The Bottom Line

After a one day break of beautiful weather Tuesday, things are about to go downhill again.

A storm system will arrive in New Jersey around midday Wednesday, with precipitation chances overhead through early Friday morning. This system will tap into some fairly rich moisture, so pockets of heavy rain are likely. And there’s some cold air bottled up to the northwest, so chilly conditions and snowflakes are possible too.

The weekend outlook is still pretty pleasant.

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Wednesday

A lot going on, as we transition back to wet weather. Here’s how I expect things to play out.

Wednesday morning begins with mainly clear skies, and seasonably cool temperatures averaging lower 40s. Skies will progress from sun to clouds early. And high temperatures will be fairly warm, popping well into the 60s.

Then we’ll have to watch the western sky for scattered showers starting around midday (as early as 10 or 11 a.m.)

Models differ regarding the spread of these showers. But we are facing a potentially damp and cloudy afternoon. Rainfall totals from this first wave will probably stay below a tenth-of-an-inch - not much at all.

We should catch a lull in the rain action Wednesday night. While I expect mainly dry conditions overnight, there could be a few showers and sprinkles around in our unsettled atmosphere.

Given the blanket of clouds overhead, temperatures will only dip to around 50 degrees by Thursday morning.

Thursday

Wet. Nothing dramatic, as the heaviest rain and thunderstorms stay to our south. Just a chilly, steady-at-times rain.

NAM model forecast as of late morning Thursday, expected to be NJ's wettest period of this particular storm system. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

The core of this storm system, fueled by a rich moisture plume, will pass over New Jersey between Thursday mid-morning and early evening. (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) The rain may be on-and-off at times, especially the later in the day it gets. The heaviest rain will fall over northern New Jersey, with totals possibly exceeding an inch.

Temperatures will go nowhere, stuck in the lower 50s all day.

As cooler air arrives Thursday evening, a transition from raindrops to snowflakes is possible in far northern New Jersey. I’m really not worried about widespread wintry weather or travel issues. (Of course, the Poconos of NE PA, the Catskills of NY, and New England could see some mid-April snow accumulations!)

NAM model precipitation type forecast for Thursday evening, showing some snow activity in far northern New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Friday

Drying out, but blustery.

The last batch of rain (and snow) showers should clear New Jersey in the early morning hours - by 8 a.m. Friday at the latest. A few models do show a wraparound shower in North Jersey Friday afternoon - I’m not putting that in my official written or on-air forecast now, but it’s something to watch.

As we dry out, there will be breaks of sunshine Friday, especially to the south. It will stay breezy (northwest at 10 to 20 mph) and cool. High temperatures will be limited to the mid 50s at best.

Both Friday morning and Saturday morning could come close to the frost mark, especially in the coldest corners of the state (NW NJ and Pine Barrens).

The Weekend & Beyond

Not bad.

On balance, we’ll see partly sunny skies across New Jersey across the weekend. I think Saturday will feature more sunshine than Sunday. I also can’t rule out a stray shower, especially in South Jersey on Sunday. Otherwise, our weather should cooperate with your outdoor plans throughout the weekend.

Temperatures will stay on the cool side of normal though, with highs only in the upper 50s. There could be some 60s in South Jersey on Sunday.

60s return early next week. And we’ll see sporadic rain chances - the next one being late-day Tuesday. But nothing big or organized. Pretty much par for the course here in April.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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