NJ weather: Turning colder, next rain/snow chance this weekend
The Bottom Line
After two days of pretty wet and relatively warm weather, colder air is now arriving in New Jersey. Fair warning: Thursday will be our "warmest" day for the next week at least, our last shot at 50s for a while.
We had been watching a storm system for the Thursday night to Friday time frame. But that is diving south, making it a "mainly miss" for NJ. (Other than a few sprinkles clipping South Jersey.)
Next, our attention turns to a storm system arriving on Sunday. And oh boy, the snow hype train has already left the station on this one.
Yes, there could be some snowflakes around Sunday. Especially at night, especially in North Jersey.
And yes, there could be some light accumulations. Especially at night, especially in North Jersey.
But let's pull back the reins on any kind of "major" winter storm. It is 72 hours away, and things could trend colder (and therefore snowier). But significant snow seems highly unlikely.
Over the last 12+ hours, New Jersey has been drying out. And now, we look to a cooling trend, thanks to a stiff northwesterly breeze. As long as that wind doesn't get too strong, Thursday should be a decent weather day.
Morning temperatures in the 40s should recover to the lower 50s by afternoon. We'll see periods of sun and clouds. Wind gusts will occasionally hit about 20 mph — just enough to keep the cool air moving around.
Most of the state will remain completely dry today, as a storm system dives way south. But I will include a light shower chance in South Jersey around dinnertime Thursday evening, just in case. Just a few raindrops, if that.
Later Thursday night, skies will clear. Temperatures will bottom out around the freezing mark by Friday morning, in the lower 30s.
This forecast is certainly an improvement from earlier in the week.
Friday looks like a mostly sunny, dry day for New Jersey. (Hooray!) Temperatures will be seasonably chilly though — that means it's going to feel like typical December weather. Highs will only reach the mid 40s.
A widespread freeze is likely Friday night. There will be lots of thermometers in the 20s Saturday morning.
The weekend begins with another dry day. However, skies may not be all that pretty. A flip to a northeasterly wind will fuel a noticeable increase in cloud cover. That will keep temperatures a few degrees cooler than Friday, in the lower to mid 40s. That is decidedly below normal for early December too.
Sunday's forecast is... interesting.
At some point, our next storm system will roll in from the west. During the daytime hours Sunday, temperatures will be well above freezing. So we face another period of rain. Some models show over an inch of total rainfall.
There are a few possibilities for wintry weather (i.e. snow) on Sunday too:
1.) Far northern New Jersey — specifically the area north of I-80 and west of I-287 — will likely flip from rain to snow as temperatures cool Sunday evening. Even though the ground will be wet, there is an opportunity for light accumulations through Monday morning.
2.) Also as temperatures drop Sunday evening, I believe raindrops could change to snowflakes as far south as about I-195. I doubt accumulations and slippery spots would be on the table though.
3.) If temperatures trend a few degrees colder, North Jersey could see an "all snow" event. As you might suspect, that would lead to higher accumulations and bigger impacts. To be clear, this is not the current going forecast — just something we will have to watch.
Conversational snow, more than 72 hours in advance, with limited geography and limited accumulations? Nothing to sweat about. We'll continue to keep you updated. If 2+ inches of snow looks more likely, we will take this a little more seriously. (Especially since it would be NJ's first snow event of the season.)
The Extended Forecast
Behind Sunday's storm, temperatures will only get colder. Snow/rain showers may linger into Monday morning's commute. The rest of the day will feature sunshine and highs only around 40 degrees.
Tuesday and Wednesday look dry, but brisk. Highs are forecast to only reach the lower 40s.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.