Thanksgiving getaway forecast for NJ: Nuisance showers
Those scattered showers will be mostly rain and mostly light, although some snowflakes are possible too.
I wish I could sit here and give you a perfect, mild, clear, dry weather forecast for one of the biggest travel weekends of the year. But Mother Nature has other plans, with occasionally unsettled weather expected from Wednesday evening through Friday. Certainly not a washout, but "nuisance" showers are likely across the Garden State through Thanksgiving.
If you are heading over the river and through the woods for the holiday, Wednesday will be your best bet. The daytime hours will be cool, with high temperatures only in the 40s for most of the state (for the fourth day in a row). But skies will be mainly sunny and our weather will be dry. Most importantly, the wind will be considerably lighter than the past three days. About time.
After sunset Wednesday, a storm system will start pushing into the Garden State. After perusing the latest forecast model data, I can see three scenarios potentially playing out for your Thanksgiving forecast:
--Scenario #1: Wet... The NAM model puts periods of light to moderate rain over the Garden State from about 7 p.m. Wednesday through 7 p.m. Thursday.
--Scenario #2: Drier... The GFS model shows a much drier forecast, with just a few showers around Thursday afternoon.
--Scenario #3: Wintry... This solution is more of an "add-on" to either of the above scenarios. With low temperatures forecast to drop to the lower to mid 30s across the state Wednesday night through Thursday morning, rain may mix with or even transition to a wintry mix of snow and sleet. An important factor will be how fast those temperatures drop Wednesday evening - as rain falls, an effect called "evaporative cooling" may actually help cool the air faster. The best chance for wintry weather will be in the northern third of New Jersey - that's along and north of Interstate 78. If conditions are just right, upwards of a half-inch of snow/sleet accumulation is possible. Such accumulation would be limited to colder and grassy surfaces, although roads could get a bit slippery in spots. And, as temperatures rise to 50 degrees or better on Thursday, the icing concern will disappear.
In any of the three scenarios here, major travel problems are not expected. Again, just a "nuisance".
I have to keep a shower chance alive for Black Friday as well, along with mostly cloudy skies. Friday afternoon will probably feature the warmest temperatures of the week, in the lower to mid 50s.
The rest of the holiday weekend looks pretty good, as we return to sunny and dry weather for Saturday and Sunday.. High temperatures will end up just below seasonal normals, on either side of 50 degrees.
Our next storm system of note is scheduled for Tuesday night. Too early for timing, totals, and rain vs. snow details - we'll keep you posted.