Widespread temperatures in the 90s will combine with high humidity levels to make the next few days sticky and steamy.

Ice cream cones across the Garden State will be in danger from the heat and humidity. (Photo Wikimedia Commons)

It's officially a heat wave! Temperatures hit 90° or higher on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Newark Airport (90°, 93°, 96°, respectively) and probably a few other spots too. As we dive deeper into the second half of August, the heat and humidity will continue and we'll add some unsettled weather to the week ahead.

High temperatures for Monday will generally fall in the 90° to 95° range. The Jersey Shore will get a bit of relief from the heat, with highs in the 80s today. Humidity levels will be fairly high - dew points in the mid to upper 60s signal "sticky" or "steamy" conditions, although we should stay away from the "oppressive" category until the middle of the week. Because the humidity isn't as bad as it could be, today's hot temperatures won't qualify as "extreme heat", but we should all pledge to stay as cool and as hydrated as possible today.

The only advisory put in effect today by the National Weather Service is an Air Quality Alert. Ground-level ozone will fall into the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" category. (Just like this weekend.) The elderly, the very young, and those with heart or lung problems should limit exposure to the outdoors during the heat of the day.

Temperatures come down a little bit through Tuesday and Wednesday, thanks to increasing clouds and increasing humidity. Highs on Tuesday will range from the upper 80s to lower 90s, likely extending our heat wave to 5 consecutive days. The 90s will break completely on Wednesday, with highs confined to the 80s, and that's about where temperatures will stay through the weekend. However, the humidity will be off the chart for the second half of the week; dew points in the 70s will make it feel quite oppressive outside.

Finally, let's talk about rain. It is going to rain at some point this week. But uncertainty in this precipitation forecast is quite high. For both Monday and Tuesday, we' continue a chance for a few isolated showers and thunderstorms in the hot and humid atmosphere. Any spots of rain that do pop up are likely to be short-lived and isolated.

Rain chances will be higher for the second half of this week, as a front approaches New Jersey. The timing of this front and the associated rain is the biggest question mark in this forecast. For now, we're thinking Thursday night is the best chance for rain and frontal passage. Therefore, from late Wednesday through all-day Friday, we have put a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms in the forecast. However, this morning's models do not show a particularly high severe weather or heavy rain threat at any time this week.

I'm not ready to even take a stab at the weekend forecast yet, given the uncertainty of the front and rain during the workweek.