The Bottom Line
Tuesday's high temperatures were pretty impressive! Not only because we hit a max of 72 degrees in Sicklerville (Camden County). But because the sea breeze kept Harvey Cedars (LBI, Ocean County) a full 20 degrees cooler, at 52.
The warmth continues on Wednesday. But the on-shore breeze will be even more prominent.
Rain moves in Thursday, leading to a drearier and cooler day. And then temperatures will ping-pong back and forth between the 50s and near 70 through the weekend.
Still, every single temperatureI'm about to list is above-normal for mid-March.
Another Spring-tacular day: Mostly sunny, dry, and warm. Most of New Jersey will top out around 65 to 70 degrees. Roll those windows down and enjoy the sunshine!
The one wrinkle is the introduction of a light southeasterly breeze Wednesday afternoon. For coastal communities, that wind will be blowing off the chilly ocean. (Water temps are currently 42 to 45 degrees — typical for mid-March.) So temperatures may dip into the 50s (at best) later on. Cool jacket weather.
Clouds will start to increase Wednesday evening. And we could see a rain shower creep in by daybreak Thursday morning. Low temperatures will stay way above freezing, in the mid 40s or so.
Cooler, cloudier, and wetter. Not the great St. Patrick's Day forecast. But not a "total washout" either.
Everyone in New Jersey will probably get wet at some point, with occasional rain showers stretching through the state throughout Thursday's daytime hours.
For southern and coastal counties, rainfall could be steady or heavy for a time. A couple of embedded thunderstorms may even form. Best chance for that enhancement would be in the afternoon hours.
Total rainfall is tricky. The NAM model has gone bonkers with the idea of heavier rain, putting the forecast up to 2 inches. While I wouldn't rule out some heavy downpours, I don't think we'll be tapped into rich enough moisture for such solid rainfall. A half-inch seems like a better bet, with areas north and west seeing much less.
It is important to note: The risk for wintry weather is zero. And the threat for severe weather and/or flooding is minimal.
High temperatures will slide back to the mid 50s Thursday, given the dreary conditions.
The warmest day of the week. With a return to partly sunny skies, highs will make a run for 70 degrees across inland NJ. The immediate coast will end up cooler, with a traditional sea breeze. Weather will stay dry and winds will remain light, making for yet another beautiful day.
It's tough to get a handle on how Saturday will look and feel. An area of low pressure will approach New Jersey from the Great Lakes, introducing our next chance of rain. Once again, those raindrops don't look incredibly impressive. Just some clouds and damp weather.
Temperatures for Saturday are tricky. It looks like even with the rain, we'll generally still end up on the warm side, in the 60s. So you'll hopefully be able to sneak in some outdoor activity if the rain lets up — which looks likely by late afternoon.
Sunday & Beyond
Sunday will be the brighter and drier, but breezier and cooler day of the weekend. Partial clearing will accompany and stiff westerly wind, possibly gusting over 20 mph. Outside of summertime, westerly winds are usually a "cool" wind. So I do expect temperatures to only reach the mid 50s or so Sunday afternoon. But as I mentioned at the top of this article, that is still above the long-term average for mid to late March.
Monday looks good, sunny and breezy with temps closer to 60. But the rest of next week is trending "unsettled". A series of impulses will drive periods of rain through New Jersey from late Tuesday through about early Friday. We'll try to nail down those impacts further (thunderstorms vs. showers, temperatures, sky cover) next week.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.