Steady rain, snowflakes, coastal flooding for New Jersey
Just over the hill, spectacular springlike weather awaits the Garden State over the weekend. But we have to get there first! A pair of storm systems will make for unpleasantly wet and cool conditions for most of Friday. And if you keep your fingers crossed and stay up late Friday night, you might just see some snowflakes flying around.
It's pretty cold on this Friday morning, as temperatures have dipped into the 20s and 30s across most of the state. The Jersey Shore is insulated by the (relatively) warm ocean water, with air temps in the 40s.
As of this writing (5:30 a.m.), I have only seen a stray shower pass through Cumberland and Cape May counties so far. It looks like most of the state will make it through the morning commute dry, even with some filtered sunshine. However, things will turn greyer and wetter by Friday mid-morning as rain showers bubble up from the south.
The wettest time of the day will clearly be Friday afternoon, as a period of steady rain envelops the Garden State. I don't think we'll see anything close to torrential downpours. But because it will be cool (40s), it won't be incredibly comfortable. Umbrellas up, windshield wipers on, jackets zipped!
As showers continue into Friday evening, temperatures will eventually drop. So I'm still confident that we're facing a transition to snow and/or wintry mix late Friday night. (Likely in the few hours before and after Midnight.)
And there's actually another shift to report in the latest model guidance, which shows the most snow falling across New Jersey's coastal counties, not to the northwest as previously thought. This is not a factor of temperature — all corners of NJ will probably get cold enough for at least some snowflakes. But rather, the Shore will see the last bands of precipitation, while western NJ dries out first.
I'll go so far as to suggest a coating of snow accumulation is possible, but even that's a stretch. In any case, I still do not expect any travel disruptions overnight. Precipitation should end completely by around daybreak Saturday.
There is one more concern for Saturday, and that is coastal flooding. Our latest surge models show tidal waterways will run about 1 to 2 feet higher than usual during the early morning high tide cycle. That's enough to raise alarm bells for minor to localized moderate coastal flooding up and down the Jersey Shore.
Skies will clear to sunshine Saturday morning. It will be breezy and seasonably cool to start the weekend, with highs in the upper 40s to around 50 degrees. Winds will blow out of the northwest at 10 to 20+ mph.
A big warmup will kick in Sunday, as winds become southwesterly. Highs bump into the upper 50s to around 60. Very nice!
It will get even warmer on Monday, with widespread 60s in the forecast. (I wouldn't rule out a near-record 70 either!) Skies will be partly sunny, as we enjoy another dry and very springlike day.
Our next storm systems (plural) will arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame. I can't nail down the timeline just yet, as model consistency has been sorely lacking so far. Yet again, it's going to be a mainly rain situation. (Although let's not rule out a wintry component too.) It looks like temperatures will ultimately cool off again by Thursday-Friday, but I'm not seeing anything resembling an arctic blast.
Enjoy the rain, enjoy the snowflakes, and enjoy your sunny warming weekend!