Yes, there is a legitimate chance of snow in NJ this weekend
For the record, I feel absolutely bonkers for writing that headline in May. But the evidence is clearly pointing toward a taste of wintry weather to begin the upcoming Mother's Day Weekend. Not only are we talking about a period of light snow — including a chance for accumulation — but it's also going to be cold and windy and blustery. Blech!
This is usually the point where I rattle off some nifty climatological statistics. When was the last time it snowed in New Jersey in May? I actually have no idea — I scoured the climate record and came up blank. This is a very rare situation.
The wintry weekend forecast gives extra reason to enjoy a very pleasant weather Thursday. As clouds depart, we'll flip back to sunshine for most of the day. Thursday morning temperatures are in the cool 40s, and we should see lower to mid 60s Thursday afternoon. Keep in mind, our normal high for the 7th of May is 69 degrees (at EWR, TTN, and ACY), so we will end up about 5 degrees below.
Thursday daytime looks dry, although a batch of showers looks to clip northern NJ Thursday evening. Rainfall will be limited, so no big deal. The rest of Thursday night will be partly cloudy and cool. Overnight lows will dip into the mid 40s or so.
Friday starts with sunshine and highs near 60, before conditions start to go downhill. Initial showers will creep in around midday Friday (lunchtime). Rain will become steady to heavy by Friday evening (dinnertime).
And that's when things get interesting.
Eventually, a surge of colder air will cause temperatures to plunge Friday night — likely into the lower to mid 30s by Saturday morning. So there's a pretty good chance that at least part of New Jersey will flip to snow. Let me break down that transition into bullet points for you:
—When? Snowflakes may mix with raindrops as early as late evening in northwestern New Jersey. Elsewhere, we're watching the tail-end of this storm system, between about Midnight and 5 a.m. Saturday, for possible light snow.
—Where? Models suggest that everyone in the state, away from the coast, could see at least some wintry mix. The "snow zone," where some light accumulation and/or travel impacts may occur, would include the usual suspects in NW NJ — Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren, Morris, Sussex, and Passaic counties.
—How Much? It's easy to pass off late season snow as impossible, giving rising sun angle, soil temperatures, air temperatures, etc. But it would be foolish to disregard the legitimate possibility of a healthy coating of snow accumulation to the northwest. (Models have pumped out totals in the 2 to 4 inch range, but that seems rather ridiculous.)
—What Else? Saturday is really going to feel wintry and blustery. Northwest wind gusts over 40 mph. Record morning low temperatures in the lower-mid 30s. Morning wind chills in the 20s. And afternoon high temperatures only 45 to 50 degrees — that would be "normal" in early March (late winter). Aside from a few additional rain and snow showers Saturday afternoon, we should see some chilly sunshine throughout the day. #BundleUp
Mother's Day Sunday will easily be the calmer, brighter, warmer, better day of the weekend. Skies will become mostly to partly sunny, with a fresh westerly breeze at 10 to 20 mph. High temperatures near 60 degrees will be nice, but still about 10 degrees below seasonal norms.
For those craving real warmth, we're still looking at late next week for the arrival of sustained 70s and 80s. So this Saturday could very well be Winter's last gasp! I for one am looking forward to it!