There won’t be a lot of love between Planet Earth and South Jersey on Friday. An arctic airmass will move in, bringing below-average temperatures and a rare winter chill to the region.
Temperatures will be 30-35 degrees as the sun rises this Valentine’s Day morning. The sky will be blue as an icy wind from the northwest blows. Expect sustained winds of 15-20 mph with gusts in the 30s throughout the day.
High pressure will move through the Midwest during the day. This will carry a potent shot of cold air. Temperatures have stayed below zero in parts of the Upper Midwest.
That air mass will do a lot of moderation by the time it gets here. Still, it’ll be an unusual-for-this-winter chilly day.
Highs will get up into the mid-30s during the day, about 10 degrees below average. The last time we had a high temperature that much below average at Atlantic City International Airport was Dec. 19. Tack on the winds, and it’ll feel like 15-25 degrees, enough for the jacket and gloves.
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After dark, temperatures will plummet. The Chapstick-worthy dry air, clear sky and lighter winds will promote something called radiational cooling. In essence, we lose any blanket over us that would trap some heat in from the day. We’ll get into the 20s quickly after dark.
Then, it’ll be a genuinely cold night. At the first hints of light Saturday, we’ll begin in the low teens inland and the upper teens in Brigantine and the shore. If you’re in the Pine Barrens, single digits are possible.
Saturday will be a carbon copy of Friday, just without the winds. That arctic high pressure will move overhead, and afternoon highs will peak in the mid-30s again. As long as we stay at or below 36 degrees at A.C. Airport both Friday and Saturday, they’ll be in the top 5 coldest days this winter.
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From there, temperatures will rise, courtesy of southwesterly winds entering the picture. Just the typical coat will be needed going out Saturday night, with evening temperatures sliding from the 30s. Sunday morning will start between 25 and 30 degrees.
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We’ll go into the extended Presidents Day Weekend above average, hovering just on either side of 50 degrees. A mix of sun and clouds will prevail, with the brightest period Sunday morning. Take a winter stroll on the boardwalk, or get some outdoor exercise in.
The next rain maker will be Tuesday into Wednesday. If you’re a snow lover, we’re in the frustrating pattern where incoming storms cut to the west of us, not the east. That’s important because winds are southerly when the low pressure is to the west of us, and vice versa.
So expect periods of warmer rain. Neither day looks like a washout, though expect storm winds on the backside of the system.