Cold Front Sparks Weather Roller Coaster Ride With Falling Temps for Friday’s Sectional Finals
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ—Sectional Championship Weekend is here and Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Holiday lights, displays, and decorations are already up on many houses across Central Jersey. We are now in the final days of the 2021 New Jersey High School Football season, and it has been quite a ride that has only three schools from the Big Central Conference remaining.
Big Central Gridiron will be at Noonan Field in Hillsborough to cover the Central Jersey Group 5 Championship Game between top seeded Hillsborough and third seeded North Brunswick starting at 7:00 PM. Meanwhile, Cranford will be taking on Sparta in the North Jersey Section 2 Group 3 Championship at Memorial Field in Cranford. Central Jersey Sports Radio will be broadcasting the game live starting at 7:00 PM.
On Saturday afternoon, BCG will be taking a trip to Oradell in Bergen County to cover the Non-Public A Semifinal contest between top seeded Bergen Catholic and fourth seeded St. Peter’s Prep. Big Central Gridiron also has plans for a Thanksgiving Day Round Robin with some coverage of several of the Turkey Day contests involving schools in the Big Central Conference.
Of course with these big games coming up one question that is being asked among people is what will the weather be like for these contests. Right now, a cold front is passing through the Garden State. The front comes on the heels of near record warmth on Thursday. Temperatures ranged from the upper 60s to low 70s around New Jersey under sunny skies. Unfortunately, it appears that this will be the last of this nice weather for a while.
The current frontal passage will drop temperatures to between 35 and 40 degrees across Central Jersey on Friday morning. High temperatures will struggle to get out of the upper 40s, and probably won’t get higher than the low 50s on Friday afternoon. By game time in Hillsborough, Accu-Weather forecasts clear skies and the temperature falling into the lower 40s.
Looking ahead to Saturday, and particularly game time on Saturday afternoon in Oradell, the temperatures are expected to bottom out below freezing on Saturday morning thanks to radiational cooling conditions on Friday night. The thermometer is forecast to rebound only into the upper 40s under partly sunny skies by game time.
The weather roller coaster ride is going to take a couple big twists and turns over the next week, which will impact the Thanksgiving Day contests as well as the NJSIAA Regional Championships at MetLife Stadium and Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium next weekend. First, a significant storm is expected to develop early next week, which will likely bring some wind and rain to New Jersey, and impacting the Thanksgiving holiday travel.
Then, a second storm is expected to develop after Thanksgiving into the weekend. There has been consistent chatter online about some snowfall occurring in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic around Thanksgiving. If it does occur, it will be the first significant snowfall of the season for our area. However, this is just talk, and the model forecasts are still too far out. Best advice would be to keep monitoring over the next week, and become more interested in what happens by Thanksgiving Eve.
Taking a step back to last weekend, there were a couple instances of stormy weather that came through the area, but the most significant occurred on Saturday afternoon. Big Central Gridiron was down in Egg Harbor City taking in the South Jersey Group 3 Semifinals between Cedar Creek and Somerville when interesting skies and weather conditions began to unfold, and BCG had a feeling that it might be a spark to something more significant, and it was.
Winds began to pick up during the course of the afternoon at Cedar Creek High School, and the clouds began to show a more troubling look. Although a cold front had passed through late Friday morning into early Friday afternoon, conditions were still a bit unstable, and another trough developed on Saturday afternoon that came up from South Jersey into Central Jersey, New York City, and Long Island that produced strong winds, lightning, heavy rain, and even tornadoes.
A weather delay occurred in Metuchen where the Bulldogs were hosting Governor Livingston of Berkeley Heights in an NJSIAA Regional Crossover. Further north in Bergen County, opening round games at Bergen Catholic and St. Joseph’s-Montvale were suspended, and resumed on Sunday after lightning occurred during the Crusaders contest with Donovan Catholic and the Green Knights clash with Don Bosco Prep.
On another weather related note, a full lunar eclipse, which will be the longest in 580 years is taking place during the early morning hours on Friday. Although a front is pushing through with some rain and wind, it should clear out in time for the peak of the eclipse, which is scheduled to occur at 4:04 AM. The full eclipse will produce a blood moon, or a full moon with a blood red color when the earth’s shadow gets between it and the sun.
The eclipse, which is actually already underway, will become noticeable to the naked eye at around 2:20 PM, and last for about 6 hours with the peak lasting for about 3 hours. The eclipse is occurring as the waxing Beaver Moon becomes full. The Full Moon will be also out on Friday night as well, especially with clearing skies, but the eclipse will have been completed by over 12 hours at that point.