The Bottom Line

Happy first day of March! And the first day of climatological Spring!

On average, March is New Jersey's 4th cooler, 5th wettest, and 4th snowiest month of the year. Middle of the road. Subjectively, you know this month can swing either way: From cold and windy and snowy, to warm and humid and stormy. Daily temperature swings are a typical symptom of late winter here in New Jersey. And that's the big headline in this week's forecast.

Along the way, we'll find a few hiccups, in the form of some spotty showers. Our weather will turn more active and more unsettled for the upcoming weekend.

There is no significant snow in the forecast for the next week, at least. But don't put away the shovels and salt and sleds just yet — there's still plenty of time for skies to turn wintry again through late March.

Tuesday

Cold start, seasonable finish.

Away from the coast, west of the Parkway, temperatures crashed deep into the 20s. It is a cold start to March. But hardly lion-ish Tuesday. We'll see mostly cloudy skies and light winds. Maybe a sprinkle during the day. High temperatures will reach about 45 to 50 degrees. That's exactly where they should be for this time of year. And a full 10 degrees warmer than Monday.

New Jersey will get clipped by a batch of spotty rain from Tuesday late afternoon through the evening hours. So we could see a few showers, especially across the northern half of the state. They will be light, scattered, and brief. Only a few hundredths of an inch of total rainfall, if that.

Wednesday

I still think Wednesday will be our nicest day of the week.

The sky cover forecast has brightened. I'll call it mostly to partly sunny, with a light westerly breeze. High temperatures will push into the lower 50s, at least 5 degrees above normal.

As a weak cold front slides into New Jersey Wednesday evening, we could once again see a round of spotty showers. This time, raindrops could drift farther south. And I've seen a couple of model runs hint at some wintry mix in far northern New Jersey. (Depending on exact timing and temperatures.) In any case, whatever falls will once again be light in intensity, scattered in spread, and brief in time span.

Thursday

We start to go downhill, as two shots of cooler air arrive. The first one will keep high temperatures from climbing above the mid 40s during the day Thursday —noticeably colder than Wednesday. It will be breezy too, blowing out of the northwest up to 20+ mph. Mixed sunshine and clouds will probably lean toward the brighter side by the afternoon.

Another push of cold air will arrive Thursday afternoon too. (That cold frontal passage should be dry.) Temperatures will tumble well below freezing Thursday night. With wind chills possibly in the teens by Friday morning.

Friday

Just plain cold. But at least it will be dry.

Look for partly sunny skies and high temperatures only in the upper 30s. That would be normal in the middle of winter. But it's not the middle of winter anymore.

The Extended Forecast

The first weekend of March will feature a warmup. But also a return to unsettled, more active weather.

I don't think we have a good handle on exact forecast details yet. But I think we'll see substantial cloud cover from Saturday through the middle of next week. And a period of rain is looking likely for the Sunday-Monday time frame.

Of course, that same period will also feature temperatures rising into the 60s (at least). That warmup probably won't last long, but we'll get at least a couple of days of springlike weather.

As I mentioned above, there are no significant snow threats on the horizon. But we really can't rule out big winter storms until about the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring. That's only 19 days away.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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