Winds finally lighten up Thursday, with lots of sunshine for NJ
Before I jump into the forecast, let me throw in a quick plug for a special weather blog entry I authored last night. Framed as an open letter to the Murphy administration, I address the overreaction of putting the state on high alert for a risk of flurries Wednesday morning. (I'm going to try very hard to make this my last reference to #BrineGate today.)
Wednesday was yet another windy day in a blustery week. According to the NJ Weather and Climate Network, top gusts across New Jersey included:
--47 mph at Lower Alleyways Creek Township (Salem County)
--46 mph at Fortescue (Cumberland County)
--46 mph at Seaside Heights (Ocean County)
--45 mph at High Point Monument (Sussex County)
--45 mph at Pennsauken (Camden County)
--45 mph at Sea Girt (Monmouth County)
Wow — each wind gust in the top 6 came from a different NJ county! The bluster was truly widespread.
Winds have lightened up significantly, and we'll continue to see a calming trend throughout Thursday. Occasional gusts to 25 or 30 mph will be possible, which I believe makes it fair to call the day "breezy". Skies should clear to sunshine Thursday morning, and we'll see high temperatures in the mid 40s. That's about 5 degrees below normal for late November.
I think wind speeds will finally become light or calm by Thursday night. You'll see a few clouds overhead and you'll feel chilly low temps in the lower 30s.
Clouds will be on the increase again for Friday. I'm thinking that will keep temperatures a degree or two cooler than Thursday — my forecast calls for lower to mid 40s. In addition, our next storm system — a very weak, fast-moving disturbance — will sweep across New Jersey sometime Friday afternoon and evening. (Best shot right now looks to be between about 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.) I expect nothing more than h-or-miss showers in that time frame, especially (but not exclusively) across northern and central New Jersey.
All week so far, I've been waffling back and forth about precipitation type with this mostly insignificant system. Given the timing and forecast temperatures, I think there is the potential for some wintry mix (snow and freezing rain) for part of North Jersey. It's going to be very spotty, but light icing is a possibility along and north of Interstate 80 (western Passaic, Sussex, Morris, and Warren counties). For the rest of the state, I'm pretty confident we'll just see rain (if anything at all).
December begins Saturday with clouds and a warming trend. High temperatures for Saturday afternoon will range from the mid 40s in North Jersey to the lower 50s in South Jersey.
In addition, our second impending storm system arrives late-day Saturday. For now, the best chance for wet weather looks to be from about 1 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday, with the heaviest stuff in the Saturday evening timeframe. Periods of steady to heavy rain are likely, which once again raises the concern for flash and river flooding. (Believe it or not, there are still numerous Flood Warnings across the state from the last heavy rain event.)
As temperatures will warm throughout Saturday night, I am not worried about any wintry weather impacting New Jersey from this storm.
Model guidance gets muddled for Sunday. On the one hand, it's totally possible that rain will be gone by the time you wake up. However, there has been some evidence for widely scattered lingering showers throughout the day.
As we dry out by Sunday afternoon, as skies clear to partial sunshine, and as winds become southwesterly, the warmup will continue! How about widespread 60s?! It could very well become the Garden State's warmest day in about a month (early November).
A stiff westerly breeze will return Monday, but I think we'll remain fairly mild and relatively pleasant. Expect partly sunny skies and highs in the mid 50s (give or take).
I had been watching a chance for light snow on Tuesday. But the latest GFS model shows this system pretty much missing New Jersey, with just a stray snow shower. Still lots of time for this forecast to evolve and swing back in the other direction. We'll keep you posted on the play-by-play!