Cooling down Monday, patchy frost possible Tuesday morning
As a brisk northwesterly wind pushes temperatures down, Monday night might be New Jersey's coldest night of the season so far.
Let me start this Monday edition of the MDZ weather blog by addressing the weekend forecast. Yes, it was a bust — and I have no qualms fully admitting to that. Stubborn clouds and annoying morning mist were the ultimate downfall of my forecast. Lack of sun meant temperatures were 7 to 10 degrees cooler than expected. Just to our west in central Pennsylvania, breaks of sunshine pushed thermometers above the 80 degree mark on Sunday.
Despite the bust, the forecast for this week is on target. A cold front is driving through New Jersey as I type, pushing a band of rain through the state. As skies clear behind the rain, a gusty northwest wind will then deliver cooler air.
Monday's rain should substantially end by around Noon, with a residual shower still possible through 4 p.m. The aforementioned northwest wind will gust to/above 25 mph. Afternoon temperatures will hover in the upper 50s to around 60 degrees — that's it!
So please note: Temperatures this afternoon may be much cooler than this morning. You may want to carry a jacket or sweater for later on.
And temps will continue to plummet Monday night, leading to our coldest night since May. Most low temperatures will fall to the lower 40s. The coolest spots (NW NJ and maybe the Pinelands) will dip into the upper 30s. Once the mercury falls below 38 degrees, we call for the possibility of frost. (The air temperature does not need to be technically "freezing" for frost to form — as the coldest, densest air pools at the ground surface, the requisite frosty ice crystals can form.)
A Frost Advisory has been issued for Sussex, western Passaic, Warren, Morris, Hunterdon, and Somerset counties, for several hours early Tuesday morning. In that area of the state, our growing season is likely about to end. If you keep cold-sensitive plants outside, you'll want to bring them inside Monday night.
After the chilly start, Tuesday will remain below-normal, with high temperatures close to 60 degrees. I expect perfect blue skies and sunshine, lighter winds, and dry weather as a strong area of high pressure builds overhead.
Tuesday night will be chilly as well, with lows in the lower to mid 40s. Again, even though temperatures will be a few degrees warmer, frost will be possible. But Wednesday morning's frost will only occur in the very coolest spots, and only in the same frost area as Tuesday morning.
As winds become southwesterly on Wednesday, we'll begin another warmup. Highs on Wednesday should pop a few degrees above seasonal normals, close to 70 degrees. With high pressure still in control of our atmosphere, the day will be bright and sunny.
More of the same is expected for Thursday. Sunny, dry, and pleasant with highs in the lower 70s.
Gasp, there could be a few clouds overhead on Friday as moisture slowly returns to the atmosphere. Sunshine will still dominate, with highs pushing into the lower to mid 70s.
Clouds continue to increase for the upcoming weekend, but we'll stay dry and warm. I'm thinking weekend highs will be in the mid 70s. Nice!
Our next rain chance? 8 days away, next Tuesday morning.