Scattered Strong Storms Tuesday for New Jersey
Warm temperatures, increased humidity, and a storm system will combine to deliver scattered strong to severe thunderstorms to New Jersey by Tuesday afternoon.
Two batches of thunderstorms rumbled South Jersey and then North Jersey early Tuesday morning. Top rain total was close to a half-inch, and wind gusts reached 40 mph for part of the state. A potentially stormy setup remains for the rest of the day as well.
Is it going to rain all day? No way.
Will everyone get wet today? Maybe.
Will everyone see severe weather today? Nope.
Should everyone stay alert to changing weather conditions today? Of course!
A cold front is stalled right along the northern edge of New Jersey. For most of Tuesday morning, we'll be in a bit of a lull - there might be a few showers and storms out there, but they should not be widespread or strong. However, as a shortwave rides along that front starting around midday Tuesday, thunderstorm activity will increase through the afternoon and evening hours.
One of the most important ingredients for severe weather is energy, called instability. (Technically, instability refers to an air parcel's tendency to rise through the atmosphere.) The best way to destabilize the atmosphere is to warm it up. That will happen through much of central and southern New Jersey Tuesday afternoon with high temperatures near 80 degrees. (Severe weather fans, I've seen modeled CAPE as high as 1000 and the LI as low as -2.) That is why we have ramped up the concern for severe weather.
Any thunderstorm that forms and moves through New Jersey on Tuesday will be capable of producing pockets of torrential rain, frequent lightning, gusty winds, and possibly even hail. The most likely timing of the strongest storms will include the entirety of the evening commute.
By late Tuesday evening (around 10 p.m.), any showers and storms will be pulsing down and/or moving out of the Garden State. Skies will clear overnight. And, as the aforementioned cold front pushes through the state, temperatures will take a tumble through Wednesday morning. Overnight lows will end up in the mid to upper 40s for most of New Jersey.
Wednesday will feature much quieter weather, with mostly sunny skies. It will be noticeably cooler, with highs only in the lower to mid 60s. Still quite pleasant for late April! Coastal communities will be under a sea breeze influence on Wednesday, keeping air temperatures closer to the ocean temperature (currently between 55 and 60 degrees along the Jersey Shore).
By Thursday morning, there's a chance our cold front will retreat northward as a warm front. But if it happens, New Jersey could see persistent showers from Thursday through Friday morning. You'll notice I said "if" - it's not a sure bet yet. The NAM paints a very dry, warmer forecast for Thursday. The GFS, meanwhile, is wetter and cooler.
In any case, we'll return to a period of dry, quiet weather for Friday and the weekend. Friday's temperatures look to end up cool and below normal, with highs only in the mid 50s. 60s should return to thermometers for the weekend.