Thursday NJ weather: Quieting down again, for a couple of days
The Bottom Line
After a semi-wintry (with up to an inch of snowfall) and blustery Wednesday (with a few wind gusts topping 40 mph), we're back in a tranquil slice of the atmosphere. But that will only last two days, before our next blast of cold wind. A potential storm system early next week could bring more significant winter weather to New Jersey.
It's cold out there! Temperatures on this Thursday morning have bottomed out in the teens and 20s. Everyone in the state is frozen. And it's probably in the top 5 coldest mornings so far this winter season. (Although that's not saying much.) At least the wind is calm, so you won't get bitten in the face.
Temperatures will moderate Thursday, with highs returning to the 40s (for all but far northern NJ). It will be a mostly sunny and dry day. And still breezy too, out of the west-southwest up to 20 mph. Not as gusty and blustery as Wednesday, but still noticeable.
Thursday night will not be as cold as last night. A light freeze is likely away from urban and coastal areas, with a low near 30 degrees.
More sunshine, more 40s. As a cold front approaches from the northwest, a few snow showers or flurries may pass through the northern half of New Jersey. Best chance would be in the afternoon to early evening hours. I do not expect any travel impacts or accumulations.
Friday night, temperatures will start to plummet as another blast of cold air arrives. Thermometers will dip well into the 20s by Saturday morning.
The weekend will bring a return to cold, windy (read: blustery) weather. Northwestly gusts to about 35 mph on Saturday will prevent high temperatures from climbing beyond the lower 30s. (North Jersey could be stuck in the 20s all day - definitely wintry, definitely cold!) At least the forecast is bright and sunny, and bone-dry.
Sunday's highs will improve slightly, to the mid 30s. Winds will stay in the "breezy" category, with regular gusts over 20 mph.
The Extended Forecast
Model guidance has been fairly consistent in showing a storm system near New Jersey around the Monday-Tuesday time frame. The latest GFS backs off that idea a lot, showing just some light snow over New Jersey. But other medium-range models are still supporting the idea of a more significant winter event, with the potential for moderate snow accumulations. The bottom line: We can't make a "hit or miss" call on this storm system just yet. I have included a chance of PM mix for Monday on the 5 Day Forecast for now. Let's wait and see how things continue to evolve.
One thing is for sure: The cold air that arrives this weekend will be around for at least a week. High temperatures in the 30s would mark our longest stretch of below-normal weather in over a month.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.