Friday: Cloudy, Cool, Snow Showers

You know, Thursday's sunshine was very nice. As we remain in the "dead of Winter" for the next few days and the peak of Seasonal Affective Disorder season, a little taste of Vitamin D is certainly a welcome addition to the forecast. So much for that — clouds are already increasing across New Jersey, and skies will be mostly cloudy by late Friday morning.

Meanwhile, it is a very cold start to the day, as thermometers have sunk into the teens and 20s across the state. (Luckily, winds are light, so we won't have to deal with that biting wind chill at all Friday.) Most high temperatures will end up between about 35 and 40 degrees — that's a few degrees warmer than Thursday, and a few degrees below normal for early February.

A weak storm system will just barely clip the Garden State Friday afternoon, spawning a few snow showers. Best chance for snowflakes will be north of Interstate 78, where we could end up with a coating on the ground. (No travel issues are expected.) I wouldn't be surprised to see a few flurries flying around through the rest of the state too through Friday evening.

More humid, slightly warmer air will begin leaking into New Jersey Friday night. That means thermometers will only drop a degree or two overnight, to the mid to upper 30s. Temperatures may actually rise a bit by daybreak Saturday.

Saturday Daytime: OK?

Saturday will be cloudy, and I'm concerned there could be lingering fog issues throughout the day. Otherwise, we might salvage quiet, mild weather during the daytime hours. I'm thinking high temperatures will range from the upper 40s in North Jersey to upper 50s in South Jersey.

Saturday Night-Sunday: Wet

NAM model precipitation forecast for Sunday, showing rain, rain, and more rain for the Garden State. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

So, with such (relatively) warmer air in place, it should be no surprise that our impending storm system will bring only rain and no wintry weather to New Jersey.

The latest model data suggests first raindrops will fall in New Jersey in the 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. timeframe on Saturday. Initial rainfall will be on the light side, before the main body of the storm system arrives late Saturday night into Sunday.

Sunday looks like a very wet day, with periods of rain through at least the middle of the afternoon. Furthermore, with a big influx of atmospheric moisture, I think it's going to pour at times. Models go so far as to suggest a swath of 2 or 3 inches of rainfall through central and northern New Jersey. Yup, that would be a very wet day.

NAM model temperature forecast for Sunday afternoon, showing the possibility of 60 degree temps for most of New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

At least confidence is high that it'll stay warm throughout the weekend, or else we would indeed be facing some big snowfall. Sunday's high temperatures should reach about 50 degrees to the north and near 60 degrees in South Jersey. (Some models have promoted temps as high as 66 degrees — that's hot and balmy for mid-February!)

Next Week

By Monday morning, we'll probably start drying out, clearing out, and cooling down. (The NAM mesoscale model paints more rain for Monday morning, but I'm not totally buying such a prolonged period of steady rain.) As skies eventually become partly sunny, temperatures should stay above seasonal norms topping out between about 45 and 50 degrees.

Tuesday will be a seasonable chilly day, with highs closer to 40 degrees. A weak disturbance could produce a mix of snow-rain from Tuesday midday onward.

I'm seeing the return of mild temperatures in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame next week. There are no major winter storms on the horizon for New Jersey.

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