Another soaker: Friday will be NJ’s 179th rain/snow day of 2018
Yes, you read that right. According to my math, we've had 178 days with at least 0.01" of precipitation at the Newark, Trenton, and/or Atlantic City weather stations. (For the record, 14 of those 178 days had measurable snow reported too — the rest were all rain.)
We've got another soaker on the way for late Thursday night into Friday. Ding, #179. And a New Year's Eve storm system could pad our record-breaking annual rainfall totals even more. Boom, #180. That's just shy of half of the year, wet or wintry. (Back of the envelope calculation shows this year would fall around 3rd place in the number of precipitation days. Average is about a third of the year.)
OK, enough statistics. Let's talk about the forecast.
Our impending rain will not fall during the Thursday daytime hours. In fact, it's going to feel like the past couple of days. Chilly 20s and 30s in the morning, with seasonable high temperatures between about 40 and 45 degrees. The day will start with mostly sunny skies in the morning, with clouds increasing throughout the afternoon and evening.
Models show showers arriving in New Jersey late Thursday night, well after Midnight. (Specifically, I'm seeing first raindrops between about 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.) Overnight low temperatures are expected to dip no cooler than about 35 to 40 degrees. I'm still thinking this precipitation will be almost all rain — but at the same time, I can't rule out a few hours of wintry mix around colder NW NJ.
Rain will become steadier just in time for Friday morning's rush hour, and it's going to be yet another soggy day. In fact, model guidance has trended even wetter over the past day. 1 inch of rainfall seems a sure bet for the entire state. Some model solutions are pointing to a swath of 2+ inches of rain across the southern half of New Jersey. (Maybe even locally higher amounts, over 3 inches?) That's obviously more than enough water to induce yet another round of flash and river flooding. #BrokenRecord
Rain should taper to scattered showers by Friday late afternoon and end completely by Friday night.
High temperatures on Friday will reach about 55 to 60 degrees across the Garden State. Wet, not wintry. Soggy, not snowy. Inclement, not icy.
By Saturday, our atmosphere will start to dry out and clear out. Temperatures are a little tricky here. I think we'll see a high temperature near 50 degrees sometime Saturday morning, before a brisk northwesterly wind drives temperatures downward once again. Definitely a blustery day, wind gusts to 35 mph will be likely for most of the day Saturday. Thermometers will probably tumble into the 30s by Saturday evening.
Sunday will be quieter, but will definitely mark a return to the chilly side of the world. Under a mix of sun and clouds with lighter winds, high temperatures will only reach around the 40 degree mark. That's actually near-normal for late December.
Our final storm system of 2018 will arrive on New Year's Eve Monday. The latest timeline puts a half-inch to an inch of rain (yup, just rain) over New Jersey during the second half of Monday — yes, it may impact any outdoor Eve plans. I think that timing is subject to wiggle a bit earlier or later, since we're still about 100 hours away from onset. Stay tuned, revelers.
While we rang in 2018 with record cold, the current forecast for New Year's Day 2019 shows near-record warmth. Don't worry, winter-lovers — this mild, rainy pattern is not going to last much longer.