Sunny skies! NJ will enjoy a couple of pleasant Spring days
After a string of grey, unsettled days, the Garden State will break into sunshine and mild temperatures for both Wednesday and Thursday.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, March 29, 2017...
Sunny and Mild
Forecasting active, unsettled, wet, grey weather is not just difficult. It's depressing. After five consecutive days of such dreary conditions, I am incredibly excited for the pleasant weather forecast for both Wednesday and Thursday.
The rain and clouds are already gone, and we'll maintain mostly sunny skies throughout Wednesday. The only weather hiccup will be a stiff northerly breeze, gusting to 20 or 25 mph. High temperatures will range from the lower to mid 50s in North Jersey and along the Jersey Shore, to the upper 50s to around 60 for most of the state. That's a few degrees above normal for late March.
We'll maintain clear skies and quiet weather for Wednesday night through Thursday morning. Dry air will allow temperatures to fall into the lower to mid 30s. A frost or freeze is likely statewide. If you've already done some early-season gardening, delicate or sensitive plants may not like such chilly temperatures. (Although notably, it's a light freeze, not a "hard freeze" in the 20s.)
Thursday looks good too, with sunshine again dominating the sky for most of the day. I think some cloud cover will encroach upon the skies of New Jersey by late afternoon. Winds will be lighter, but temperatures will be a bit cooler than on Wednesday. High temperatures will be limited to the lower to mid 50s. Still pleasant and seasonable.
Possible Washout Friday?
Our next storm system arrives on Friday, and this one will produce a sustained period of wet weather. Scattered showers are forecast to arrive as early as 5 a.m. Friday, with steadier rain spreading across the Garden State by 11 a.m. Friday. Bands of heavy rain will potentially push across New Jersey from Friday afternoon through Friday evening into Friday night. (Models currently suggest the peak of the rainfall will be late Friday evening.)
Showers will remain possible through part of Saturday morning, ending completely by around 10 a.m. Conditions should improve quickly through Saturday afternoon. Final rain totals will probably end up between 1 and 2 inches for most of New Jersey.
I would be remiss if not inserting my slight concern about a wintry component to this storm system for far North Jersey. I could see a period of sleet and/or freezing rain occurring in and around Sussex County — both at precipitation onset, and as showers wind down at the end of the storm. Snow accumulation is not anticipated, but there could be some icy spots in the higher elevations of NW NJ. Again, the risk is marginal given this week's mostly-warm temperatures. But it's something we'll continue to watch closely.
First Weekend of April
Following early morning showers, skies are expected to clear to partly sunny (at least) by Saturday afternoon. The early clouds, rain, and a northeasterly (on-shore) wind will probably limit high temperatures to the lower 50s at best on Saturday.
Sunday will almost certainly be the nicer day of the weekend. Expect mostly to partly sunny skies, with high temperatures in the mid to upper 50s to close out the weekend.