Wednesday NJ weather: Easily the nicest day of the entire month
The Bottom Line
Let's lay out some statistics. Through the first 23 days of February, we've had 9 days with measurable snowfall (at least 0.1") in New Jersey. An additional 3 days had only plain rain over part of the state. So 52% of February days so far have had precipitation over New Jersey.
Furthermore, 16 of those 23 days had average daily temperatures below seasonal normals (as reported at Newark Library International Airport). That's almost 70%.
Therefore, it's not much of a stretch to call Wednesday the nicest day of the week and the month. Depending on where in the state you live, it is forecast to be the warmest dry day since mid-December (south) or mid-January (central and north).
We're starting off Wednesday morning in the 30s, mainly above freezing. And thermometers will soar into the 50s for (at least) central and southern New Jersey by Wednesday afternoon. That's running about 5 to 10 degrees above normal for late February. And a fantastic change of pace from the recent arctic chill.
Sunshine will win the sky Wednesday, with some passing clouds along the way. The daytime hours look dry with only a light southwest breeze. Truly a fantastic February day.
Of course, here comes a cold front to ruin our fun. That's the leading edge of cooler (although not "colder") air. This particular frontal boundary doesn't have a lot of "oomph" or moisture associated with it. So while I have a chance of rain showers and sprinkles in the forecast overnight, those raindrops may fizzle before reaching everyone.
Most certain will be a gusty wind kicking up overnight, possibly blowing over 30 mph. That means, with low temperatures in the lower 30s, we'll probably feel wind chills ("feels like" or "apparent" temperatures) in the 20s by Thursday morning.
Thursday will be noticeably cooler than Wednesday, as highs scale back to the lower to mid 40s. Not too horrible — this isn't a dramatic arctic blast kind of cool down.
As the atmosphere dries out again, we'll enjoy mostly sunny skies. A stiff northwesterly breeze will continue through at least the morning (20+ mph).
More sunshine and lighter winds. Morning lows in the 20s. Afternoon highs in the lower 40s. Nothing to see here.
New Jersey will end up under a "highway of storm systems," as a series of approximately three areas of low pressure pass overhead in the Saturday-Sunday-Monday time frame. No need to panic buy road salt, bread, and milk this time though — with warming temperatures, we're almost exclusively expecting periods of plain rain through the weekend.
Round #1 will be Saturday, from about early morning through late afternoon. Here is the one chance of wintry weather of the weekend — if precipitation arrives early enough (pre-dawn Saturday), there could be some snowflakes at onset to the north and west. But that's it. Otherwise, you'll find periods of rain and high temperatures in the 50s Saturday.
Next round of rain will slide by South Jersey around midday Sunday. It looks to be the drier day of the weekend, which means you might find pockets of dry weather to enjoy the mild temps. Highs will once again pop into the 50s on Sunday.
The grand finale is a bit uncertain, but the GFS model shows one more batch of rain passing through New Jersey early Monday morning.
The Extended Forecast
That questionable, final, third round of weekend rain is key to what happens next week, as model guidance diverges significantly.
The GFS model shows a strong cold front arriving late Monday, enacting an arctic blast on Tuesday. A lion-ish start to March, but the rest of the week would be cool and quiet.
Meanwhile, the Euro model negates the third round of rain and subsequent arctic blast. However, that solution would keep the active storm track close enough to New Jersey to allow a nor'easter-ish storm system to visit around midweek. A very different scene, and not quiet at all.
This is precisely why I produce a 5 Day Forecast instead of going out to 7 days. It's not because I'm hiding important weather information. Predictions are just too shaky and uncertain that far out — you'd be better off forecasting "normal" or even flipping a coin.
Once we have a more confident forecast, you'll be among the first to know.