NJ New Year’s weekend forecast: One day of damp and dreary weather
The Bottom Line
One more storm system will impact New Jersey before 2022 wraps up. And it will lead to one batch of inclement weather, on New Year's Eve Saturday. Once again, we are not talking about a total washout, or anything crazy or inherently dangerous. Just wet.
Friday looks phenomenal. And New Year's Day Sunday should dry out nicely. We will hold on to mild, above-normal (even near-record) temperatures for about a week.
If you loved Thursday's weather, you're going to love Friday's too. This has the makings of a beautiful late December day. In fact, I am declaring it the nicest day of the week, thanks to the mild temperatures, abundant sunshine, and dry weather.
Even Friday morning, it's comfortably crisp and cool. We are averaging 30s across the state, with some pockets of 20s across the interior and mainly 40s along the Jersey Shore.
Look for highs reaching the mid 50s Friday afternoon. That is 10 to 15 degrees above normal for this time of year. 60 is not out of the question for South Jersey.
We'll start the day with sunshine. And I'll maintain mostly sunny skies in the forecast through early afternoon. Clouds will start to fill-in late-day. But skies will stay dry. And winds will remain light.
You'll start to notice changes Friday night, as skies become mostly cloudy. Plus, with an increase in humidity in the air, fog may very well develop by Saturday morning. Low temperatures will only dip into the 40s overnight.
Saturday (New Year's Eve)
Not a pretty weather day. And the wettest part of the day will unfortunately coincide with New Year's festivities ramping up.
To start, Saturday will be foggy and cloudy, with occasional showers and drizzle. At least we'll still be on the mild side, with highs in the lower to mid 50s.
A batch of steadier rain is expected to come into view starting around 3 or 4 p.m., lasting through late evening. There could be some pockets of heavy stuff. But for the most part, we are looking at meager rainfall totals around a quarter-inch.
So yeah, if you're outdoors Saturday evening, you are going to get wet. Fireworks shows may be canceled or postponed. Road conditions will be wet and somewhat slick.
There is a chance that rain moves out just in time to ring in 2023. The temperature at Midnight should still be very close to 50 degrees.
Sunday (New Year's Day)
Following Saturday night's "main event" band of rain, I think we will dry out quickly through Sunday morning.
The New Year's Day forecast is looking pretty good. We'll see partial clearing, to partly sunny skies by around midday Sunday. Temperatures will remain mild, with highs pushing into the upper 50s. The only weather nuisance for Sunday will be a stiff breeze, out of the northwest, occasionally gusting above 20 mph.
Fine and dandy. Look for a mix of sun and clouds, dry weather, and light winds. High temps should make it into the 50s once again.
The Extended Forecast
Tuesday and Wednesday of next week look warm and unsettled. Although a few rain showers may come into view, high temperatures are forecast to surge into the 60s.
The grand finale of this warm stretch will come from a backdoor cold front passing east to west in the Thursday-Friday time frame. That should be enough to knock temperatures back to near-normal levels for the first full weekend of January. (That's highs in the 40s, lows in the 20s.)
You will notice there is zero mention of snow or other wintry weather here. We are now running 3 to 6 inches below normal, in terms of season-to-date snowfall. The first ingredient for snowy weather is cold temperatures, which should really settle in again by mid-January. There's still a lot of winter yet to come, folks.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.