Welcome to Winter – Bitter Cold Has Finally Arrived in NJ
The Garden State is now experiencing the coldest temperatures since last winter, although this arctic blast will be short-lived.
Here are your weather headlines for Tuesday, January 5, 2016...
New Jersey has plunged into the deep freezer this morning, thanks to the combination of an arctic air mass and a gusty wind. While slow improvements are expected over the next 24 to 36 hours, you'll definitely need to break out the winter coat and hat and gloves and scarf all day today.
Early morning temperatures have dropped into the single digits for much of North Jersey, with teens through the rest of the state. When the northerly wind blows - over 20 mph at times - that cold will be downright painful. We often use the wind chill or "feels like" temperature to describe the degree of heat loss in humans, animals, and plants. Wind chills this morning have been at or below zero for most of New Jersey. In fact, the area around Sussex County is bordering on dangerous cold (wind chill below -5), so the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory through 9 a.m.
Our cold air is incredibly dry too, so at least sunshine will dominate the sky today. That won't do much to temperatures, unfortunately, as much of New Jersey will stay below the freezing mark today. Statewide high temperatures will range between 26 and 34 degrees. At least winds will die down this afternoon, taking some of the "bite" off the cold air this afternoon.
Tonight will be frigid once again, with lows ranging between about 6 and 16 degrees. Wind chills will not be a problem tonight, as winds stay light.
Warming Back Up
Luckily, this arctic blast will be short-lived, as a wind shift on Wednesday will start a warming trend through the weekend. Tomorrow's high temperatures will push into the lower 40s for part of the state... close to seasonal normals for early January.
On Thursday, temperatures will continue warming into the lower to mid 40s. Skies are expected to be mostly to partly sunny.
For Friday, thermometers in South Jersey will actually push past 50 degrees, amidst increasing clouds and humidity.
Storm System Looms Closer
We continue to track a pair of storm systems that will impact New Jersey from Friday evening through Saturday morning. At this time, we are becoming more confident that the stronger coastal storm system swings out to sea, posing no weather threat to New Jersey. A weaker continental system, however, will bring some precipitation to the Garden State between about 5 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.
At this time, a warm front is expected to push through New Jersey on Friday, which means the vast majority of this precipitation looks to be rain. (Low temperatures on Saturday morning will be in the 40s for the central and southern parts of the state.) Having said that, I do remain a bit concerned about far North Jersey, as temperatures could be cold enough to warrant a period of wintry mix. While significant snow accumulation is not expected, Saturday morning could be temporarily icy, especially along and north of I-80.
Stay warm and think summer-y thoughts, New Jersey!