The Bottom Line
There is a lot to love about this weather forecast. Normal highs — the long-term averages — are in the lower 50s here in mid-March. New Jersey's temperatures are expected to reach above that mark each and every day for the foreseeable future.
There will be some ups and downs along the way. Including a few storm systems and rain chances. But nothing heavy, nothing severe, and nothing wintry.
If you liked Monday's weather, I think you'll like Tuesday even better. We're starting off with temperatures averaging 40 degrees statewide. Only a few isolated spots have fallen to the freezing mark — the usual suspects across the interior of NJ.
High temperatures should bump into the lower to mid 60s across New Jersey Tuesday afternoon. That is 5 to 10 degrees warmer than Monday, and 10 to 15 degrees above seasonal norms.
We'll enjoy periods of sunshine (mainly in the morning) and cloud cover (mainly in the afternoon). Winds will be light, and weather will be mainly dry.
We will get clipped by a batch of light showers around dinnertime Tuesday evening. North Jersey may get sprinkled on, although most of the state should stay dry.
The rest of Tuesday night will be clear, quiet, and fair. Low temperatures will dip into the lower to mid 40s. Again, not a freeze.
Mostly sunny and mild, with highs again in the lower to mid 60.
The only snag is a shift in wind direction, to blow out of the southeast. That is an on-shore breeze. And, as residents of the Jersey Shore know, a sea breeze in the springtime is a chilly one. Ocean water temperatures are only around 40 to 44 degrees right now. And that can absolutely affect air temperatures in NJ's coastal communities.
While areas just a few miles inland will be in the 60s, beach towns should expect high temperatures closer to 50 degrees Wednesday afternoon. Probably still jacket weather.
The forecast for your St. Patrick's Day is unfortunately trending wetter and drearier, although it should not be a total washout.
A storm system will slide up the coast starting around sunrise Thursday morning. And we'll see pockets of scattered rain through much of the daytime hours, exiting around sunset.
It's not going to be an "all day" thing. Nor a "total washout". The best chance for a period of steadier rain will be to the south and east. Rainfall totals could reach a quarter-inch.
At the very least you'll find lots of clouds and somewhat cooler temperatures. But guess what — highs in the upper 50s are still notably above normal for this time of year.
The warmest day of the week!
Thursday's storm system may linger early Friday, with some clouds and maybe even an isolated shower. However, the bigger story will be the resumption of warmth. Highs will push to 70+ degrees away from the coast on Friday. (Temperatures in the 70s are my favorite, so I'm very excited.)
The Weekend & Beyond
Another little hiccup is showing up in the model guidance for Saturday, with another batch of rain through at least the morning hours. Even once raindrops clear, it may not be entirely pleasant with mostly cloudy skies, a brisk wind, and cooler temperatures stuck at about 60 degrees.
Sunday will probably be the better day of the weekend. Brighter, drier, and warmer. Although it could still be pretty breezy. And I can't rule out an isolated shower. We can't complain too much about temperatures in the 50s.
Early next week should remain mild, with our next next rain chance in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame. Occasional rain isn't such a bad thing — we really could use a good soaking, with over three-quarters of the state classified as "Abnormally Dry".
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.