As expected, on Wednesday, the entire state of New Jersey was stuck below freezing all day. And as of this writing (5:30 a.m. Thursday), temperatures have bottomed out at 17 degrees at Newark, 16 at Trenton, and 17 at Atlantic City. Keeping in mind normal lows for early March are around 30 degrees, that's pretty frigid! This also appears to be one of our top 10 coldest mornings of the winter season.

The coldest spot in the state is northwestern New Jersey, where a combination of clearer skies, light winds, and snow cover has led to temperatures in the single digits. Bundle up!

As you might guess, Thursday will be another unseasonably chilly day for the Garden State. Clouds and humidity will increase by the afternoon, and you might see a few flurries flying around. (Maybe even an outright snow shower in NW NJ Thursday afternoon, as lake effect storm drifts down from Lake Ontario.) High temperatures are expected to reach the lower 30s — unlike Wednesday, at least part of New Jersey will pop above the freezing mark Thursday.

Thursday night will be cold too, although admittedly not as frigid as it has been. Low temps are expected to fall to around the 20 degree mark.

Friday will start quiet, and you might even catch a hint of sunshine early on. High temperatures will reach the mid to upper 30s.

NAM model forecast for Friday afternoon, as snow arrives in New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Then our next storm system arrives, with a chance of light snow and rain starting Friday afternoon. Here are a few bullet points about this minor taste of winter weather:
—Timing for snowflakes and raindrops looks to be about 2 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday.
—Steadiest precipitation will be in southern and central NJ. North Jersey might stay dry.
—A quick transition to just rain seems likely in far southern and coastal NJ.
—A healthy coating to an inch of snow accumulation is possible somewhere in NJ, especially on cold, non-paved surfaced.
—The evening commute could see minor issues, including reduced visibility and icy patches.
—That's it. Far from a major storm, and really not a big deal.

We dive into the weekend, and thermometers finally start to nudge upwards. In fact, Saturday looks like a pretty pleasant early March day. Lots of sunshine, light winds, dry weather, and high temperatures in the mid 40s. Sure that's still a degree or two below seasonal normal, but really who cares!

The second half of the weekend, however, looks quite wet. Rain is likely from Sunday early morning through Sunday late afternoon, totaling about a half-inch to an inch. It turn into a washout of a day.

In addition, it's worth nothing that this storm system's timeline has edged 3 to 6 hours earlier than previous thinking, putting precipitation onset before daybreak. That's important and could cause minor issues, as an initial burst of wintry mix (rather than "plain rain") becomes possible to the north and west. I don't think any substantial icing or accumulations are in play as it stands. But we'll have to keep an eye on the situation NW NJ — if it stays cold enough, Sunday could ultimately turn more wintry instead of wet there.

I'm happy to report we will not return to the arctic next week. In fact, Monday looks great, with 50s and emerging sunshine. Cooling down to the upper 40s for Tuesday and Wednesday — seasonable and dry. Our next storm system for next week would hold off until about Thursday. And for now, that one looks like just plain rain.

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