The Bottom Line

Friday will be dry. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday too.

But Saturday is going to be a nasty, inclement weather day for New Jersey, as a potent coastal storm swings in. By the numbers, 2 to 3 inches of rain, 40 mph wind gusts, and localized minor coastal flooding are on the table. Raising concerns for flooding and travel difficulties.

Many outdoor events are already activating their backup plans and rain dates, and with good reason. I do not see much hope for any pockets of substantially dry weather between sunrise and sunset on Saturday.

Friday

It is a cold and dry start to Friday, which will have you reaching for the coat and Chap Stick. Temperatures have fallen into the 20s for the vast majority of New Jersey. The only spot starting the day above freezing is the Jersey Shore.

You will want the sunglasses early on Friday too, as sunshine dominates through the morning. By mid-afternoon, clouds will start to roll in.

High temperatures on Friday will reach the mid 40s or so. Still on the cool side of normal. But at least the wind will be much lighter and more comfortable, compared to Thursday.

Friday stays dry and quiet, although cold. (Accuweather)
Friday stays dry and quiet, although cold. (Accuweather)
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As skies become cloudy Friday evening, rain should hold off until Midnight or later. That will be the start of 18 to 24 hours of wet, stormy weather.

Saturday

Wet, wet, wet. And windy too.

Is there any hope of substantial periods of dry weather on Saturday? Not really. I am calling it a washout, with moderate to heavy rain from sunrise to sunset.

Here's the setup for Saturday's nasty, inclement weather, driven by a potent coastal storm system. (Accuweather)
Here's the setup for Saturday's nasty, inclement weather, driven by a potent coastal storm system. (Accuweather)
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Total rainfall will likely reach about 2 to 3 inches for most of New Jersey. If a corner of the state misses all heavy rain bands, it may end up close to an inch. Meanwhile, a real downpour could push totals closer to 4 inches.

GFS model rainfall forecast, showing a solid stripe of 2+ inches right over New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
GFS model rainfall forecast, showing a solid stripe of 2+ inches right over New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
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I do not want to get specific about the geography — who is going to see the most rainfall — since the axis of wettest weather changes with every model run. Bottom line: No matter where you are, a lot of water will be falling from the sky Saturday.

Saturday could become the wettest calendar day of 2024 so far. And that is significant, since we have had some real soakers this winter.

The steadiest, heaviest rain is likely Saturday midday through the afternoon, as shown on this GFS model forecast as of 2 p.m. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
The steadiest, heaviest rain is likely Saturday midday through the afternoon, as shown on this GFS model forecast as of 2 p.m. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
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A Flood Watch has been issued for the entire state of New Jersey, in effect from early Saturday morning through early Sunday morning. Flooding and ponding — i.e. big puddles — may necessitate road closures.

Heavy rain and flooding is clearly the big concern from Saturday's storm, with up to 4 inches of total rainfall possible. (Accuweather)
Heavy rain and flooding is clearly the big concern from Saturday's storm, with up to 4 inches of total rainfall possible. (Accuweather)
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In addition, wind gusts may exceed 40 mph at times. Rumbles of thunder are possible too. The coastal flooding picture looks better, but I could see localized minor category flooding issues, especially late Saturday into Sunday. The chance of wintry weather is still practically zero — this is a wind and rain machine.

GFS model wind speed estimates about a half-mile above the surface, as strong gusts kick up Saturday afternoon. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
GFS model wind speed estimates about a half-mile above the surface, as strong gusts kick up Saturday afternoon. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
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As rain exits the Garden State early Saturday evening, around dinnertime, skies should clear quickly. While a light freeze is possible by Sunday morning, icing seems unlikely.

Sunday

That coastal storm system will still be spinning over the Atlantic Ocean, potentially keeping lingering clouds over the Jersey Shore. Farther inland, Sunday should turn bright and sunny.

It will be breezy and dry Sunday, with high temperatures on either side of 50 degrees.

Monday

Monday's forecast looks quite pleasant, with sunshine, dry weather, and seasonable-to-mild high temperatures pushing into the mid 50s.

The Extended Forecast

Tuesday stays quiet, with increasing clouds and highs in the 50s.

Our next storm system will be a cold front, forecast to deliver showers and clouds on Wednesday.

Still no significant warmup in sight, through the end of March. No wintry weather either. Just status quo, near-normal weather punctuated by occasional rounds of rain.

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