NJ weather: February to start with a welcome warmup
The Bottom Line
As New Jersey continues to dig out from the Blizzard of '22, we have two big weather stories ahead this week:
1.) A welcome warmup. Not just above freezing and above normal, but potentially above 50 degrees for the first time in over a month.
2.) A cold front to end the week. It looks like mainly a rainmaker, although there could be some icy mix on the backend.
As of this writing early Monday morning, temperatures across New Jersey have been stuck below freezing for about 60 straight hours. All but far southern New Jersey will add to that tally over the next day, with another unseasonable cold day on deck.
Monday morning temperatures range from below-zero in North Jersey to 20s on barrier islands along the Jersey Shore. Yeah, it's cold. Bundle up. And watch your step, of course, with all the snow and ice out there.
We had some good snowmelt on Sunday thanks to the sunshine, and I expect the same on Monday. With a mix of sun and clouds, we'll stay dry all day. Winds will be light too. High temperatures will only average 30 degrees by the afternoon, a full 10 degrees below normal for the last day of January.
With a few clouds overhead and a few flurries flying around, Monday night will be cold again. Low temperatures will dip to around 20 degrees, give or take.
For the first time in forever (or seemingly, at least), temperatures will finally rise above the freezing mark across most of the state. Look for highs in the mid to upper 30s, under pleasant partly sunny skies. Another dry day.
I think you'll stay to notice the chill becomes less harsh on Wednesday, as highs push into the 40s statewide. Skies will get a little murky and mostly cloudy, but I don't see any risk of precipitation.
Possibly the warmest day of the week, with highs ranging from mid 40s in North Jersey to lower 50s in South Jersey. Nice and mild for early February. Skies will become cloudy though. And some passing rain showers are possible to the north, especially late-day.
Friday & Beyond
Friday will be a cold front day, with a period of precipitation followed by our next blast of arctic air.
As it stands now, the frontal passage will begin with rain from early morning through about midday. Rainfall totals could reach a half-inch to an inch.
High temperatures may actually hit 50+ throughout the state Friday morning. But cold air will arrive eventually, sending thermometers tumbling. By sunset, we could be dipping into the 20s again.
The timing and speed of that cooldown will impact whether or not the rain changes over to something wintry, and whether or not things could get slippery. At the moment, I favor a brief changeover to freezing rain and then sleet at the tail-end of the frontal passage. (I don't see any threat of straight snow here.) Will the icy mix will lead to icing on the ground? Eh, it's too early to tell. But obviously, we'll be tracking that potential all week.
Following the front, temperatures will be knocked back below-normal again for the first weekend of February. The current forecast calls for highs around 30-ish on Saturday and mid 30s on Sunday.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.