NJ weather: The nicest day of the week will be Thanksgiving
The Bottom Line
The big Thanksgiving week is one of the most important weather forecasts of the year. And yes, Thanksgiving Thursday will be the warmest and nicest day of the week, by far.
There are two cold fronts of note coming this week: One on Monday, one around Friday. Each will bring a short period of rain. And some wind, which could lead to delays at area airports. (Arrivals and departures are spaced out for safety in times of brisk winds.)
The other big story will be unseasonably cold air. It's going to feel like mid-December / mid-February around here, rather than late November. Wiith the dreaded "wind chill" in the conversation too.
We start the shortened workweek with wet weather. As of this writing (6 a.m.), the biggest push of rain of the day has begun. Raindrops will sweep from northwest to southeast throughout the morning. We're already seeing improvements in NW NJ. The southern coast may stay damp until about midday.
Once again, this storm system is no big deal. No severe weather. No winter weather. Just rain.
Monday afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a chilly breeze. Temperatures will start to tumble too, from about 50 in the morning, through the 40s in the afternoon.
And then Monday night will be freezing cold. Thermometers will bottom out around 30 degrees by Tuesday morning. Any little breeze will push the wind chill (the "feels like" temperature) into the teens and 20s. Skies will clear out overnight.
There are a few select spots along the Shore and around Essex/Hudson county that have not yet frozen this season. If that streak doesn't end Monday night, it definitely will Tuesday night.
Blustery is the word. High temperatures will only reach the lower 40s, more than 10 degrees below normal for this time of year. Add a persistent northwest breeze at 10 to 20+ mph, and the wind chill will be stuck in the 30s (at best) all day.
Don't be surprised by the winterlike chill on this otherwise partly sunny and dry day.
We'll do a little better on the big getaway day. Expect another cold morning, with a widespread freeze across the state. And then lots of sunshine and calmer winds will help temperatures push into the mid 40s Wednesday afternoon. No big wind and no precipitation will make for easy travel conditions, at least.
Thanksgiving Day (Thursday)
Cold turkey? Not so much this year. A wind shift to a west-southwest direction will lead to a brief warmup and our only seasonable day of the week.
Morning lows in the "frost zone" in the mid-upper 30s. Afternoon highs in the mid 50s. A nice mix of sun and clouds. Light winds. Dry weather.
Seems perfect for traveling, parades, football games, outdoor cooking/dining, and more.
Friday & Beyond
Our next cold front is forecast to slide through NJ early Friday morning. (Possibly late Thursday night — something to watch.) Once again, we face a few hours of rain. Followed by a windy cooldown. There is a risk of snowflakes at the very tailend of that storm system, but I do not anticipate accumulations or travel impacts.
Temperatures on Friday will be stuck in the 40s.
And then Saturday and Sunday could be the coldest weekend since March. High temperatures will struggle to push past 40 degrees. Otherwise uneventful though, with no threat of rain or snow through the weekend.
In general, we face below normal temperatures and quiet weather through the end of November.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.