Wednesday’s cooldown will be tame and temporary, rain at night
70. We hit 70 freakin' degrees at Trenton-Mercer Airport. That smashed the previous record high for February 5 there — 64 degrees, set in 1890. What a spectacular stretch of springlike weather — which we wholly deserved after a couple of brutal cold snaps.
Wednesday is our temporary cooldown day. But, as we've discussed, it's not going to be that cold — just noticeably cooler than earlier this week, by about 20 degrees. Look for highs in the mid 40s. That's actually still above normal (40 to 43) for early February!
Skies will progress from early sunshine to afternoon cloudiness, with a light northerly breeze. A few rain showers may creep into the Garden State late Wednesday afternoon.
And then we get wet Wednesday night, as an area of low pressure comes to visit. Periods of steady rain is likely between about 5 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday. (I'm casting a wide window here — it's not going to rain during that entire time frame.) About an inch of rain looks probable for most of the state. Healthy rain, with no flooding or wintry concerns.
Well, almost no wintry concerns. Most low temperatures will only fall into the upper 30s to lower 40s across New Jersey. But in the higher elevation area of NW NJ, I'm predicting thermometers could fall as low as 34 degrees. That's close enough to the freezing mark for some wintry mix to fall (especially since the snowflake growth zone is about a mile above the surface). I am not concerned about any kind of snow accumulation or icy spots.
Raindrops will probably wrap up by the time you wake up Thursday morning. Skies will remain mostly cloudy, but the rest of the day looks dry. High temperatures will start to creep upward again, peaking in the upper 40s to lower 50s Thursday afternoon.
And then Friday gets mild again. Warm, humid air will bubble into New Jersey Friday morning, pushing thermometers into the lower to mid 60s for most of the state. It will be a showery and cloudy start to the day, but definitely feeling like Spring again.
Of course, that next warmup will also be temporary. A strong cold front will sweep through New Jersey Friday afternoon. That reintroduction of cooler, drier air will rapidly push out the rain and the clouds. And, a gusty wind (to 40 mph) will also cause temperatures to fall sharply through Friday night.
This weekend is going to feel much more February-ish. Saturday will be bright and sunny, but blustery (northwesterly wind gusts still to 30 mph). High temperatures will be limited to the upper 30s or so. Sunday looks calmer and mostly sunny, with increasing clouds late. Highs again in the upper 30s.
The forecast for next week is looking complicated and potentially complicated. I'm still watching a chance for snow/rain on or about Monday, with the potential for about an inch of accumulation (if it's cold enough). A more significant storm setup may drift our way for Tuesday into Wednesday. We're at the point where models are showing something happening in that time frame. But we have no resolution on the magnitude, exact timing, or potential accumulations yet.