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NJ will squeeze out one more mild day, before clouds and rain return

Wednesday’s skies will feature a mix of sun and clouds with near-normal, pleasant high temperatures in the mid to upper 60s.

Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, May 10, 2017…

One More Day of Mild Weather

Hi, New Jersey! After a few days off, it’s great to be back in the saddle (a.k.a. the weather center) to deliver your daily forecast. I certainly picked a couple of pleasant days to take off — and I actually got to enjoy the breaks of sunshine and mild temperatures, instead of sleeping half the day away as usual!

Anyway, we continue to find ourselves in a pleasant slice of the atmosphere, but only for now. Wednesday’s weather forecast looks similar to Tuesday, with a mix of sun and clouds and temperatures in the 60s. Inland high temperatures might be a couple degrees warmer, in the mid to upper 60s. Along the Jersey Shore, the sea breeze “machine” will be in effect Wednesday, so coastal temperatures will be held cooler (in the 50s).

The only potential problem with Wednesday is the chance for a “pesky” shower sometime in the afternoon hours. This tiny, weak disturbance showed up over South Jersey on the morning models. It’s not a “slam dunk”, and only a shower chance, but it’s still worth mentioning.

Wednesday night will remain quiet, with mostly clear skies. Low temperatures will dip into the 40s for most of the state.

Going Downhill

Our weather takes a turn toward more unsettled weather for Thursday and Friday. I have to include slight rain chances, but (just like Wednesday) neither one will be a sure bet.

Another weak disturbance is forecast to at least come close to New Jersey on Thursday. If it’s close enough (again if), it may fire off a round of showers, especially in the afternoon and evening hours. Beyond the raindrops, skies will progress from partly to mostly cloudy on Thursday. High temperatures will be a bit lower, but still comfortable, in the lower to mid 60s.

Yet again on Friday, I have to include a chance of scattered showers in the forecast. It will otherwise remain cloudy and it will be cool, with high temperatures limited to the 50s.

The Truly Wet Day

Hopefully you can tell that I’m wishy-washy about the rain shower potential for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On the other hand, I can tell you that I’m quite confident about a period of very wet weather heading for New Jersey. Unfortunately, that soaking intersects with part of the weekend.

A storm system looks to deliver periods of moderate to heavy rain between late Friday night and early Sunday morning, peaking around midday on Saturday. Models suggest several inches of rain will be possible, raising the usual flooding concerns. It may indeed turn into one of those “total washout” days.

I’m not convinced it’s going to downpour everywhere on Saturday. Models depict this system as being rather “compact” (i.e. relatively small), leading me to believe the corridor containing the heaviest rain could end up being quite narrow. That means the highest (multi-inch) rainfall totals will be limited and/or could miss New Jersey. We’ll keep you posted.

Another item to watch will be the threat for coastal flooding. As this storm slides along the Atlantic seaboard, a period of easterly winds could drive some ocean water toward the beaches. In the next day or two, we’ll have a clearer picture of the timing and magnitude of the biggest coastal impacts.

The Extended Forecast

I’ve been leaning toward a healthy warmup for next week. And that forecast still holds true, although the timing and exact temperature forecast are still up in the air a bit.

Sunday’s forecast is particularly confounding. Following Saturday’s storm system, we’ll dry out and clear out, with a fierce northerly wind gusting to 30 or 40 mph. A north wind is almost always a cool wind for New Jersey.

Why then do models suggest an immediate warmup to the 70s on Sunday? I don’t know. Maybe because skies will quickly return to sunshine? Maybe because we lose the “marine” influence of the cooler ocean air? I just can’t justify a big warmup like that with a gusty north wind. So my forecast for Sunday limits high temperatures to the more moderate 50s and 60s, for now.

I have popped some 70s for Monday, despite the continuing stiff breeze from the north-northwest. And I think most of New Jersey will bounce into the 70s on Tuesday, as winds continue to lighten and sunshine continues. We should have a few very nice mid-May days coming up next week!

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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