Flip-flopping NJ weather: From warm and summerlike, to cool and breezy
The Bottom Line
My best description for this forecast: We are expecting two different flavors of pleasant weather. Tuesday will be warm and summerlike, feeling like June. But Wednesday turns much cooler with a refreshing breeze, more reminiscent of April.
I am growing increasingly concerned about the lack of rain recently. Month-to-date rainfall is running almost 2 inches below normal for May. And there are only two chances for quick showers on the horizon: Tuesday evening and Saturday. Bad news from a drought perspective. We also need a good soaking to wash the pollen out of the air.
We have reached the warmest day of the week. Also the cloudiest. And the most humidity. And the best chance for a shower.
We are starting off Tuesday morning with sunshine and temperatures mainly in the 50s. There are a few pockets of 40s in the usual cool spots. Viewer discretion is advised when it comes to wearing a jacket or skipping it.
High temperatures Tuesday afternoon will soar to the upper 70s to around 80 degrees. Clouds will increase from late morning through the afternoon, but I think skies will stay bright in general.
A southwesterly breeze will kick in Tuesday afternoon too. Keeping the warm air moving around. And also counteracting any sea breeze, allowing even Jersey Shore towns to warm to almost 80.
The daytime hours look dry. But starting around dinnertime, a batch of showers will approach South Jersey. To be safe, I will say raindrops could affect the southern half of NJ Tuesday evening — that's along and south of the Interstate 195 corridor. Some model forecasts keep raindrops closer to a "Cape May County only" trajectory. In any case, rain will be limited — less than a tenth of an inch of total rainfall is expected.
For the rest of Tuesday night, skies will clear. A cold front will pass through New Jersey early Wednesday morning. But overnight temperatures should remain in the 50s for most of the state.
A very different weather day, as temperatures turn about 15 degrees cooler compared to Tuesday.
It will still be a nice day overall though, as brilliant sunshine and blue skies return. You will definitely notice the refreshing breeze blowing out of the west, occasionally over 20 mph. A good day to open up the windows and air out the house/car.
Highs will be limited to the mid 60s Wednesday. That is a smidge below normal for this time of year.
About the same, with slightly calmer winds.
More sunshine. More dry weather. More 60s.
One important note though: Thanks to perfect radiational cooling conditions — clear skies, light winds, and a dry air mass — Thursday morning's low temperatures could dip into the 30s across a substantial segment of inland New Jersey. It might even be cold enough for some frost — a concern for gardeners, farmers, etc.
As the wind direction turns from west to southeast (remember, we report the direction wind blows from), Friday warms up a bit. Inland New Jersey will make a run for 70 degrees. But the coast will be cooler, stuck in the 60s, thanks to that on-shore breeze. (Ocean water temperatures are in the 60s now.)
A few clouds will come into play Friday. But overall, it will be another nice, dry day to end the workweek.
The Weekend & Beyond
Temperatures return to the 70s for both Saturday and Sunday. However, there is a decent chance of rain showers sometime during the day Saturday. Timing and duration of that rainfall is still up in the air, as are expected totals and other impacts. Just like last weekend, Sunday will probably be the brighter and better day.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.