HAWTHORNE, NJ - Short to medium range model forecasts for North Jersey indicate the region is likely to experience below average temperatures Friday night into Saturday morning, and then again next week between Tuesday and Thursday. The winter-like temperatures are being assisted by significant troughing of the jet stream over the eastern United States, allowing Canadian air masses to tongue southward towards the Gulf coast.

The first of the cold waves is expected to arrive early Friday (Nov. 8), plunging across the state from the northwest. Sunny skies during the day will initially blunt the impact of the frigid air, daytime temperatures hovering in the low-40s. As the sun sets, however, temperatures will rapidly slide below freezing, bottoming out in the mid- to low-20s before daybreak the next morning. Saturday’s high will gradually recover to the low- to mid-40s.

By Sunday (Nov. 10), daytime highs will rise to the low- to mid-50s, just before another cold wave begins to slide across the region. At the onset, models predict the second trough will be slow to descend over the Mid-Atlantic, and daytime highs will gradually fall from the upper-40s on Monday (Nov. 11) to the low-40s/upper-30s on Tuesday (Nov. 12). The main thrust of the cold air will overspill the area Tuesday night, temperatures bottoming in the mid- to upper-20s. Models also suggest the possibility of light snow showers Tuesday afternoon/evening, although it remains too early to predict their likelihood.  During the day Wednesday (Nov. 13), highs will struggle to keep above freezing, and nighttime lows will fall to the mid- to low-20s. While the long range forecast shows some variability, recovery is expected to be slow, with daytime highs rising from the upper-30s to low-50s between Thursday (Nov. 14) and Monday (Nov. 18).  

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Friday night (Nov. 8) is expected to be only the second night of the Fall season that temperatures will dip below freezing, and any unprotected herbaceous plants remaining outdoors could be damaged. Successive nights of subfreezing weather Tuesday (Nov. 12) to Thursday (Nov. 14) are likely to end the growing season for Passaic County.

Please refer to NWS products for the latest updates and advisories. This is an informal forecast discussion, and official products should be consulted before making any weather-related decisions.

Dr. Daniel J. Ciarletta is a recent graduate from the Environmental Science and Management program at Montclair State University. He has more than a passing interest in the geology, geography, and history of New Jersey, and is also an avid hiker.

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