One more unsettled day for NJ Tuesday – then the heat is on!
Light rain and a few thunderstorms are expected across the Garden State on Tuesday, but sunshine and very warm temperatures will prevail midweek.
Here are your weather headlines for Tuesday, May 24, 2016...
As of this writing, we are about halfway done with the effects of a coastal storm system. The center of this area of low pressure is passing about 100 miles off the coast of New Jersey, and is swinging toward the northeast and out to sea. However, even as it departs, we'll still have a bit of rain in the forecast for Tuesday.
Tuesday's rain looks mostly light and showery. Although, as temperatures warm into the mid to upper 70s on Tuesday afternoon, there could be a few embedded thunderstorms with localized heavier downpours (similar to Monday). The highest rain totals will likely be found in the eastern half of New Jersey, closest to the sea and the center of the coastal low.
Sometime Tuesday evening, our rain chances will diminish to zero, and skies will begin to clear Tuesday night. That will help to set the scene for the big summerlike warmup ahead...
The Heat is On
As winds become southwesterly on Wednesday, the warmest air of the season (so far) will move over New Jersey. Widespread mid to upper 80s are expected on Wednesday and Thursday across the Garden State. Would I be surprised to see a couple of 90 degree readings somewhere in the state this week? Not at all.
Wednesday's air will be fairly dry and comfortable, with dew points in the 50s. As moisture advects into the atmosphere by Thursday and dew points rise into the 60s, we're going to face some real Jersey humidity for the first time this year. It's going to feel muggy and sticky on Thursday, and you'll be hard-pressed not to turn on the fan and/or air conditioner.
In Thursday's warmth and humidity, a late-day spot shower or storm will be possible. But such raindrops will be the exception, not the rule.
Looking Ahead to Memorial Day Weekend
On Monday, I quantified the Memorial Day Weekend forecast as "OK". I'll now upgrade that long-term forecast to "pretty good", but it's not going to be a perfect forecast this holiday weekend.
The setup has New Jersey right on the edge of an area of high pressure centered over eastern Canada. Such a situation presents two options for our weather forecast:
1.) A backdoor cold front drifts over New Jersey and, combined with an on-shore flow, keeps us cloudy, cool, and somewhat wet for most of the weekend.
2.) A few showers and/or storms in the neighborhood may ultimately impact New Jersey, but we'll mostly enjoy warm temperatures and partly sunny skies.
I'm still leaning toward #2. Temperatures for the weekend won't be as warm as this Wednesday and Thursday, but we should still reach the lower 80s on Friday and Saturday.
By Sunday, prevailing winds may indeed become easterly (on-shore), cooling us down a bit - especially along the coast. Rain chances are scattered at best, but still make it important to keep an eye on the forecast and the sky this weekend. Current forecast high temperatures for Sunday are in the upper 70s and Monday in the lower to mid 70s.