NJ Wednesday weather: A fair forecast for the final full day of winter
Welcome to the last full day of winter! (Technically, spring begins on Thursday at 11:50 p.m. — so technically my final full day description is accurate!) No weather worries for Wednesday, but things turn wilder Wednesday night with heavy rain, a big warmup, thunderstorms, and a big cooldown in New Jersey's forecast. Let's dive in.
We're starting off Wednesday morning with temperatures in the upper 30s to mid 40s and mainly clear skies. You'll enjoy bright sunshine to start Wednesday, before clouds increase through the afternoon. High temperatures will reach the lower to mid 50s Wednesday afternoon. Overall, I think it's fair to call it a pleasant, seasonable mid-March day.
I do have to add a shower chance to the forecast for Wednesday evening, but any steadier rain shouldn't arrive from the west until after Midnight Wednesday night. Overnight lows fall into the lower 40s.
We get soaked Thursday morning, as a period of heavy rain is likely across the entire state. Rainfall totals will likely top an inch for most of the state (especially north and central). That's enough to warrant some flooding and ponding issues as things get started.
But this batch of rain will not be an all-day kind of thing. Thursday afternoon will be mostly cloudy and breezy. High temperatures will only reach the upper 40s in far northern New Jersey. But as warmer air starts to bubble up, southern New Jersey could hit 60. Therefore, it looks like most of the state will peak in the 50s once again.
On Friday, thermometers soar into the 70s making for a warm and pretty humid first full day of Spring. I had been promoting the idea of hitting 80 degrees Friday afternoon, but I've backed off that idea for now. It's just not a perfect setup. The blast furnace southwesterly winds (gusting to 30 mph) will be there. But cloud cover and a few rain showers will limit the warmth.
The grand finale late-day Friday will be a strong cold front, potentially sparking one more round of showers and possible thunderstorms. (Given the warmth and humidity in the atmosphere, stormy weather should not be a big surprise.) I'm not confident about the timing of Friday's rain just yet, so I've purposefully left the forecast vague for now.
Model guidance suggests a shower may linger into early Saturday morning, before skies quickly clear to sunshine. We will definitely cool down for the weekend. Saturday's highs will reach about 50 degrees. Sunday will be even cooler, in the mid to upper 40s. Dry and quiet, but not very springlike.
For early next week, a storm system will impact New Jersey in the Monday-Tuesday time frame. Depending on which long-range model you believe (GFS vs. Euro) and the precise timing, there could be a period of snow-to-rain in the northern third of New Jersey here. I'm still not overly concerned — big winter storms are very rare after the Vernal Equinox. But it's still something to watch — nothing more, nothing less.
Have a wonderful day. Stay healthy, my friends.