For the first time in nearly two weeks, both high and low temperatures across New Jersey will end up below normal, with the potential for sub-freezing temperatures on Friday morning.

Here are your weather headlines for Thursday, April 23, 2015...

Thunderstorm Recap

As expected, a line of fierce thunderstorms pushed through New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon, with a short period of heavy rain and gusty winds. Philadelphia International Airport reported a impressive wind gust of 71 mph from these storms as they rolled through.

The rain is now done across all 21 counties of New Jersey, and skies have cleared quite a bit overnight.

Cool as a Cucumber

Behind yesterday’s storms, a cold front opened the door to cooler and drier air. Thursday morning’s temperatures have consequently fallen to the 30s and the lower 40s... by my account, we haven’t seen temperatures that cool in about two weeks. Highs today will be limited to the mid 50s; that is about 10° below normal for late April.

Thanks to a reinforcing shot of cool air later today, temperatures will fall tonight all the way to the lower to mid 30s (maybe a few 20s in far North Jersey). That means a frost or freeze is likely for most of the state... However, since temperatures will only drop below the magic 32° mark for a short time, I don’t expect any huge problems such as road icing or a widespread plant kill. Still, gardeners beware - if you’ve already put sensitive plants in the ground this spring, you may want to cover them and keep them nice and warm tonight.

Through the upcoming weekend, temperatures will stay on the cool side of normal, in the upper 50s or maybe lower 60s. Not terrible, but certainly nowhere near the 70s and even 80s we’ve enjoyed lately.

Scattered April Showers

There are no major storm systems in New Jersey’s forecast for the next week or so. However, we will see sustaining clouds and a few chances for showers in the forecast through early next week. A few sprinkles or showers will be possible this afternoon, as a weak cold front provides that reinforcing shot of cool air. Of course, those raindrops may very well evaporate before reaching the ground.

Saturday’s rain forecast is still a tough call. The challenge comes in the exact track of a sizable storm system that will be traversing the Mid-Atlantic states late on Saturday. The NAM model keeps all the rain well south of New Jersey, while the GFS puts light rain up to about I-195 from Saturday evening through early Sunday morning. So, I’ll maintain yesterday’s forecast... At the very least, we’ll see some clouds and therefore cooler temperatures in South Jersey on Saturday. And if the system is indeed far enough north, some light rain is possible for the southern half of the state late on Saturday.

The next chance for showers will come Monday afternoon, and then again Wednesday night through Thursday.