NJ weather: Thursday looks good, then warming up and getting wet
The Bottom Line
For most of New Jersey (away from the Shore), it has been a splendid week of pleasant spring weather. Even coastal areas were more pleasant and more comfortable on Wednesday, as the ferocious on-shore wind finally died down a bit.
The coastal low pressure system that soaked and windswept NJ last weekend is still spiralling over the western Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of North Carolina. But it is on the move, toward the southeastern U.S. After six days of northeasterly wind, we'll see a shift to southeasterly winds on Friday and Saturday and then south-southwesterly on Sunday and Monday.
In other words, a warmup is on the way. But it will come with some unsettled, occasionally wet weather too. Each of the next four days has a rain chance in the forecast, although there are no washout days in this forecast.
The only real nuisance in Thursday's forecast is very high pollen levels.
We're starting the day in the 50s. And high temperatures Thursday afternoon will range from about 60 at the beaches, 65 for other coastal areas, and around 70 degrees inland. So most of the state will reach for a pleasant, seasonable 70 degrees Thursday.
Skies will average partly to mostly cloudy. As we've seen so far this week, the farther inland you go, the brighter the sky. (And therefore, the warmer the temperature.)
It looks like the daytime hours will stay completely dry. And it may be breezy at times right along the Shore — but in general, wind will not be an issue.
Some sprinkles may creep in late Thursday night. And with a bump-up in humidity, fog is a possibility overnight too. Low temperatures will only dip into the mid 50s — really not that chilly.
A little batch of rain showers will try to visit Friday morning, rising from southeast to northwest. Not everyone will get wet. And what falls from the sky will be fairly light, on the order of a tenth of an inch.
The rest of your Friday will bring clouds, with some sun breaks poking through. High temperatures will push into the lower 70s.
You may start to notice some stickiness in the air Friday night. Low temperatures only dip to around 60 degrees — unseasonably warm for mid-May.
Saturday is the sticky wicket in this weekend's forecast. It is going to rain. You will probably get wet at some point. But it won't be anywhere close to the soggy, sloppy, miserable conditions of last weekend.
The best chance for widespread scattered showers on Saturday will be from morning through midday. (Although I can't rule out some isolated raindrops in the afternoon.) Models show very limited instability, so I've backed off on the mention of thunderstorms.
Despite the rain and cloudy skies, we should see highs in the lower 70s again on Saturday afternoon.
The drier, warmer day of the weekend. If all goes well, we'll enjoy a mix of sun and clouds throughout the day on Sunday. That will push high temperatures into the upper 70s (away from the coast). 80 degrees is a possibility.
I have to include a chance of showers in Sunday's forecast too. For the time being, the best chance of rain looks to be at night.
The Extended Forecast
Among forecast models, there are two schools of thought regarding Monday. One is warm, in the lower 80s. And one is somewhat wet, with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Even in the drearier solution, we'd still see temperatures well into the 70s. And again, no washout.
A series of cold fronts will knock back temperatures and clear out our skies through the middle of next week. But I'm still seeing high temps in the 70s for the foreseeable future. Sounds good to me — May is a mighty fine time of year to be outside.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.