Tuesday NJ weather: Cloudier and cooler, with a few showers
At the moment, we are in between storm systems. Clouds will help keep Tuesday's temperatures about 10 degrees cooler than Monday's. But we'll fare OK, as spotty raindrops hold off until Tuesday evening.
We will squeeze out one more pleasant, mild day on Wednesday. Then clouds and showers come back into play for Thursday. The Friday-Saturday-Sunday forecast is highly dependent on the track of a coastal storm system.
Models are so hazy that I do not want to hazard a guess on how that potential weekend storm will play out. But it is worth watching for possible wet and/or wintry impacts.
Overnight temperatures dropped faster and farther than I expected. We are starting the day mainly in the 20s — a seasonably chilly February morning.
Although the early morning hours will feature clear skies, clouds will fill in soon enough. It will be mostly cloudy or even overcast by Tuesday afternoon. That, along with a cooler air mass, will keep temperatures at bay. Look for highs in the mid 40s — about 10 degrees cooler than Tuesday.
Although Tuesday will be cloudier and cooler, it won't be an awful day. The daytime hours look dry. And winds will stay relatively light.
Tuesday evening, an area of low pressure will track eastward across Canada. That will push a weak cold front through New Jersey. And along with the front will come a round of rain showers.
A shower, by definition, is brief and light. Don't expect more than a few hundredths of an inch of rainfall Tuesday night, if that. Just some damp weather for a few hours. Skies will remain mostly cloudy overnight. And temperatures should stay above freezing, bottoming out in the mid to upper 30s.
It is possible that overnight showers linger a bit past sunrise. Other than that, Wednesday is looking dry. And quite pleasant.
Although forecast models have shifted temperatures downward, I am still liking highs in the lower to mid 50s Wednesday afternoon. Yes, a return to mild weather. It will be a partly sunny day, featuring bright happy skies. And — just like Monday — it will be breezy at times.
Once again, highs will push into the 50s. (And we will hold on to that warmth through Thursday evening.) However, weather will be less perfect as thick cloud cover and scattered rain come into play during the daytime hours Thursday.
Right now, the best chance of rain looks to be in the afternoon. But I think showers could be in place any time from late Thursday morning through late evening.
Yet again, it'll just be some damp weather for NJ. Total rainfall will be light — maybe a tenth of an inch.
Friday will be a somewhat weird day, as we go from 50s in the early morning hours, dipping into the 40s through the morning commute, then back into the 50s later on.
With periods of sun and clouds, Friday has the potential to be a beautiful, springlike day. 60 degrees is a possibility — we have not hit that mark in the Garden State in over a month, since early January.
A chance of rain may develop starting late Friday afternoon.
The Weekend & Beyond
As I mentioned at the top, the weekend forecast is clear as mud. A coastal storm system will form along the Atlantic seaboard. And if it tracks close enough to New Jersey, we could see some important impacts. But that is far from a guarantee.
Let me paint two scenarios for you, according to the latest model data.:
According to the GFS model, Friday night and all of Saturday would be soggy, with an inch or two of rain falling over New Jersey. As temperatures drop Saturday night into Sunday, rain would potentially change to snow. A few inches of accumulation would be possible. The most rainfall and the most snowfall would be in southern New Jersey.
According to the European model, we'd see ... hardly anything. Maybe a few rain showers late Saturday. And that's it.
So which solution is correct? It's too soon to tell. Honestly, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Given how this winter has gone, I would not bet a single penny on the wintry situation playing out. But it is on the table, and therefore worth mentioning and worth following closely.
We will wait for better alignment amongst our forecast models and their associated ensembles, and then add more detail to this forecast. I expect to have more insight on Wednesday, with even higher confidence by Thursday. (That's usually when I begin seriously thinking about and talking about the weekend forecast.)
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.