The Bottom Line
Forget about April — it's going to feel like May across New Jersey this week, with a streak of nice, warm temperatures. On each of the next three days — Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — thermometers will probably break 70 degrees for most of the state. We'll run between 10 and 20 degrees above normal for this time of year.
However, there are a few hiccups worth mentioning. An on-shore breeze will limit the warmth along the Shore. (Typical of Spring.) And I count five separate chances of rain over the next seven days. For the most part, we're just talking about April showers.
Colder, below-normal temperatures return just in time for Easter Sunday.
The day will start with raindrops, but end with sunshine and unseasonable warmth.
A few waves of sprinkles and rain showers will push west-to-east across the state Tuesday morning. So the sky may occasionally spit on you through about 10 a.m. Temperatures are starting out in the 40s.
The sun will emerge by lunchtime. And we'll enjoy a nice warm afternoon. I expect high temperatures Tuesday to average 70 degrees across the state. (It's hard to believe New Jersey's last 70-degree day was March 19th — over three weeks ago.)
Aside from the early morning dampness and the high pollen levels, it should be a beautiful day.
Tuesday night looks mainly clear and comfortable. In fact, it won't really get that cold — so you might be able to get by without a jacket. Low temperatures dip into the lower 50s. I can't rule out some sprinkles around daybreak Wednesday, as a warm front arrives.
Temperatures will really start to soar. But not for everyone in NJ.
Under partly sunny skies, most high temperatures will reach the mid 70s. Now we're talking 15 degrees above normal for mid-April.
However, the wind on Wednesday will blow from the southeast. An on-shore direction. From a chilly ocean. (Water temperatures are currently 48 to 52 degrees.)
Therefore, coastal communities will absolutely not reach 70 degrees. In fact, I expect beach towns to end up closer to 60 degrees. The sea breeze effect will likely be noticeable along and east of the Parkway. (Although that's admittedly just a rough estimate.)
Finally, a weak impulse could spark a few showers and thunderstorms late-day Wednesday. Mainly in the evening hours — let's say between 6 p.m. and Midnight. Given the heat and relative humidity in the air, there is a marginal concern that any storm that forms could produce some heavy rain and strong wind gusts.
Our warm stretch peaks. Our warm stretch also ends.
50s in the morning, 75 to 80 degrees by midday Thursday. Wow, that's warm. Plus, the wind direction will flip to southwesterly, so the marine influence will be far less prominent.
But here comes a cold front. Latest model guidance shows a rather disorganized frontal boundary, that will take its sweet time in crossing the Garden State.
Starting Thursday afternoon, showers and thunderstorms will become likely. That alone will cause temperatures to start descending. Cooler, drier air will really settle in Thursday night.
It's a bit unclear how widespread and how powerful Thursday's thunderstorms will be. I think there's reasonable concern about straight-line winds and heavy downpours once again — I suspect Thursday afternoon will turn pretty noisy.
So the stretch of wonderfully warm 70s will be over. But Friday still looks like a nice, mild day.
Mostly sunny skies, a fresh breeze, and high temps in the 60s. Sounds like a good Good Friday.
The Extended Forecast
The big holiday weekend will get a bit iffy with rain and an actually cooldown on the way.
Saturday will turn wet, as another cold front approaches. But it won't be not a total washout. The latest forecast puts rain over New Jersey between about mid-afternoon and late evening. It will get windy too, bother before (southerly) and after (northwestly) the front passes.
Easter Sunday turns sunny, dry, and cool. I've settled on a high temperature forecast in the mid 50s. Not terrible — just 5 to 10 degrees below seasonal norms.
Next week is definitely trending cooler again. And our next substantial storm system is modeled to arrive in the Monday-Tuesday time frame. I think it will primarily play out as an extended period of rainy, dreary weather. There are some hints that temperatures will be cold enough for part of the storm system's progression for some snow and/or wintry mix in North Jersey.
I'm not worried about significant accumulations or travel issues — but it's getting pretty late in the season for such wintry garbage!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.