NJ weather: Showers and chilly air return for winter’s final weekend
The Bottom Line
Thursday was such a beautiful day — I wish we could "copy and paste" that one several more times. Especially after our recent streak of active, inclement, wintry weather.
We will see a return of 60-degree temperatures on Friday. But it won't be a pretty, as clouds and spotty showers are in the forecast too. Raindrops will be few and far between — but everyone in New Jersey will probably get wet at some point Friday, Friday night, and Saturday.
A cold front will introduce a colder air mass to the Garden State early Saturday, leading to a cooldown for the last weekend of winter. Especially factoring in the breeze, it is going to get chilly by Sunday.
Temperatures warm next week, as quiet, dry weather settles in. Our next chance of rain wouldn't be until the end of next week.
We officially "spring" into Spring on Monday at 5:24 p.m.
Friday's "blah" weather will take the form of spotty rain showers. Showers, by definition, are light and brief. Rain means liquid precipitation, with no threat of frozen or wintry stuff in sight. And spotty is another way of saying "hit or miss" — batches of rain will be spread far apart, and it will not rain all day long.
Raindrops will come in waves. Probably one in the morning, and another in the afternoon. There will be lulls of dry weather in between. So your St. Patrick's Day festivities are probably good to go.
Amidst the raindrops, skies will remain mostly cloudy Friday. High temperatures should come close to 60 degrees again. This will be our warmest two-day stretch in exactly a month (February 16-17).
I have to keep the shower chance alive for Friday night. The vast majority of New Jersey will keep thermometers above freezing overnight, with lows in the upper 30s to around 40.
One more push of scattered rain showers, associated with a cold frontal passage, is expected early Saturday morning. The best chance of raindrops in this "grand finale" round will be along the southern coast.
The bulk of Saturday will turn partly sunny and breezy, with potential wind gusts to 30 mph. High temperatures will come down to around 50 degrees. Yes, 10 degrees cooler than Friday. But 50-ish is par for the course for mid March.
Sunday will be the "bottom of the barrel" of this cold air mass. Morning temperatures in the 20s across the state. Afternoon highs limited to about 40 to 45, decidedly below seasonal normals.
Bright sunshine will be countered by a chilly breeze, again with top gusts around 20 to 30 mph.
Just like that, we will start to tap into warmer air again. Just in time for the first day of Spring.
Monday, we will enjoy sunshine and lighter winds. And high temperatures will rise to about the 50 degree mark.
The Extended Forecast
By midweek, at least part of New Jersey should touch 60 degrees again. I see dry weather persisting through at least the daytime hours on Thursday. Friday into next weekend could turn inclement, and even stormy. We'll see how that plays out over time. At the moment, there is still nothing wintry in the forecast — not even a snowflake.
Have a great weekend!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.