Cold and dry now, warm up ahead

The final result

The headline of this article says it all: We start the week firmly embedded in a cold and very dry air mass. But improvements are on the way as thermometers rise to more seasonal levels by midweek. Perfect timing for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Aside from the cold, there won’t be any problems for the pre-Thanksgiving travel rush. But there are two storm systems that could dampen the bank holiday weekend – one on Friday and one on Sunday. Both look wet (if at all), not wintry.

Monday

For the first time this season, every corner of New Jersey froze this Monday morning. As of this writing (5:45 a.m.) temperatures range from 12 degrees in northwest New Jersey to 30 degrees in the southeast. brr!

Monday will be better than Sunday – not as windy and a bit warmer. But it will still be windy and quite chilly. Look for sunny skies and very dry air. (Dew point is in the single digits – chapped lips and parched throats galore.) West-southwest winds can occasionally blow as high as 2 mph (3 km/h). High temperatures are forecast to reach the low 40s. Still 10+ degrees below normal for mid/late November. But even better.

A few clouds may appear on Monday night. And I could see a vortex or two flying around the northern part of the state. Freezing is likely for most of the state, with lows in the upper 20s to around 30 degrees.

Tuesday

More improvements. It will be sunny and a little warmer. High temperatures in the upper 40’s. Maybe 50 in far south Jersey. Still 5+ degrees below seasonal norm. But at least the wind is getting much weaker.

Wednesday

After a 9 day cold snap we will finally see a return to seasonal temperatures on Wednesday. (By the way, normal late November highs are in the low 50s.) Wednesday afternoon 50 to 55 degrees, with plenty of sunshine. Should be a pleasant November day. (Note: I didn’t necessarily say “warm”.)

Dry weather and no wind mean no weather problems on the road, on the rails or in the air. Great news for one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Thanksgiving Thursday

The most important part of the Thanksgiving forecast is clearly the morning with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York and the 6abc Dunkin’ Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. I’m happy to say it looks like a great day for a parade: temperatures in the 30’s, dry weather and light winds of no more than about 10mph.

The rest of your Thanksgiving holiday looks just as adorable. Clouds will increase, putting an end to this long stretch of sunny days. But our weather and our air remain completely dry. A small wind shift will likely keep temperatures a degree or two cooler than Wednesday. But the lower 50’s are right where we should be at this time of year.

The extended prognosis

There will be some hiccups and speed bumps in the weather department for the remainder of the bank holiday weekend.

The models fairly consistently showed a storm system driving rain through New Jersey on Black Friday. While the latest GFS model is heavily holding back the wet weather (still showers in the north and east), the Euro model is full steam ahead in wet weather. So we’ll see how heavy and how widespread the rain will be. A dry day is also possible on Friday.

I’m pretty confident about one thing: No snow or ice on Friday.

While weather should be good on Saturday, another potential storm system is on the horizon for Sunday. Another very busy travel day.

I don’t want to go into too much detail just yet as it’s still seven days away. Just be aware that another low pressure area directly over New Jersey could result in another rainy season. I don’t see any intrusion of colder air which would cause winter weather problems. But I wouldn’t rule it out for this one.

We will of course be closely monitoring these potential travel disruptions throughout the week.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: Your 5-Day Forecast and More

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

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