NJ weather: 4th blustery Friday in a row, weekend snow showers
The Bottom Line
February's weather has been weird — unusually warm, dry, and non-snowy. But it sure has been consistent. Each week has progressed from chilly to warm, followed by a windy Friday and a big cooldown for the start of the weekend. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Welcome to the 4th iteration of the pattern, as we head into the last weekend of the month. Blustery will be the word of the day, as northwesterly wind gusts kick up to 40 mph by midday. Temperatures will slide backward as the day goes on.
Saturday will be unseasonably cold. And we will probably see some snow showers around the Garden State. Some light accumulations are even possible.
Sunday will easily be the nicer day of the weekend, as temperatures moderate and the sun comes out.
There are finally signs that our weather turns more wintry next week. An early week storm system — Monday into Tuesday — bears watching for potential snow and ice. (Although not for everyone in NJ.) You will want to keep an eye on the forecast through the weekend, as we dial in the details.
Yes, this is the fourth consecutive Friday with a big windy cooldown happening across New Jersey. As of this writing (7 a.m.), colder, drier air has started to leak across the Delaware River. By late Friday morning, everyone in the state will experience changing weather conditions.
The biggest impact from frontal passage will be wind, blowing out of the northwest. Top gusts will hit 30 to 40 mph around midday Friday.
And that cold wind will send temperatures downward throughout the day — we've already hit our "high" for Friday. I suspect most of NJ will be in the 30s by late afternoon. Probably some 20s to the north and still some 40s to the south.
Skies will brighten throughout the day, as we also transition from fog and clouds to sunshine. I can't rule out a sprinkle or flurry at some point, but the day looks predominantly dry.
The wind will start to calm Friday evening. But with our new cold air mass in place, those thermometers will keep dropping. We'll bottom out close to 20 degrees by Saturday morning, under mainly clear skies.
Feeling like February. And then some.
High temperatures will only reach about 30 to 35 degrees on Saturday. That is about 10 degrees below normal for late February. Winds will be relatively light. And skies will be quite cloudy, with impulses pushing both north and south of New Jersey.
In addition, we have a legitimate chance of snow showers over New Jersey on Saturday. The afternoon looks to be most active for snowflakes. A healthy coating is a possibility. I could even see upwards of an inch accumulation on colder, grassy surfaces if a shower turns most squall-ish.
Not a major winter storm, by any stretch. But for many parts of New Jersey, an inch is magnitudes more snowfall than we've seen all winter so far. Watch for slippery spots and areas of reduced visibility.
Clearly the nicer day of the weekend.
Temperatures will shoot right back to the above-normal zone by Sunday afternoon, peaking in the upper 40s to around 50. Partly to mostly sunny skies, a fresh breeze, and dry weather will contribute to a pleasant February day. No problems at all for you.
A potentially messy situation is shaping up for early next week. You will want to keep a close eye on the forecast throughout the weekend, as we close in on details and numbers and a specific timeline for the storm.
Conditions will go downhill starting midday Monday, with the brunt of the storm from afternoon through evening, and then showers potentially lingering into Tuesday morning. Impacts will depend on where in NJ you are, and will be heavily based on the exact storm track and temperatures.
As it stands right now, this looks like a "mainly wintry mix" storm for North Jersey, along and north of Interstate 78. Both snow and ice accumulations are on the table, which could make for some treacherous travel conditions.
Between I-78 and I-195, we could get an initial hit of snow/mix before transitioning to plain rain. Accumulation seems to be less of a concern in this middle sector, but visibility and slick spots are possible.
For the southern half of the state, below Interstate 195, this will be another rainmaker. Total rainfall could reach an inch.
If the temperature forecast trends even a little bit snowier, we could have our most significant winter storm of the season on our hands. (I know that's not saying much.) I'll go out on a limb and say 6" would be possible in far northern New Jersey if that happens?
However, I want to stress again that it will not be a snow storm for all of New Jersey. Probably not even half of New Jersey. Just sloppy weather for some, wet weather for others.
Stay tuned — if this becomes a "thing," I will start pumping out specific details on Sunday so you can prepare accordingly.
The Extended Forecast
However the Monday-Tuesday mess plays out, skies should clear and temperatures should moderate for a pretty pleasant start to March on Wednesday.
Forecast models show a pair of potential storm systems for late next week, which could drive additional rounds of rain or snow through New Jersey. But uncertainty is very high at this point, especially with another substantial storm in the way. So we'll cross that bridge later, around the middle of next week — if there's even a bridge to cross.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.