NJ weather this week: A mild day, three chilly days, then arctic blast
The Bottom Line
This is the 30th day of January 2023. And it will be the 30th day of the month with above normal temperatures. Ladies and gentlemen, it is not supposed to be this warm in the coldest month of the year.
There are changes ahead though — the theme of this week's forecast is "cooldown". Get that heavier winter coat ready.
Following one more mild day Monday, we will fall into seasonably chilly weather for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Then, the door opens to the arctic for the first time since Christmastime. Friday and Saturday will be "freeze your face off" frigid days.
Along the way, there are minimal chances for raindrops and snowflakes. And while there is no "big snow" on the horizon either, a few storm signals for next week are worth watching.
The grand finale of this stretch of mild weather. Mainly 30s in the morning will rise to widespread 50s Monday afternoon. We are running about 10 to 15 degrees above normal for late January.
There is a storm system producing rain just south of New Jersey. As close as Delaware. That will mostly stay away, although I can't rule out a shower or sprinkle "licking" far southern NJ only through the midday hours.
We will start Monday with clouds, giving way to good sunshine in the afternoon.
Monday night, a weak cold front will drift into NW NJ — that is the leading edge of a cooler air mass. That frontal boundary will be a very slow-mover, taking almost an entire day to clear the entire Garden State. Through early Tuesday morning, a few (rain) showers may dampen North Jersey. Temperatures will only fall back to the mid 30s initially overnight.
A day of transition, featuring temperatures that will not budge much.
We will start Tuesday in the mid 30s. And highs will only reach the upper 30s to around 40. (Some places will probably end up slightly cooler in the afternoon than in the morning.) It will be a mostly cloudy and somewhat blustery day. I also can't rule out a spot rain or wintry mix shower drifting south through the afternoon.
20s in the morning. Upper 30s in the afternoon. Seasonably chilly to kick off February.
I think the cloud cover will part just enough to call it a partly sunny day overall. Wednesday does look dry too.
Still chilly, with highs around 40, under mostly cloudy skies. The GFS model does paint some snow showers over the state around midday. But they will be battling some very dry air, so I'm leaning more toward flurries (at the most).
Friday & Beyond
Here is the big weather story of the week. For only the second time this winter season, it is going to get cold. Very cold.
A strong cold front will cross New Jersey early Friday, opening the door to a pool of frigid arctic air. According to the latest guidance, temperatures will fall from the 30s Friday morning into the 20s by the afternoon. The drop will be accompanied by a bitter wind, potentially gusting to 40 mph. Even though it will be sunny and dry, Friday will not be a nice day.
We will be in the core of that new cold air mass on Saturday. Morning lows in the single digits. Afternoon highs barely in the 20s. (Below freezing, statewide, all day.) Again, no storm systems around to produce any wintry precipitation. (Our atmosphere will be too dry for anything to form/fall anyway.)
What happens for Sunday and beyond is a bit of a question mark. The consensus forecast warms us back to seasonable levels, providing a couple of minor rain/snow chances through next week. (Specifically from a coastal storm system late Sunday.) However, if the "cold zone" lingers over New Jersey longer, it would be a quiet stretch of "bundle up" weather through the first full week of February instead.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.