Near 90 in mid-September? Near-record temps Wednesday for NJ
Our warming trend will peak Wednesday, with near-record temperatures, before a cold front brings a cooldown and a slight chance for rain Wednesday evening.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, September 14, 2016...
Very Warm Wednesday
It's been a gorgeous week of weather so far, thanks in large part to low humidity and pleasant temperatures. Those temperatures have been steadily rising, and Wednesday will be the peak of this "heat and humidity". Of course, I use those terms relative to typical mid-September norms.
Forecast highs for Wednesday range from 85 degrees in North Jersey and along the coast, to as warm as 92 degrees in urban areas. Not only is this about 10 degrees above normal for this time of year, we'll be very close to reaching the record high temperatures for this date. September 14th record highs are 92 at Newark, 91 at Trenton, and 92 at Atlantic City.
In the midst of this very warm (but still pleasant) day, we'll enjoy mostly to partly sunny skies, with a stiff breeze occasionally over 20 mph.
Chance for Showers Late Wednesday
As a cold front approaches New Jersey Wednesday evening, a round of rain is possible. But it's far from a sure bet. As I've been discussing all week, this storm system looks to mostly fizzle over the Garden State. While a few showers and maybe a light thunderstorm will be possible between 5 p.m. Wednesday and 5 a.m. Thursday, don't expect big totals in the rain gauge. In fact, I still believe most of New Jersey will ultimately stay dry overnight.
Aside from the slight rain chance, skies will be generally partly cloudy with comfortable low temperatures in the lower 60s. As cooler, drier air leaks into our atmosphere behind the cold front, North Jersey may fall into the 50s by Thursday morning.
By the time you wake up Thursday morning, skies will be clearing to sunshine once again. As a result of the aforementioned cold front, Thursday will end up much cooler than Wednesday, with highs only in the mid 70s. With a southeasterly, on-shore flow, the Jersey Shore will likely end up even cooler - barely to 70 degrees. So we'll go from a summer-like day to an autumn-like day, but it'll still be quite pleasant.
Friday will be very similar to Thursday, with most high temperatures in the mid 70s. I'm a little hesitant about the cloud cover forecast for Friday, given some inconsistency among the forecast models. I'm keeping my previous mostly sunny forecast, but we may have to add clouds later.
Saturday looks to be the better day of the upcoming weekend, featuring a mix of sun and clouds and high temperatures near 80 degrees.
Another front is expected to move into New Jersey's neighborhood on Sunday. And, depending on the timing of a shortwave riding along that front, we could see a period of steady rain. That's a very good thing! With impending drought for more than 80% of New Jersey, we could really really use the rain.
Current forecast models put rainfall totals around 1 inch, but previous model runs have been higher. Keep your fingers crossed for a good soaking. It won't be a total drought-buster, but every raindrop counts.
Early next week looks to bring a return to sunshine, dry weather, and seasonable temperatures.
In the Tropics
In a surprising move, on Tuesday night, the National Hurricane Center upgraded an area of clouds and rain over Georgia to Tropical Storm Julia. That raises our count of named tropical systems in the Atlantic basin this year to ten. Julia is meandering very slowly over the Southeast U.S., and is not expected to have a direct impact on New Jersey at this time.
Tropical Storm Ian is way out in the middle of the Atlantic, turning further out to sea. Ian's only effect on North America will be slightly increased swell, creating slightly larger waves along the coast.