Wednesday NJ weather: First 80-degree day since October, but not for everyone
The Bottom Line
Two days of unseasonable warmth. Then two days of mild weather. Then the coolest day of the week comes for Easter Sunday.
Also three chances of rain in the forecast. A popup shower Wednesday evening. A line of strong thunderstorms Thursday afternoon. And then one more batch of rain interfering with your Saturday afternoon plans.
The last time anywhere in New Jersey hit 80+ degrees? Berkeley Twp (Ocean County) and Mannington Twp (Salem County), on October 25, 2021. A full 170 days ago. (Worth noting: Sickerville, Camden County, was close on March 19 at 79 degrees.)
That streak could end Wednesday. If not, I have no doubt we'll see some 80s on Thursday.
We're starting your Wednesday morning with temperatures averaging 50 degrees. If you have thicker skin, you may not need a jacket as you step out the front door. You definitely won't need it later on.
Most of New Jersey will see high temperatures in the upper 70s. Again, 80 is a possibility. That is about 5 to 10 degrees warmer than Tuesday. It is about 15 degrees above normal for this time of year. (But not quite at record highs, which are in the mid 80s for the 13th of April.)
However, the temperature forecast is tricky. Typical of springtime, the Atlantic Ocean is still quite chilly — water temperatures range from 47 to 51 degrees along the Jersey Shore. So, as we pick up a light southeasterly (on-shore) breeze Wednesday, that is going to temper temperatures for coastal communities. Let's say east of the Parkway will only reach the 60s, at best. (Barrier islands might be stuck in the 50s.) Not a terrible day. Just not runaway warmth like interior NJ.
We'll enjoy sunshine for Wednesday morning, then clouds build through the afternoon.
A couple models promote the chance of a popup shower or thunderstorm Wednesday evening. That rain chance is limited, and looks to be highest to the north and west. Given the warmth and humidity in the air, any storm cell that does form could spit out some heavy rain and push out some wind.
Overnight, it will be mostly cloudy and mild. Low temperatures will only drop to around 60 degrees by Thursday morning.
The grand finale of this warm stretch of weather.
With sun and clouds and a stiff southwesterly wind, high temperatures will soar to about 80 degrees by lunchtime Thursday. (Note: Not a sea breeze, so the coast will be considerably warmer on Thursday than Wednesday.)
Eventually, a cold front will approach from the west Thursday afternoon. And I expect a squall line — a big push of strong thunderstorms — to enter NJ starting mid-afternoon (3 or 4 p.m.)
Again, those storms will "feed" off the heat and humidity in our atmosphere. My biggest concern would be for gusty, potentially damaging winds. In addition, a period of heavy rain is possible. That could be a special problem for areas along the Passaic River, where a Flood Warning remains in effect from last week's torrential rainfall.
After the initial "punch" of those storms, rainfall intensity will dial back Thursday evening. But lingering rain remains in the forecast through Thursday night. Meanwhile, slightly cooler and much drier air will work its way into New Jersey.
Yes, it will be cooler. But not dramatically so.
Skies will become mostly sunny for your Good Friday, with a fresh northwest-to-southwest breeze up to 20 mph. High temperatures should hit mid 60s across most of the state. (Some guidance even goes as high as 70.)
Still above seasonal normals for the midpoint of April. Still quite pleasant.
Another day of transition.
We'll start the day just like Friday — sun, clouds, a breeze, and 60s. But your outdoor plans may be in jeopardy Saturday afternoon and evening, as another cold front drags in another batch of rain. The risk for severe weather looks low with this round, but everyone in the state could see a tenth of an inch of rainfall.
Back to the cool side.
Thermometers may dip into frost/freeze territory Sunday morning, especially north of Interstate 195. High temperatures will only reach the mid 50s — decidedly below normal for this time of year. It will be mostly sunny and breezy.
So not a terrible weather day. Just a return to "jacket weather" for the Garden State.
The Extended Forecast
We're still watching the potential for another storm system in the Monday-Tuesday time frame. However, latest models have really backed off on the strength and precipitation potential. Some rain is possible, but not much. We had been talking about snow or wintry mix for North Jersey, but that seems to be off the table for now.
I don't see a return to 70s or 80s any time soon. Next week we'll see 50s and 60s — that averages out to "seasonable". And of course, we'll track each chance of April showers as they come.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.