NJ weather: Two-day warmup, watching a weekend coastal storm
UPDATE as of 4 p.m. Wednesday...
I just wanted to pop up in an update about our next big weathermaker, a potential nor'easter this coming weekend.
For several model runs in a row, this weekend's coastal storm has looked like much more of a "hit" than a "miss" for New Jersey. We'll play around with scenarios and more details and numbers tomorrow morning, but for now here are some bullet points:
—Most likely timing of impacts: Sunday evening through Monday morning.
—The rain-ice-snow line will probably end up right on top of New Jersey. This could be one of those storms that produces 0" of snow on one end of the state (coast) and 12" on the other (NW). With icy mix in the middle (Turnpike corridor).
—If the storm track wiggles east a bit, this could turn into a significant snowmaker for most of NJ.
—If the center of storm tracks directly over New Jersey, it would be mainly a rainmaker. (The current favored forecast, FYI.)
—With 100 hours to go before first flakes, there are still way more questions than answers. Lots of "what if"s to resolve. Hang on tight - this forecast is going to be a bumpy ride.
ORIGINAL POST from 6:28 a.m. Wednesday...
The Bottom Line
The statistics played out just as expected on Tuesday - it was New Jersey's coldest day since February 1, 2019, almost three years ago.
Although Wednesday is off to a cold (although less windy) start, temperatures should rise above-freezing in the afternoon. Thursday looks like a pleasant mid-January day too, as thermometers push to above-normal levels.
And then we turn in the other direction again, as an arctic wind starts to blow again on Friday. I hate to say it, but Saturday could be even colder than Tuesday.
And that will set the scene for our next potential storm system from Sunday night into Monday. Will it be rain? Will it be snow? Will it bring both? Will it completely miss us? Way more questions than answers at this point, but definitely worth watching.
Some spots are starting Wednesday even colder than on Tuesday. As of this writing (6 a.m.), temperatures range from 9 to 34 degrees. It's still "bundle up" weather. But at least a lighter wind will make the cold less biting and piercing, at least.
By mid-morning, the combination of sunshine and warmer air bubbling up from the southwest will start our warmup.
High temperatures Wednesday afternoon will end up on either side of 40 degrees. That's pretty typical for mid-January.
Clouds will slowly build in the afternoon. And it might be breezy at times, up to about 20 mph.
That blanket of clouds will keep temperatures from tanking too far Wednesday night. A light freeze is likely away from cities and the coast, with most lows in the upper 20s to around 30.
The warmest day of the week! Although, of course, you'll still be reaching for the jacket or coat.
Look for highs in the mid 40s, under a mix of clouds and sun. By mid-January standards, a nice day.
Aaaaand the warmup is over. Around midday Friday, another cold front will drive in the arctic wind again. And temperatures will take a tumble, from a high around 40. At least skies will turn sunny and bright blue, as our atmosphere completely dries out too.
Welcome back to the North Pole. Another frigid day for New Jersey. Morning lows could end up near 10 degrees. And afternoon highs will again get stuck in the lower 20s. Winds don't look overly blustery (10 to 15 mph), which will hopefully keep the wind chill out of "the danger zone".
Sunday & Beyond
Temperatures moderate to about the freezing mark on Sunday. But the big thing to watch is a storm system developing off the coast late-day Sunday.
Recent model runs have flip-flopped between "a big deal" and "a complete miss" for New Jersey. Now, guidance is leaning hard toward a "hit" - but that does not necessarily mean it's going to be a snow storm for New Jersey.
If the center of that low pressure tracks directly over New Jersey (as both the GFS and Euro models show this morning), it would carry warm air into areas southeast of NJ Turnpike corridor. Warm air = rainy, not snowy.
There are many unresolved questions here, directly related to the exact storm track. A "miss" is absolutely still on the table at this point, over four days before "first flakes".
Beware the hype, as we have to play this storm out slowly and carefully. If it's going to be an issue for New Jersey, I promise you'll be among the first to know. If appropriate, we'll start looking at specific timing and accumulation details on Thursday or Friday.