Big weather changes for NJ: Rain Thursday, much colder Friday
Who's ready for a real taste of winter? (Not me!) And we're not even talking about snow — as we've discussed all week, Thursday night's snow potential is very limited. But the impending cold air is very real — it's going to feel like mid-February around here very soon.
Skies have already become mostly cloudy across New Jersey on this Thursday morning. And I was surprised to see some early morning spot showers, arriving a few hours earlier than expected. This initial round of showers and sprinkles looks to be limited to the northern half of New Jersey, and largely fizzle out before dropping much rain. That leaves us with a fairly quiet weather day — especially for southern and coastal New Jersey. High temperatures Thursday afternoon will range from around 50 degrees (North Jersey) to 60 degrees (South Jersey).
A band of steady rain will impact the entire state starting around mid-afternoon, continuing through Thursday evening. Everyone gets wet, with forecast rain totals generally less than a quarter-inch.
As the rain wraps up Thursday late evening, the door will open to a very cold air mass. There is still a chance that temperatures will start to tumble before precipitation ends completely in northwestern New Jersey. That means rain may briefly mix with or change to wet snowflakes. But our forecast remains the same — little to no accumulation is expected. (I can't completely rule out a dusting in Sussex County, but that's it.)
Friday is going to be a very different weather day. Windy, with gusts to 35 mph. Sunny. And cold. Look for morning lows mainly below-freezing, near 30 degrees. Friday afternoon's high temperatures will only reach the lower 40s, at best.. That is upwards of 20 degrees colder than Thursday, and 20 degrees below-normal for early November. The biting wind chill will make it feel like 20s and 30s all day. For the first of many times this cold-weather season, I'll break out one of my favorite cliches — bundle up!
We'll stay cold Saturday, with morning lows in the 20s and afternoon highs again limited to the lower 40s. Early sunshine will lead to afternoon clouds.
Models are showing a weak impulse riding through New Jersey early Sunday morning. I had been expecting only an increase in cloud cover, but now there's enough consensus to suggest a few light showers are possible. Could be rain, could be snow, could evaporate before even reaching the ground. In any case, this is another no big deal weather system.
Temperatures will moderate substantially on Sunday, as southwesterly winds carry in a milder air mass. Look for high temps in the mid 50s, with clearing skies.
The storm system we've been watching for early next week hasn't disappeared, but the timing continues to shift later. It now looks like Monday will be quiet, with highs between 55 and 60 degrees. Tuesday is now the potentially messy day, with rain changing to mix/snow as temperatures drop throughout the day. Of particular concern here would be the Tuesday afternoon/evening commute.
Obviously, with 5+ days to go, this is still a very fluid forecast. So it's still too early for any confident details. Once we get past Thursday's rain and big cooldown, we'll gain better resolution on our next weathermaker.