HAWTHORNE, NJ - A rare, late-season nor’easter will take shape along the mid-Atlantic coast this evening, May 8, ushering the arrival of unusually low temperatures for mid-May. Contrary to some earlier reports, snowfall in New Jersey is likely to be fleeting at best, with little impact to lower Passaic County.

As of Friday morning, both European and American weather models predict rain and possible thunderstorms will move across New Jersey along an approaching frontal boundary. As the front crosses the state into the evening hours, a nor’easter is expected to form along the coast. Earlier models placed the core of the storm fifty to a hundred miles offshore, which would have allowed the system to wrap more cold air in on its backside. However, more recent forecasts call for the storm to hug the seaboard, which will drive warm, oceanic air inland before the storm departs to the northeast. This should result in very little to no snowfall in areas of northeastern New Jersey, with the highest chance of wintry precipitation during a brief window just after midnight.

In the wake of the storm, a tongue of cold air descending from Canada will wash over the region on Saturday, sending morning lows in the mid-30s with daytime highs struggling to break 50. Areas north and west of I-287 could see temperatures dip into the upper 20s, especially across the Delaware, which may result in freeze damage to unprotected plants. Current forecasts call for daytime temperatures to rebound into the 60s Sunday and Monday, with another cold front moving through Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning temperatures could fall to the upper 30s, followed by a gradual rebound to the mid-70s through Friday.

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As usual, readers are referred to NWS products for the latest updates. 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 and a longtime resident of Hawthorne. 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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