The Bottom Line
The big weather headline here is still a storm system set to dampen New Jersey's mood (and weather) on Thursday. It is not going to rain all day. In fact, rainfall totals and the severe thunderstorm threat have scaled back a bit. It's just going to be a flip to inclement and fairly unpleasant weather.
We do need the rain, to avoid falling in another rainfall deficit hole. Unlike Ian's remnants, which soaked New Jersey for six days at the beginning of the month, this batch of rain will last less than a day.
Other than that impending burst of wet weather, the forecast looks great. Temperatures will be remarkably consistent, with daily highs coming close to 70 degrees every day through the end of the weekend.
No big weather issues, as we hold on to mild, pleasant conditions for one more day.
Your Wednesday is starting off with a chill in the air, as temperatures have tumbled into the 40s across inland New Jersey (and 50s along the coast). So, just like Monday and Tuesday, you'll want a jacket to start the day. But sunshine through Wednesday morning will push temperatures upward very quickly.
Clouds will increase into Wednesday afternoon. But high temperatures should still reach about 70 degrees, give or take. That is slightly above normal for mid October.
Skies will turn mostly cloudy Wednesday night. And I can't rule out a spot shower or sprinkle after 5 p.m.
Because of increased cloud cover and humidity, Wednesday night won't get that cold. In fact, it should be our warmest night in two and a half weeks (since September 26th). Low temperatures should dip into the upper 50s to around 60 degrees.
It's going to rain. Overall, I think it will be a relatively unpleasant, inclement-at-times day. But it won't be a total washout.
Forecast models are painting two different scenarios for Thursday.
The first, depicted by the NAM (mesoscale) model puts scattered showers over New Jersey starting around 10 a.m. Thursday, lasting through mid-afternoon (say, 4 p.m.) Then we would see one more big push of thunderstorms between 10 p.m. Thursday night and 4 a.m. Friday morning.
On the other hand, both the GFS and Euro (long-range) models glom the two rounds of rain together, lasting from about 11 a.m. Thursday through 4 a.m. Friday. The "main event" with heavier rain and strongest storm cells would be around the early evening (dinnertime) hours.
It's difficult to give a confident, accurate, pinpoint forecast when model guidance is so wishy-washy. But the truth (and therefore, my forecast) is somewhere in the middle. Here's what I'm thinking:
—Thursday morning probably starts dry, although mostly cloudy and windy. (Possible ambient gusts to 30 mph throughout the day.)
—Scattered showers will move in eventually Thursday midday, afternoon and evening.
—The biggest push of rain — featuring pockets of heavy stuff and strong thunderstorm cells — will be late-day, around the early evening/dinnertime hours.
—Rain will taper off Thursday night, with skies clearing by daybreak Friday morning.
—There is a slight risk of severe weather, mainly from gusty winds. (The tornado threat is very low, but not zero.)
—Total rainfall will range from just less than a half-inch in South Jersey to almost an inch in North Jersey. Locally higher amounts are possible from downpours, although any flooding concern is very isolated.
—Temperatures don't budge much, despite the clouds, the rain, and the cold front in the vicinity. Highs on Thursday will be seasonable, around 65 to 70 degrees.
Flipping back to sunshine and dry, pleasant weather.
Will we see blue skies by early morning or late morning? Eh, not sure. It doesn't matter though, as we enjoy another gorgeous day. High temperatures will end up in the upper 60s to around 70.
An outstanding start to the weekend.
Having said that, Saturday morning will bring a return of chilly temperatures, likely in the 40s. Any frost threat would be very limited, to the coldest corners of the state only.
Under mostly sunny skies, highs will push into the lower 70s Saturday afternoon. A great day to enjoy all those fantastic fall activities.
Pretty nice. Although I can't put forth a completely dry forecast.
A shower chance will crop up both early and late on Sunday. But if you can dodge those raindrops, or plan any outings in the middle of the day, you should be fine.
Look for periods of sun and clouds Sunday, with high temperatures once again aiming for the lower 70s.
The Extended Forecast
October is notorious for big cold fronts — bursts of cold, wind, and rain. And the next series of fronts is on the horizon for early next week.
Although rain chances are minimal, temperatures are going to take another notable dip. The latest forecast shows highs in the 60s on Monday and only 50s on Tuesday.
By the middle of next week — Tuesday or especially Wednesday morning — we could also see our first truly widespread frost/freeze of the season across New Jersey. That is pretty much right on schedule.
We also look forward to fall foliage colors peaking through the last third of October.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.