As a strong storm system exits the region, New Jersey's sleet and rain will come to an end and skies will slowly clear as the new year approaches.

Storm Wrap-up

Basking Ridge saw a light coating of snow as New Jersey's first dose of wintry weather moved into the area Monday night. (Photo courtesy of: Twitter user @WeatherReMarks)

New Jersey has finally tasted winter for the first time, as a mix of sleet, snow, and rain made for a messy overnight. Our forecast fared pretty well - the vast majority of the snow and ice stayed north of the Garden State, and our only real icing problems for this morning's commute are along and north of I-80. Admittedly, the start of the wintry weather was earlier and further south than expected, as spotty locations in Monmouth and Ocean County reported sleet Monday afternoon.

The official weather observation at Newark Airport at midnight showed 0.1" of snow had fallen, so this is officially our first measurable winter weather of the season. Snowfall is still about 5 inches below normal for the season so far in North Jersey, and about 3.5 inches below normal in South Jersey.

Tuesday: Rain, Wind Subside

As of this writing, radar is still showing some snow and sleet north of I-80 while it's all rain for the rest of New Jersey. So it's a slushy and/or wet start to your Tuesday. The rain will continue for a while, before tapering off sometime between the midday and early afternoon hours.

Meanwhile, regular wind gusts over 20 mph have been observed this morning. These winds will also subside by early afternoon as the strong low pressure departs.

Due to the warm front that is sitting on top of New Jersey, high temperatures will vary greatly from north to south today. Here is today's high temperature forecast:
--Andover: 43 degrees
--Newark: 49 degrees
--Trenton: 54 degrees
--Belmar: 55 degrees
--Wrightstown: 59 degrees
--Egg Harbor Township: 63 degrees

Wednesday: Mild, Few Showers

Wednesday will be mild and fairly quiet during the daytime hours, with high temperatures normalizing to the mid 50s or so. That's about 10 to 15 degrees above normal for late December.

By Wednesday evening, another storm system will clip the Garden State, providing a chance for some showers. With temperatures staying above normal, everything that falls from the sky through Wednesday's overnight will be rain.

New Year's Forecast

Thursday is New Year's Eve, and we will close out the year with mostly to partly cloudy skies. Temperatures will remain mild, with highs in the lower 50s.

By New Year's Day, we'll be settling into a pattern of dry, quiet, sunny weather. Temperatures will be on the chilly side to start 2016 though, with seasonable highs in the lower 40s and lows below freezing.

Dan Zarrow is the Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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