We begin the final full week of March with our latest storm system. A real soaker, this coastal storm system will be on top of us all day Monday. Pretty close to a washout, and a pretty nasty day overall.

As of this writing Monday morning (5:30 a.m.) we are in "phase one" of this storm system. Just some light precipitation so far, including snowflakes in northern and western New Jersey. I have seen reports of dustings on windshields and slippery spots, but certainly not a mess. The chance for substantial accumulation, even in far northern NJ, remains very low.

Rainfall will pick up in intensity around mid morning Monday (8-9 a.m.) and then our forecast looks quite wet through Monday afternoon. In fact, the heaviest, steadiest rain of the day is modeled to arrive from mid-afternoon Monday through Monday evening.

High-res NAM model forecast as Monday's rainfall peaks around mid-afternoon. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
High-res NAM model forecast as Monday's rainfall peaks around mid-afternoon. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Over an inch of rainfall is possible where it really pours. Meanwhile, it will be breezy and cool — a pretty miserable day overall. High temperatures will only reach the lower to mid 40s.

By the way, even though this is a coastal storm with a stiff easterly breeze, the risk for coastal flooding also looks low.

The rain will finally taper from west to east, between about 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday evening. The rest of the overnight will feature partial clearing and chilly temperatures, bottoming out in the mid to upper 30s.

We'll flip to dry weather for Tuesday. Pleasant periods of sun and clouds will intersperse, helping high temperatures bump into the mid to upper 50s for most. A nice day!

However, Wednesday will be not so nice again. Another storm system will drive another rainy, breezy day. Rainfall intensity and totals will be lower than Monday — but it's still going to be soggy overall.

Temperatures will be slightly warmer Wednesday afternoon too, in the mid to upper 40s.

I've seen some guidance suggest a quick burst of snow is possible on the backside Wednesday night. Based on the very latest numbers, I'm leaning toward a wet rather than wintry forecast at this time, but it's something to keep an eye on.

Thursday looks just like Tuesday, with breaks and sun and slightly above-normal temperatures in the mid to upper 50s.

So again, bottom line... Monday and Wednesday, wet and cool. Tuesday and Thursday, dry and mild.

On Friday, a warm front will lift from the south, bringing us a (temporary) warmup into the 60s. However, that front will produce enough lift for a couple rounds of showers — likely early morning and late evening, but that's subject to change. Given the forecast position of the front, I'm not sure we'll see much blue sky on Friday.

The outlook for the final weekend of March is totally predicated on the exact position of that front as it stalls near New Jersey. As it stands currently, model consensus puts us on the cool side of that front. That would lead to a seasonable and mainly dry Saturday, followed by a wet Sunday. However, I don't feel incredibly confident about the long-range details here. So stay tuned if you have weekend plans like opening a window, sitting in your backyard, or taking a socially-distanced walk around the neighborhood.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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