A taste of Spring: Four days of 50s and 60s ahead for NJ
The Bottom Line
Let the warmup begin! The next four days will be New Jersey's warmest since Christmas Day. It'll feel more like early April than early March. And the forecast is mainly dry, so you can really enjoy the warmth and sunshine.
It's not a perfect outlook though. An on-shore breeze will partially get in the way of our warmup. And by the weekend, we'll flip back to the cool side again.
Most of the state is starting Tuesday morning just above the freezing mark, in the 30s. Definitely cool, so you'll need a jacket or sweater to start. After about 9 o'clock, thermometers will start to jump upward. By this afternoon, you should be able to ditch the jacket or sweater for a few hours.
High temperatures will reach about 55 to 60 degrees. That is a full 10 to 15 degrees warmer than Monday. And about 5 to 10 degrees above normal for early March. Very nice, and very springlike!
Skies will feature pleasant periods of sun and clouds. And although we did have some sprinkles visit North Jersey overnight, the rest of Tuesday looks dry.
Tuesday night will be quiet, partly cloudy, and cool. Low temps will mainly fall into the mid 30s, with chilly 20s in NW NJ.
Our big warmup takes a step backward on Wednesday. For most of the state, you'll hardly notice. It will be a bright sunny day, with a light southeasterly breeze. Inland high temperatures should push into the lower to mid 50s.
However, that southeast breeze blowing off the chilly ocean will likely have dramatic effects on our coastal communities. Totally typical for this time of year, when water temperatures are still hovering around 40 degrees. As a result, I suspect the immediate coast (approximately east of the Garden State Parkway) will get stuck in the 40s all day Wednesday.
At least the breeze will be light, so that sea breeze front shouldn't travel more than a couple miles inland.
Winds shift to southwesterly. In the warm weather months, that is our "blast furnace" wind direction. And what do you know, we do have a pool of warmer air sitting to our southwest. So on Thursday, our warmup kicks into an even higher gear.
High temperatures will mainly push into the mid 60s on Thursday. Better at the beaches, in the 50s, at least. I wouldn't rule out a few 70-degree temps in inland South Jersey. Clouds will roll in, but we'll remain dry.
Short sleeves? Open windows? Lunch al fresco? Sounds good to me!
The grand finale of our late winter warm streak could be the warmest day of the bunch. My forecast puts high temperatures around 65 to 70 degrees for most of the state. With a westerly breeze and limited sunshine, even the Jersey Shore has a good shot at 60s here.
Friday's warm forecast isn't quite perfect though, with a chance of a rain shower. Model guidance has really backed off the idea of widespread wet weather here - anything that falls from the sky looks brief and light.
The Extended Forecast
By the time you wake up Saturday morning, it'll all be over. A cold front will reintroduce cooler air to New Jersey just in time for the weekend.
Saturday will be at least 20 degrees colder than Friday. Highs in the mid to upper 40s won't be terrible - it's only slightly below seasonal norms. But that doesn't mean we have to like it, after being teased and taunted with such beautiful springy weather.
Winds will be breezy and blustery for a bit on Saturday, and clouds look to win the sky for most of the day too.
Sunday looks sunny, breezy, and cool with highs again in the 40s.
Our next substantial storm system is forecast for Monday-Tuesday. Right now it looks like primarily a rainmaker. But don't let your guard down just yet - we still have a solid month to go before "accumulating snow season" comes to an end here in New Jersey.
Enjoy the sun, enjoy the warmth!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.