New Jersey’s brief warmup peaks Tuesday
A gusty wind will kickstart the cooldown to more seasonable temperatures over the next few days.
I really want to call Tuesday a "nice" day. Every temperature in the state is above freezing Tuesday morning. Thermometers will climb into the lower to mid 50s by Tuesday afternoon — that's 10+ degrees above normal for mid-December. Our weather will be dry. And skies will range from partly sunny in North Jersey, to mostly sunny in South Jersey.
However, a not-so-nice gusty wind will kick up as early as 10 a.m. Tuesday, blowing right through the afternoon. With occasional gusts over 30 mph, it will certainly add a "blustery" characteristic to the day. At first, that wind will fuel our warmup. Then, as the wind shifts from southwesterly to northwesterly, it will carry in cooler air.
Our impending cold front — the leading edge of a colder, drier air mass — will arrive Tuesday evening. This front won't carry much moisture with it. However, with dew points expected to climb into the 40s, I would be foolish to completely rule out a shower. With a few clouds overhead, low temps will dip into the lower to mid 30s by Wednesday morning.
No more 50s for Wednesday, with high temperatures limited to the mid 40s. Not bad, and actually pretty typical for mid-to-late December. Skies will be mostly cloudy, and we'll continue a stiff breeze (up to about 20 mph) too.
Thursday looks pretty chilly. 20s in the morning, only climbing to about 40 degrees by the afternoon. At least skies will be sunny and winds will be light.
Temperatures should bounce back quickly on Friday, with highs in the upper 40s (north) to mid 50s (south). The day's weather looks dry and quiet, as clouds increase steadily.
On Monday, I put together a special weather blog post — Dreaming of a White Christmas? Here’s the latest forecast, detailing my early thoughts surrounding the Christmas holiday weekend. Not much has changed, but here is a day-by-day rundown:
--Saturday (the 23rd): Warm and wet. As a slow-moving front rolls in, high temperatures will make a run for 60 degrees. Anything that falls from the sky will be liquid rainfall. While the rain could be steady for a time, somewhat impairing travel, I don't see any big downpours or thunderstorms that would cause significant, widespread problems.
--Sunday (Christmas Eve): If the aforementioned front stalls too close to New Jersey, there could be some nuisance showers along the coast. With high temps in the 40s, it would likely remain rain.
--Monday (Christmas Day): As an area of low pressure rides northward along the twice-aforementioned stalled front, an area of precipitation will spread across New Jersey from late Christmas Eve through Christmas morning. Timing and temperatures are critical to precipitation type. While the latest models suggests a mostly rainy forecast, just a few degrees would make a tremendous difference. It's still a close call, and a very interesting setup.
Bottom line... Will there be snowflakes on Christmas? Probably, especially to the north and west. Will we hit the technical criteria for a White Christmas (1+ inch of snow on the ground)? Probably not.