Two Storm Systems in NJ’s Forecast – One Wet, One Semi-wintry
Lots of weather to talk about as we approach the midpoint of December. Some rain, some snow. Some warmth, some cold. Lets's dive right in.
On this Friday morning, there is a big west-east temperature difference over the state. The vast majority of New Jersey is starting the day just below freezing, close to 30 degrees. However, along the oceanfront, we're seeing more moderate mid 40s. That warmer, more humid air butting up against the Jersey Shore will push farther inland as the day goes on.
In addition, our next storm system will start bubbling up from the south Friday. A few showers are possible through the morning hours. I still have a minor concern of some snowflakes or freezing drizzle from the first wave of sprinkles, but I'm not overly worried about widespread or long-lasting impacts.
More widespread scattered rain will arrive Friday afternoon. Things will turn wet and not wintry here, with high temperatures well above-freezing in the lower 40s (NW) to lower 50s (SE).
As Friday evening descends, rainfall will likely become steadier and heavier through the overnight hours. Dense fog is possible too, as both temperatures and dew points rise slowly together through Friday night.
The heaviest rain of this storm looks to come early Saturday morning, as the center of this low pressure passes directly over the Jersey Shore. Rumbles of thunder are possible. There could be some minor flooding or ponding issues, with over an inch of rainfall possible.
After that early round of wet weather Saturday, we'll catch some breaks. Model guidance suggests the potential for two more batches of rain: Saturday midday and then Saturday late afternoon. But neither are a guarantee. Especially if that last wave of rain passes west of NJ (as suggested by the mesoscale NAM model), we might even catch some late-day clearing Saturday. High temperatures will mainly reach the mid to upper 50s. (Closer to 50 in North Jersey, while 60 is a possibility along the southern coast.)
Sunday will easily be the drier day of the weekend. Under partly to mostly sunny skies, high temperatures will reach the mid to upper 40s — par for the course for mid-December. The only weather nuisance will be a brisk westerly wind, gusting to about 30 mph.
Monday turns colder, with high temperatures only in the upper 30s. That sets the scene for our next next storm system, modeled to arrive around Monday morning. Given those chilly temperatures, there's a good chance this one starts as snow or wintry mix. (Especially for the northern half of New Jersey.) That could lead to messy conditions by Monday afternoon's commute — that's the biggest potential impact here.
I'm not ready to pinpoint potential accumulations yet, as model consensus remains poor regarding the exact geography and magnitude of snowfall. In case you're curious, the GFS model paints a piddly half-inch of snow over most of New Jersey, while the Euro model puts about 4 to 5 inches over North Jersey.
(We'll have better resolution on Monday's potentially semi-wintry forecast as our current storm system exits late Saturday — stay tuned for updates if you have outdoor or travel plans for early next week.)
Eventually, warming temperatures into Monday night and Tuesday force a transition from wintry to wet. Rain lasts through Tuesday morning, before sunshine and a cooldown emerge for Tuesday afternoon.
A dramatic pattern change will arrive midweek, putting an end to a very active week-and-a-half of weather here in New Jersey. Of course, it will also be the end of any semblance of warmth, with highs only in the 30s (at best) for both Wednesday and Thursday.
Have yourself a merry little weekend!