NJ weather: Two stretches of rain coming up, one little, one big
The Bottom Line
Unsettled weather is no fun. Occasional rain, murky clouds, fog, on-shore breezes, and below-normal temperatures are the general thread of this week's weather story. But there are really just two periods of wet weather on the horizon. In between, we can look forward to stretches of brighter, happier, somewhat warmer weather.
I have had so many people ask for insight about the Mother's Day Weekend forecast. And resolution is getting better on that front. In general, it's not great news. Friday looks iffy — it could turn wet or dry, flip a coin. Saturday is trending wet, cloudy, breezy, and uncomfortably cool. We could squeeze out a dry Mother's Day Sunday, especially away from the coast.
We start the day with some patchy fog. And radar even shows some hints of patchy drizzle along the western edge of the state. Neither will get in the way of your morning commute, just make it look and feel somewhat "blah". AM temperatures are primarily in the 50s.
Skies will be mostly cloudy on Tuesday, although the afternoon should turn brighter than the morning. High temperatures will shoot for the lower to mid 60s for most of the state.
However, ocean temperatures are only in the 50s now. (Typical for early May, by the way.) That means, with an easterly breeze blowing off that chilly water, Jersey Shore communities will also be stuck in the 50s at best.
We'll stay dry during the day. But our next piece of atmospheric energy (read: storm system) arrives Tuesday night. First raindrops should hold off until about 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. This won't be a "super soaker" — we'll see scattered showers around through Wednesday morning. Maybe an embedded downpour or thunderstorm.
At the very least, you'll be dodging puddles during Wednesday morning's ride to work. There is a reasonable chance that raindrops linger over New Jersey through about lunchtime / midday on Wednesday.
Then you'll find some "outside time" Wednesday afternoon, as the sun peeks out from the clouds. High temperatures should push into the mid to upper 60s. (Even coastal areas should hit 60s.)
Could be the weather winner of the week.
I'm leaning toward an optimistic forecast, with a mix of sun and clouds and high temperatures near 70 degrees. The wind will have less of an on-shore component (blowing northerly, then southerly), so even the Shore will taste warmer temperatures. Model guidance has trended dry for both Thursday daytime and Thursday evening.
I think Friday could swing either dry or wet.
On the one hand, the GFS model paints a wet scene, with over an inch of rain during the day Friday. A possible washout. Thick clouds would keep high temperatures in the 50s.
On the other hand, the European model shows a drier Friday, with drenching rain holding off until the weekend proper. A drier, clearer forecast would yield warmer temperatures, possibly in the 60s.
Unfortunately, I'm leaning toward the wetter solution at this time. We'll see how things continue to evolve. First raindrops are still almost 72 hours away.
No matter what, I do not see a pleasant Saturday for New Jersey. At all.
The chance of rain will continue on Saturday, with an area of low pressure parked just east of New Jersey. I'm not convinced it's going to rain all day. But even dry spurts will be cloudy, breezy, and miserable cool. Temperatures won't get higher than the lower 50s all day.
Final raindrops should fall by about dinnertime Saturday. Again, total rainfall could exceed an inch across the state.
Saturday night could get chilly, if skies clear enough and winds calm enough. Frost is a possibility, with forecast lows in the 30s.
Sunday (Mother's Day) & Beyond
Better, but not perfect.
I think it will be a mainly dry day for the Garden State. Although that aforementioned storm system will still be nearby, so I can't rule out some coastal showers.
Hopefully we'll get some breaks in the cloud cover, especially away from the coast. That would allow high temperatures to climb to about 60 degrees, give or take. Still holding 10 degrees below normal for this time of year. But it won't be as unseasonable and uncomfortable as Friday-Saturday.
Next week should turn quieter, sunnier, and warmer. Bring it on.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.