Active weather week for NJ: Rain, some icy mix, and wild temperature swings
Hello and happy first weekday of February! This is not New Jersey's coldest month of the year, on average — that honor belongs to January. In fact, normal high temperatures will climb from 40 degrees now to about 45 by the start of March. Of course, after such a warm and non-snowy January, who knows how the remaining 7 and a half weeks of winter will play out.
We're starting this Monday morning with clearing skies and a chill in the air, with temperatures holding around the freezing mark. (It's a little warmer along the coast, as usual.) High temperatures Monday afternoon will soar into the 50s for all but far northern New Jersey. With abundant sunshine and dry weather in the forecast, this will be New Jersey's nicest day of the week by far.
Clouds creep into South Jersey late Monday afternoon, enveloping the rest of the state Monday evening. An isolated rain shower may pop up after Midnight Monday night. Meanwhile, temperatures won't be overly cold overnight, with lows in the lower to mid 40s. (Again, North Jersey could be a bit cooler, in the 30s.)
For the record, Monday will easily be the nicest day of the week for New Jersey. Things will become more active as wet, cooler, and potentially wintry weather moves in. Keep reading...
A weak disturbance is forecast to ride through New Jersey's atmosphere Tuesday morning. Scattered rain showers are likely for all, with rainfall totals potentially reaching about a tenth of an inch. Not much, but probably enough to warrant an umbrella for part of the day.
Otherwise, Tuesday will be mostly cloudy and still mild. High temps should hold steady in the lower to mid 50s. (Although if we see peeks of sunshine Tuesday afternoon, 60 degrees is not out of the question to the south.)
The question marks in this forecast become bigger and bolder on Wednesday, as a slow-moving cold front approaches the Garden State. While thermometers will start the day near 50 degrees early Wednesday morning, temperatures will tumble into the mid to upper 30s by late Wednesday afternoon.
In addition, a few more showers are expected Wednesday. Especially since those falling temperatures could force a transition from rain to icy mix by the end of the day. This is almost exclusively a North Jersey concern for now — I'm thinking areas south and east of the Route 1 corridor (including South Jersey and the Jersey Shore) will see just plain rain on Wednesday. And even so, those showers look sparse and light, so wintry impacts could be limited. As I often say, this possibility is certainly worth watching for now.
The aforementioned front will stall just south of New Jersey. Hang on tight, because this forecast is about to become even more complicated...
Thursday, a surge of warm air will once again enter New Jersey. Most forecast models currently show central and southern New Jersey spiking into the 50s (at least) Thursday afternoon. Of course, that quick warmup is not a guarantee.
So, as a series of disturbances ride along that stalled front from Thursday to Friday, we'll have a chance for precipitation — but what type we get is still very much in question. Right now, I'm leaning toward a wet rather than wintry forecast. However, if those warmer temperatures don't happen, we'll almost certainly have some icy or snowy weather here.
As you can tell, confidence in this forecast is quite low for now. What we see fall from the sky will be directly impacted by the location of the stalled front, the track of those impending waves, and (more importantly) the temperature.
We'll continue piecing together those details as the week rolls along. For now, just know that things look generally unsettled and unpleasant for much of the week. And potentially slippery and snowy too.
Skies should start clearing late Friday, and we should start the weekend with sunshine. High temperatures will settle on the cool side, with breezy 40s on Friday and 30s for most (with sunshine) on Saturday.
Models are showing another coastal storm system in the vicinity on Sunday. The latest GFS model shows a miss, but the Euro solution is much more impactful for New Jersey. You might as well flip a coin right now for an "accurate" forecast — that storm system can trend in either direction over the next few days. We'll sit and wait and watch, and start ringing alarm bells in a few days if it's warranted.