January? It's more like March today – stormy skies and all.
The Shore is seeing some unseasonably warm weather this week, which forecasters say is contributing to the chance of winter thunderstorms and high winds today. But don’t get too attached to the balmy breezes: Plunging temperatures and possible snow showers are in the works for the weekend.
Temperatures started rising last night, and are expected to hit the low- to mid-60s in Ocean and Monmouth counties today, according to the National Weather Service.
“We’re still kind of locked into a rather mild pattern that we’ve been in over most of the winter,” said Kristin Kline, a meteorologist with the NWS’s Mount Holly station. And the movement of pressure systems in the region has warmed things up even more, she said.
“We had a low-pressure system pass north of the area yesterday, which allowed a warm front to move through yesterday afternoon,” said Kline, “so it kind of feels a little like springtime.”
Also spring-like: the thunderstorms that could move over the area in the afternoon, the product of an unstable mix of warm and cool air in the atmosphere.
Chasing the stormy weather will be a significant cold front, Kline said, which will kick up gusty winds later this afternoon and into the evening. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see those winds hitting 35 to 40 miles per hour,” she said.
The front will bring overnight temperatures in the low 30s going into Saturday, Kline said. After a mostly sunny weekend with daytime highs in the 40s and 50s, freezing conditions late Sunday could mean some of the expected precipitation that night could fall as snow in the Shore area.
But, she said, “it isn’t going to be anything that lasts.”
So how do our weirdly warm temperatures stack up historically?
“It’s mild enough that you’re approaching record territory,” Kline said. But not quite: the highest temperature recorded for Jan. 27 in Trenton was 68 degrees in 1974. The mercury hit 72 degrees in Atlantic City the same day. “That seems out of reach for today,” said Kline.