NJ Weather: Wind Calming Down, Next Storm Impacts Clearer
The Bottom Line
There is really only one weather nuisance in the short-range forecast, as the wind will continue to blow Wednesday. And it'll bite, as we start the day with wind chills deep in the 20s.
Otherwise, Wednesday and Thursday look bright and sunny and dry, with temperatures fairly close to seasonal normals.
Looming at the end of the week is our next weather maker, a storm system that will pass over New Jersey from Friday afternoon through Saturday midday. (Note: The timing has slid earlier than we previously discussed.) And it's another complicated one. While North Jersey faces some light to moderate snow accumulations, it will be another rain and wind machine for the Jersey Shore. And in the middle ... well, it's complicated.
The wind was howling Tuesday, with a top gust of 67 MPH at the top of High Point in Sussex County. Things are a bit calmer now, but we are still facing conditions in the "breezy" category all day Wednesday.
With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Wednesday morning, wind chills are closer to the 20-degree mark. It's a "bundle up" kind of late winter morning, especially if you'll be standing at a bus stop or train station early on.
Aside from the breeze, Wednesday will look nice, with mostly sunny skies and dry weather. High temperatures Wednesday afternoon are expected to reach the mid to upper 40s. Just a degree or two below normal for early March.
Things stay quiet Wednesday nice, with clear skies and low temps back around 30. Any little breeze will once again push the wind chill into the 20s.
The nicest day of the next week. The warmest day too, actually.
The wind will finally calm down Thursday, and we'll keep sunshine until late afternoon. Thursday will be completely dry again. Highs will flirt with 50 degrees.
Our weather will start to go downhill Friday, as our next storm system approaches.
The morning should be fine, with mostly cloudy skies. High temperatures will be limited to the mid-40s.
The latest model guidance shows shower activity increasing Friday afternoon, from southwest to northeast. Steadier, heavier precipitation is expected Friday evening and overnight.
Precipitation type is tricky here. But I suspect at the onset of Friday, it will be mainly plain rain across northeastern, central, southern, and coastal New Jersey. The lone exception: The cold corner of the state, northwestern New Jersey. I do expect snow (and maybe some sleet) for the duration, potentially leading to some accumulations. (More on that in a sec.)
That storm system will still be with us Saturday morning. And I am concerned that a surge of colder air will push temperatures downward enough for widespread wintry mix between daybreak and midday Saturday. Technical accumulations will be limited to an inch or two of slush, along the Turnpike corridor. I suspect NJ's coastal counties will stay rainy.
The "snow zone" of North Jersey will potentially see moderate snow accumulations. If I had to draw a map, I'd probably draw a 3-6" contour there. On par with our late February snow event. Hardly a major storm, but certainly enough to cause some travel headaches.
Obviously, there are a lot of fine details we still have to piece together: A more precise timeline for start, brunt, changeover, and end. A more definitive snow/mix/rain line. More specific accumulation numbers and impacts.
As precipitation winds down for good around lunchtime Saturday, skies will start to clear. And the wind will probably kick up again — especially along the Jersey Shore, as this storm system strengthens off the coast. Current gust estimates are in the 30-40 mph range, although I've seen previous indications of 50+ mph. Another burst of blustery.
High temperatures on Saturday will be on the chilly side, in the lower 40s. Where there is snow on the ground in North Jersey, thermometers may get stuck in the 30s all day.
Sunday & Beyond
Sunday will be the better day of the weekend, with periods of sun and clouds and highs recovering slightly to the mid 40s. I think we'll escape the second half of the weekend problem-free.
Also, a friendly reminder that Sunday is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time! Don't forget to "Spring Ahead" your clocks.
Another storm system is set to arrive in New Jersey on Monday. But long-range forecast models show a wide variety of impacts. Ranging from light snow accumulations to soaking rain. (And previous guidance showed a full-fledged, blockbuster nor'easter snow bomb there.) We probably will not have a great view of that forecast until the Friday-Saturday storm wraps up. So I'm not sweating it for now — we'll talk much more about this in a few short days.