NJ weather: From 60° this weekend, to snow and cold next week
The Bottom Line
Is it spring or winter? I got into an argument with my 5 year old son yesterday about what season it is, given the recent stretch of sunny, mild weather. (This happened, of course, as he threw his jacket on the ground because it was "not cold anymore".)
Don't worry — winter returns soon enough.
For now, we can look forward to three more days in the 50s (at least), stretching through the weekend. That is about 15 degrees above normal for this time of year.
At the same time, our weather will look and feel more unsettled through the weekend too. There will be some hit-or-miss raindrops around, but nothing heavy or steady for now.
Our next big storm system comes into view Monday night into Tuesday. There are still significant questions surrounding 1.) the storm track, 2.) the storm strength, and 3.) how much cold air will be available to force a transition from rain to snow.
Forecast models are still all over the place. But we will talk about what we know, and conjecture how early next week might play out.
As of this writing (6:30 a.m.), I am watching some very light showers drifting over eastern and central Pennsylvania. They have been fizzling over the past few hours. But you may get "spit on" by raindrops through about 10 a.m. That is if they make it all the way to the ground.
By this afternoon, I think clouds will give way to pretty good sunshine again. High temperatures will push into the mid 50s. Feeling more like March than February.
Friday night will be cool, but not that cold. Look for lows around the 40-degree mark.
This weekend will offer good opportunities to get outside for a bit, and to open the windows for some fresh air. But it will look and feel pretty unsettled too.
Saturday will be mostly cloudy. Expect one or two waves of spotty rain showers during the day. Nothing heavy, nothing steady, and definitely not an all-day thing. Just a few minutes of raindrops, here and there.
Despite the occasional damp and gray weather, Saturday will stay pretty warm. High temperatures should reach about 55 to 60 degrees.
One more shower will clip the southern edge of New Jersey early Sunday morning. Most of the state will stay completely dry, although thick cloud cover will remain.
Temperatures on Sunday will turn slightly cooler, with highs close to 50 degrees. Still above normal, just less springlike than Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Monday & Beyond
One thing is certain: Cold air will return next week. Temperatures will run 20+ degrees colder than that are right now. And the transition from springy to wintry is complicated.
On Thursday, I laid out three scenarios for a storm system arriving early next week. Those three solutions — mainly rain, medium snow, and a big thumping — are all still in play 24 hours later.
As a way of updating this storm forecast, let me offer five new pieces of information:
1.) According to the latest model guidance, the start time of this system's precipitation has shifted slightly later. I am more confident we will escape daytime Monday OK, before conditions go downhill late Monday evening. The brunt of the storm — if there is one — would be Tuesday morning to midday.
2.) If anything, I would say the risk for widespread accumulating snow in New Jersey has crept up a bit. It would still be a messy mix of rain then snow for most.
3.) This may very well be a "0 to 10 inches" storm. Where literally both of those snow accumulation numbers verify in our tiny (but mighty) state. Mainly rain across South Jersey. Significant snow in North Jersey. And a dividing line somewhere in the middle that will be very difficult to pinpoint.
4.) Having said that, this is still very much a "hold your horses" kind of storm. I want to see better model agreement before pulling the trigger on definitive snow accumulations, travel difficulties, and possible school delays/closings. Specifically, I want 1.) storm track, 2.) storm strength, and 3.) temperatures to line up perfectly before trying to figure out potential precipitation types and accumulations.
5.) The timing of this storm is annoying. You know that we start getting real clarity on a potential snow forecast about 48 to 72 hours prior to onset. That squarely falls over the weekend. You will want to keep an eye and ear on the latest forecast throughout Saturday and Sunday, as we piece those details together.
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Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.
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