Monday will be NJ’s ‘deep freeze’ 14th day of the winter season


The essential

Sunday’s super snow forecast did not go as planned. At all. The forecast timing, temperatures and totals were way off as moderate snow was seen in northern and parts of central New Jersey. It’s a winter storm that I’m more than happy to put in the rearview mirror.

Temperatures are still dropping with fresh snow on the ground. And we find ourselves in a mass of cold air for Monday and Tuesday. Then the temperatures start to warm up from Wednesday to Thursday.

Our next stormy system will be a cold front arriving Thursday evening. Sounds like a rainmaker for New Jersey.

By next weekend, we should find mild weather, dare I say pleasant.

Monday

It is cold. As the title suggests, Monday will be the 14th day of high temperatures below freezing in New Jersey. (This stat is for Newark and Trenton airports; for ACY, it will be the 7th such day.) While the winter has been cold overall, it’s actually below average. (Although winter isn’t over yet.) And that’s well below the record 46 days of deep frost in the winter of 1977-78. Br!

Either way, the air is cold and the air is dry. We start your Valentine’s Day with temperatures mainly among teenagers. And the highs won’t hit the upper 20s, on average, until Monday afternoon. Add in a biting, northwesterly breeze at over 20 mph, and the windchill (temperature “looks like”) won’t do better than teens all day.

HRRR model temperature forecast from Monday afternoon. All of New Jersey is expected to remain below freezing all day Monday. (DuPage College of Meteorology)
HRRR model temperature forecast from Monday afternoon. All of New Jersey is expected to remain below freezing all day Monday. (DuPage College of Meteorology)

The sky will be mostly sunny, with passing clouds along the way. A few showers are possible, while snow showers over Pennsylvania are bubbly. (The best chance for a few snowflakes would be in southwestern New Jersey on Monday morning.)

Monday evening will also be freezing. With clear skies and calmer winds, lows will once again dip into the teens across most of the state. Keep in mind that anything that melted during the day will refreeze Tuesday morning – watch out for slippery spots.

Tuesday

Only a little better. But at least the temperatures will reach the freezing point. (Except for far northern New Jersey.)

Look for highs in the mid 30’s, with bright sunshine. The winds will be lighter than Monday – so it will be a much more comfortable day.

Wednesday

Turning over season. Highs warm up to the mid 40s. Early sunshine will bring afternoon clouds. All in all a dry and pleasant day.

Thusday

Changes will be underway. Hot then cold. Windy then wet.

First, let’s talk about the return of unseasonable heat. High temperatures return to 60 degrees and remain there throughout the afternoon and evening.

There will also be more and more wind. The south-southwesterly flow fueling the warming will be more than noticeable. And then, the wind at the end of the night will cause a possible cooling, because it will swing towards the northwest. Either way, I’m concerned about wind gusts in the 40-50+ mph range.

The sky will be mostly cloudy. And the approach of the cold front will trigger a period of driving rain. The first raindrops could start as early as Thursday afternoon, becoming heavier and more stable throughout the night. Yes, we’re just talking about wet weather – not wintry. About a half inch of rain seems likely.

Friday

By the time you wake up Friday morning, the rain will end and colder air will return to Jersey. We will settle into the lower 40 degrees by Friday afternoon.

It is important to note that this “Arctic explosion” is not as dramatic and freezing as the previous ones. The lower 40s is quite close to the normal seasonal high for mid-February. Is this a sign that the polar vortex is losing its grip on the Northeast? Is this a sign that the “death of winter” is behind us? Hmmm.

Friday will be windy, with the sun emerging in the afternoon.

The long term forecast

Right now, I like what I see for the weekend. (A welcome change from some very active weather weekends since the start of the year.) Lots of sunshine. Light winds. Dry weather (as a coastal storm system remains path south of New Jersey). Highs in the 40s on Saturday and potentially in the 50s on Sunday. Pleasant!

There is no threat of snow in the long range forecast. That doesn’t mean winter is over – oh, we still have five weeks until the vernal equinox.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: Your forecast for 5 days and more

Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook Where Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

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