Wednesday NJ weather: Chilly temps, watching weekend storm system
The Bottom Line
We'll keep cool, relatively quiet weather conditions for a couple of days. And then our attention turns to a storm system for the weekend, which looks much more like a hit than a miss for New Jersey. While our inclement weather will be mainly of the wet and windy variety, it's worth keeping a raised eyebrow for a wintry surprise at the tail-end of this thing.
It's December. We're now officially into the time of year when frosts and freezes occur on an almost-daily basis. (Normal lows for this date are 32 to 34 degrees.) So the morning chill, temperatures in the 30s, and need for a coat should not surprise you.
Wednesday promises to be our coldest day of the week, as high temperatures only make it into the mid 40s. That is about 5 degrees below seasonal normals — more reminiscent of a late December day, perhaps. We'll see some good sunshine throughout the day. And I've upgraded our wind forecast to "breezy" too.
There is a piece of energy spinning over Pennsylvania, which will (at the very least) spit some clouds our way on Wednesday too. Additionally, a brief snow shower is possible along the northern and western edge of the state. I wouldn't rule out a few flurries anywhere in New Jersey at some point.
Wednesday night, we get that classic recipe for radiative cooling — clear skies, calm winds, and dry air. I think temperatures will really crash overnight, bottoming out around 30 degrees Thursday morning. Needless to say, most of the state will experience another freeze.
Not bad! Temperatures will warm into the lower 50s, with lots of sun. Clouds will build late-day, but we should stay dry.
The first piece of our next storm system looks to arrive around midday Friday. We'll be stuck under clouds, and scattered rain showers will be possible through the second half of the day. As the eastern side of the low carries in some (relatively) warmer air, we'll have a pretty wide temperature range here — expect highs in the mid 40s in North Jersey and mid 50s in South Jersey.
Saturday & Beyond
Again, the forecast for this strong storm system is still shaky (timing, track, and impacts). But I'm confident enough — and models have come to a good enough consensus — to put inclement weather in the forecast.
Saturday will be the brunt, with periods of rain a good bet for most of the day. It will get a little bit windy too — although I would put top gusts "only" in the 30+ mph range right now.
The potential for trouble will come at the tail-end of this thing, early Sunday morning. As temperatures start to fall, some model runs have hinted at some wintry weather in colder NW NJ. At this point, I will say there's only a slim chance of this sort of wintry surprise. But it is worth watching — and obviously, if anything develops, you'll be among the first to know!
Skies should clear as temperatures drop Sunday afternoon. Early next week looks cool, but quiet and bright.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.