Yes, there is a legitimate chance of 80s in NJ later this week
The headline of this post is a reference to a weather blog entry I wrote last week — Yes, there is a legitimate chance of snow in NJ this weekend.
And snow it did! The state's top snow total Saturday morning was 0.9" in Highland Lakes, Sussex County, with a Trace (<0.1") reported as far south as Freehold, Monmouth County. Another round of snow showers and squalls Saturday afternoon gave us a highly unusual burst of winter over the Mother's Day Weekend. Now, as we're looking toward temperatures possibly reaching the 80s by next weekend, we're going to get a taste all four seasons in the span of a single week! Crazy times we live in, eh? Monday is going to be an unsettled weather day, as a weak cold front slides toward New Jersey. As of this writing (5:30 a.m.) Monday morning, a few showers have sparked along NJ's southern coastline. And we'll keep scattered showers and even thunderstorms in the forecast through about Monday midday — it's not going to rain all day, and it may not even rain everywhere in the state. Rainfall totals will range from zero to a couple tenths of an inch.
An isolated shower will remain possible Monday afternoon, but you should catch some sun too. It will be breezy, with high temperatures only around 60. That is slightly cooler than Sunday, and about 10 degrees below normal for mid-May. (Can you believe it's already mid-May???)
We'll start to feel the new air mass behind that cold front Monday night. Skies will clear, and dew points will drop as our air dries out. Low temperatures will once again be on the chilly side, in the near-record mid to upper 30s (away from cities and coast). Patchy frost is possible for the coldest parts of New Jersey.
Tuesday will likely be our coolest day of the week, with highs only in the upper 50s and a stiff northwesterly breeze. At least skies will be mostly sunny. The day should have an "early April" or "early November" kind of feel.
On Wednesday, our warmup begins as high temps bump into the lower 60s. It should be another bright, sunny day with lighter winds to boot.
And even more sunshine expected Thursday morning. (When's the last time we had two and a half days of sun in a row???) Clouds will build Thursday afternoon, but thermometers should still spike into the mid to upper 60s. Still slightly below normal, but springlike and pleasant.
And then along comes Friday. Our latest forecast puts highs across New Jersey between about 77 and 82 degrees. (The Jersey Shore may end up slightly cooler, but there should be a prominent-enough land breeze to dampen the sea breeze effect.)
Unfortunately, the warmth will come with a return to unsettled weather, for Friday at least. Skies will be mostly cloudy. Winds will be elevated, sustained 10 to 20 mph with 30+ mph gusts. And a round of thunderstorms is looking likely late-day. That's the price we pay for warmth and humidity returning to the atmosphere.
Given the storm chance, I'm sensing that Saturday could qualify as the "nicest" day of the week. Temperatures slide back into the mid to upper 70s for most of the state. Early clouds should give way to afternoon sunshine. And I'm going with a dry forecast for now.
On Sunday, we pick up an on-shore breeze, which will keep the eastern half of NJ (at least) cooler. There could be a few raindrops around through early next week too.
Probably the best news of all is that this looks to be sustained warmth. In other words, long-range forecast models show temperatures will remain at-or-above normal for the foreseeable future. (Possibly through Memorial Day Weekend?) That is meteorological music to our ears, after such a long stretch of regularly dreary, cool, and even wintry weather. Bring on the warmup!