Good morning to you, South Jersey, and Thank Goodness It's Friday! It has been quite a week in terms of our weather, and the last 48 hours is a prime example of that sentiment. We begin the process of digging out of the cold and winter-like hole that we found ourselves in yesterday with a partly to mostly sunny day today. High pressure to our south will keep us dry, and as it moves eastward it will calm our winds down a bit and warm us up as well. The return flow (That warmer western edge of high pressure that holds winds of a southerly and westerly nature) also gets closer to our region, but it's still one day away. At any rate, we'll take the improvement today with highs in the mid to upper 40s on the mainland and coast. 50 degrees is also possible the further west you go towards the turnpike. Cloud cover may come back a little bit tonight as the first of two weak cold fronts pass through the area. Outside of this, we should remain mainly dry and more mild with lows in the mid 30s under partly cloudy skies. Southwest winds at 10mph will keep things nice and comfortable. The pick day of the week arrives on Saturday as high pressure slides to the east, but it still keeps us dry. A nice southwesterly flow in the atmosphere will bring in more warm air for the day before another weak cold front passes late on Saturday. Highs may hit 60 on the mainland and the upper 50s on the coast with a west by southwest wind at 10mph. Once this second cold front passes, cooler air returns for the entire Northeast. It won't be as cold as Thursday, but we may see a repeat performance of our high temperatures that we see today. Cloud cover should also be a bit more plentiful with highs returning into the mid 40s range throughout South Jersey.
That brings us to Monday...St. Patrick's Day...the proverbial thorn in this week's side. Over the last three days, the models have been flip-flopping on various solutions for this tricky point in the forecast. As of last night, however, a consensus may finally be emerging. Some of the models that had previously been forecasting a miss have now joined the international camp and bring the system in question further to the north. So the general consensus (For now) is the introduction of a low pressure system out of the Gulf of Mexico region from late Sunday night through Monday evening. Cold air will be in place with high pressure to our north, and with highs only reaching the mid 30s (Not to mention lows in the 20s on either side of Monday) it would be cold enough to support snow at some points. Once we get beyond the air mass issue, things become more and more uncertain. The track of this system is still in question due to the recent balk by the American models (That was the "miss" camp that I mentioned earlier). A shift in either direction will heavily influence what we see and what we don't see. Needless to say, the exact precipitation type and amount spreads are very much unknown at this moment as well, and we'll need to look at the next couple of model run cycles to get at least a decent view of that aspect. For now, I'm leaving Monday with a chance at snow and rain, with snow to start and end this event as well as a potential for a switch to rain in the middle. This part of the forecast is very susceptible to change, and it will likely be tweaked over the next three days. Stay posted for any and all updates from your NBC40 weather team.
Once this system leaves, we get a break in the action from Tuesday into Wednesday afternoon. Temperatures start in the upper 30s on Tuesday before climbing into the upper 40s by Wednesday as another frontal boundary is expected to arrive overnight. This time, it appears to be all rain as we transition into the spring season on Thursday. Some morning showers are possible, but the afternoon should be dry with highs reaching the 50s. The question from that point on is simple: Is this the last we'll hear from winter? If this season has taught us anything, it's that winter will not go down without a fight. We'll just have to wait and see...
Have a fantastic weekend!
- Meteorologist Adam Rutt