NJ weather: Beautiful Friday and Saturday, turning iffy Sunday
The Bottom Line
We will put chilly, frosty mornings behind us for a while, as temperatures rise into the 60s and 70s for the foreseeable future.
While the forecast for Friday and Saturday is looking great, a coastal storm system will bring in limited rain and wind for Sunday. It's not a washout though.
Next week should get even warmer.
Sunny skies. Barely a breeze. Dry air. Dry weather. And seasonable temperatures. Nothing to complain about here, folks! (Well, once it warms up a little bit Friday morning, that is.)
It is our third chilly, frosty morning in a row. We are starting the day with temperatures in the 30s away from coastal and urban areas. Meanwhile, it is as warm as the 50s along the southern coast.
High temperatures Friday will reach about 60 to 65 degrees. That is five degrees warmer than Thursday. And very close to the long-term average for late October. We call that seasonable.
Sunshine will win the sky, from morning through afternoon. And the wind will be considerably lighter than Thursday, barely topping 10 mph.
Friday night will be crystal clear and bone dry. And definitely cool — but I think we will avoid a widespread frost this time around. Most low temperatures will dip into the lower to mid 40s. (Northwestern NJ and the Pine Barrens could see 30s and patchy frost.)
This is one of my favorite times of the year, with so many fun, outdoor, autumnal activities.
So I'm thrilled that Saturday will be a beautiful late October day, hands down. Skies will be mostly sunny, pushing temps about five degrees higher than Friday. We'll end up above seasonal normals, around 65 to 70 degrees Saturday afternoon.
Clouds may start to fill in Saturday afternoon and especially Saturday evening. But all model guidance keeps raindrops away.
A coastal storm system — an area of low pressure approaching from the southeast, from the oceanside — will "kiss" New Jersey's shoreline on Sunday. But will that kiss be a peck on the cheek or a big sloppy wet one?
A washout seems unlikely. I can tell you with certainty that Sunday's weather will not be as nice as Saturday's. But honestly, I am still not impressed by the ingredients coming together for this storm system. It just doesn't scream "soaker" or "windmaker" at this point.
Baseline, Sunday will turn cloudy and breezy. Wind gusts may hit 20 mph inland and 30 mph coast.
Scattered showers are likely too, especially to the south and east.
But there's a lot of uncertainty here regarding the exact track this system will take up the coast, and how organized it will become.
So, even though we are leaning into a generally "damp and dreary and inclement" forecast for Sunday, there are still some questions to answer:
1.) Will those showers drift as far west as the Delaware River, meaning everyone in New Jersey would get wet at some point?
2.) Could we see some pockets of steadier or heavier rain develop? That would push rainfall totals from less than a half-inch to an inch or two. I think such a scenario would be limited to the southern and eastern edges of the state. And seems most likely late Sunday.
3.) When will this thing leave? There have been some hints that a piece of energy and moisture will be left behind Monday and Tuesday, even though the main storm system departs out to sea.
Monday's forecast is even trickier, especially given question #3 above.
Professional opinion? There is a good chance showers linger through Monday morning. But I favor a clearer, drier, warmer forecast by Monday afternoon.
So we'll just call it "clearing skies" on Monday. With the potential for temperatures to soar to 70 degrees, especially if the sun comes out.
The Extended Forecast
We are in the last third of October now. And the long-range forecast shows more days with mild, above-normal temperatures than below.
Tuesday should be a pleasant weather day, with highs potentially in the 70s. The details depend on cloud cover and wind direction, but I generally like what I see.
The GFS model is painting another strong storm system arriving in New Jersey around the Thursday-Friday time frame. (While the Euro model is earlier, Wednesday-Thursday.) We're too far out for a good view on the potential impacts, although a good soaking rain is on the table. We will worry about the if's, what's, and when's next week.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.