Warm, Windy, and Dry Weather Continues for New Jersey
Fire danger will be high on Tuesday, as widespread temperatures in the 70s accompany a gusty wind; our next chance of appreciable rain still several days away.
What a wonderfully warm day New Jersey enjoyed on Monday! The warmest spots included Wayne (Passaic Co.) at 85 degrees, Basking Ridge (Somerset Co.) at 83 degrees, and Hamilton Township (Mercer Co.) at 83 degrees. Even more remarkable was the diurnal temperature range, the difference between the morning low and afternoon high temperatures. At Basking Ridge, in particular, the temperature swung from 36 to 83 degrees yesterday. 47 degrees - that's impressive! This wide range only occurs within a very dry air mass.
Unfortunately, that dry air leads to a considerable concern around this time of year: Wildfires. A Red Flag Warning has been issued from Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, as a combination of dry conditions and gusty winds will make for prime wildfire conditions. That doesn't mean every tree, bush, and field will spontaneously combust. Rather, if a fire gets started, it will spread quickly and become very difficult to contain. That makes it very important for all New Jerseyans to use extreme caution with any outdoor burning. One discarded cigarette could set an entire forest on fire in such conditions.
Skies on this Tuesday will range from partly to mostly cloudy. As a backdoor cold front sags through New Jersey, wind gusts will climb above 25 mph at times. This frontal passage looks almost entirely dry, with just a sprinkle chance in North Jersey Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, high temperatures on Tuesday will cool from the widespread 80s from Monday - but only by a little bit. Lower 70s will be a good bet for most of the state, and we might push to near 75 degrees in South Jersey (if there's enough sunshine). Once again Tuesday, the sea breeze machine will keep the Jersey Shore several degrees cooler than inland New Jersey.
We'll be able to feel the effects of that front by Tuesday night, as subtly cooler air arrives. Overnight lows will fall into the lower to mid 40s for most of the Garden State, with the coolest spots in the chilly 30s by Wednesday morning. Skies will become mostly clear.
Temperatures continue to scale back on Wednesday, with forecast highs in the lower to mid 60s. But don't dismay - that's right on the seasonal normals for mid to late April. Wednesday looks like a comfortable Spring day, especially since winds will be fairly light and skies will be abundantly sunny.
Thermometers will recover to around 70 degrees on Thursday. The day will begin with sunshine, with increasing clouds later.
Our next chance for measurable rain will come Thursday evening into Friday. First raindrops look to be in the 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. range. Models have increased precipitation amounts very slightly in their latest runs, but the rainfall still looks meager at best. Having said that, I don't want to rule out a few heavier downpours or even thunderstorms.
Amidst continuing raindrops, Friday looks to stay on the warm side with high temperatures in the lower to mid 70s. Behind another front, we'll see another cooldown for the upcoming last weekend of April. Current forecast highs for both Saturday and Sunday look to range somewhere in the upper 50s to lower 60s for New Jersey.