A steamy, stormy forecast for NJ this week
As humidity continues building to uncomfortable levels, showers and thunderstorms return to the forecast for the Garden State through the end of the week.
Monday morning's temperatures were in the upper 50s. Tuesday morning's temperatures were in the lower 60s. Wednesday morning? Mid to upper 60s.
The reason? Increasing atmospheric moisture. Also known as? Humidity!
Highs temperatures on Wednesday will climb into the mid to upper 80s, with a few scattered 90-degree readings certainly possible as well. Early Wednesday morning brought a few shower to far South Jersey. The rest of the state should enjoy sunshine through the morning hours, with clouds increasing by Wednesday afternoon. Additionally, a few showers and thunderstorms will be possible between about 2 p.m. Wednesday and 2 a.m. Thursday. Any storms that form in this humid environment will likely produce a period of very heavy rainfall.
You will really feel the humidity Wednesday night to Thursday morning, as temperatures are prevented from falling below 70 degrees. (Yuck!) A few clouds and maybe a few showers will remain possible overnight.
Thursday's heat and humidity may approach dangerous levels. The thermometer will top out close to 90 degrees. However, as usual, that number does not tell the entire story. With dew points pushing into the 70s, the heat index ("feels like" or "apparent" temperature) will climb to near 100 degrees. As of this writing, the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch from Thursday afternoon to Friday evening for the Philadelphia metro area - that's Mercer, NW Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties on the Jersey side of the Delaware River. I would expect an upgrade to a warning sometime Wednesday, with a Heat Advisory likely for the rest of the state for Thursday and Friday.
There's one chance for relief from Thursday's heat, with scattered thunderstorms possible at any time. Once again, localized pockets of heavy rain will be possible.
Sometime on Friday, a cold front will pass through New Jersey (at least partially). But don't pay attention to that "cold" word - the front simply represents the boundary of a different warm and humid air mass moving toward the Garden State. I believe Friday will be the hottest day of the week, as temperatures soar into the 90 to 95 degree range across the state. (Yes, even the Jersey Shore may hit 90 on Friday.) The humidity subsides ever so slightly, but heat indices will still hover around 100 degrees through Friday afternoon. Once again, we can't rule out a spot shower or thunderstorm on Friday, mainly during the second half of the day.
The weekend forecast is actually looking better, as rain chances have decreased. The chance for a period of wet weather is not zero, however.
The aforementioned front is expected to stall over or (more likely) near New Jersey - or, as I say, "in the neighborhood". Such a front can easily become a spawn point for spot showers and thunderstorms. Again, rain is going to be the exception and not the rule on Saturday and especially on Sunday, and there's a good chance you'll enjoy a dry weekend.
I've lowered my high temperature forecast slightly for the weekend too - mid 80s on Saturday, mid to upper 80s on Sunday. It'll still be fairly humid, but at least those temperatures are in-line with mid-July normals.
Frankly, I can't completely rule out daily storm chances through at least Tuesday of next week.