The Bottom Line

No rain and no wind, just sunshine and mild temperatures. That will probably make Tuesday our nicest day of the week.

The forecast becomes much more active as our next storm system arrives Wednesday into Thursday. Over an inch of rain is looking likely for part of the state. The return of a cold wind will be rather blustery and unpleasant. And the combination of those two weather factors could lead to some snowflakes to start the month of April - no fooling!

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Tuesday

There is no denying it is cold Tuesday morning. Temperatures have fallen into the 30s across most of the state, with 40s along the Jersey Shore. Some spots have even dropped below freezing. It’s not unusual to see a widespread frost/freeze this time of year. (A different story about 3 to 4 weeks from now, as we get deeper into Spring and average temperatures continue to rise.)

The culprit for the chill? Radiative cooling. Clear skies, calm winds, and dry air.

On the flip side, dry air also means we’ll warm up quickly once the sun gets going. Thermometers should jump to around 60 to 65 degrees by Tuesday afternoon. That is on the order of 5 degrees above normal for late March. The cool spot, as usual, will be coastal communities, stuck in the 50s due to the sea breeze machine.

Sunny, dry, and mild. A beautiful day.

Tuesday evening looks good too. Clouds will start to roll in, but we’ll stay dry overnight. And it’s not even going to get that cold. Lows dip into the upper 40s or so by Wednesday morning.

Wednesday

The final day of March. And it’s not going to be very lamb-ish.

Wednesday will start mostly cloudy, with a stray rain shower possible early on. High temperatures will again be on the mild side, reaching the lower to mid 60s by Noon.

But then our weather will go downhill, as steady to heavy rain arrives around midday. And it’ll stay wet through the afternoon. And the evening. And the overnight. All the way through Thursday morning.

Some models are pumping out some really heavy rain here too. I think about an inch is a good bet for all but far northern New Jersey. But the latest NAM showing a pocket of almost 4 inches of rain in South Jersey? Yikes, that’s a lot of water. At least that will fall over a period of about 24 hours, rather than all at once.

Thursday

As our storm system slowly exits, Thursday morning, we face the final pockets of rain along with colder air “whooshing” in from the northwest. If those two factors combine, there is a legitimate shot for some snow at the tail end of this thing.

I still don’t expect much here - just some flakes, mainly to the north and west. Having said that, a few models hint at lingering snow showers into Thursday afternoon. And you won’t have to go far northwest of NJ to find a few inches of snow accumulation, in the Poconos and Central New York.

Don’t expect much clearing Thursday. And it’s going to turn cold and windy again. The temperature forecast is tricky. I’m hopeful we’ll see the mid 40s Thursday afternoon. But that’s an optimistic call, as this new pool of air is pretty cold. And it’s going to feel even colder, with regular wind gusts between 30 and 40 mph.

Friday

Another blustery day. A northwest breeze will blow at 10 to 20 mph. A widespread freeze seems likely Friday morning, followed by afternoon highs barely into the 40s. Not a “good” weather day, even though we will see partial sunshine.

The Weekend & Beyond

Improvements are on the way for the weekend, with a big warmup heading into the Easter holiday. Sunny and seasonable 50s on Saturday. Partly sunny and 60s on Sunday. I can’t completely rule out a shower or sprinkle for Easter Sunday too, but there’s nothing grandiose or widespread there.

In fact, our next storm system isn’t modeled until the middle of next week. That will allow temperatures to stay on the mild side through Monday and Tuesday too. If all goes well, thermometers may touch 70 degrees for part of the Garden State.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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