NJ Christmas week weather: Showers to wind to magical snowflakes to rain
The Bottom Line
The forecast for the final ten days of 2021 is pretty unsettled. Most days will feature some degree of rain showers and at-or-below-normal temperatures.
We start the day with some pretty disgusting, uncomfortable weather. Showers and drizzle have moistened the state. However, with the exception of far northern NJ (Sussex County), temperatures are above freezing. So it's all wet, not wintry.
By about 9 or 10 a.m., raindrops will exit the coast and we'll start to dry out. The sun will emerge through the midday and afternoon hours.
However, we will be under the influence of a reinforcing shot of cold air through Wednesday afternoon too. So it's going to turn windy, with potential wind gusts of about 30 mph. So bright, but blustery.
Wednesday night looks quite cold, with widespread mid 20s by Thursday morning. Thermometers will probably dip into the teens in the coldest corners of the state. And with a continuing chilly breeze, you'll get bitten by wind chills in the teens too.
Mostly sunny, dry, and cold. HIgh temperatures will struggle to reach even 40 degrees, which is about five below normal for late December.
An impulse will slide into New Jersey from Thursday evening into Thursday night. Here's a quick rundown of what ot expect:
—Starting as early as 5 p.m. Thursday.
—Lasting through as late as 5 a.m. Friday.
—It will be weak, so we're facing showers at best.
—Temperatures will likely be cold enough for an all snow situation.
—Best chance for snowflakes will be across the northern third to half of New Jersey.
—I'm not seeing the threat of significant accumulation (more than a dusting or coating), nor big travel headaches.
—Snowflakes may last through early Friday morning. That's Christmas Eve. Ohhhh, magical Christmas snowflakes.
Friday (Christmas Eve)
As we've discussed, the chances of a true White Christmas are very low this year. (Defined as 1+ inch of snow on the ground on Eve or Day.)
After early morning snow showers and flurries wrap up pre-dawn, we should get some pretty nice, seasonable Christmas Eve weather. Periods of sun and clouds, a light westerly breeze, and dry weather. High temperatures in the mid to upper 40s.
Saturday (Christmas Day)
Not the prettiest Christmas Day, with some rain to talk about. (Hopefully Santa is bringing you an umbrella!)
But it won't be a total washout. There won't be anything too heavy. And we're once again talking about wet, not wintry, weather.
Model guidance isn't quite settled on the timing of potential raindrops — some outlooks show more persistent rain throughout the day, and some paint a day bookended by showers. I favor the latter solution — the best chance of rain showers would be early and late on Saturday. Otherwise, it will be cloudy and dreary. High temperatures will range from the lower 40s in North Jersey to the mild lower 50s in South Jersey.
The Extended Forecast
As I mentioned above, the forecast looks unsettled heading into the last week of the year. More clouds than clear. More showery days than not. Perhaps some snow chances, especially in colder North Jersey. And temperatures generally at or below normal.
I'm just not comfortable enough to give a day-by-day outlook for next week just yet. But, of course, with lots of traveling and continuing holiday festivities, the forecast remains very important. As always, we'll let you know if anything dramatic develops.
Having said that, I am taking off a few days for the Christmas holiday. Unless breaking weather happens, I'll be back online and on-air on Monday 12/27. No matter what and how you celebrate, I hope you and your family have a safe, healthy, happy holiday!