Good Thursday morning to you, South Jersey! If your alarm didn't wake you up this morning, then perhaps the rather strong wind outside did the trick! Wind advisories remain in place through the rest of the morning for the entire region due to very strong and gusty northwest winds in the aftermath of last night's cold front passage. Between the strong wind and incredibly dry air in place, an enhanced risk for fire danger is also present for the entire region. Please be sure to take extra caution with ANYTHING that could potentially spark a fire.
With that said, today's windy conditions will also create some rather intense wind chill factors, especially by mid-March standards. With high pressure to our west, a strong northwesterly flow will pull in a wealth of cold air from Canada into the Northeast. High temperatures today will not only be 15 to 20 degrees below average, but they'll also be 30 to even 40 degrees colder than what we had just experienced on Tuesday! Such is March in South Jersey, and today is a prime example of how fickle the weather can be. Highs will struggle to get out of the low 30s throughout the region with wind chill values in the teens due to that aforementioned northwest wind at 25 to 30mph. Gusts may exceed 40 to 45mph, especially along the coast. Lows tonight will be dependent to an extent on how much our winds calm down through the night. Calmer winds mean colder overnight lows, while stronger winds circulate the air at the surface. I do think winds calm down a bit, but it won't be enough to challenge our record low of 12 degrees. Mid to upper teens through much of the mainland and near 20 degrees on the coast for lows tonight with west by northwest winds at 10 to 20mph. A step in the right direction occurs tomorrow...a warmer direction. Highs climb into the mid 40s as high pressure moves more to the east. Not only does this keep us mostly sunny, but it also helps our winds shift to a warmer west by southwest direction. Speaking of which, those winds also calm down to the tune of 10 to 15mph.
The pick day of the weekend (And of the week for that matter) arrives on Saturday. Winds take a more southerly turn, and when this is taken into consideration along with an advancing weak cold front, temperatures will be able to rise even more. A run towards 60 degrees is expected on the mainland under partly sunny skies, while the coast will likely run a few degrees cooler. The previously mentioned cold front is lacking in the moisture department, so the most we should see is some increased cloud cover. Otherwise, cooler air returns on Sunday along with a little extra cloud cover. Highs for Sunday will be more reminiscent of what we'll see on Friday, so mid to upper 40s for the region. Monday is still under review due to a lack of overall consistency. The Canadian model is the more aggressive solution, bringing a better chance for snow...the European model has been flip-flopping on solutions over the last several runs (Yesterday, it favored the Canadian solution. Today, it doesn't)...and the American model is a complete miss. Since all options are still on the table, I'll leave the potential for some rain and snow on the forecast with highs in the upper 30s. Stay posted for any updates on your St. Patrick's Day forecast. A break on Tuesday comes in as a small wedge of high pressure arrives. Warmer air tries to return for the middle of the week, where we keep an eye on another chance for some unsettled weather.
Have a great day!
- Meteorologist Adam Rutt