Dry start, wet finish, mild temps for NJ’s last weekend of 2019
For such quiet weather (with the exception of Sunday-Monday's soaking rain), nailing the temperature forecast is proving to be a challenge this week. As we dive into the final weekend of 2019, we're looking at generally mild temps, a dry Saturday, and then wet weather eventually returning on Sunday.
Temperatures on this Friday morning are much warmer than on Thursday. Rather than 20s, we're seeing 40s on the temperature map — at or above normal high temperatures for late December!
Skies will remain mostly cloudy Friday, with temperatures rising into the lower to mid 50s Friday afternoon. I can't rule out a few light showers and sprinkles, especially in North Jersey. But it really doesn't read like a wet or even a damp day — you can skip the umbrella and raincoat.
Friday night will be partly cloudy, with a continuing sprinkle chance. Low temperatures will dip into the mid to upper 30s.
Technically, we'll be under the influence of a cold front on Saturday. But the new air mass won't be much different than the old one. So we'll still see high temperatures in the lower 50s Saturday afternoon. Breaks of sunshine will be limited, but welcome. And again, the start of the weekend will be dry.
On the other hand, the end of the weekend will be not-dry. Most of Sunday actually looks fine, with mostly cloudy to overcast skies. High temperatures will scale back slightly into the upper 40s, but that's still above seasonal norms.
Rain will push in from the west sometime Sunday afternoon-evening, initiating a period of soggy weather through much of Monday. Rain will not taper off until Monday early afternoon at the earliest. It's going to feel remarkably warm and humid, with 60s possible in the southern half of the state early Monday. (Note: we will definitely not come close to 60 in North Jersey — more like 40s, at best.)
(By the way, it's worth noting that the Euro model paints a much later precipitation end time, more like Monday night. With generally colder temperatures in North Jersey for the duration, that could introduce the possibility of some nighttime wintry mix in NW NJ.)
Rainfall totals have trended upward since my last forecast, with an inch-plus a good bet for most of the state. Such a solid soaking after a period of bone-dry weather should not pose any significant flooding risk.
After Monday's wet weather wraps up, cooler air will return on a brisk westerly wind. This is not going to be an arctic blast kind of cooldown. Tuesday (New Year's Eve) will remain above-normal, with highs between about 45 and 50 degrees. It will be a partly sunny and breezy day.
Wednesday (New Year's Day) will be fairly seasonable for early January, with highs in the lower 40s, partial sunshine, and a continuing stiff breeze.
The next storm system in line arrives around Friday, January 3rd. And it still looks like just rain for New Jersey at this time.
Have a great weekend — "see" you Monday!