Wednesday NJ weather: Mostly cloudy, just breezy, and on the cool side
As promised, the wind was pretty wicked on Tuesday. As Tropical Storm Arthur swung eastward out to sea, it engaged in a fierce battle with a dome of high pressure over eastern Canada. That pressure gradient sparked 40+ mph wind gusts across the southern half of New Jersey. The top wind gusts in the state was registered at Fortescue, Cumberland County — 48 mph.
Wednesday will be a calmer day, although I'll still call it "breezy" — easterly winds should max out at 20+ mph. Skies will be mostly cloudy to overcast, as a barely-moving storm system hangs out just south of the Garden State. We could see a shower or sprinkle bubble up into southwestern New Jersey, especially Wednesday morning. (As of this writing, those raindrops are just a few miles away from Salem/Cumberland counties.)
This time of year — entering the last third of May — we're looking for (and craving) warming temperatures in the 70s. But once again, thermometers will be held at bay by the clouds and on-shore breeze. We'll only hit upper 50s (coast) to lower 60s (inland). Well below seasonal norms. Again.
A high risk of rip currents and rough surf continues along the Jersey Shore Wednesday too. 5 to 9 foot ocean waves are expected. However, tide levels have decreased, so I'm happy to say the risk of coastal flooding is behind us.
Thursday looks a bit brighter and slightly warmer, as that "stuck" storm system wiggles away from NJ. With a mix of sun and clouds, I'll put forecast highs in the lower to mid 60s. Once again, the Jersey Shore will be the cool spot with a light east breeze.
On Friday, our dominant wind direction is expected to shift from easterly to southerly. Combined with some good sunshine through the first half of the day, and temperatures will take a welcome jump upward. Highs should reach the upper 60s to lower 70s Friday afternoon. Clouds will be on the increase, but the daytime hours on Friday look pretty good.
However, that "stuck" storm system will finally unhinge itself on Friday too. Scattered rain will begin creeping into New Jersey from the southwest around Friday late afternoon — let's say starting around 4 p.m. Friday night into Saturday morning looks generally wet, although I don't see a mounting threat of heavy rain or thunderstorms or anything dramatic like that.
Clouds and showers will probably hang around for most of Saturday — but it's important note that the day does not look like a total washout. It will be breezy, with highs mainly between 65 and 70 degrees. If we see a late-day pop of sunshine, I could see some lower 70s at the tail-end of Saturday afternoon.
I remain optimistic that we'll dry out with partial sunshine for Sunday and Memorial Day Monday. Temperatures, however, pose a forecast problem and will be highly dependent on the precise wind direction. Right now, I'm thinking mid 60s Sunday and warmer upper 60s Monday. Not exactly "beach weather" there. But I will stress that if there's anything in this forecast I'm uncertain about, it is the weekend temperatures. Let's see how things continue to develop.
Next week, as soon as we see southerly or southwesterly winds, high temps will jump into the 70s. Long-range forecast models suggest that is a possibility for Tuesday.