Whew, what a steamy start to August! High temperatures were even higher than expected, topping out near 90 degrees across the state. August is, of course, our second hottest and second wettest month of the year on average (after July). So it's not surprising to have a smorgasbord of heat, humidity, and thunderstorms in the forecast.

We're waking up to a bag full of "yuck" on this Thursday morning. Temperatures are in the mid to upper 70s for most of the state, with a few of the coolest spots closer to 70 degrees. That's not cool, comfortable, or refreshing in the slightest — I truly feel for those without air conditioning on sultry nights like that. High temperatures will soar to about 85 to 90 degrees, with continuing high humidity and a warm southwesterly breeze.

Yes, we have those infamously nondescript scattered showers and thunderstorms in the forecast once again for Thursday. The best chance for rain will be north and west of the NJ Turnpike. On the flip side, there's a decent chance that the Jersey Shore may very well stay completely dry all day. If you're headed to the beach, be sure to heed the flags and lifeguards — a Moderate Risk of dangerous rip currents and rough surf is posted for the entire Jersey Shore once again Thursday.

I have to leave a continuing chance for a shower in the forecast for Thursday night. It's going to be another muggy one, with lows only dipping into the mid 70s.

Friday will bring a better chance for widespread showers and thunderstorms in New Jersey, especially late-day. Even so, it will be far from a washout — just a little gloomy and stormy at times. Otherwise, we should see partly sunny skies with high temperatures holding steady around 85 to 90 degrees.

The latest model consensus pushes the grand finale push of rain later, now most likely in the early morning hours of Saturday. Yes, that means you might wake up to some wet weather Saturday morning. I'm optimistic that rain will exit the Garden State by about 10 or 11 a.m. Saturday, at the latest. Then, we'll clear away to sunshine and fairly pleasant conditions by Saturday afternoon, with seasonable high temperatures in the mid 80s (give or take).

Sunday will be dry! And sunny! And maybe slightly less humid!

But it's also going to become HOT during the second half of the weekend. Inland high temps will easily soar into the lower 90s on Sunday — even the beaches will push well into the 80s.

Sunday will probably become the start of another Jersey heat wave, with widespread 90s in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday too. Late Tuesday into Wednesday will be our next chance for storms and a (slight) cooldown.

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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