The Garden State should squeeze out one more pleasant summer day on Thursday, before uncomfortable heat and humidity return to the forecast.

Here are your weather headlines for Thursday, July 21, 2016...

Fairly Pleasant Thursday

As expected, Wednesday's weather turned out to be really nice, with widespread highs in the 80s, dry air, and generous sunshine throughout the day. It certainly was a perfect day for a baseball game!

Thursday looks like a pretty good summer day too, although temperatures will climb a few more degrees. Abundant sunshine looks to push part of the state (mainly South Jersey and urban areas) to about 90 degrees for Thursday afternoon. Other inland areas should top out in the upper 80s. Humidity will be manageable, with dew points creeping upward slightly from Wednesday.

It looks like a nice beach day, with forecast highs in the lower 80s along the coast. However, due to wind and ocean currents, there is an elevated risk for more frequent or stronger rip currents on Thursday - especially for Monmouth and Ocean county beaches. Be extra careful in the ocean Thursday, and (as always) pay attention to lifeguard instructions and posted flags.

We should enjoy one more comfortable night Thursday night with some lows in the 60s, before our next heat wave begins...

Heating Up Friday

You had to know the comfy low humidity couldn't last forever. After about 48 hours of pleasant weather, temperatures and dew points will increase significantly on Friday. This will bring a return to uncomfortably hot and humid weather for New Jersey (really, the entire East Coast) through this weekend and early next week.

Friday's high temperatures are forecast to climb to 88 to 95 degrees, thanks in part to a gusty southwest wind up to 30 mph. Increasing humidity will make the air feel stuffy and stifling, especially at night when temperatures just don't cool off as much as you might like.

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Watch for most of New Jersey from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon. This advisory is a heads-up to particularly hot and humid conditions that could become dangerous.

Additionally, as a weak front pushes across New Jersey sometime between Friday and early Saturday morning, a few showers and thunderstorms are expected to pop up. Timing is very important here - if these storms form during the heat of the day, they'll likely become strong to severe very quickly with the potential for heavy rain, hail, and gusty winds. If the best storm forcing occurs at night, it will probably just manifest as scattered rain and lightning.

Hot and Humid Summer Weekend

And it just gets hotter this weekend. Currently, our hottest days look to be Saturday and Monday. But let's be honest: the period from Friday through Monday (at least) will be oppressive and uncomfortable across the Garden State.

Forecast statewide high temperatures for our upcoming heat wave are as follows:
Friday: 88 to 95 degrees
Saturday: 92 to 99 degrees
Sunday: 89 to 94 degrees
Monday: 90 to 96 degrees

Worst-case scenario? Temperature of 99 + Dew Point of 73 = Heat Index ("Feels Like" Temperature) of 110 degrees!

Following a front and another round of thunderstorms late-day Monday, we'll see a slight cooldown for Tuesday. But I do mean "slight" - thermometers may still hit 90 degrees through Tuesday and Wednesday too.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.