Brighter, drier, warmer weather on the way … eventually
We're getting there, New Jersey! The steady, soaking, drenching rain of the past two days is behind us now. While things still look pretty unsettled over the next 12 to 18 hours, little improvements Tuesday will lead to some positively pleasant weather in the coming days.
Temperatures on this Tuesday morning are in the 40s throughout the Garden State. And, for the third day in a row, temperatures will end up very much on the cool side — high temps will only reach the mid to upper 50s. That's about 15 degrees below normal for mid-May.
Radar looks clear for now, although you may encounter some drizzle and patchy fog to start the day. We are still on the backside of that slow-moving storm system as it pulls away from the Northeast coast. Widely scattered showers are expected throughout Tuesday, especially around the afternoon hours. Still will remain mostly cloudy to overcast.
After about 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, last raindrops will exit New Jersey and skies will finally clear out. Drier air and mostly clear skies are a recipe for some chilly temperatures — I expect thermometers to dip into the upper 30s to lower 40s for most of the state by Wednesday morning. That's very close to frost territory — however, I'm still confident that the wet ground will help to insulate against ice crystals forming and killing your garden.
Wednesday is looking pretty good, even though temperatures will end up slightly below normal, in the upper 60s to around 70. I'm optimistically calling skies mostly sunny (there will some clouds around, especially in the afternoon). The day will be breezy too, with a westerly wind of 10 to 20 mph.
Our next storm system is a cold front that will push through NJ from Wednesday night through early Thursday. A quick batch of rain is expected with this one. No big deal, but you may have a wet Thursday morning commute.
The balance of Thursday looks quite pleasant, with a mix of sun and clouds and highs near 70 degrees.
The warmup continues on Friday, with highs potentially bumping into the mid 70s. Skies turn grey again, however, as clouds increase early Friday morning. Guidance also flip-flops back and forth between scattered showers and isolated showers, so you might want to keep the umbrella handy.
Finally, I'm still liking what I see for the weekend forecast. However, temperatures present a significant forecast challenge here. I've seen model solutions that put high temperatures anywhere from the 60s to the 90s (!!!) for Saturday and Sunday. Ultimately, I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle (~80-ish) — there is little evidence to support a period of unseasonable cold or runaway warmth. I'm also battling with the idea of a few raindrops in there, particularly on Sunday. It's not even in the 5-day forecast yet, so we have plenty of time to hash out how this penultimate weekend of May will shake out.