Wednesday NJ weather: Sunshine and less wind, only two days until big warmup
Bright sunshine, blue skies, dry weather, and bone-dry air. You can't complain too much about a forecast like that! If only it were about 10 degrees warmer, and it actually felt like mid-May. Don't worry, the blast of warmth (and humidity) is coming. But there are some wrinkles to talk about in the medium to long range forecast too.
Wednesday morning will probably be the coldest New Jersey gets in quite a while. (Possibly until the fall?) Thermometers are starting the day in the 30s and 40s, with some patchy frost.
Forecast high temperatures for Wednesday afternoon are in the lower 60s for most. An important element of Wednesday's forecast is an overall lighter ambient northwesterly wind. That will make the day less blustery and more comfortable. But it also may allow a sea breeze to set up along the Jersey Shore, limiting coastal high temps to the upper 50s or so.
Mainly clear and dry conditions will continue into Wednesday night. It will be chilly again, with lows falling to around 40 degrees. There will be a frost risk, but I think it will be limited to the coldest, most vulnerable areas. (We start looking for frosty ice crystals around 37 degrees, as the coldest air pools right at the surface.)
Thursday will get a little bit warmer, as high temperatures bump into the mid 60s. Thursday morning sun will give way to clouds building through Thursday afternoon. A few rain showers may creep into view Thursday evening, especially in northern New Jersey — although our dry atmosphere may cause those raindrops to fizzle before reaching the NJ soil.
Friday will get a lot warmer, with morning lows in the 50s and afternoon highs soaring to near 80 degrees. It's even going to feel a bit humid, as dew points rise into the 60s. It will be windy though, with southwesterly gusts as high as 40 mph. That wind will have a "blast furnace" effect with those toasty warm temperatures. But at least it will keep the sea breeze at bay allowing Jersey Shore towns to taste warmth too. (Exceptions: barrier islands and the Delaware Bay shore.)
One important thing to watch on Friday will be a late-day line of showers and thunderstorms. I would keep an eye on the western sky starting around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. Depending on exact timing and temperatures, these storms could become strong to severe, with heavy winds and rain. As the line of rain approaches the coast coast and as sunset approaches, rain/storm intensity should pulse down.
I'm still liking Saturday's forecast a lot, even though skies will become mostly cloudy. I'm calling it "probably" dry — I'm just concerned a shower from Friday evening's convection could linger into Saturday morning. High temperatures will scale back to the mid 70s. But humidity will be lower and winds will be lighter — sounds good to me.
From Sunday though early next week, a storm system looks to stall just off the coast. That flip to an east-southeast flow will keep clouds, cooler temperatures, and rain over New Jersey.
So Sunday's high temperatures crash into the 60s. The later it gets, the better the chance of rain — especially in the afternoon and evening hours.
Monday looks quite wet, with periods of rain all day, a stiff breeze, and highs only around 60 degrees.
Hopefully, the rain clears out Tuesday morning, allowing skies to clear and temperatures to moderate a bit. That's the GFS model solution, at least. The Euro keeps raindrops over New Jersey through Wednesday. There is a concern in the back of my mind that this "stuck" storm system could stay in the neighborhood long enough to impact part of the Memorial Day Weekend. We'll see how things play out — and, of course, we'll have a better view of that forecast next week.
Despite the forecast "downgrade" for Sunday, I still maintain that the upcoming surge of warm air is sustained warmth. We're facing a pretty clear pattern change signal. And if not for that storm system early next week, we'd face continued mild temperatures. Once that storm system kicks out to sea and sunshine emerges, we'll see the return of mild temperatures. Overall, I think (and I hope) you'll find the second half of May will be much more seasonable and pleasant than the first half of the month.