cooling down
The Bottom Line
Once again, there's a lot of good news and pleasant weather in this forecast. And yes, we are getting a clearer view of New Jersey's forecast for Memorial Day Weekend.
Wednesday's big weather headline is a cold front, expected to arrive in the evening hours. When I say "cold front," I am referring to the leading edge of a cooler, drier air mass. And when I say "cold front," you should immediately think of three things: Rain, wind, cooldown. That is exactly the forecast for Wednesday night.
Thursday will turn breezy and cooler. Friday looks good. And the holiday weekend is trending mainly (not totally) dry. While the Carolinas get soaked, I think we're going to escape with only a few hit-or-miss showers, some cloud cover, and seasonable-or-warmer temperatures.
It's a status quo morning, just like so many mornings this May. Temperatures are cool, in the 40s inland and 50s near the coast. Skies are clear, although hazy. Winds are light and humidity levels are comfortable.
Most of Wednesday will be gorgeous. Sunshine will win, with occasional clouds popping in from the south, east, and eventually north. Highs will hit around 75 to 80 degrees for most of New Jersey. The Shore will be the cool spot, of course, in the 60s.
We should stay high and dry until at least 3 or 4 o'clock. That's when a cold front will start its run from the northwest. So in the late afternoon and evening hours, a line of rain showers will drift from northwest to southeast across the state.
Some things to know about Wednesday evening's rain:
1.) Total rainfall may exceed a quarter-inch.
2.) Rumbles of thunder are possible, but severe weather (wind, hail, tornado) is not expected.
3.) Showers will likely fizzle out before reaching the southern coast.
4.) Frontal passage will also be accompanied by some wind, gusting to 20-30 mph.
By Midnight at the latest, we will be completely dry. And then clearing skies overnight will allow temperatures to drop into the upper 40s on average. Some models do push out some 30s in NW NJ by daybreak Thursday — but that chill will only happen if skies clear and wind calms quickly enough.
Cooler air settles in, keeping NJ out of the 70s for one whole day.
It will be somewhat breezy Thursday, although I like to call days like this refreshing. We will enjoy lots of sunshine. And the day will be completely dry.
High temperatures will be limited to the mid 60s or so. Upwards of 10 degrees below normal for this time of year. But still a pleasant day. And again, the cooldown will be short-lived this time around.
As highs warm into the lower 70s (away from the coast), under partly sunny skies, we will end the workweek with a pleasant day. No complaints.
Memorial Day Weekend
As we have discussed, the setup for this Memorial Day Weekend involves a strong coastal low pressure striking the Atlantic seaboard. Meanwhile, a protective dome of high pressure to the north will restrict how far north that storm system will be able to progress.
Model guidance is now in strong agreement that rain activity over New Jersey will be limited over the holiday weekend. Not zero, mind you. And it's not exactly a "slam dunk," with a few days left to go for this forecast to evolve. But I like what I am seeing — and I am really glad I did not jump on the "washout" bandwagon a few days ago.
For the moment, I'm going to include isolated to spotty rain showers in the forecast for each day of the holiday weekend. There could even be a popup thunderstorm on Memorial Day Monday.
Meanwhile, temperatures should be seasonable-or-better. Lower 70s Saturday. Mid 70s Sunday. Probably touching 80 (with a hint of humidity in the air) on Monday.
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Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.