Monday NJ weather: Your Christmas week forecast, a mixed bag
The Bottom Line
Raindrops and snowflakes, cold and warmth, clouds and sun — we have a little bit of everything ahead in New Jersey's first week of Winter.
Happy First Day of Winter! The Winter Solstice arrived Monday morning at 5:02 a.m. We only get 9 hours, 15 minutes of daylight Monday. But the Winter Solstice is regarded as a time of optimism and hope — there are only brighter days ahead!
We're not going to see much of Mr. Sun on this solstice day. Pockets of dense fog developed overnight, and may hang around through about lunchtime. In fact, the combination of fog and freezing temperatures produces an apropos phenomenon called freezing fog. Where water droplets are hanging in the air, and temperatures are at or below 32 degrees, there could be some icy and slippery spots.
The fog will only lift to low clouds by Monday afternoon. Temperatures will climb from 30 in the morning to about 40 in the afternoon.
The daytime hours look dry. Then a weak wave will push through New Jersey Monday night with a round of showers. For most of the state, it will likely be a bit of cold rain. But especially for the cold corner of NJ — north of I-78, west of I-287 — there could be some snow and wintry mix. If conditions are perfect, I could even see a healthy coating of fresh accumulation there. But again, for most of the state, this will be wet not wintry. Overnight low temperatures will only dip a few degrees, into the mid 30s.
After showers wrap up by mid-morning at the latest, skies will clear as our air dries out. It will be breezy, with a westerly wind occasionally popping over 20 mph. High temperatures should bump into the mid 40s. Not bad, but definitely feeling December-ish.
Probably the nicest day of the week. Skies will progress from sun to clouds, with high temps again in the mid 40s.
Thursday (Christmas Eve)
5 of the last 6 Christmases have been wet. And this year, we'll make it 6 for 7. A strong cold front looks to spark a soggy Christmas Eve, with periods of rain all day. For now, the heaviest rain looks to be in the afternoon and evening hours — unfortunately, just when folks may try to travel for the holiday. It will be windy too, with potential gusts of 30+ mph. But again, it's another round of "wet not wintry" — high temperatures may approach 60 degrees in South Jersey on Thursday.
However, temperatures are going to nosedive Thursday night. If the temperature drop happens before precipitation ends, this storm system could wrap up with a burst of snow. Or at least wintry mix. I don't expect any accumulation, on the warm and wet ground. And it would be brief. But it would still be nice to have some snowflakes flying around for Santa's big arrival.
Friday (Christmas Day)
The difference between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be huge. Highs will only reach the mid 30s Friday — a far cry from the near-60 on Thursday. We could have a few conversational snow showers or flurries around during the day Friday too. How festive and magical! (And cold!)
The Extended Forecast
Quiet, cold weather will continue through the final weekend of 2020. Sunny and 30s on Saturday. Increasing clouds and 40-ish on Sunday. Models are hinting at our next wave of snow/rain showers Sunday night.