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‘Blizzard season’ over for NJ: warming, mostly dry

The essential

After a weekend marked by wintry, cold and windy weather, there is much brighter and warmer news to come in the New Jersey weather forecast.

I am completely confident of the assertion I make in the title of this post. Climatologically, it becomes very difficult for “heavy snow” to fall and accumulate after mid-March. The days are getting longer, the ground is warming, the ocean is warming, the angle of the sun is increasing, and the pool of arctic air to the north is simply no longer available.

We can absolutely still see snowflakes and frosts until April. But the threat of a bread and milk storm, a state of emergency and school closures is minimal in the future. My snow shovels will go in the shed today.

When it comes to short-term weather forecasts, Mother Nature is serving New Jersey a slice of the good weather “pie” this Monday, March 14. Temperatures will be about 20 degrees warmer than Sunday.

Every day this week will feature above normal temperatures, with mostly dry weather. We will be waiting for three limited opportunities for raindrops: late Tuesday, early Thursday and early Saturday.

Monday

High temperatures on Sunday only hit the 30s. It was a cold, windy and freezing day.

Monday promises to be much warmer and much better. It’s a freeze to start for most of the state – away from the coast, west of the boardwalk. This could be our last widespread freeze for the next 7-10 days.

Monday afternoon high temperatures are expected to hit the mid-50s, helped by good sunshine and a breeze from the southwest. The early morning hours will feature scattered clouds to the north. And a few more clouds could slip into the sky in the late afternoon. But, in general, a very nice dry day.

Monday evening will remain calm. It will be cold, but not freezing for the vast majority of the state. Low temperatures will bottom out around 40.

Tuesday

Even hotter. Look for a mix of sun and cloud, with high temperatures in the lower 60s. A pinch may drift into northern New Jersey after about 4 p.m. Otherwise, dry, spring-like and quite pleasant.

Wednesday

Sunny and sweet. The highs push up to the mid-60s. That’s it.

Thursday

A few hiccups will hit our forecast on Thursday, as a coastal storm system passes.

First, the entire state will see an increase in cloud cover. I’ll call it “mostly cloudy”, but still some sunshine.

Second, the winds will blow from the east, an on-shore flow. This will keep the coast noticeably cooler than the rest of the state, under the influence of this cooler navy. That said, based on the numbers, we will still see above normal high temperatures, ranging from the mid-50s (coast) to below 60s (inland).

Third, Thursday will bring a chance of rain. The extent, duration and amount of rain will depend on the pattern you are relying on. The NAM and GFS favor only scattered showers rubbing against the southern and eastern edges of New Jersey for a few hours Thursday morning. But the euro is a more humid solution, with scattered rain for much of the day. Either way, I don’t think it will ruin your day. And again, just rain, nothing wintry.

Friday and beyond

Friday is looking good with partly sunny skies and dry weather. Again, a land breeze will keep coastal areas cooler. But in the southwest, temperatures can flirt with 70 degrees.

A cold front will cross New Jersey on Saturday morning. This could trigger another round of rain showers. Then becoming windy, with clear skies until Saturday afternoon. High temperatures still around 60.

Sunday could be the coolest day of the week, with highs only in the lower 50s. (It’s still in season for mid-to-late March, by the way.) The vernal equinox — the official start of spring — hits Sunday morning at 11:33 a.m. EDT.

The mild and dry weather could last until next week. Along with growing drought concerns, there’s a lot to like about the forecast through the second half of March.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: Your forecast for 5 days and more

Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

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