Chilly air has returned to New Jersey, so it's back to the bundle up routine. Seasonal average high temperatures right now are in the upper 40s — it may be 10+ days until we see temperatures even close to "normal".

As of this writing early Tuesday morning, temperatures range from 30 degrees in North Jersey to the lower 40s along the southern coast. A stiff breeze continues gusting above 20 mph, adding a noticeable bite to the cold air.

Aside from the chill, our weather will remain quiet Tuesday. We'll see some good sunshine overhead with passing clouds (I'm calling it "mostly to partly sunny" on-air). Winds will die down by about Tuesday mid-afternoon. Meanwhile, thermometers only rise a few degrees to the lower 40s. (That may or may not be the high temperature for the calendar day — we were in the lower 40s just after Midnight too.)

With the perfect combination of clear skies, calm winds, dry air, and a cool air mass, Tuesday night will be cold and crisp. A statewide hard freeze is expected, as overnight low temperatures will fall into the mid 20s. NW NJ could see some teens by Wednesday morning.

Skies become mostly cloudy on Wednesday, holding temperatures a bit cooler, in the upper 30s to around 40 degrees. That is practically below normal even in the middle of winter.

In addition, a weak off-shore low pressure system could "spit" a few snow showers toward the Jersey Shore between Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening (let's say 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.) It looks like just a quick burst of snowflakes, with no accumulation or travel issues expected. There's an even slighter chance of a snow shower in northwestern New Jersey as lake-effect snow showers drift down from the Great Lakes and Finger Lakes.

Thursday will be a bit sunnier than Wednesday, and I'm encouraged by a brisk southwesterly wind. That will push high temperatures into the lower to mid 40s. It's not much, but it could be the "warmest" day of the week.

A cold frontal passage Thursday night is presently modeled to be dry for New Jersey. But that will lead to another unseasonably cold day for Friday, with high temperatures limited to about 40 degrees. At least we'll get lovely sunshine to accompany the chill.

As I briefly covered in Monday's weather blog post, the weekend forecast gets complicated. Model guidance shows a sizable storm system passing south of New Jersey, centered around South Carolina early Sunday. The GFS model depicts a complete miss for New Jersey — no snow, no rain, just very cold air (high temps only in the 30s). The Euro model is a bit more precarious, pushing snow/rain and possibly some enhanced winds close to New Jersey in the late Sunday to Monday time frame.

For now, this storm system is still outside of my 5-day forecast, so I'm paying it little mind. As you may recall from past winter seasons, it is a pointless journey "beyond the science" to forecast a potential winter storm so far in advance. While my gut is currently leaning toward a "miss" or "near-miss" solution, the worst-case scenario is pretty snowy. Again, the messy weather wouldn't arrive until Sunday afternoon at the earliest, so we have plenty of time to figure it all out. Definitely worth watching as the week rolls along.

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