Thursday will be transition day for NJ: Cooler temps, calmer seas
A cold front will sweep Tropical Storm Maria out to sea, while delivering much cooler and drier air to New Jersey.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, September 27, 2017...
Tropical Storm Maria
Maria is not looking healthy. As the storm continues to push into the cooler waters off the mid-Atlantic coast, it has begun to fall apart. As of early Wednesday morning, Maria was maintaining tropical storm force winds of 70 mph. While forward motion is still toward the north, the storm is still forecast to make a sharp right turn and shoot out-to-sea. We'll be staring intently at the satellite image for that directional shift by the end of Wednesday.
As the center passes within 300 miles of New Jersey, the outer reaches of the storm may have very slight impacts on our weather for Wednesday. First, thicker clouds will persist along the coast. Second, South Jersey might get a bit breezy at times on Wednesday, but I don't think gusts will peak over 20 mph. Third, I'm still including a chance for a few showers in the forecast.
Finally, the Atlantic Ocean remains very rough along the entire New Jersey coastline. A High Surf Advisory is in effect for coastal Atlantic and Cape May counties through Thursday morning, calling for 6 to 10 foot waves. While Monmouth and Ocean county beaches fall out of the technical advisory, the ocean will be ferocious for another day, with 5 to 7 foot waves. The rip current risk will be high until Maria exits the area, by Thursday evening.
One More Summerlike Day
Aside from the minor Maria impacts I already mentioned, Wednesday will be the grand finale of our warm, very humid, summerlike day more warm, very humid, summerlike day across the Garden State on Wednesday. Remember that normal high temperatures are in the lower 70s right now. Most of the state will reach the mid to upper 80s yet again by Wednesday afternoon, holding 15+ degrees above seasonal normals. The Jersey Shore will be a bit cooler, in the upper 70s or so.
Thursday: Transition Day
A cold front will sweep through New Jersey from late Wednesday night through early Thursday morning. This frontal passage has always been modeled to be a dry one, so no rain in the forecast. As all levels of the atmosphere dry out, skies should clear thoroughly behind the front. And a brisk wind will pick up by Thursday daybreak as well.
Overall, Thursday looks like a blustery day, with wind gusts to 35 mph possible. That stiff breeze will carry in cooler and much drier air. So, despite plentiful sunshine all day Thursday, high temperatures will only reach the mid 70s.
Feeling Like Fall
By Friday morning, there will be a definite autumn "chill" in the air. Wakeup temperatures will be mostly in the lower 50s, with some 40s possible in the coolest spots.
Winds will be much lighter on Friday, but temperatures look even cooler. Again, despite sunny skies, we'll only make it to the lower 70s. That's part for the course for late September — it should be a pleasant autumn day.
A secondary cold front looks to arrive Friday night, potentially dragging a few light showers through the Garden State. More importantly, it means we're getting even cooler for the weekend!
While the week started near 90 degrees, both Saturday and Sunday will top out in the upper 60s to around 70 degrees. That's just below normal for this time of year. Sunday will probably be the nicer day, with more sunshine and lighter winds. But Saturday won't be too shabby either. You just might want a light jacket handy, especially if you're out in the early morning or late night hours.
Despite the arrival of more fall-like weather, no widespread frosts or freezes are in the forecast for the next 7 days. There are also no major rain chances on the way.