NJ weather: Warm, 80-degree October ‘beach weather’ ahead this week?!
The Bottom Line
After an active and even violent summer, fall has been treating New Jersey pretty well so far. More sunny days than rainy. More warm days than cool. (In fact, 11 of the first 12 days of October featured above-normal temperatures.)
We are looking ahead to a 4-day stretch of warmth. And yes, as the headline of this post suggests, I do expect it to become sunny and warm and calm enough to warrant some mid-October beach days!
However — and you knew there had to be a "however" — a classic fall cold front is in the forecast for the upcoming weekend. A quick burst of rain and wind will be followed by cooler, more seasonable air by next week.
Long-term average low temperatures here in mid-October are in the upper 40s. And we're not even close on this Wednesday morning, with temps primarily in the lower 60s. Cloud cover and a hint of humidity have prevented temperatures from falling any farther. There is some patchy fog out there. (I'm actually surprised it's not thicker or more widespread, given those 60-degree dew points and near 100% humidity.)
The stubborn coastal storm system we've been tracking since late last week is finally shoving out to sea Wednesday. That means the coastal flooding threat along the southern coast is primarily over — particularly vulnerable spots could still see some minor water issues at high tide. It also means the 'blah' is departing too, with less cloudy and less drizzly weather ahead.
Look for a mix of sun and clouds statewide Wednesday, with high temperatures in the mid 70s. I love 70s — not too hot, not too cold. It should be a very nice day.
Wednesday night looks good too. We'll see some clouds. And maybe some fog. There will be just enough humidity in the air to again prevent thermometers from falling below 60 degrees, give or take.
The warmup continues. A weak early morning frontal boundary will do nothing more than introduce a light northwest wind. (I don't buy any sprinkle chances here.)
Under partly to mostly sunny skies, high temps will reach about 75 to 80 degrees.
Probably the brightest and warmest day of the week. I'll call it "mostly sunny," with high temperatures near 80 degrees. Cooler at the Shore. Definitely a early/late summer feel in the air.
Our big transition day. It will start warm, with high temperatures once again popping to nearly 80 degrees. Clouds will increase starting in the morning. And a strong breeze will blow out of the south, over 20 mph at times.
There is a chance a shower creeps into NJ early Saturday, although the first half of the day does look mainly dry.
A strong cold front will drive a narrow band of moderate to heavy rain through the state sometime between Saturday mid-afternoon and Sunday evening. (Let's say 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.) In any given spot, we'll only see an hour or two of rain, totalling about a half-inch. But that could be enough to put a big damper on your outdoor activities.
Following the rain and the front, a strong westerly breeze will gust over 20 mph. That wind will carry in the cooler, drier air that will cause temperatures to tumble through the second half of the weekend.
Sunday & Beyond
Sunday will end up 10 to 15+ degrees cooler than Saturday. Lower 50s in the morning. Mid 60s, at best, in the afternoon. It will turn bright and sunny, with bone-dry air. But also breezy. Definitely a more autumnal feel in the air.
Sunny, dry, seasonable weather will continue through most of next week. Long-range models show another cold front late next week, producing our next chance of rain. The subsequent cooldown from that storm system could be enough to put North Jersey (at least) into "first frost" territory, heading into the final third of October.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.