NJ weather this week: A few showers, tricky temperatures, possible icy mix
The Bottom Line
It is the last full week of February. And we are exactly one month away from the first day of Spring. (The Vernal Equinox arrives at 5:24 p.m. on March 20, 2023.)
This week's forecast is pretty active, with up and down jumps in temperatures and occasional bouts of unsettled weather. Our next couple of storm systems look minor, and mainly rainmaker. But there are some (limited) wintry weather chances for North Jersey that are worth talking about.
Note: You will notice something I am trying something a little different for this weather blog post: A day-by-day breakdown of forecast temperatures. With a thermal boundary parked directly on top of New Jersey this week, the temperature forecast is exceptionally tricky. (Both to figure out, and to communicate.) Hopefully this gives you a vague idea of where those numbers will end up for each day.
→High Temperatures: North Mid 50s, Central Upper 50s, South Lower 60s.
With thermometers running 15 degrees above seasonal normals, President's Day is going to be a warm day all around.
Monday morning temperatures are averaging 40 degrees across the state. There are some pockets of 30s well inland, with a wide swath of 40s to the south and along the coast. Keep in mind, normal highs for this time of year are 44 to 47 degrees — so some spots are already at or above that mark.
Even though clouds have thickened up substantially, you will find some breaks of sun across Monday. High temperatures should shoot for about 60 degrees for most Monday afternoon.
Some forecast models put an isolated sprinkle or shower over New Jersey during the day Monday. All models paint wet weather over the Garden State Monday night, as a weak cold front passes through. (That front will wash out, or fizzle, on top of us — we'll talk about those impacts in a bit.)
For most, we are just looking at spotty to scattered rain showers overnight, with high temperatures around 40 degrees. Among the hilltops of NW NJ, there could be some snowflakes. Maybe even a light coating on the ground, but that is a very limited concern.
→High Temperatures: North Lower 40s, Central Lower 50s, South Mid 50s.
Everyone will turn cooler on Tuesday. It's just a matter of how much cooler. North Jersey will turn seasonably chilly again. While farther south, mild air will hang on for one more day.
The overnight showers may linger through midday. Again, maybe some snowflakes mixed in. We will eventually transition to partly sunny skies and breezy conditions. Not necessarily a "nice" day overall, but not a total loss.
Tuesday night will be quiet and dry — a nice change of pace from the rest of the week. Low temperatures will descend to around the freezing mark.
→High Temperatures: North Near 40, Central Mid 40s, South Mid 40s.
Now, everyone gets a taste of seasonably chilly air. (Notice this is a sharp departure from last week's suggestions of widespread near-record warmth.)
Wednesday morning looks fine, as skies progress from sun to clouds. High temperatures will get stuck in the lower to mid 40s for most.
By Wednesday afternoon, our chance of rain will develop, lasting through Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
And ys, for most, this will be another rainy puddlejumper of a weather event. But there is a legitimate concern for some sleet and/or freezing rain coming into play in North Jersey, along and above Interstate 80. (I call this "icy mix" by the way.) That could lead to some slippery travel conditions by Thursday morning.
Again, not a major storm. But worth mentioning and keeping a close eye on. Especially if the temperature forecast trends colder, leading icing concerns to drift farther south.
→High Temperatures: North Mid 30s, Central Near 50, South Lower 70s.
Good luck figuring out how to dress and how to prepare for Thursday. New Jersey will teeter right on the edge of chilly and warm air, leading to a huge temperature gradient across the state. There could be a 40 degree spread in temperatures from north to south.
Weatherwise, the day will look OK. Any and all rain/mix showers from the night before should wrap up by mid-morning at the latest. And then skies will stay mostly cloudy through the afternoon.
A bubble of chilly air to the north will keep North Jersey in the chilly 30s at best. Meanwhile, a bubble of warm air will invade southwestern New Jersey, clearing out skies and potentially pushing temps into the nice, warm 70s. Everyone else will end up in the middle — exactly where the chilly-warm line will end up is anyone's guess. I would dress in layers on Thursday, especially if you'll be traveling among different regions of NJ.
→High Temperatures: North Mid 30s, Central Upper 40s, South Lower 60s. (Falling into the 20s and 30s by late afternoon.)
Friday is another cold front day. For the umpteenth time this winter, the workweek will end with a blast of cold wind, sending temperatures tumbling.
Only an isolated shower is forecast as that strong cold front arrives predawn Friday. WInd gusts to 40 mph are possible. And temperatures will tumble, from 38 to 62 in the morning (still a big gradient leftover from Thursday), to the 20s and 30s by late afternoon.
The Extended Forecast
Yet again, the weekend will start frigid and end mild. 30s on Saturday, 50s on Sunday.
One thing to watch is a storm system diving south of New Jersey next weekend. If it comes close enough, South Jersey (at least) could be clipped by some snow. I doubt significant accumulations are on the table, but we'll see how this develops.
Our weather will continue to swing from cold to mild as February turns to March. The clock is ticking — there are only a few weeks left for Mother Nature to clobber us with a good ol' fashioned snow storm. Once the first day of Spring comes around, sun angle and warming temperatures make it very difficult for a big winter storm.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.