Thursday NJ weather: March-like temperatures and a rainmaker on the way
The Bottom Line
We actually have some weather to talk about over the next 48 hours! Daily high temperatures will continue to run about 10 degrees above normal, feeling more like mid-March than mid-January. Of course, that all comes to an end as our next storm system arrives late Friday, delivering a brief period of steady rain to the Garden State. Yes, I said rain.
South Jersey is waking up to some dense fog on this Thursday morning, with visibility reduced to a quarter-mile in spots. In addition, because temperatures have fallen below the freezing mark, the potential exists for freezing fog. That's when the little fog droplets adhere and "stick" ("accrete") to cold surfaces as ice. Slippery spots are possible throughout Thursday morning's commute. The most vulnerable areas would be elevated road surfaces, such as bridges and overpasses, which are surrounded by cold air on all sides and therefore more susceptible to freezing conditions.
A Freezing Fog Advisory is in effect until 8 a.m. Thursday for Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties. By that point, the fog will begin to lift and temperatures will start to rise past the freezing mark.
In addition, far northwestern New Jersey has seen some snow showers passing overhead. I don't think we face significantly visibility or accumulation problems, and travel issues should be minimal.
The fog, the snow showers, and the low clouds are only a morning thing. By this afternoon (at the latest), we'll break into sunshine across the Garden State. That will help temperatures into the upper 40s to around 50 degrees. So once again, it will turn into a nice January day.
Thursday night will be partly cloudy, with another round of dense fog likely — especially in central and southern New Jersey this time around. Low temperatures should fall into the lower to mid 30s. (A bit of humidity/moisture in our atmosphere will prevent temps from crashing too far.)
To start, it will be mostly cloudy and mild, as high temperatures aim for 50 degrees. Our next storm system will creep toward us from the west. And, as humidity continues to increase, we could see some spotty showers and sprinkles as early as Friday afternoon.
The main event — a brief period of steady to heavy rain — will arrive Friday night. Yes, I said brief — the really wet weather will only last about six hours, give or take. And yes, I said rain — there isn't a single model that paints wintry weather over New Jersey from this storm system.
Rainfall totals will range from about a quarter-inch in South Jersey to upwards of an inch in North Jersey. Nothing severe or overly dramatic, although the wind might blow past 30 mph at times overnight.
Rain showers will wrap up in the early morning hours, tapering by 7 a.m. at the latest. While I can't rule out a subsequent rain/snow shower later in the day, substantial sunshine should develop for most of the day. It will be breezy, and temperatures will turn cooler. Thermometers will likely settle in the lower to mid 40s by Saturday afternoon.
Aside from a continuing westerly breeze (up to 20 mph), it looks like a pleasant January day. Sunny, dry, and mid 40s — can't ask for much more than that.
The Extended Forecast
A weak wave on Monday could produce scattered snow showers over New Jersey. Some model runs have even painted some light accumulations (on the order of an inch or less).
Otherwise, it looks seasonably chilly through the middle of next week. Long-range models are hinting at an intrusion of cold air for late next week, around the Thursday time frame. That would, of course, knock back temperatures again. And more importantly, it would set the scene for any subsequent storm system to produce snow. We're still a week away from any such potential — but we're always watching the horizon around this time of year!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.