‘Snow storm season’ is over for NJ: Warming up, mainly dry this week
The Bottom Line
After a weekend marked by wintry, cold, and blustery weather, there is much brighter and warmer news ahead in New Jersey's weather forecast.
I am quite confident of the claim I make in the headline of this post. Climatologically, it becomes very difficult for "big snow" to fall and accumulate after mid-March. Days are getting longer, the ground is warming, the ocean is warming, the sun angle is getting higher, and the pool of arctic air to the north just isn't available anymore.
We can absolutely still see snowflakes and freezes well into April. But the threat for a bread-and-milk, state-of-emergency, school-closings kind of storm is minimal going forward. My snow shovels will be going in the shed today.
Turning to the short-term weather forecast, Mother Nature is serving up New Jersey a slice of fair weather "pie" on this Monday, March 14. Temperatures will be about 20 degrees warmer than Sunday.
Every day this week will feature above-normal temperatures, with mainly dry weather. We'll look ahead to three limited opportunities for raindrops coming up: late Tuesday, early Thursday, and early Saturday.
Sunday's high temperatures only hit the 30s. It was a cold, blustery, icy day.
Monday is looking much warmer and much better. It is a freeze to start for most of the state — away from the coast, west of the Parkway. This could be our last widespread freeze for the next 7 to 10 days.
High temperatures Monday afternoon should shoot into the mid 50s, aided by good sunshine and a southwesterly breeze. The early morning hours will feature scattered clouds to the north. And some extra clouds may creep into the sky by late afternoon. But, in general, a really nice, dry day.
Monday night will stay calm. It will be chilly, but not a freeze for the vast majority of the state. Low temperatures will bottom out around 40.
Even warmer. Look for mixed sun and clouds, with high temperatures in the lower 60s. A sprinkle may drift into northern New Jersey after about 4 p.m. Otherwise, dry, springlike, and quite pleasant.
Sunny and mild. Highs push into the mid 60s. That's it.
A few hiccups will hit our forecast on Thursday, as a coastal storm system swings by.
First, the entire state will see increased cloud cover. I'll call it "mostly cloudy," still allowing for some peeks of sun.
Second, winds will blow from the east, an on-shore flow. That will keep the coast noticeably cooler than the rest of the state, under the influence of that cooler marine. Having said that, by the numbers, we'll still see above-normal high temperatures, ranging from mid 50s (coast) to lower 60s (inland).
Third, Thursday will bring a chance of rain. How widespread, how long, and how much rain will depend on which model you rely on. The NAM and GFS favor only scattered showers brushing up against the southern and eastern edges of New Jersey for a few hours Thursday morning. But the Euro is a wetter solution, with scattered rain for much of the day. In either case, I don't think it will ruin your day. And again, just rain, nothing wintry.
Friday & Beyond
Friday looks great, with partly sunny skies and dry weather. Once again, an on-shore breeze will keep coastal areas cooler. But to the southwest, temperatures may flirt with 70 degrees.
A cold front will slide through New Jersey Saturday morning. That could spark another round of rain showers. Then becoming windy, with clearing skies into Saturday afternoon. High temperatures still around 60.
Sunday could be the coolest day of the week, with highs only in the lower 50s. (That's still seasonable for mid to late March, by the way.) The Vernal Equinox — the official start of Spring — hits Sunday morning at 11:33 a.m. EDT.
The mild, dry weather could last into next week. Aside from rising drought concerns, there is a lot to like about the forecast through the second half of March.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.