Let's get right to the point on this Thursday morning: It will be oppressively hot this weekend, starting with Thursday afternoon, and proper precautions should be taken if you plan on being outside at all over the next couple of days.

Definitely a Celsius thermometer (NikiLitov, ThinkStock)

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Camden, Gloucester, Mercer and northwest Burlington counties beginning at 12 noon Thursday and lasting until 6 p.m. Saturday. What that means, in a purely number-crunching sense, is that the heat index will make the temperature feel like anywhere from 100 to 105 degrees each afternoon through the weekend.

What it actually means weather-wise is that the next 48 to 72 hours will be dictated by some familiar summer buzzwords like humid, muggy, and sticky, especially as at least a chance for thunderstorms is present right into the beginning of next week.

For Thursday, skies will be partly cloudy, with a light wind and scattered thunderstorms playing into the hot and humid conditions. Highs figure to be anywhere from the mid-80s to the lower 90s (but keep the heat index in mind), with the Jersey Shore a bit cooler, in the lower 80s. Overnight, the storms should abate, but it remains warm and muggy -- lows could be as high, in some spots, as 78 degrees.

If there is a positive takeaway from this forecast, it probably is that it's quite predictable based on what Thursday is bringing. Friday and Saturday both feature those partly cloudy skies and a persistent thunderstorm chance, with highs climbing toward 95 degrees. Scattered showers and thunderstorms then become the headline for Sunday and Monday, with highs ramping back down to the lower 90s.

To sum up, though, we have a heat wave on our hands and it should not be taken lightly. Stay safe out there (and feel better, Dan!)

Meteorologist Dan Zarrow is off Thursday, August 11. Patrick Lavery produces “New Jersey’s First News” and is New Jersey 101.5’s morning drive breaking news reporter.

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