About 50 hours of frigid, blustery weather for NJ later this week
The Bottom Line
Welcome to February! We have officially closed the record books on January — one of the warmest and least snowy ever. Every single day of January featured above normal average temperatures here in New Jersey.
February is, on average, our snowiest month of the year. (Although there are very few snowflakes in the forecast.) It is also our driest and second coldest calendar month.
The month begins with the most significant snow event of the season so far in southern and central New Jersey. That's not saying much, of course — we are waking up to a dusting to coating of accumulation in spots.
The rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday will be uneventful. And then the door to the arctic opens again, with about two solid days of blustery conditions and subfreezing temperatures.
But there is good news: The bitter blast will not last long. By the end of the weekend, thermometers will moderate back to above-normal.
It's snowing! For the first time since March 2022, parts of central and southern New Jersey picked up a dusting to a coating of snow accumulation overnight. (North Jersey too — but that sector of the state has seen actual measurable snow a few times already this winter.) Top snowfall report early on this Wednesday morning was 0.7 inches at Upper Deerfield, Camden County.
Travel impacts will be minimal, as most roads are just wet. You may encounter some slippery spots though, so stay alert.
The steadiest precipitation has now exited New Jersey. We will continue to see scattered snow showers until around the 9 a.m. hour.
Clouds will gradually give way to sunshine through Wednesday afternoon. It is going to be seasonably chilly — feeling like the first day of February — so dress accordingly. High temperatures will reach the upper 30s.
Temperatures Wednesday night will largely be dependent on cloud cover. My forecast calls for low temperatures between 15 (far north) and 28 (urban/coast). But if skies are clear enough and winds are calm enough, I could see even more locations dipping into the teens overnight.
Groundhog Day. Or, as I like to call it, Weather Rodent Day. No matter what that "Prognosticator of Prognosticators" has to say about his shadow, I can tell you that Thursday will be a quiet, uneventful weather day here in New Jersey.
I had been promoting a rain chance for Thursday, but that impulse looks to be diving south of us.
So we'll call Thursday partly sunny and seasonable. Temperatures will max out in the lower 40s Thursday afternoon, right on the normal for early February. Wind speeds may touch the "breezy" category at times.
It's another good ol' fashioned arctic blast. A strong cold front will kick up a gusty wind on Friday. Even though it will be mostly sunny and dry, temperatures will take a big tumble.
Frontal passage is going to be in the morning between about 2 a.m. (north) and 10 a.m. (south). That is when the northwest wind starts gusting as high as 40 mph. And when temperatures will sharply decline.
While Friday will start in the lower 30s in the morning (right around or just above the freezing mark), thermometers will likely end up in the lower 20s by late afternoon (even some teens to the north and west). That is cold!
By Friday night, with temperatures in the single digits to teens, the wind chill (the "feels like" or "apparent" temperature) will likely drop below zero. That is dangerous cold!
Winds will lighten up, but the entire state will be stuck subfreezing all day. Highs will only reach the mid 20s, almost 20 degrees below normal for early February. Expect bright winter sunshine and blue skies, with lighter winds. (Although any little breeze will still bite.)
By the way, the 50+ hours of below freezing weather referenced in the headline will last from mid-morning Friday through mid-morning Sunday.
Just like that, the cold snap is over. An influx of warmer air arrives on a southwest wind, pushing temperatures into the mid 40s on average by Sunday afternoon.
Sunday does look like a pretty cloudy day. But I'll gladly trade bone-chilling cold for a murky sky.
The Extended Forecast
Our latest forecast puts high temperatures around 45 to 50 degrees for both Monday and Tuesday. That is on the mild side of normal.
Our next chance of substantial rain or snow is almost a week away, in the Tuesday night to Wednesday time frame. There's another storm system signal for late next week. But still nothing overly concerning or wintry at this time.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.