The Bottom Line
You may find yourself reaching for a heavy coat, hat, and gloves this weekend. Yes, that's the kind of chill we're expecting. The temperatures in the forecast would be totally typical in the dead of winter, in late January. But here in mid-November, we are going to run 10 to 15 degrees below normal for the next four days (at least).
The persistent nuisance of a stiff westerly breeze will make things feel extra chilly.
There is one other important hiccup to watch for Friday evening: A brief snow/rain shower is possible. It could even be squall-ish, with a burst of heavy stuff, reduced visibility, and slippery spots — that is why it is worth a special mention here.
We are starting the day with a freeze across almost all of New Jersey, outside of city centers and coastal communities. Temperatures in the 20s and 30s.
Highs Friday will only reach about 40 to 45 degrees. The chilly westerly breeze returns too, occasionally gusting over 20 mph. That will add a bite to the cold air, potentially keeping the wind chill ("feels like" or "apparent" temperature) in the 30s.
Skies should be bright and sunny for most of the day, although clouds may build through the afternoon.
Now let's talk about that shower/squall chance, driven by a weak shortwave passing overhead. Time window is short, limited to about 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. All models are in agreement that a line of precipitation will push from west to east. But the intensity and precipitation type is tricky to pinpoint.
Worst-case scenario is mainly snow, heavy in pockets on either side of the Interstate 78 corridor through northern and central New Jersey. In an outright squall, visibility could be suddenly reduced. And we could see a healthy coating to a half-inch of accumulation. (Especially on colder, non-paved surfaces.)
The most likely solution keeps all precipitation as rain along southern and coastal New Jersey. That's if showers even develop that far south.
"Nothing" is also a realistic possibility. This storm system is very weak. Our current air mass is very dry. It's totally plausible that nothing fires up, and we get a dry, clear evening.
Again, my perspective here is that the chance of snow/rain is worth mentioning, and that's it. Also notable because parts of NJ could see the first flakes of the season. Just keep your head on a swivel if you will be out and about Friday evening.
After any precipitation wraps up, it should be clear and cold overnight. Low temperatures should dip into the upper 20s to around 30 across most of the state. Again, all but urban and coastal areas will probably freeze.
Calm, crisp, cold weather is manageable. Add a stiff breeze, and it turns downright bitter and uncomfortable.
That's where we stand for the entire weekend. The breeze on Saturday should be lighter than on Friday. But still noticeable. And chilly.
Look for mostly sunny skies and high temps only around 40 degrees. It will be completely dry. Saturday is probably the "nicer" day of the weekend.
A reinforcing shot of cold air will put us in the "bottom of the barrel" - Sunday will be the coldest day of this stretch. (And likely New Jersey's coldest day since late March.)
Widespread 20s in the morning. Only upper 30s in the afternoon.
Plus, the wind will be stronger. I could see a few wind gusts pop over 30 mph. Pretty blustery.
But hey, at least golden sunshine and blue will win the sky.
Monday & Beyond
Temperatures will finally start to moderate for the Thanksgiving week. Just don't expect anything resembling "warmth" through the rest of November, at least.
For Monday, it will still be sunny and still breezy, as high temperatures push into the lower to mid 40s
We might touch 50 on Tuesday, with lighter winds and sunshine.
And then widespread 50s take over for Wednesday and Thanksgiving Thursday. By that point, it will be our first trip to near seasonable temperatures in a week and a half.
Our next storm system will impact part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Right now, Friday into Saturday looks wet. But I wouldn't rule out a piece of that precipitation beginning Thursday night. And I wouldn't rule out a bit of wintry precipitation. We'll see how things continue to evolve — this is obviously one of the most important forecasts of the year.