Cold and Windy Thursday Then Let the Warmup Begin!
Wind gusts to 35 mph will make for a blustery day, before warmer air arrives just in time for the Presidents' Day Weekend.
Welcome back to the cold side of the world, New Jersey. Wednesday was fairly mild, with Newark, Trenton, and Atlantic City airports topping out at 52 degrees. (Triple!) A cold front pushed across the state Wednesday evening, kicking up a gusty wind and refreshing our chilly air.
Wind gusts over 30 mph will be possible for most of Thursday, before calming late in the afternoon. High temperatures will be limited to the upper 30s to around 40 degrees - that's more than 10 degrees cooler than Wednesday, and about 5 degrees below normal for mid-February. Skies will average partly sunny statewide. And a few lake effect snow showers may make it to New Jersey, but I highly doubt our snowfall will be anything more than a flurry.
While winds will be lighter for Thursday night, but temperatures will be pretty cold. Lows will bottom out between 18 and 26. Skies will be mostly clear overnight.
Overall, I think Friday will be a decent mid-February day. Sunny skies and quiet weather will accompany seasonably cool high temperatures, in the lower to mid 40s.
This warming trend will continue into the holiday weekend. We've increased Saturday's forecast high temperatures to the upper 50s to lower 60s - nice! Mostly to partly sunny skies will contribute to the pleasant weather.
Sunday is a bit more complicated. The NAM and Euro models show a band of rain that tries (and fails) to push into southern New Jersey in the early morning hours - I'm going to keep a dry forecast for now, but this shower chance bears watching.
Meanwhile, Sunday's skies will either be mostly cloudy to overcast. As the warm-air advection machine continues to churn, I really want to increase forecast high temperatures for Sunday. Some of my meteorological colleagues are suggesting 70 will be possible in South Jersey, but that seems a bit of a stretch. Because of the cloud cover, and uncertain timing surrounding a weak cold front, I can't push Sunday's temps higher than Saturday's. Still, if you don't mind grey skies, 60 degrees will make for another nice day.
We'll stay dry, quiet, and mild for Presidents' Day Monday too. Temperatures will drop a few degrees, but we'll still hold on to 50s for most of New Jersey. More importantly, Monday will mark the return of mostly sunny skies too.
Our next chance of any precipitation will be Tuesday-Wednesday. But even that system looks unimpressive. I wouldn't be surprised if much of the Garden State stays completely dry over the next 7+ days.