Good Tuesday morning, South Jersey! Stop me if you've heard this one: Below average temperatures persist for a few more days. Sound familiar? That's what Dan and I said for a large majority of March. With yesterday's highs reaching the 60s in many areas (Only the second time this year we've reached 60...an average of once every 45 days at this blistering pace), one could hope that the cold weather we experienced would become a memory. Not so fast, ladies and gentlemen. Yesterday evening's cold front brought a rather unwelcome sight and a cruel belated April Fool's joke with it: A return to below average temperatures. High pressure to the west will continue to move westward, and its associated northwesterly flow along the eastern edge of the ridge will bring down plenty of cool air at the surface and aloft. There is, however, a silver lining to this dark and cool cloud, and that is the fact that we won't see too many clouds over the next three days. This same ridge of high pressure, as it moves towards the coast, will keep the air nice and dry, allowing for mostly sunny skies to stay in the region through Thursday. The down side is that we'll maintain high temperatures in the daytime that will trend about 5 to 10 degrees below average for this time of year. Our average high temperature is 57 degrees...we'll be lucky to reach 50 over the next three days despite mostly sunny skies. Add a west to northwest wind at 10 to 20mph to the mix and you have the makings for a late February-like day. Not to be outdone, lows tonight and tomorrow night will flirt with record lows, especially tomorrow night. Temperatures will drop well into the 20s on the mainland and try to stay near 30 degrees along the coast.
A pattern change does begin to emerge by the end of the work week, but as always, there's a catch. A low pressure system will run up the coastline through the day on Friday. Cloud cover increases ahead of it, and rain will likely follow through the afternoon and evening. With temperatures well into the low 50s, I won't even mention the s-word in this forecast (Or any other time...hopefully...knock on wood). The main question behind this low isn't if or when, but how much rain will fall. Two main trains of thought are emerging in the model runs. Train #1 will be represented by the EURO, and it shows a weaker system that tracks further out to sea. The end result: Lighter rainfall amounts and lighter winds. Train #2 features the Canadian and GFS (American) models. Their interpretation of this low is a little more robust and closer to the coastline, which means more rain and a little more wind. With this event still several days out, there is still time to iron out the track details. Dan and I will keep you posted on that. Beyond this storm, high pressure returns for the weekend, and warmer temperatures begin to return. Mid 50s by Saturday, upper 50s by Sunday, and we could see 60 degrees again on Monday. The big question here is this: How long does this warming trend last? Some long term models have this warm-up going into next week with a run at 70 degrees (!!!) as early as Tuesday. As we've seen before, however, a lot can change in a week, so we'll continue to monitor this potential trend shift.
Have a great day!
- Meteorologist Adam Rutt