NJ weather: Cooling down this weekend, still watching coastal storm
The Bottom Line
Friday is a cold front day. Literally, as of this writing, temperatures across New Jersey range from 30 to 63 degrees, north to south. (Yes, 63 degrees, in the morning, in February.) As that leading edge of cold air drifts south, cooler air will envelop the entire state. And that will set up a windy transition day, then a return to seasonably cool temperatures for the weekend.
Our next big weathermaker is a coastal storm system making a fly-by on Sunday. This one is going to be almost exclusively a rainmaker again. While anyone could get wet into Sunday night, southeastern New Jersey is the most likely to get soaked. An inch of rain is possible.
The long-range forecast continues to show above-normal temperatures and snow-free weather through at least the midpoint of February.
When I got to work early Friday morning, it was ridiculously warm. Near 60 degrees. (I am actually sitting outside for a few minutes writing this article, because it's so delightful and un-February.)
But the cooldown is already on. As a cold front — the leading edge of a cooler air mass — sinks south through mid-morning Friday, temperatures will start to slip downward. I think thermometers will fall back into the 30s and 40s by late morning, statewide. And then we should recover to the lower 50s or so through the afternoon.
Weather will look nice, with periods of sun and clouds. And it should be dry from here on out.
The big weather nuisance of the day will be wind. Gusting out of the west up to 20 to 30+ miles per hour. That is the cooler air "whooshing" in, that you'll really start to feel Friday night. Because of that wind kicking up, you'll probably want a jacket all day.
Temperatures will drop to around the freezing mark, lower 30s, Friday night. And it will stay breezy, which means the wind chill (or "feels like" or "apparent" temperature) will bite a bit, in the 20s.
A quiet day. A cooler day. But as long as it is sunny enough and winds become light enough, it will be a reasonably pleasant February day. Look for highs in the lower to mid 40s. That is right around or a little above seasonal normals for mid February.
A coastal storm system will lead to a period of wet weather for at least part of New Jersey to close out the weekend. No big wind, only a minor coastal flooding threat, and very limited wintry weather potential. This is not going to be a major storm.
There is a chance for a shower in far southern New Jersey around daybreak Sunday morning. We're talking in and around Cape May County only. If that initial shower bubbles up from the south early enough, it could drop some snowflakes.
Bands of rain will continue to drift northward throughout Sunday. However, most models paint only southern and coastal New Jersey as wet for the majority of the daytime hours. Based on the latest guidance, I would estimate about an inch of rain along and south of the AC Expressway. And about a half-inch total south of Interstate 195.
If a northward shove pushes rain into the northern half of NJ, it will likely hold off until Sunday evening. There will likely be pockets of moderate to heavy rain — we'll have to see whether they track through only soggy South Jersey, or whether they push farther north too.
Aside from raindrops, expect mostly cloudy (north) to overcast (south) skies on Sunday. High temperatures will probably end up in the mid to upper 40s. Tidal guidance is showing a foot or two of storm surge into Monday, which may cause minor category coastal flooding.
Some rain showers may linger through mid-morning Monday, as that coastal storm system shifts out to sea. Then we'll catch peeks of sun.
No cold front yet though. Monday's high temperatures will reach the lower 50s.
The Extended Forecast
Tuesday reads like a bright but blustery day, as highs dip into the 40s again.
Our next chance for rain showers would be Wednesday.
And if long-range models are to be believed, thermometers may return to the 60s by late next week. Maybe even flirting with 70 degrees?
February, you crazy.