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Scattered storms to pop in Wednesday’s heat and humidity

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING issued for north central Ocean County and southeastern Monmouth County until 3:30 p.m. for a storm with 60 mph winds and nickel size hail.

 

New Jersey will see another textbook summer day on Wednesday, with temperatures near 90 degrees, high humidity, and a chance for thunderstorms.

HRRR model precipitation forecast as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, showing numerous strong thunderstorms over New Jersey.  (College of DuPage Meteorology)
HRRR model precipitation forecast as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, showing numerous strong thunderstorms over New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, August 2, 2017…

Scattered Storms

As expected, Tuesday was both hot and stormy across the Garden State. Temperatures rose to 90+ degrees at all three of New Jersey’s climate reporting sites (Newark, Trenton, and Atlantic City airports). And a few thunderstorms dumped heavy rain over isolated portions of northern and western Jersey.

The forecast looks very similar for Wednesday, with slightly cooler temperatures and an increased chance of widespread storms.

As we begin the day, it appears there is a weak boundary moving over New Jersey early Wednesday morning. That, combined with the warmth and humidity in the air, could spawn a few tiny areas of soaking rain between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The better chance of storms will come Wednesday afternoon, after about 2 p.m. In fact, this will be our best shot of widespread thunderstorms all week. Just like Tuesday, I don’t think we’re going to have a severe weather outbreak on our hands. While it will be very warm (temperatures 85 to 90 degrees) and humid (dew points in the 60s), the impending lift and shear profiles won’t support a wide wind and/or hail threat. So our main concern will be heavy rain leading to ponding and perhaps flooding. Secondary will be the lightning, which is a potentially dangerous aspect of every thunderstorm, by definition.

Bottom line… Keep an eye on the sky Wednesday afternoon. If the skies grow dark, if you hear thunder, if you see lightning, and/or if you start feeling raindrops, it’s time to exit the pool, beach, golf course, etc.

Any storms should fade away Wednesday evening, likely ending by around Midnight. Hopefully the storms will provide some relief from the warm summer air, but it will be only temporary. Wednesday night will be partly cloudy and fairly muggy, with ov ernight low temperatures on either side of 70 degrees.

Still Warm, Still Humid, Still Stormy

Thursday will bring more of the same: a mix of sun and clouds, with a few showers and thunderstorms. Looks like storm coverage on Thursday will be less widespread than on Wednesday. High temperatures will climb into the seasonable mid to upper 80s on Thursday.

If we get a dry, storm-free day this week, it’s going to be Friday. (Although I can’t completely rule out a shower at some point.) Morning fog will lead to mostly cloudy skies, as temperatures hold steady peaking in the mid to upper 80s.

Weekend Changes

The weekend looks to bring mixed news, although I think it’s mostly good news. A cold front will swing one last round of rain and potential thunderstorms through New Jersey at some point on Saturday. Hopefully this happens early in the day, and hopefully the front moves quickly. That’s because behind the rain, skies should clear quickly as humidity and temperatures begin to drop.

Saturday’s highs will still reach the somewhat sticky mid 80s. Sunday will be limited to the lower 80s at the warmest, with much lower humidity. I’m really liking the forecast for Sunday — let’s hope it holds!

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

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