Seasonable weekend for NJ, with a big cooldown on the horizon
Our weather will remain quiet until next Wednesday to Thursday, when arctic air interrupts New Jersey's stretch of quiet weather and near-normal temperatures.
Here are your weather headlines for Friday, December 1, 2017...
Welcome to December! The Atlantic hurricane season is officially over, and climatological winter has officially begun! (You'll recall that, in the weather and climate world, we use full calendar months for seasonal analysis — December-January-February is considered winter.)
As expected, we had some rain showers sweep through the state overnight. Also as expected, they were very light — our top rainfall total was a whopping 0.07" in Sussex County. The rain is long gone now, and we're just left with some puddles, wet roads, and patches of dense fog.
Any fog and low clouds will lift by mid-morning, and sunshine should be abundant for the rest of the day. It will be a bit breezy, with occasional gusts over 20 mph. High temperatures will end up in the same neighborhood as Thursday, in the lower 50s for most of New Jersey.
Friday night will be clear, quiet, and cool. Mostly lower 30s across the Garden State, with scattered 20s expected in NW NJ and the Pine Barrens.
Consistent, Seasonable Weekend
As we move into the first weekend of December, there's nothing earth-shaking in the forecast. (Ha ha, see what I did there???) Our weather should remain consistently seasonable through Monday — high temperatures will hover somewhere between 46 and 56 degrees over the next four days.
Saturday still looks like the cloudier, cooler day of the weekend. Partly to mostly cloudy skies will keep high temperatures at bay, close to 50 degrees. Models continue to suggest the possibility of a sprinkle, centered around the late afternoon and early evening hours. (Nothing more than a few raindrops though.)
Sunday will be the sunnier and warmer day of the weekend — therefore, I think it's safe to call it the nicer of the two days. Skies should become mostly sunny, pushing high temps into the lower to mid 50s.
Clouds will increase again on Monday. Combined with a southeasterly (on-shore) wind, temperatures will come back down to about the 50 degree mark.
Big Cooldown on the Horizon
Confidence is growing that a significant pattern change will arrive in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame. Not only will temperatures turn significantly colder, but our atmosphere may become more active too. (Although it's important to note that there are no specific winter storm threats for New Jersey at this time.)
Ahead of the arctic cold front, Tuesday will actually be fairly mild. (Thanks to a warming process called "pre-frontal compression".) I think thermometers will make a run for 60s for most of New Jersey. It will be a cloudy and breezy day.
Rain arrives Tuesday night, and Wednesday could be a pretty wet day overall. As a brisk northwesterly wind picks up, cooler air will arrive quickly. While Wednesday's highs will be in the 50s, thermometers should plummet through the afternoon hours.
In fact, as temperatures fall, the final hours of precipitation may see a transition from rain to snow for at least part of New Jersey. That's a finer detail we'll work out as the day draws closer.
There are still many details and questions regarding this arctic blast that no one can answer yet... How cold will it get? When will it snow? Will there be an eventual warmup?
My analysis here serves as an early heads-up, as models and meteorologists are in very good agreement that it's going to get cold by late next week. Stay tuned to the forecast as it continues to evolve, and we get a better handle on the answers to these important questions.
Have a great weekend!