Weekend forecast – not a washout, but showers and storms are likely
A warm front will waffle back and forth over New Jersey this weekend, causing a persistent chance of showers and thunderstorms along with warm, humid conditions.
Here are your weather headlines for Friday, May 15, 2015...
Clouds and Humidity Increase
Yesterday’s beautiful blue skies are unfortunately just a memory now, but at least we’ll hold on to pleasant, mild temperatures for one more day. Clouds have already started to move into New Jersey this morning, and those clouds will continue to thicken up throughout the day. As they do, I can’t rule out a light sprinkle or two. (I had a few raindrops hit my windshield on the way to work early this morning.)
Meanwhile, temperatures should climb to the 69° to 75° range again today. Dew points will also climb today, to about the 60° mark - you’ll likely notice the increased humidity, but it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable.
So overall, your Friday will turn out to be a decent weather day, even though the sky will be a bit grey.
Weekend Warm Front Woes
This weekend’s forecast is not picture-perfect, with what I’ll call "persistent" rain chances through both Saturday and Sunday. However, let’s keep in mind that we could really use a good soaking right now, to ease short-term drought concerns and to mitigate the horrendous pollen situation.
It’s important to note that this weekend will not be a "total washout"... in fact, much of New Jersey could stay mostly dry. However, with a warm front hanging out in the neighborhood all weekend, at any given time there may very well be showers or thunderstorms somewhere in New Jersey. Given the differences in forecast model solutions, and how these warm front situations usually shape up, it is just not possible to firmly nail down exact timing and location of any rain this weekend. I recognize that is a vague and inconvenient statement, given all the outdoor commencement ceremonies and other springtime activities this weekend... But I do not want anyone planning for the weekend, thinking the weather will stay dry for a given location at a given time, and then ultimately getting rained on.
Here's what we know for now... That warm front will begin pushing into New Jersey on Friday night (likely after midnight). After the front passes, warm and humid conditions will persist through the weekend. Highs will generally range from the upper 70s to the mid 80s. 80s may be a bit uncomfortable with the high humidity.
Our first round of rain will likely arrive as showers, concurrent with the frontal passage early Saturday morning - I doubt we'll see anything too heavy overnight. During the day on Saturday, there will likely be scattered showers and/or thunderstorms around, which look to mainly affect central and northern New Jersey. Those storms could get rather strong on Saturday afternoon, fueled by the abundant moisture in the atmosphere and the warm air. That means storms could feature heavy downpours, frequent lightning, and maybe gusty winds.
On Sunday, we continue the rain chances, although there have been signs of some occasional breaks in the rainfall action, especially around lunchtime, and in the late evening hours. Temperatures on Sunday could be a few degrees warmer than on Saturday - with the humidity, it could feel quite muggy.
Early Next Week
This stretch of unsettled weather will continue for at least Monday and Tuesday next week. Monday’s rain chances look minimal, showery, and limited to the early and late parts of the day. A cold front on Tuesday will bring a definitive end to this streak of unsettled weather with one more shot of (potentially heavy) rain. Since that front is still about four days away, it’s a bit too early to nail down the precise timing. For now, it looks like highs will still be in the 70s on Tuesday, before skies clear Tuesday night and temperatures drop on Wednesday with many highs in the 60s.