Thursday and Friday nice for NJ, but will it rain this weekend?
Care to take a guess of when our last completely dry weekend across New Jersey was? April 21-22. That makes six weekends in a row in which rain fell somewhere in the state on Saturday or Sunday (or both).
As you might have guessed, the upcoming weekend will make it seven in a row — but the forecast is actually looking drier and warmer for part of the state. (Keep reading!)
We're enjoying yet another comfortable morning on this Thursday, with temperatures in the upper 50s to around 60 degrees. Cloud cover is pretty thick, with almost all NJ weather stations reporting overcast at this writing. Thursday morning looks mostly cloudy, but I'm confident we'll get breaks of sun by Thursday afternoon. That will help push high temperatures into the lower to mid 70s, just a couple degrees warmer than Wednesday. (Look for 60s again along the Jersey Shore, thanks to that marine influence.) Given the mild temperatures, light breeze, and dry weather forecast, I have no qualms in calling this a pleasant forecast.
Thursday night looks good too, as thermometers once again touch the upper 50s. Skies will be partly cloudy.
You'll notice an uptick in both temperatures and humidity for Friday, as temperatures surge into the 80s across most of the state. (We'll see cooler 70s at best along the coast — barrier islands may get stuck in the 60s again.) Skies will range between partly sunny and mostly cloudy
I think the Friday daytime hours will remain dry, even though a weak cold front will begin slipping through New Jersey. As we dive into Friday night, that front may fire off a few showers and sprinkles.
And then that front becomes incredibly troublesome for our weekend forecast. At some point, the front's forward motion will slow down and stop. (We call that a "stall".) That will leave North Jersey in a slightly cooler, drier air mass and South Jersey in the warmth and humidity. Furthermore and more importantly, a stalled front presents an ideal "highway" for approaching storm systems to follow.
The exact timing and location of the frontal stall (and eventual surge south by the end of the weekend) will directly impact our weather situation. So there's still a great deal of uncertainty in this forecast. Here's what I'm currently thinking.
During the day Saturday, we'll see hit-or-miss showers and thunderstorms spread throughout New Jersey. The GFS model actually keeps the northern half of New Jersey (above I-195) completely dry on Saturday. The Euro concurs that Saturday's rainfall will be limited. I'm leaning toward a similar forecast, which would keep North Jersey mostly dry and South Jersey mostly wet for Saturday. High temperatures are a challenge, expected to end up somewhere between the mid 70s (where it rains) to the lower 80s (where it stays dry). I've seen model temps go as high as 90 degrees to the north on Saturday, but I'm not prepared to believe such a hot forecast given the cloudiness and rain chances.
However, all models are now painting a batch of steadier, heavier rain pushing through New Jersey Saturday night. (Which I discussed on Wednesday.) The wettest spot in the state looks to be South Jersey.
That batch of rain wraps up Sunday morning, and then the forecast gets muddled again. Lingering showers will be possible for southern NJ throughout the day Sunday. But additional raindrops are not a guarantee. Meanwhile, further north, we'll dry out a bit. Skies will remain cloudy on Sunday, and hopefully we'll get a break in the humidity. Highs will end up somewhere in the 70s. (Again, drier equals warmer.)
By the end of the weekend, rainfall totals will range from "hardly anything" in North Jersey to upwards of an inch or two in South Jersey.
As high pressure builds early next week, we should enjoy a stretch of pleasant and dry weather for Monday and Tuesday at least.