Warm, then wet, then cold: Thursday is transition day for NJ
An approaching cold front will put an end to this streak of warm weather, returning temperatures to more seasonable levels for the upcoming weekend.
Why is Thursday a "transition day"?
Thursday will be a pretty busy day of weather for New Jersey, with a mixed bag of conditions throughout the daytime hours as we prepare to transition from a warm air mass to a cooler air mass. We'll start with patchy fog and temperatures in the 50s, and we'll end up with partly to mostly cloudy skies with one more day of unseasonable warmth. A brisk wind will pick up to 25 mph. And the inevitable approaching cold front will not only bring us cooler temps, but also a round of showers and thunderstorms.
How warm will it get Thursday?
As the warm air peaks across the Garden State on Thursday, we'll be close to daily record highs for part of the state. Just how warm it gets hinges on the timing of an approaching front and its associated rainfall. So South Jersey will probably end up about 10 degrees warmer than further north.
Forecast highs range from 70 degrees in North Jersey, to the mid 70s in Central Jersey, to near 80 degrees in South Jersey on Thursday. Record highs are 81 at EWR, 80 at TTN, and 81 at ACY - we'll be close!
When and how hard will it rain?
Since yesterday's forecast, our rainfall timeline has moved earlier and rainfall intensity is now expected to be lighter.
First raindrops could push into NW NJ as early as 10 a.m. Thursday, pushing south and east through this afternoon. The forecast looks mostly dry after 8 p.m. Thursday evening, although sprinkles will be possible overnight.
The latest models show the once-impressive line of storms will fizzle over New Jersey. I suspect that's an effect of drier-than-expected air. Dew points are only in the 50s, whereas I was previously expecting 60s by the time our cold front approaches.
Bottom line, scattered showers and maybe a thunderstorm are possible Thursday, but not a sure bet for everyone. Maybe a rumble of thunder. Maybe an area of heavier downpour. Grab an umbrella just in case.
How cool will it get?
Behind the showers will come the passage of our cold front. And, just like the rain, the cooldown won't be as sharp as we had once feared.
Low temperatures will fall only into the mid to upper 40s bv Friday morning. Well above the freeze and frost points. It will remain breezy overnight and, as I already mentioned, sprinkles and clouds will remain possible.
Friday's highs are now forecast to reach the upper 50s to around 60 degrees. Not terrible at all! We will have to contend with a continuing gusty wind, making the day somewhat blustery. Skies will clear to sunshine, humidity will drop sharply, and our weather will be dry on Friday.
What about the weekend?
Frosty mornings and cool afternoons will be the theme of this first weekend of November. High temperatures for both Saturday and Sunday will be stuck in the 50s, just a bit below seasonal normals. Skies will be mostly to partly sunny, and we'll have an occasional breeze to 20 mph. I have seen hints of a shower or sprinkle late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, but I'm not holding my breath that it materializes in New Jersey.
The early look at early next week maintains the cool, dry, quiet weather forecast through at least Election Day Tuesday.