NJ weather: A ‘blah’ forecast for Wednesday, drying out for NYE
The Bottom Line
A stationary front remains parked just south of New Jersey. That will do two things to our weather. First, temperatures remain stagnant — although we'll stay above-normal for the next five days in a row. Second, our weather is unsettled — with a few more rounds of rain expected in the coming days too.
The bright spot in the forecast is New Year's Eve, the brightest, driest day of the week. (That's right, we end the year with optimism!)
Meanwhile, the long-range forecast shows our next weather pattern change arriving with the calendar change. The first full week of January is looking COLD.
It was a wet overnight for most of New Jersey. Up to a half-inch of rain fell, especially along and just south of the Interstate 78 corridor.
As of this writing (5:30 a.m.), radar has calmed down. But there are still pockets of rain. And I expect that to be the case until around lunchtime Wednesday. Going forward, any rain will be spotty and light. And with temperatures in the 40s for most, it will be liquid, not frozen.
Wednesday afternoon looks much drier, although still cloudy and "blah". There could be some sprinkles or mistiness in the air later on too.
I've opted for a "persistence" forecast here, keeping Wednesday's temperatures similar to what actually happened on Tuesday. Lower 40s in North Jersey. Lower 50s in South Jersey. With normal (30-year average) high temperatures between 41 and 45 degrees at this point of the year, we are still on the mild side. (Even though it won't be "warm" at all.)
Rain will return Wednesday evening, after about 8 p.m. Models suggest the steadiest rain this time around will be over the southern half of New Jersey, with a quarter-inch to half-inch of total rainfall. (That's actually really good news — South Jersey has been awfully dry over the past few months.)
I do not expect any wintry weather overnight, as low temperatures stay above freezing in the lower 40s.
Once again, we'll start the day wet and then dry out.
Rain should wrap up by midday Thursday. Skies will be mostly cloudy through the afternoon. And I can't rule out a few isolated showers later in the day.
We'll finally tap into some warmer air on Thursday too. High temperatures for all but far northern New Jersey should reach the mild lower to mid 50s.
Friday (New Year's Eve)
I'm still liking this forecast a lot, as NYE will be New Jersey's driest and nicest day of the week.
I'm still leaning toward an optimistically bright forecast, calling skies partly sunny. High temperatures should bump into the mid 50s. (60 is a possibility in South Jersey.)
As we ring in 2022 at Midnight, temperatures should still be in the upper 40s. We're primed for the warmest New Year's Eve celebration since at least 2011.
Saturday (New Year's Day)
January will begin warm and wet. Another series of impulses will keep periods of rain over New Jersey for most of Saturday. Over an inch of rainfall is possible. (Those expectations have come down a bit from the previous 2+ inch soaking.)
At least the raindrops will come with warmer air. Most of the state will hit 55 to 60 degrees on Saturday.
The Extended Forecast
Sunday will be a big transition day. At some point (most likely in the morning), we'll get one more push of rain. Then drier, colder air will arrive on a brisk northwesterly wind. The temperature tumble is going to be pretty dramatic here, potentially nosediving from 60-ish to the 30s within a few hours.
But precipitation should end before the atmosphere freezes. So I'm no longer concerned about wintry weather potential.
However, the first full week of 2022 is going to feel quite wintry. Highs on Monday will only reach the mid 30s, at best. More reasonable lower 40s are expected Tuesday.
Of course, cold air is the first (and most important ingredient) for snow. I do not see any big snow threats in the forecast. But let's see what the storm track does after our New Year's pattern change. That large-scale picture will largely dictate whether our weather will be mainly wet, mainly wintry, or dry as a bone through the first half of January.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.