NJ Weather: Goodbye 80s, Hello 50s and 60s (and Rain)
The Bottom Line
While Thursday will be New Jersey's fifth pleasant, dry, mild day in a row, big changes are ahead. A classic cold front is set to arrive this weekend. First comes rain, then comes wind, then comes a cooldown.
Having nice weather during the week is such a tease when the weekend forecast is iffy and tumultuous. There are no washout days, nor any severe weather or significant flooding threat in the forecast. But rain will impact your weekend, and we are now getting a better sense of the timing of that wet weather.
Wednesday's temperatures went as high as 87 degrees in the state. But Sunday's high temp will struggle to even reach 60. From July-like to November-like. (Keep in mind, normal highs at this point of the year are right in the middle, close to 70 degrees.)
Checking in on the fall foliage scene... Trees have started changing in North Jersey. Little splashes of red and yellow, here and there. I suspect once our big cooldown hits this weekend, those colors will explode. (It should be a good foliage season overall, given our recent soaking rains and the lack of extreme heat this summer.)
Thursday morning is starting out just like every other morning this week. Temperatures mainly in the 50s. And patchy fog. I have seen reports that the fog is very thick in spots, especially across the interior of New Jersey, so you may have to slow down a bit until it lifts by 9 or 10 a.m.
There will be three subtle (but noticeable) changes in our weather world on Thursday:
1.) Some clouds will build in.
2.) An on-shore breeze will keep temperatures a bit cooler, in the 70s instead of 80s.
3.) Humidity will tick upward.
Having said all that, Thursday will be another pleasant, dry, and mild day to enjoy. I'll call it partly sunny. High temperatures will range from about 74 to 80 degrees. As usual, the cool spots will be the coast and NW NJ.
Thursday night stays quiet, although you might notice some stickiness in the air. The blanket of clouds will continue to thicken up. Low temperatures will only drop to the lower 60s or so.
On Friday, we make the switch to not-pretty weather. But it's nowhere near a washout.
Rain showers are possible at any time Friday, with wet weather chances only rising into Friday night. But nothing crazy is expected here — just brief spurts of raindrops.
It will turn mostly cloudy. It will be humid. And high temperatures will come down a bit more, in the lower to mid 70s.
For the third Saturday morning in a row, we unfortunately have rain in the forecast. But I am becoming increasingly confident that rain will not be an all-day thing.
The week's best chance for steady rain looks to be the window from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Unfortunately, that coincides with many outdoor activities. Rumbles of thunder are possible. Localized downpours are a possibility too, especially if tropical moisture from Tropical Storm Philippe (way out over the Atlantic) comes into play.
The farther south and west you are, the earlier the rain will end. The farther north and east you are, the heavier and more prolonged the rain will be. Total rainfall for most of New Jersey will end up between a half-inch and an inch. (Less to the south.)
Saturday afternoon and evening, our frontal boundary will arrive. That is the leading edge of cooler, drier air. You will know immediately when it passes, as the air will feel crisper, skies will start to clear, temperatures will start to tumble and the wind will kick up dramatically. Gusts to about 30 mph are possible late Saturday.
By Sunday morning, we could very well see widespread 40s on thermometers across New Jersey.
Even more striking will be the cool high temperatures Sunday afternoon, barely reaching the 60-degree mark. That is more typical of November 1st than October 8th.
With a mix of sun and clouds (leaning toward a bright sky), we will keep a chilly westerly breeze on Sunday too.
The Extended Forecast
This past week had a stretch of five pleasant weather days. Next week should have a stretch of five pleasant weather days too — it's just that temperatures will be much cooler.
Farmers and gardeners in northwestern New Jersey should watch for frost potential Monday morning. Temperatures could dip into the 30s for the first time this season.
I am seeing partly to mostly sunny skies for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. High temperatures will improve from the below-normal lower 60s on Monday to a more seasonable near-70 by midweek. There is a minimal chance of a shower early Tuesday morning — nothing to write home about.
Of course, nice weather during the week will once again foreshadow inclement weather over the weekend. Long-range models show the threat of heavy rain returning to New Jersey late-week. (Of course, if that comes to pass, we will talk more details next week.)
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