NJ New Year’s forecast: Breezy, mainly dry, seasonably cool
As we prepare to drop the ball, pop the champagne, and turn the calendar page, we're also ready to slam shut the 2019 weather/climate record book. Above-normal temperatures. Above-normal precipitation. Not much snow. But it was a very active severe weather year, with a total of 9 confirmed tornadoes in the Garden State.
For the most part, the weather will cooperate with your New Year's festivities — whether you're celebrating outdoors, driving somewhere, or watching the crazies in Times Square. You'll see alternating periods of clouds and sun Tuesday. You'll feel a chilly westerly breeze, blowing at about 10 to 20 mph. High temperatures will actually end up above-normal for the last day of the year, in the upper 40s to lower 50s.
I can't rule out a few rain or snow showers in New Jersey Tuesday evening, as a weak wave clips the state. Best chance would be between about 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. in North Jersey. Neither raindrops nor snowflakes will be heavy enough to spark travel issues.
Otherwise, we're looking at a partly cloudy New Year's night. Midnight temperature will be in the mid 30s, with a wind chill potentially in the upper 20s. Overnight low temperature will be in the lower 30s. Definitely a December/January chill in the air.
We'll kick off 2020 with sunshine and seasonably cool temperatures. Still breezy for the first half of the day, but calming down by sunset. Highs on Wednesday will come down to the lower 40s.
Thursday will bring increasing clouds, as temperatures warm to about 50 degrees. We'll stay dry during the day.
Our next storm system is set to arrive late Thursday night. And, with high temps on Friday in the lower to mid 50s, we're talking about just rain.
The latest model guidance is suggesting a long-duration period of dreary and damp weather, lasting from Thursday night through Friday to the start of the weekend. Not a total washout there, but there will be a mix of steadier rain and scattered showers. But once again, it's going to be wet, not wintry.
Highs on Saturday will also reach into the 50s. However, as rain wraps up, a sharp cooldown will take over.
By Sunday, we'll return to seasonably chilly temperatures in the lower 40s. Winds will be rather gusty, with clearing skies.
The long-range forecast looks to turn slightly more active as mid-January approaches. For example, the latest GFS model run shows storm systems on Wednesday 1/8, Sunday 1/12, and Tuesday 1/14. Keep in mind, a two-week forecast is highly uncertain. Whether those actually happen, and whether they drop rain or snow or a mix of both? Eh, you'd have better odds flipping a coin.
Happy New Year! See you in the Roaring Twenties!