A taste of summer warmth for NJ Friday, rain showers this weekend
The Bottom Line
Our big warmup peaks on Friday. A day of summerlike warmth, more reminiscent of July weather than mid-May. The pool and ocean are probably still a bit too chilly to take a dip. But you might find yourself reaching for the fan or air conditioner, with temperatures surging into the 80s across most of the state.
As humidity builds, we will see a period of rain threaten part of the weekend. We are gaining clarity on that potential wet weather. It looks to be a morning to midday thing, primarily in southern (and maybe central) New Jersey. There is a chance for a rumble of thunder and/or pocket of heavier rain. But it will not be an all-day washout soaker for anyone.
Pleasant, dry, less humid weather returns just in time for Mother's Day Sunday. The long-range forecast has some ups and downs, but there are no big storm systems on the horizon for New Jersey.
Very warm. Practically hot. Record temperatures are probably safe, but we will run 10 to 15 degrees above normal for this time of year.
It is comfortable Friday morning, with temperatures primarily in the 50s across New Jersey. There are some pockets of 40s, which could be a little for those opting for the t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops.
High temperatures Friday afternoon will reach the lower to mid 80s. The Jersey Shore will be a bit cooler, thanks to a sea breeze, with beach towns probably in the 70s.
We will start Friday with sunshine, before clouds slowly filter in through the afternoon. The day will be completely dry, with a pleasant westerly breeze around 15 mph.
Humidity levels will be on the rise Friday too. That stickiness in the air will probably be noticeable Friday night. And it will probably be New Jersey's warmest overnight since November, with lows in the 60s.
Saturday is the tricky day of this weekend, both in terms of nailing down the forecast and making outdoor plans.
The bottom line: It is probably going to rain. Especially the farther south in New Jersey you go. Especially between about sunrise and lunchtime Saturday. There could be some rumbles of thunder and/or a pocket of steadier, heavier rain in far southern New Jersey only.
The big question: How far north will the rain extend? Will Central Jersey get wet, above Interstate 195? Will a shower clip the northern third of the state, north of Interstate 78?
No matter where you are, it is not going to rain all day. Skies will be mostly cloudy, perhaps with some extended peeks of sun late-day. And it will remain pretty humid.
High temperatures will range from the mid 60s to mid 70s or so. I have to leave some wiggle room in that part of the forecast, given the unknowns in cloud cover and rainfall. (Some models show another day of 80s — not impossible, but I'm leaning toward a greyer, cooler outlook.)
A cold front will push through New Jersey early Sunday morning, clearing out much of our cloud cover. The air will also become crisper and much more comfortable, as humidity gets swept out too.
I am happy to say Mother's Day Sunday will be a pleasant weather day for New Jersey. With partial sunshine and dry weather, high temperatures will settle in the seasonable low 70s.
Another storm system could clip NJ from the south Monday morning. Having said that, there is at least one model solution (the Euro) that shows a complete miss.
Whether it rains or not, the sun will come out by Monday afternoon. High temperatures should be close to 70 degrees.
The Extended Forecast
At the moment, my forecast shows warmer-than-normal 70s for Tuesday and cooler-than-normal 60s Wednesday, with an isolated shower chance in-between. The second half of next week actually looks like a stretch of calm, pleasant spring weather as high pressure brings back abundant sunshine.
The Mother's Day weekend is an important benchmark for gardeners across the Garden State. That is because freezing temperatures become exceptionally rare going forward. It is worth mentioning that some patchy frost is still possible around late next week. However, I do not think the threat is enough to keep anyone from putting those flowers, seeds, and bulbs in the ground this weekend.
Next substantial chance of widespread rain shows up in guidance for next 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.