Mild Start. Cooler Finish (March 20-22)

Written on 03/19/2020
Jonathan Carr

Discussion: The upper-level jet should push to the N of NJ on Friday as 500mb ridging flexes. The jet should then sink to the S of NJ for the rest of the weekend as geopotential heights relax but still remain slightly positive. At the surface this means a warm March day for Friday, showers and possibly thunderstorms Friday PM as the jet transitions through with a cold front, and then a cooler but drier Saturday and Sunday. Friday afternoon looks like the peak of warmth and early Sunday AM the peak of cold. Some models have suggested snow for parts of NNJ on Monday. We will have a synoptic system producing cold rain for much of the state but I doubt any snow accumulations are likely. The most realistic scenario IMO is cold rain for all of NJ but the highest elevations of Sussex County. I’ll report more this weekend if that changes but otherwise the snow from Monday’s system should stay to our NW. We dry out on Tuesday with a very transient area of high pressure moving through followed by another synoptic rain disturbance expected for Wednesday. After that we should return to milder conditions for Thursday-forward.

Friday (March 20) high temperatures should likely break 70 for many areas and could possibly get closer to 80 for interior CNJ/SNJ. Skies should be mixed with sun and clouds with showers and thunderstorms possible later during PM hours. Winds should be light-to-breezy out of the SW. Overnight lows should range from near-40 to near-50 NNJ to SNJ.

Saturday (March 21) high temperatures should reach the lower-50s for most areas. Perhaps NNJ hangs in the mid-to-upper 40s. Skies should be mostly sunny. Winds should be breezy out of the N/NW. Overnight lows should range from near-20 to mid-30s NNJ to SNJ.

Sunday (March 22) high temperatures should fail to escape the 40s statewide. Skies should be mostly sunny. Winds should be light-to-breezy out of the NW after likely subsiding by morning, if not earlier Saturday night. Overnight lows should range from near-30 to near-40 NNJ to SNJ.

An early look at next week indicates an unsettled and rainy Monday and Wednesday. The Monday system could produce a wintry mix for some in NWNJ but accumulations are not likely. Honestly, I wouldn’t hold my breath for it. A cold statewide rain is more likely the outcome with maybe the highest Sussex County elevations getting in on some snowfall. A dry break is expected between the two rainy days (on Tuesday). Thursday and Friday then look mild and dry. Let’s take another look on Sunday. Everyone have a great weekend and please be safe! JC

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