NJ weather: Warming up, but heavy rain and wind are coming
The Bottom Line
After a quiet, although very cold, start to the week, we have some wild weather changes to talk about between now and the weekend. From cold to mild to warm, and back again. From dry to wet, with possible thunderstorms. From calm to breezy to windy, and then some.
Temperatures will spike to near 60 degrees by Thursday afternoon. But then a cold front will drive in rain and wind Thursday night to Friday morning. That will be followed by a cooldown. Not a big, bad arctic blast — just a return to more seasonable temperatures.
It's another bitterly cold morning — but believe it or not, temperatures are running about 10 degrees warmer than Tuesday morning. We're averaging 20 degrees to start the day, so you'll definitely need to bundle up before heading out the door.
High temperatures Wednesday afternoon should reach the mid 40s. That is right on the normal for mid-February, making for a pretty pleasant day. Early sunshine will be great. Clouds will thicken up from midday into the afternoon, but we'll stay completely dry.
Not only will temperatures increase Wednesday, but dew points will be on the rise too. It's been very dry this week. (I'm sure your chapped lips and dry skin have noticed.) As a little bit of humidity returns to the atmosphere, it will get more comfortable.
Furthermore, the surge of warmth, humidity, and clouds will prevent temperatures from getting nearly as cold Wednesday night. In fact, I expect all of New Jersey to remain above-freezing all night. Thermometers will dip to around 40 degrees Wednesday evening, before holding steady or slowly rising into Thursday morning.
Back to 60! Temperatures will run about 15 degrees above-normal for this time of year Thursday, which will become one of NJ's warmest days of 2022 so far.
Skies will be mostly cloudy, but we should see some solid breaks of sun along the way. It will be breezy, with occasional southerly wind gusts over 20 mph. The daytime hours look dry.
And then our next storm system, a strong cold front, comes into view Thursday night. Showers may push into northwestern New Jersey starting around dinnertime Thursday evening. But the "main event" with steady to heavy rain for most of the state will hold off until later Thursday night.
Most of New Jersey will probably see between a half-inch and an inch of rain overnight. It may pour at times, and rumbles of thunder are possible.
I am even more concerned about the wind potential. Watch out for wind gusts of 30-40 mph inland and 40-50 mph coast through Friday morning. That's enough to thoroughly relocated your garbage can. And possibly cause some power outages.
The day starts wet and windy. That nasty weather should wrap up completely by about mid-morning, say around 9 a.m.
Friday will also start warm, with temperatures still around the 60-degree mark. That won't last though, as a brisk northwesterly wind shoves in colder air again. By late afternoon, thermometers will settle around the lower 40s, with increasing sunshine.
Our next freeze is likely coming up Friday night into Saturday morning.
The Weekend & Beyond
Cool, but quiet. Saturday could still be a bit breezy, with some passing clouds. (A few models put an isolated sprinkle over NJ at some point too.) High temperatures will reach the lower 40s, just a hair below normal for this time of year.
Sunday will be similar. Partly sunny and lower 40s.
President's Day Monday will easily be the nicest day of the holiday weekend. Highs push into the 50s. Sunshine will "win" the sky. And the day looks dry and calm.
The next next storm system in line will roll in Tuesday. Once again, it looks like just a rainmaker for New Jersey. (In fact, I don't see any threat of significant winter weather through the rest of February.)
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.