NJ weather: Cooler and unsettled for the next few days
The Bottom Line
This week's weather forecast isn't perfect, as clouds and an on-shore wind direction lead to several days of below-normal temperatures. We have a few batches of rain to talk about too.
Of course, all eyes are on the Memorial Day Weekend — one of the most important forecasts of the year. Anyone who claims to know how things are going to play out is lying. There are still two schools of thought among our forecast models: one unsettled, and one much clearer. It won't be a washout. There will be bright spots. But again, imperfect.
Here's the setup: A pesky area of low pressure is stuck over the North Carolina coast. Meanwhile, a dome of high pressure is set up to the north.
The sky has been spitting on New Jersey since Monday night, with spotty showers and sprinkles. As of this writing (6:15 a.m.), a batch of steady light rain has pushed over New Jersey's southern tip (Cumberland, Cape May).
Looking ahead to the rest of Tuesday, a few more showers and sprinkles could dampen the southern half of the state through the morning hours. Then we should dry out completely into the afternoon.
South Jersey will be socked in by mostly cloudy to overcast skies all day. Hopefully, North Jersey will see a brighter sky with peeks of sun through Tuesday afternoon.
Given the raindrops, cloud cover, and on-shore breeze, high temperatures will end up considerably below normal, in the mid 60s. By the forecast numbers, this will be our coolest day in at least a week or two.
Tuesday night looks quiet and cool. You might need a light jacket as thermometers bottom out in the lower 50s. Expect scattered clouds overhead and dry weather.
Fairly pleasant. It's just going to feel like a typical late April day, rather than late May.
Partly sunny. Dry weather. Highs in the upper 60s. Still about 5 to 10 degrees below normal. Otherwise, no weather problems.
For the third day in a row, we'll see high temperatures around the 65 to 70 degree range. Clouds will increase steadily throughout the day. And we could see a few showers or sprinkles, as the remnants of that aforementioned "stuck" storm system finally drift north through NJ. Rainfall totals and impacts look minimal.
Changes shall be afoot as we flip from April-ish weather right to June.
By the time you wake up Friday morning, warmer, more humid air will surge back into New Jersey. You'll feel some stickiness in the air, with dew points in the 60s. And you might reach to flip on the air conditioner, with high temperatures around 80 degrees.
Skies will be mostly cloudy and a bit murky. Most of the day should be dry. But eventually, a broken line of thunderstorms will push over New Jersey. The timing is still hazy and uncertain — sometime in the afternoon to evening hours. While the storm setup is looking increasingly disorganized, some stronger cells could spit out wind and/or downpours.
Memorial Day Weekend
Depending on which forecast model you believe, this holiday weekend will either be "pretty good" or "half good".
The difference hinges upon whether a disturbance stalls in the neighborhood. That would keep scattered showers over NJ for the first half of Saturday. And again in this scenario, spotty rain would develop Sunday into Monday too.
But the Euro favors high pressure building instead. Sunday and Monday would trend dry, pleasantly warm, and only moderately humid. If you have outdoor activities planned for the holiday weekend, this is the scenario you want.
Which solution do I prefer at the moment? Eh, not sure. There's just not enough evidence nor consensus to make a confident call at this point.
We'll start to fill in the blanks over the next 24 hours — I'll start talking seriously about the weekend on the radio on Wednesday. And then by Thursday, we should have a good view of the timeline of rain vs. no rain through Memorial Day.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.