NJ weather: Quiet weekend, watching two storm systems next week
The Bottom Line
Let's recap our weather from the last 24 hours, shall we? Temperatures Thursday afternoon reached as high as 65 degrees. Then it turned a little bit wet. Then it turned really windy, with a top gust of 52 mph at High Point. Then temperatures started to fall.
So we find ourselves with a renewed December chill in the air Friday. But it's not a big, bad "arctic blast" — temperatures have just returned to "normal".
And that's where we'll stay through the first weekend of December, with mainly dry and quiet weather on the way.
Next week will be a very different story though. An even worse case of "weather whiplash" is expected from a cold front on Monday. With another storm setup worth watching around midweek too.
Cool, but not that cold. The only weather nuisance will be a chilly breeze, blowing out of the northwest at 20 mph, especially through the morning hours.
Temperatures will dip to around 40 degrees (give or take) by mid-morning, then recover to the upper 40s Friday afternoon. (I can't call that the "high" temperature for the day, as it was technically warmer just after Midnight.)
Skies will be mostly sunny, and the daytime hours look dry.
Model guidance has been pretty persistent about a weak wave driving some showers through New Jersey late Friday night. Given low temperatures in the lower to mid 30s, they could be rain, they could be snow, or even a little bit of both. In any case, it will be light and relatively brief, limited to between about Midnight and daybreak.
I could see a localized dusting or coating on colder surfaces in North Jersey (above I-78) by Saturday morning. But nothing more than that.
Once any early morning shower activity departs, it should be a reasonably pleasant, dormant early December day. With a mix of sun and clouds, high temperatures will reach the upper 40s to around 50 degrees. Keep in mind, the long-term averages are currently hovering between 48 and 52 degrees — so we're right there.
Another decent day, again with highs in the upper 40s to around 50. Skies will progress from sun to clouds. And I'll keep the daytime forecast dry.
However, some showers may develop Sunday night. Temperatures are expected to rise overnight — so nothing frozen, raindrops only.
A potentially wild weather day, as another strong front drives in warmth, then wet weather, then wind, then a big cooldown.
First of all, it's going to be ridiculously warm on Monday. Thermometers may flirt with 70 degrees — that's a full 20 degrees above normal. After early morning showers exit, you should catch several hours of dry weather through mid-afternoon, so you'll even be able to enjoy some jacket-free conditions. (Although sunshine will be limited, and it might be a bit breezy.)
Then that strong cold front will drive in a quick burst of rain. Most models are settling on dinnertime (early evening) as the most likely timing of that rain.
Behind the rain comes the wind, possibly gusting over 50 mph as a new, colder air mass drives in from the west-northwest.
The Extended Forecast
The difference between Monday and Tuesday will be quite abrupt. From 70-ish to only 40-ish. The breeze should subside pretty quickly, with partial clearing and dry weather on Tuesday.
Another storm system signal is present around Wednesday of next week, but details are uncertain and sketchy at this point. This storm system will have a coastal component to it (read: possible nor'easter). The GFS model favors two periods of rain on Wednesday and Thursday. The Euro trends colder, with a chance of snow/mix in NW NJ. There's really no consensus at this point, other than labeling it "worth watching".
I will caution that the midweek mess could be a "last minute special," as we might not have good resolution on forecast details until Monday's storm exits. As always, we'll keep you updated on the "play by play" as things continue to develop.
Until then, have a great weekend!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.