The big 4th of July holiday weekend is almost here! Lots of outdoor activities going on, from barbecues to fireworks, from the beach to the pool. And I've got a pretty typical July forecast for you, featuring heat, humidity, and occasional thunderstorms. Having said that, you will find pockets of dry, pleasant summer weather along the way.

Let's step through the weekend day-by-day. Here's my latest thinking on what to expect.

Wednesday, July 3rd

A few fizzling showers will try to enter northwestern New Jersey during the early morning hours. We'll also watch for a few (I mean like two or three discrete) thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon. Best chance for a storm will be away from the NYC corridor — let's call it western, southern, and coastal NJ. Severe weather parameters are not impressive, but a quick inch of rain could cause some localized flooding issues.

Meanwhile, it's going to be hot and humid again, with periods of sunshine and cloudiness. High temperatures will be similar to Tuesday, near 90 degrees.

A spot shower will remain possible through Wednesday evening, especially in southern New Jersey. Otherwise, it will be a muggy overnight, with lows in the lower 70s.

Thursday, July 4th

The forecast is looking pretty good, although not quite perfect. A front will park far enough south of New Jersey to bring us 1.) a slight cooldown, and 2.) a mainly dry day. I do believe a light on-shore breeze will keep skies mostly cloudy throughout the day. And I can't rule out a shower or thunderstorm at some point — if you get really unlucky, raindrops may impact your holiday plans. High temperatures will be in the mid to upper 80s, although humidity levels will remain rather uncomfortable.

Friday, July 5th

Very similar to Thursday, with clouds and upper 80s. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely through the afternoon and evening hours. They'll be more widespread than Thursday, but it still won't be a total washout.

Saturday, July 6th

Quite possibly the steamiest and stormiest day of the weekend. High temps once again soar to the 90-degree mark. And an approaching cold front will spark an extended round of rain and thunderstorms. I do think the atmospheric dynamics of these storms will be conducive to some severe weather. I'm not prepared to put a definite timetable or impacts on this forecast just yet.

Sunday, July 7th

A nice pattern change to end the weekend! There could still be a stray shower around Sunday, but nothing to write home about. We'll see clearing skies and feel lowering humidity and cooler temperatures. High temperatures will be about 80 to 85 degrees. If that forecast holds, Sunday could turn into a very nice day.

The long-term forecast shows dry weather and warming temperatures through the first half of next week. I wouldn't put widespread rain chances over New Jersey again until about Thursday.

Have yourself a great holiday weekend! (The weather blog and I will be on vacation until dark n' early Monday morning.)

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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