The Warmup

Ahhh, Spring is in the air! It's not coincidence that I'm away from your radio on Friday — I "called out well" to fully take advantage of the warmth and sunshine with my family. Hopefully you can enjoy it too!

Let's begin by reviewing the climate stats at New Jersey's three airport reporting stations:
Newark: Yesterday 62... Normal 61... Friday's Record 86 (1977)
Trenton: Yesterday 68... Normal 61... Friday's Record 85 (1977)
Atlantic City Yesterday 70... Normal 61... Friday's Record 83 (1977)

I think those 41 year old record highs will be safe on Friday, although a few 80+ degree observations are certainly possible.

My forecast puts most high temperatures in the mid to upper 70s on Friday, amid mostly to partly sunny skies and a southwesterly breeze to 20 mph. Even North Jersey should break 70 degrees.

However, the Jersey Shore, not so much. It happens every Spring — the chilly ocean and bay water (in the 40s) will limit air temperatures to the 60s in coastal communities on Friday. Nature's air conditioning! It should still be nice at the Shore, just not quite as toasty.

The one hiccup for Friday will be the chance for a spot shower in the morning. It's going to be very hit or miss, and I don't think the raindrops will ultimately affect how warm thermometers will get in the afternoon.

The combination of the warm day and increased humidity will prevent overnight low temperatures from dropping much below 60 overnight. It should be lovely and almost summer like (minus any stifling humidity, of course).

Saturday also looks warm, well into the 70s. However, increasing clouds may make skies a bit dreary by the afternoon. There will also be an isolated shower chance late-day Saturday.

Two other items worth noting, related to the warmup:
1.) Pollen levels are about to spike as every tree, blade of grass, and flow across New Jersey blooms at once. Ah-choo!
2.) Wildfire danger may be elevated due to the combination of warmth, low humidity, dry brush, and breezy conditions.

The Cooldown: Part 1

By Sunday (maybe even a piece of Saturday night), our weather will turn noticeably unsettled. A backdoor cold front, so named because it comes from the northeast instead of the west, will push into New Jersey. Pinpointing the precise impacts of these springtime backdoor fronts are notoriously difficult — it is crystal clear that Sunday will not feature the same beautiful warm weather as Friday and Saturday.

At the very least, Sunday will be mostly cloudy with scattered rain showers. Temperatures in northern and eastern (i.e. coastal) New Jersey will probably get stuck in the 50s to around 60 degrees.

It's possible South Jersey stays in the warm sector for part of Sunday, potentially back in the 70s. (Again, low confidence here, so no guarantee.) The Garden State may end up with a dramatic temperature difference from north to south of 20+ degrees on Sunday afternoon.

The Cooldown: Part 2

A "regular" cold front will make its presence known on Monday, and our conditions will go downhill even further. Here's how it plays out:

--Best chance of rain will be Monday morning.
--Rainfall totals on the order of 1 to 2 inches suggest a period of pretty heavy downpours.
--Embedded thunderstorms are possible, although I'm not seeing the parameters coming together for significant severe weather.
--Strong westerly winds will gust to 40 mph Monday afternoon, pushing temperatures downward.
--By Tuesday, we'll see a return to morning lows in the 30s and daytime highs only near 50 degrees.

I'm optimistic temperatures to moderate to more seasonable 60s by the middle of next week. However, I do not see another shot of true warmth (70s+) in the foreseeable future.

Have a great weekend!

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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