The Bottom Line

It has been a “parched March” so far, with only one day of rain and one day of snow showers so far. That is about to change, with a generally unsettled forecast for the next two days. The first storm system in line, impacting NJ Tuesday into Wednesday, will bring minimal rain and snow. The next one looks much wetter, with over an inch of rainfall expected.

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Meanwhile, temperatures will continue to ping-pong this week. Cold Tuesday, then mild, then cold again Friday. A sustained warmup kicks in this weekend, timing perfectly with the official start of Spring.

Tuesday

Just blah. Cloudy and cold, with 20s in the morning and a high barely hitting 40 degrees. Tuesday’s temperatures will be very similar to Monday’s - thankfully, winds will be much lighter.

New Jersey’s atmosphere is still very dry to start the day. But as dew points rise and the column moistens up a bit, we could see some hit-or-miss rain or snow showers throughout the day. (Stemming from a weak storm system passing to our south.)

The best chance of spotty showers will actually come Tuesday night, with fog likely too. Anything that falls from the sky will be light and mainly inconsequential. I can’t rule out slippery spots as the ground becomes wet. (Or if precipitation type leans more toward snow and/or sleet.) But I think you can safely ignore the umbrella and shovel here.

Spotty rain and snow showers are possible Tuesday into Tuesday night. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Wednesday

Showers will wrap up by mid-morning Wednesday, at the latest. And the rest of the day looks decent. The sky will be brighter, with breaks of sun - I’m still optimistically calling it partly sunny, suggesting an average of 50% cloud cover. And highs will be more seasonable, warming to around the 50 degree mark Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday

Our next storm system will arrive Thursday. There have been two important developments since we last spoke. 1.) Rain looks prolonged and somewhat steadier/heavier. 2.) There’s a slight chance for a quick hit of snow at the tail-end (see Friday’s forecast for more).

First raindrops from this one look to fall around mid-morning Thursday (10 a.m.) Periods of steady, if not heavy, rain will continue Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening. By the time this storm system is wrapped up, we have a shot at widespread inch-plus rainfall across New Jersey. Healthy and much-needed.

High temperatures amongst the raindrops will remain on the mild side, ranging from the mid 40s (North Jersey) to mid 50s (South Jersey).

Friday

Our storm system will depart Friday morning, and precipitation will come to an end. However, behind that system is a batch of cold air. If temperatures start to drop before rain ends, there is a chance for a quick shot of snow at the tail-end of this thing.

Some models are pumping out snow accumulations of a few inches. I don’t buy that solution, given the low probability of a truly snowy solution, and the warm/wet ground condition.

By Noon Friday, skies will be rapidly clearing to sunshine. Of course, that’s on top of a cold northerly wind, gusting to about 40 mph. The resurgence of cold air will limit high temperatures to the lower 40s (give or take) Friday afternoon. Quite blustery, quite wintry.

The Weekend & Beyond

The official start of Spring, the Vernal Equinox, occurs at 5:37 a.m. Saturday. And how appropriate - we’re starting the new season with a warmup.

Near 50 on Saturday. 55 to 60 Sunday. 60 to 65 Monday. All with splendid sunshine and delightfully dry weather.

The best news of all is that the warmth looks to sustain through next week too, with highs more often in the 60s than not.

Does that mean we’re officially done with snow for the season? Maybe. I’m not quite ready to slam the record book closed. But I also don’t see any significant winter storm in the forecast through the end of March.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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