NJ weekend weather: From 60° to 30°, with a bit of snow too
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For the latest winter storm forecast information, please refer to my newest weather blog post.
The Bottom Line
The thermometer touched 60 degrees at one and only one weather station on Friday: Cape May Court House in Cape May County. Nice!
The beautiful, mild weather will continue for exactly two more days, Friday and Saturday. High temperatures will flirt with 60 degrees both days, running about 10 to 15 degrees above normal for mid-February.
Then the big cooldown arrives. Sunday swings to 10 to 15 degrees below normal, as arctic air returns. Plus, a round of light snow is looking likely for most of New Jersey Sunday morning. However, the main body of this coastal storm system we have been tracking all week will be a "miss" for New Jersey.
It's going to be another pleasant day, feeling like early Spring.
Temperatures did crash further than expected, with a swath of 20s from NW NJ into the Pine Barrens. Closer to the coast, meanwhile, temps are closer to 40 degrees.
Most high temperatures should reach 55 to 60 degrees Friday afternoon. Two cooler exceptions: The mountains of northwestern New Jersey, and the sea-breeze-influenced Jersey Shore. Skies will be mostly sunny, weather will be dry, winds will be just below the "breezy" category.
Friday night, clouds will increase. And temperatures really will not drop that much. Overnight lows in the lower to mid 40s are closer to mid-February's normal daytime highs.
A few forecast models paint some spotty rain showers over New Jersey Saturday morning. Other models show them fizzling out before crossing the Delaware. I put a chance of a shower in my forecast, just in case. Again, it would just be rain, with temperatures above freezing for the duration. Northwestern New Jersey would be the most likely spot to get damp.
The rest of Saturday looks good. Skies will feature a mix of clouds and sun. (Probably leaning heavier on the "clouds" part, which is why I listed it first.) The wind speed will increase through the afternoon too. High temperatures will average 60 degrees — inland South Jersey should see widespread lower 60s Saturday afternoon.
The inevitable big cooldown will not settle in to New Jersey until Saturday night. We'll quickly fall below freezing past sunset.
Here's where things turn wintry again. First of all, Sunday will be cold, likely our 14th "deep freeze day" (below freezing all day) of the year. The high temperature near 30 degrees will happen in the morning, as cold air continues to freely flow into the Garden State. Brrr.
In addition, we have to talk about a chance of snow. (Well, we've been talking about it all week, but now it's time to get serious about what's going to happen.)
The main core of a coastal storm system will miss New Jersey — passing far enough south and east of the state to not cause any problems.
However, a piece of weaker energy will still pass through the state from late Saturday night through Sunday morning and midday. (Let's say Midnight to Noon.) Given the return of freezing cold air, it does look like an "all snow" event. And snow ratios will be high, leading to quick accumulations where and when steady snowfall occurs.
The magnitude of this storm is easy: Light snow, light accumulations, minor travel impacts. "Nuisance" snow, at the most.
The geography is still a bit tricky though. As my forecast map above illustrates, the most snow accumulation is currently expected along New Jersey's southern coast, with up to about 3 inches possible.
However, there are some hints (mainly from the NAM) that steadier snow could occur farther inland. (Closer to the NJ Turnpike corridor, for example.) So if there's any big change that happens in the forecast over the next 24 to 48 hours before storm-time, I think it would be shifting these snow contours around. Not necessarily raising or lowering the overall amount of snow.
Bottom line: Most of NJ should expect an inch of snow on the ground Sunday morning, give or take. Hardly anything to the northwest. A bit more, up to three inches, to the southeast.
Monday (Valentine's Day)
Frozen all day. Teens in the morning. 30, at best, in the afternoon. At least it will be bright and sunny.
The Extended Forecast
The good news is that our next visit to the deep freezer will be short-lived, as another warmup takes over next week.
Each day will be about 10 degrees warmer than the day before. My latest forecast puts Tuesday at 35 to 40 degrees. Wednesday in the seasonable lower-mid 40s. Thursday pops to the 50s. And 60s will be possible late-week.
Next cold front is set to arrive on Friday, with some heavy rain and thunderstorms. That should knock temperatures back to seasonable levels for the President's Day Weekend.
Have a wonderful weekend. Stay cool, then stay warm, and also stay safe. I will likely write up a fresh weather blog update on the snow situation early Saturday morning. See you then!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.