Summer weather to continue for NJ over Memorial Day Weekend
With temperatures in the 80s (at least), high humidity, and only scattered thunderstorm chances, the holiday weekend weather forecast is looking very good.
We've almost made it to the Memorial Day Weekend, New Jersey's unofficial start of summer! The bottom line of this forecast: Summertime heat, humidity, and sunshine will dominate our forecast for Saturday and Sunday. But there will be some wrinkles along the way, particularly on Friday and Monday.
Thursday was Newark Airport's second 90+ degree day in a row. In fact, much of New Jersey topped 90 degrees, registering the hottest day since early September 2015.
Will we make it three 90s in a row Friday, making it an "official" heat wave? Maybe. It's going to be very close, within a degree or two.
As you step outside Friday morning, you will immediately notice the increased humidity in the air. So it's not just going to be a very warm day, it will be disgustingly muggy too. High temperatures will climb into the upper 80s to around 90 degrees once again Friday. The heat index ("feels like") temperature will probably be in the lower 90s for much of the state. The beach will be a great place to beat the heat as usual. The Jersey Shore should be quite a bit cooler than interior New Jersey once again, as long as the sea breeze does it's job.
Skies will range from mostly to partly sunny on Friday. However, a round of scattered thunderstorms is likely from this afternoon to this evening (starting around 1 p.m.). As I have been advertising all week, it's not a washout of a day and not everyone will get wet Friday afternoon. But you'll want to watch the sky carefully, just in case one of these storms heads your way. Pockets of heavy rain and frequent, dangerous lightning will be possible from the strongest storm cells. You won't want to be caught unaware on the beach as a storm rolls in.
Speaking of the beach, ocean temperatures are currently hovering in the lower 60s. (They've actually warmed a degree or two this week thanks to our current wave of warm temperatures.) That's still pretty chilly for swimming and bathing, but it's actually typical for late May.
I suspect Saturday is going to be the nicest day of the holiday weekend. Call it a quintessential Jersey summer day.
Temperatures will remain on the border between "very warm" and "hot" with afternoon highs in the upper 80s to around 90 degrees. (Yup, as usual, except cooler temps along the coast.) The humidity will stay with us through this weekend too, adding the muggy factor to both mornings and afternoons through the weekend. The sun will remain strong, with a UV Index in the "Very High" range (at least). Sunscreen will be your best friend if you're spending any time outdoors.
However, here's the thing... With the heat and the humidity in the atmosphere, and a weak disturbance just to our north, I can't completely rule out a pop-up shower or thunderstorm on Saturday afternoon. The biggest chance for a storm will be in the higher elevations of northwestern New Jersey. But the rain chance is still a very slight one, at best.
With a few extra clouds creeping through the sky, Sunday's temperatures will probably top out in the mid to upper 80s for inland New Jersey (as opposed to near 90 for Friday and Saturday). Once again, a slight chance for a spot storm can't be ruled out in the heat and humidity of Sunday afternoon.
As a storm system pushes into New Jersey on Monday, we have to add a chance for rain to the forecast from Monday early morning through early afternoon. The rain and mostly cloudy skies will hold temperatures cooler for your Memorial Day, with highs in the upper 70s to maybe 80 degrees.
Best case scenario? The rain is light and brief, and the day won't be a wash. Worst case scenario? This system taps into tropical moisture from soon-to-become Tropical Storm Bonnie, just off the southeastern U.S. coast. In this scenario, pockets of heavy and/or steady rain would be possible. Unfortunately, I'm leaning toward such a wetter forecast at this time. Watch (and/or listen to) the forecast through the holiday weekend - as confidence increases, we'll have a better sense of the timing and intensity of Monday's rain.
I sincerely hope you have an enjoyable, relaxing, and safe Memorial Day Weekend. I'll actually be taking an extended holiday weekend - the MDZ Weather Blog and I will return on Wednesday, June 1. See you then!