Warmer and Sunnier Weather Ahead for NJ, But There’s a Catch
Monday's nasty, wet weather is gone and Tuesday will feature clearing skies and warming temperatures, but New Jersey's forecast will remain somewhat unsettled.
Here are your weather headlines for Tuesday, March 15, 2016...
I am happy to say New Jersey's forecast for Tuesday is looking drier, warmer and clearer than Monday - although that wouldn't be hard, after such a nasty day. Rainfall totals topped an inch along the Jersey Shore. The highest statewide rain total was recorded in Harvey Cedars on LBI, with 2.01" through Midnight according to the NJ Weather and Climate Network.
There is still patchy drizzle and fog being reported across New Jersey on Tuesday morning, with temperatures in the mid 40s. You'll probably need at least a light jacket through the early morning hours. Skies will slowly clear through Tuesday afternoon, with partly sunny conditions expected by the end of the day. High temperatures should climb into the upper 50s to around 60 degrees. That's around 10 degrees above normal for mid-March.
A few lingering clouds will last into Tuesday night with comfortably cool (yet above normal) temperatures. Thermometers should bottom out in the lower to mid 40s by Wednesday morning. Light fog may develop in spots, but it shouldn't be too thick or widespread.
Warming, but Somewhat Unsettled
Our weather will continue warming into the 60s. HOWEVER, our weather also remains somewhat unsettled with a shower chance through the end of the workweek.
Wednesday's high temperatures will be in the lower 60s for most of New Jersey. The northwest corner of the state will be a bit cooler. And the immediate coastline may be stuck in the 50s all day, as the wind blows on-shore from the chilly ocean. Most of the day will feature partly sunny skies, although some showers and thunderstorms are likely through Wednesday late afternoon and evening.
Thursday is forecast to be the warmest day of the week for the Garden State, with mid 60s across most of the state. Once again, we'll see a mix of sun and clouds overhead. A brisk wind will pick up too, and we'll again see a chance for a shower or storm at some point.
By Friday, a cold front will be pushing temperatures lower. Friday afternoon high temperatures will be limited to the lower to mid 50s - about 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the day before, and close to seasonal normals for this time of year. Yet again, Friday will bring a chance for a shower or storm.
High pressure takes over New Jersey's weather through Saturday. Even though it will be the coolest day of the week, sunshine and dry weather will make for a very nice start to the weekend.
Weekend Storm: Gone with the Wind?
And then, along comes Sunday. In yesterday's weather blog, I made note of a potentially powerful storm system that was aiming toward New Jersey on or about Sunday. The worst-case scenario included impacts ranging from heavy rain to a chance for some wintry mix or snow on the backside of the storm.
Well, this morning's models have all pushed this storm out to sea. The GFS solution poses the most extreme change since yesterday's run, keeping the storm far enough over the ocean that New Jersey would see only an isolated shower. The European model forecast hugs the coast a bit closer, putting some rain, mix, and/or snow over at least the eastern half of New Jersey on Sunday (but it's not showing nearly as much snow accumulation as yesterday morning's run).
I'm always opining here in my blog for the need to be a responsible meteorologist, and to not "over-forecast" or "wish-cast". Specifically, we all need to know and remember that forecast models do an absolutely terrible job at pinpointing storm details beyond 72 hours. Yes, we can get a sense for trends, but confidence remains low until more information becomes available and the target storm gets closer. It can be frustrating, but this is just the state of atmospheric science and modeling right now.
So, I find it incredibly hilarious that one New Jersey media outlet's claim of "almost 100% certainty of a storm" on Sunday has already busted! I don't think I would ever forecast a 100% chance of anything. This is an example of an irresponsible, hyped forecast, spread like wildfire by viral social media. As you hopefully know by now, that's not what we do here.
Don't get me wrong - the models may very well "wiggle" back toward the coast. And that could still turn Sunday into quite a wet and/or wintry day for New Jersey. For now, it's simply a storm "worth watching". We'll be able to talk about more certain details around Thursday or Friday as the situation continues to develop.