The Bottom Line

The headline of this article tells it all: We begin the week firmly embedded in a cold and very dry air mass. But improvements are on the way, as thermometers rise to seasonable levels by midweek. Perfect timing for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Other than the chill, there will be no issues for the pre-Thanksgiving travel rush. But there are a pair of storm systems that could dampen the holiday weekend — one on Friday, and another on Sunday. Both look wet (if that), not wintry.

Monday

For the first time this season, every corner of New Jersey has frozen on this Monday morning. As of this writing (5:45 a.m.), temperatures range from 12 degrees in northwestern New Jersey to 30 degrees to the southeast. Brrr!

Monday will be better than Sunday — not as windy and slightly warmer. But it's still going to be breezy and pretty chilly. Look for sunny skies and very dry air. (The dewpoint will be the single digits — chapped lips and parched throats galore.) The west-southwest wind may occasionally gust to 2 mph. High temperatures are forecast to reach the lower 40s. Still 10+ degrees below normal for mid-late November. But again, better.

A few clouds may creep in Monday night. And I could see a flurry or two flying around the northern part of the state. A freeze is likely for most of the state, with lows in the upper 20s to around 30 degrees.

Tuesday

More improvements. It will be sunny and slightly warmer. High temperatures in the upper 40s. Maybe 50 in far South Jersey. Still 5+ degrees below seasonal norms. But at least winds will be considerably lighter.

Wednesday

After a 9-day cold snap, we will finally see a return to seasonable temperatures on Wednesday. (Normal highs for late November are in the lower 50s, by the way.) 50 to 55 degrees Wednesday afternoon, with lots of sunshine. Should be a pleasant November day. (Note: I didn't say "warm" necessarily.)

Dry weather and calm winds will mean no weather issues on the roads, on the rails, or in the air. Great news for one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Thanksgiving Thursday

Clearly, the most important part of the Thanksgiving forecast is the morning, with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and the 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. I'm happy to say it looks like a great day for a parade: temperatures in the 30s, dry weather, and light winds no more than about 10 mph.

The rest of your Thanksgiving holiday looks equally delightful. Clouds will increase, putting an end to this long stretch of sunny days. But our weather and air will stay completely dry. A little wind shift will probably keep temperatures a degree or two cooler than Wednesday. But lower 50s is right about where we should be this time of year.

The Extended Forecast

There will be some hiccups and speed bumps in the weather department through the rest of the holiday weekend.

Models have been fairly consistent in showing a storm system driving rain through New Jersey on Black Friday. While the latest GFS model backs off the wet weather a lot (still keeping showers to the north and east), the Euro model is full steam ahead on a period of wet weather. So we shall see how heavy and widespread the rain will be. A dry day is a possibility for Friday too.

One thing I'm fairly confident about: No snow or ice Friday.

While Saturday's weather should be good, another potential storm system is looming for Sunday. Another very busy travel day.

I don't want to go too heavy on details yet, since it's still seven days away. Just know that another area of low pressure tracking directly over New Jersey could lead to another period of wet weather. I'm not seeing any intrusion of colder air, leading to wintry weather issues. But I wouldn't rule it out for this one.

We'll obviously keep a close watch on those possible travel hindrances as the week goes on.

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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