The Bottom Line

Our weather turns calmer and cooler as we kick off the month of December. Temperatures look to stay at or below normal for the foreseeable future. And our next storm system (or pair of systems) look to come along at the end of the week.

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Tuesday

Happy December! This is, on average, New Jersey's third coldest month of the year. And the start of climatological winter, the coldest three months of the year (alonside January and February, of course). Days are getting darker as the Winter Solstice approaches. But the holiday season is keeping our spirits merry and bright!

Usually, daily temperatures follow a "diurnal" pattern — morning lows occur just before sunrise, and we hit highs in the middle of the afternoon. Tuesday will be just the opposite — as cooler, drier air works into New Jersey, temperatures will slowly fall as the day goes on. From about 50 in the morning to near 40 by sunset late Tuesday afternoon.

It will be a breezy day, with breaks of sun along the way. We're also on the backside of yesterday's powerful storm system. So a few spotty showers are expected — especially in the midday hours, especially in the northern half of the state, and mainly rain. If that shower activity lingers through dinnertime, I could see a few snowflakes flying around NW NJ.

We return to frost-freeze territory Tuesday night, with most lows in the lower 30s (away from urban and coastal areas). It will be partly cloudy and dry.

Wednesday

A chilly early December day, with high temperatures only reaching the mid 40s. That is about 5 degrees below normal for this time of year. At least it will be bright and sunny, with light winds. Expect dry weather, aside from a possible flurry.

Thursday

Better, as highs return to the seasonable 50-degree mark. Early sunshine will lead to building clouds late-day.

Friday

As a cold front slowly approaches and passes through New Jersey, we face our next chance of rain. Models show wet weather firing up right on top of us pretty much all day Friday. I'm not sure I buy that solution, as available energy and moisture will be limited for any active convection.

Still, model guidance has been pretty wacky in general for the late-week time period, so it's worth putting in the rain chance Friday and then adjusting with more detail later on.

The Extended Forecast

I shrug my shoulders thusly at the weekend forecast.

Both the GFS and Euro models have been waffling back and forth about a potential storm system in the Saturday-Sunday time frame. And even this morning, the GFS paints a strong coastal storm coming to visit New Jersey from late Saturday through late Sunday. The Euro, however, shows that storm system sliding through South Carolina and Georgia — that is a big geographical distance!

Even if this storm is a hit, the timing and trajectory and anticipated temperatures would lend to more rain than anything wintry. But even that statement is speckled with more question marks than the Riddler's costume.

As I said in yesterday's blog entry, the weekend forecast is still a "wait and see" situation. Hopefully we'll have better resolution by Wednesday morning — especially since that's when I seriously start talking about the weekend on the radio!

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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