Wet vs. dry: When will pouring rain soak NJ this weekend?
The Bottom Line
This is a pretty wet forecast. In fact, things have slid downhill since we last talked on Wednesday: Wetter, cloudier, and cooler.
We are still tracking three distinct storm systems set to bring rain to New Jersey over the next four days:
1.) Wrapping up Thursday afternoon
2.) Friday late morning to Saturday evening
3.) Sunday morning to evening
A widespread soaking on the order of 1 to 3 inches is looking likely by the end of the month (Sunday). Great news for drought concerns, wildfire risk, and pollen levels. Not so great for your outdoor plans this weekend, of course.
For this article, I've opted to change up my usual format to focus on when it will be wet in the coming days, and when you may salvage some drier weather.
Thursday Morning: Wet Spots
We start this Thursday with a few areas of light to moderate rain, mainly around central and southern New Jersey so far. Spotty showers will lift to the northeast as the day goes on. Meaning you might want an umbrella handy through about lunchtime.
Thursday Afternoon & Evening: Dry
A drying trend will take over Thursday afternoon, although skies will stay mostly cloudy. High temperatures will range from about 50 degrees in North Jersey (where clouds will be thicker and raindrops linger longer) to around 60 degrees in South Jersey (first to dry out with peeks of sun).
Thursday night stays dry too, although fog is a good possibility. Low temperatures will dip only a few degrees, into the upper 40s.
You may catch a few dry hours Friday morning too.
Friday & Most of Saturday: Wet
Our next storm system will drive in an extended period of rain starting late Friday morning. Both Friday afternoon and evening look predominantly wet across the Garden State. Watch out for slick conditions, reduced visibility in downpours, and ponding on roadways.
Even when it's not raining, Friday will not be all that pleasant. Expect cloudy, breezy, damp, and cool conditions. High temperatures will climb no further than the mid 50s.
Rain will linger through much of Saturday too. In fact, this storm system's best chance for embedded thunderstorms and heavy rain will be centered on Saturday morning.
Late Saturday: Dry
Saturday will not be a total washout. By the afternoon, South Jersey will see rain come to an end. And by sunset, the entire state should be dry.
High temperatures on Saturday will once again only reach the 50s.
Sunday: Very Wet
The third and final storm system in this series is the strongest of the bunch. Timing for rain is Sunday mid-morning through late evening. I hesitate to call Sunday a total washout, as there may be a break or two in the rainfall action. High temperatures are forecast to push into the 60s.
The dynamics of this strong area low pressure are impressive, allowing for heavier rain and gustier winds. (Compared to Thursday's, Friday's, and Saturday's weather.) Things could get pretty nasty during the height of the storm Sunday, as 1 to 2 inches of rain pours from the sky. Dangerous? Maybe — we will have to keep an eye on the flooding potential.
Monday & Beyond
Looking for a totally dry day, where sunshine and blue dominate the sky? You'll have to wait until Monday. It will be a breezy (if not windy) first day of May. But the closest thermometers will come to normal highs, pushing into the lower-mid 60s.
Question marks arise Tuesday and Wednesday surrounding cooler temperatures and shower chances.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.