Tuesday NJ weather: Fairly warm and rainy, then unseasonably cool
The Bottom Line
Tuesday will be both New Jersey's warmest and wettest day through the rest of April. (Keep in mind, of course, May starts on Sunday.)
It looks like everyone in the state will see wet weather Tuesday, peaking around the time of the evening rush hour. This will be our last substantial rain chance for almost a week.
An unusually cool air mass will envelop New Jersey through the rest of the workweek. Gardeners and farmers need to beware of some widespread frost/freezes. And everyone will be reaching for a sweater, jacket, or coat for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
From warm to wet to cooler, Tuesday is a "cold front day" and period of transition for New Jersey.
The day is starting off fine. Tuesday morning temperatures are mainly in the 50s, with a bank of clouds overhead.
The temperature forecast for Tuesday afternoon is quite tricky. Warmer air will come very close to New Jersey. And any little peek of sunshine will allow thermometers to soar into the 70s. Best chance for that will be southwestern New Jersey — that is, south of I-195 and away from the coast. Farther north and east, temperatures will be closer to 60 degrees.
Some spotty drizzle is possible at any time Tuesday morning through late afternoon. However, the greatest chance of rain will come after 3 or 4 p.m. Everyone in the state will probably get wet through Tuesday evening, as scattered rain generally progresses from west to east.
Every time there's a storm system in the forecast, we have to run through a checklist of sorts, to make sure the weather won't become overly nasty or dangerous. And I don't think that will be the case this time around — it just looks a little bit wet.
Could we see a brief downpour, hear a rumble of thunder, and/or feel some elevated wind gusts in southwestern New Jersey? Sure.
Our weather should substantially dry out and start to clear out by Midnight Tuesday night. Overnight low temperatures will be back on the cool side, bottoming out in the 40s.
A return to jacket weather. It's going to feel more like late March than late April, with temperatures running 10+ degrees below normal.
Wednesday will be a dry, but cool day. A northwesterly breeze, blowing up to 20 mph, will keep that cool air moving around. Skies will be bright, with a mix of sun and clouds.
High temperatures on Wednesday will be limited to the lower to mid 50s.
Thursday morning looks downright cold. With low temperatures in the lower-mid 30s, we'll once again have to ring alarm bells for a late-season frost (< 37 degrees) or freeze (< 32 degrees).
It will be a mostly sunny and blustery day. Winds will be slightly stronger than Wednesday. And I expect temperatures to end up a degree or two cooler. Look for highs again stuck in the 50s.
Once that strong northwest breeze lightens up, we'll finally start to warm up again.
Friday looks like a pretty nice day. Sunny. Breezy. Dry. Highs push to around 60 degrees. Still below normal, but comfortable.
The Extended Forecast
The warming trend will carry into the weekend, as we prepare to turn the calendar page from April to May. Outdoor activities are safe, with no rain in the forecast.
Saturday will feature partly sunny skies, a light breeze, and afternoon high temperatures in the lower 60s.
Sunday will get even warmer, closer to 70 degrees. Skies will progress from sun to clouds.
Latest guidance shows a return to 70s for early next week. Our next rain chance holds off until Monday night, at the earliest.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.