Big surf for NJ, thanks to Hurricane Maria, but little weather worry
The extended streak of summer weather continues for a few more days, but Jersey Shore beachgoers will want to stay out of the ocean.
On average, Newark Airport hits 90+ degrees 22 days per year. This Sunday was day #21, as we tied the record daily high temperature of 92 degrees, last set in 1959. (Trenton also tied its record high of 92.) That's an impressive 20 degrees above normal for late September! Oh yes, this weekend's weather was certainly sunny and Summer-ish — conditions that will repeat for three more days.
Before we talk more about heat, let's discuss hurricanes. Specifically, Hurricane Maria, a storm we've been watching carefully for over a week now. As of this writing, Maria is located about 600 miles south-southeast of Cape May. Maria will "kiss" the coast of the Carolinas before making a sharp right turn out to sea, and away from New Jersey. (An interesting anecdotal comparison I heard this weekend — Maria is the exact opposite of Sandy, which made a sharp left turn toward us.)
Weather concerns from Maria will be minimal - enhanced cloud cover and a stiff breeze, at best. Surf concerns, on the other hand, will be quite significant. In fact, they already are.
A high risk for rip currents and very rough surf has been posted once again for the entire Jersey Shore, and these conditions will continue for most of the week. Waves will peak on Tuesday and Wednesday, as the northernmost portion of Maria pushes a lot of water toward our coastline. Breaking waves of about 14 feet will be possible.
As I mentioned, there's little to worry about weather-wise from Maria. The track away from the U.S. is pretty much locked in at this point, unless the storm's forecast takes a highly surprising turn. Here's the rundown of what to expect over the next three days:
--Monday: Sunny and hot, for most of the state. Expect extra clouds along the coast, as the outer reaches of Maria laps up toward the Jersey Shore. Inland high temperatures are forecast to reach about 85 to 90 degrees. The combination of clouds and sea breeze will keep the beaches a bit cooler, in the mid to upper 70s.
--Tuesday: Partly to mostly cloudy skies, again thanks to Maria. Still very warm though, with inland highs in the mid 80s and coastal highs in the mid 70s.
--Wednesday: One more day in the 80s for most of New Jersey, with occasional sun and clouds.
Everything changes on Thursday, as a cold front arrives in New Jersey. That cold front will not only drive Maria out to sea, but it will also enact a big cooldown. It's going to feel much more like Autumn by next weekend.
Thursday will be a windy day, with gusts to 30 mph possible. That stiff northwesterly breeze is mostly due to the aforementioned frontal passage, but Maria could play a role in enhancing wind gusts a little bit. As drier air arrives in all layers of the atmosphere, skies should clear to sunshine quickly on Thursday. I think thermometers will still top 80 degrees for most of the state.
As the wind dies down Friday, we'll really taste cooler, autumnal air. Friday afternoon's high temperatures are forecast to reach the seasonable mid 70s, amidst plentiful sunshine.
Believe it or not, we'll close out September on Saturday and begin October on Sunday. Some high temperatures will probably get stuck in the upper 60s both days. Low temperatures could fall into the 40s for a good chunk of New Jersey.
You'll notice this is a very dry forecast, with no rain chances even worth discussing in the next seven days. (Maybe a sprinkle on Tuesday, Thursday morning, and/or Saturday.)
Meanwhile, no widespread frosts or freezes are expected for the next 7 days, so the growing season continues