Spring in the air! Warm with scattered showers and storms Friday
Throughout this week, a massive storm system has wreaked havoc on much of the country. Tornadoes. Blizzards. Flooding. Severe wind.
But here in New Jersey? It has been quiet and pleasant. (Pretty warm yesterday too, with 70+ degrees along the I-295 corridor in SW NJ!) That storm system will visit us Friday — but its impacts here are looking tamer here.
We're waking up to mostly mild temperatures on this Friday morning. The majority of New Jersey has not fallen below 55 degrees — perhaps mild enough to leave the jacket at home. The Jersey Shore is cooler, in the upper 40s, due to the influence of the chilly ocean water (41 to 44 degrees). And the area of North Jersey with snow on the ground is even cooler, in the upper 30s to lower 40s.
For starters, Friday looks pretty similar to Thursday — mostly cloudy, breezy, and warm with highs in the 60s. (If we see sufficient sunshine, I wouldn't rule out a few 70+ readings in SW NJ again.)
The aforementioned storm system will drive two or three rounds of scattered showers through the state throughout the day. (The first of which has already arrived, as of this writing.) It's not going to rain all day, it's not going to be a washout. Grab an umbrella, prepare to use the windshield wipers, and you'll be fine.
In addition, our atmosphere is going to be "charged" enough to sustain a few thunderstorms. Widespread severe weather (60+ mph winds, 1" hail, flooding, tornado) is unlikely. But a few strong thunderstorm cells (40+ mph winds, small hail, heavy downpour) is certainly possible, especially late-day Friday (afternoon and evening). (Short-range mesoscale models actually show storm intensity peaking around 8-9 p.m.)
Any showers and storms should fizzle by late Friday evening, with clearing skies expected overnight. Our breeze shifts around to the west-northwest as cooler, less humid air returns. Temperatures should fall into the lower to mid 40s overnight — still well above the mid-March normal low temp in the lower 30s.
You'll wake up to dry, mostly sunny weather on Saturday. It will be cooler, but models still suggest seasonable high temperatures in the lower 50s or so. The big weather nuisance for Saturday (well, the only one) will be a brisk wind. Occasional gusts over 30 mph are likely.
Sunday (St. Patrick's Day) will be the cooler day of the weekend, with below-normal highs in the mid 40s. But with much lighter winds and abundant sunshine, it's still a good-looking forecast.
Our next storm system arrives will be a little shortwave, passing through New Jersey early Monday. Don't expect much here — a brief, light snow or rain shower is possible. I've been downplaying this one for a few days now, and I'm still leaning toward a "not a big deal" forecast. I suppose if the disturbance rolls in stronger and/or colder than expected, there could be slippery spots for the Monday morning commute.
For the rest of Monday, we'll see a mix of sun and clouds and high temperatures again in the mid 40s. Below-normal temps in the 40s seem to be the rule for next week, leading up to the first day of Spring on Wednesday.