It Feels Like March/April – Fog then 50s for NJ Monday
What a difference a week makes! Last week was all about brutal cold, frigid temperatures, and bundling up. This week will (mostly) be a continuation of Sunday's lovely springlike weather. Although there will be some hiccups of cold, rain, and fog along the way.
Maybe that weather-rodent Punxsutawney Phil was right when he predicted an early Spring? (Ha, don't get your hopes up!)
Fog is a problem on this Monday morning. Not only do we have reduced visibilities — as low as a quarter-mile in South Jersey — but temperatures are mostly just below the freezing mark. That sets us up for a freezing fog situation, when the water vapor in the fog can create a glaze of ice on cold surfaces. Just watch out for icy spots as you're walking and driving about.
The thickest fog is located in South Jersey, but the iciest conditions are being reported around North Jersey. A Freezing Fog Advisory is in effect until 9 a.m. Monday for Ocean, Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, Camden, and Burlington counties.
Regarding Monday's forecast, there is some notable discrepancy amongst our forecast models, with the NAM running significantly cooler than other model guidance. It busted yesterday (forecast 40s vs actual 50s), and I have no doubt we're going to see more springlike warmth so let's lean on the GFS and Euro instead. I'm conservatively putting forecast high temperatures in the lower 50s, with the thought that South Jersey will be stuck under fog through about midday and then clouds through the afternoon. Areas that get more sunshine may push into the mid 50s.
Monday night looks to be New Jersey's warmest night in more than a month. (By my quick research, the first time we stay above-freezing since December 29.) Low temps will fall into the mid to upper 30s. Dense fog is likely once again.
Tuesday promises to be the warmest day of this stretch, but it will also be the grand finale. My latest forecast calls for high temperatures between 53 and 61 degrees. Yes, 60+ degrees! That would be normal/seasonable in mid-April.
Skies will be mostly cloudy, and an approaching front could spark an isolated shower or sprinkle at some point Tuesday. The day does look mostly dry, with a stiff breeze up to about 20 mph.
By Wednesday, cooler air will return to the Garden State. This won't be a big, bad arctic blast, mind you. Just a return to seasonable conditions. Highs on Wednesday will be around 40 degrees, with continuing cloudiness.
But the cooldown doesn't last long either! (What a roller coaster of a week, huh?) A round of showers will arrive Wednesday evening through Thursday morning. It looks like almost all rain, but I can't rule out a little bit of wintry mix right at onset. Some of that rain may be steady to heavy during the overnight hours.
By Thursday afternoon, we could see a return to 50s for part of NJ. And then Friday will make a run for 60 degrees again, back into near-record territory.
The next next cooldown will arrive for the weekend, and this one will arrive with a gusty wind (to 35 mph) and sharply falling temperatures. At the moment, this blast of colder air does not look as brutal as last week's taste of the arctic. But high temperatures in the 30s for Saturday and Sunday would certainly mean a return to heavier winter coats.
I think that weekend forecast answers the question I posed about our friend the groundhog. Does this week's generally warmer weather mean winter is over? No way. Our next chance of snow could pop up as early as Sunday night into Monday.