The Bottom Line

Almost the same story, different day here. The Garden State is parched, with almost the entire state running a rainfall deficit over the last month or so. So we could use a healthy soaking right about now. No dice though — there are no washout days in the forecast.

We will talk about a few sporadic rain chances through the weekend. High temperatures will generally hold steady in the 80s. Humidity will progress from moderate to low to high.

And then the long-range forecast shows another big push of heat and humidity next week. We might get our first taste of "dangerous heat" of the season. The second half of July looks pretty hot.

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Thursday

We start the day with a stationary front parked right along the NJ coast. That boundary will keep some stubborn clouds around the southern and eastern edges of the state. The southern coast is also feeling thicker, more humid air.

There's also a chance for a spot shower somewhere in New Jersey, at any time during the daytime hours. (Each forecast model paints a different picture of the potential timing and geography of raindrops, so I can't get more specific than that.) There could even be a quick downpour at some point. (Some models go as high as an inch of total rainfall.). But keep in mind: Whatever forms will be isolated, and the vast majority of the state will stay completely dry Thursday.

Look for periods of sun and clouds. (The farther inland you go, the brighter the sky will stay.) High temperatures will reach the upper 80s to around 90 degrees. That is ever so slightly above normal for mid-July.

Thursday night, humidity will start to dial back a bit. So I am willing to call it comfortable, with low temperatures in the mid 60s. Weather conditions will be mainly clear and quiet.

Friday

Friday checks all the boxes for a pleasant summer day. Mostly sunny skies. Seasonably warm temperatures, peaking in the mid 80s. Dry weather. And relatively low humidity.

Looks great for the beach and boardwalk, park and pool.

Saturday

Over the weekend, a few shortwaves will threaten with clouds and raindrops. But once again, you will find plenty of pockets of pleasant summer weather along the way.

Saturday's skies will range from partly sunny to mostly cloudy. Cloud cover will limit high temperatures to the lower 80s or so. You'll notice an uptick in humidity too, as we dive into some soupy air.

And then I think we will see some spotty to scattered rain showers around in the afternoon to early evening hours.

Will everyone in the state get wet? Nope. Is it going to rain all day? Nope. Are we under the gun for severe weather and/or flooding? Not really. (Although there could be some rumbles of thunder.)

Sunday

Still looks like the best chance of rain in the forecast. And that's still not saying much.

Expect mostly cloudy skies and mid 80s Sunday. Scattered thunderstorms will be possible starting early afternoon. Given the higher heat and humidity, there is a risk of severe weather and/or downpours so we'll have to play it "weather aware".

For both days this weekend, we'll lay out a more details timeline of rain vs. no rain as it gets a little bit closer.

The Extended Forecast

Next week is all about heat. Highs on Monday will shoot to 90 degrees, with a chance for a late-day thunderstorm. And then widespread 90s will ensue for Tuesday and Wednesday at least.

In fact, next week could be our first venture into "dangerous heat" territory of the season. On Wednesday specifically, the heat index (the "feels like" or "apparent" temperature) may approach 100 degrees. That's usually the threshold for ringing excessive heat alarm bells.

The second half of July is looking hot overall, with more 90s and 100s on the way. 'Tis the season!

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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