Back-to-reality forecast: Clouds and cooler Wednesday for NJ
Happy New Year! As we go back to work, back to school, and back to reality on this Wednesday, there are some glimmers of good weather in the forecast. Of course, there are also two storm systems in view. The first could bring some snowflakes to North Jersey. The second could make for a wet start to the first weekend of 2019.
Clouds will win the skies over New Jersey Wednesday, with mostly cloudy to overcast conditions expected all day. That blanket of clouds is preventing early morning temperatures from dipping too cold, with 30s reported across most of the Garden State.
We'll see high temperatures in the lower 40s Wednesday afternoon (upper 30s to the north) — a far cry from those 60s on New Year's Day, but pretty typical for early January. It will be dry with only a light wind, so not much to complain about (other than the cooldown).
Our next storm system arrives late Wednesday night — well, more accurately, early Thursday morning. No big deal here, as for most of New Jersey this will only be a round of light rain between about 2 a.m. and 10 a.m.
However, in North Jersey — maybe north of Interstate 78, probably north of Interstate 80 — there could be some wintry mix involved through Thursday morning's commute. There could even be a coating of snow accumulation on the ground too. But there are no forecast models or extenuating circumstances to make this any more than just some light precipitation.
By Thursday afternoon, it will be breezy (up to 20 mph) and we'll hopefully get some sunshine poking through the clouds (especially in North Jersey). High temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 40s to lower 50s across most of the state. Potentially 10 degrees above normal for this time of year.
We'll keep the mild temperatures for Friday, again topping out near 50 degrees. Increasing clouds and dry weather will accompany those pleasant temperatures.
And then along comes our next next storm system. And you guessed it, we're getting wet again.
First raindrops could arrive as early as Midnight Friday night. Final raindrops could lingering through early Sunday morning. In between, light to moderate rain will be the story, totaling about a half-inch to an inch. Now, forecast models (particularly the NAM) have been trending slightly drier in recent runs, which is encouraging to 1.) salvage part of the day, and 2.) avoid a flooding threat. Winter weather is not in the cards at all so far.
I'm really liking the forecast for Sunday, as high temperatures surge into the lower to mid 50s. My current forecast calls for mostly to partly sunny skies. However, I am a bit concerned that an on-shore flow (a.k.a. easterly wind) will keep our atmosphere moisture-rich and cloudier than we might like.
I'm still leaning toward much colder weather arriving by the midpoint of January. Snow-lovers, be patient — your time is coming soon.