Messy start and blustery finish to Friday for NJ
Rain and snow will be limited to the early morning hours, before clearing skies and tumbling temperatures take over the forecast for the Garden State.
As of this writing, our storm system has played out according to forecast: Mostly rain, some snow and wintry mix in North Jersey overnight, and the risk for sloppy roads through the Friday morning commute. As we head into the first weekend of February, we're also looking ahead to a resurgence of cold air and our next storm system down the line.
Through about 8 a.m. Friday, rain will continue transitioning to mix/snow, before tapering off completely. The biggest risk is for a snow squall to form — that's a narrow band of quick-hitting heavy snow, which could dramatically decrease visibility and cause roads to become slippery and sloppy very quickly.
By mid-morning Friday, skies will begin to clear. We'll start to feel the effects of a cold front, as a northwest wind begins to gust (up to about 30 mph). That wind will push temperatures downward through the day. While Friday will begin with temperatures in the lower 30s, we'll dip to the mid 20s by late afternoon.
And the cooling trend will continue through Friday night too. Thermometers will dip well into the teens overnight (single digits in North Jersey). With a residual breeze (10 to 15 mph), the wind chill will probably be in the single digits for most of the night. Downright frigid. But hey, it is February after all.
The weekend will begin cold, as Saturday's high temperatures will be limited to the lower 30s. It will be a sunny, breezy, and dry day across the Garden State.
Sunday still looks complicated, but confidence remains decent that snow accumulations will be quite limited once again. Sunday's storm system will essentially play out opposite direction to last night's. Sunday morning, we'll see scattered snow showers around the state, before periods of rain take over Sunday afternoon and evening. Amidst the messy weather, high temperatures will improve to the upper 30s to mid 40s.
There is a chance for some snow accumulation on Sunday, in colder NW NJ only. The NAM is the most bullish in terms of potential snowfall, with an area of 1 to 3 inches forecast for the area around Sussex-Warren-Morris counties. The GFS paints a picture that includes almost exclusively rain.
We return to sunshine on Monday, as temperatures cool a bit to about 35 to 40 degrees. Tuesday also looks quiet and chilly.
Our next storm system still looks likely for the Wednesday time frame. The latest model run shows a complicated forecast and pretty messy conditions. Steady precipitation is expected throughout the day Wednesday. With high temperatures in the 40s and 50s, it's going to be all rain for most of the state. However, I'm concerned that North Jersey will once again remain cold enough for snow. The GFS shows some significant snowfall (8+ inches?) in the northwestern corner of the state.
Still lots of time for Wednesday's forecast to evolve — I highly doubt we'll have a confident grasp of the forecast until early next week.