SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH issued for Hunterdon, Mercer and Warren counties until 9 p.m.

Even Kanye West would have to admit Monday's weather was at least as good as the "Single Ladies" video. (Christopher Polk, Getty Images)
Even Kanye West would have to admit Monday's weather was at least as good as the "Single Ladies" video. (Christopher Polk, Getty Images)

First things first: For those who are fretting about Hurricane Irma's potential impact on New Jersey, let me point you immediately to Sunday afternoon's post by vacationing Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, which should serve to assuage your fears.

Now, in Dan's stead, I must again issue a reminder that I am not a meteorologist. I took one meteorology class in college, and despite my enthusiasm for the subject ... it did not go well. So I cannot — and in the interest of responsible reporting, will not — be forecasting any kind of hurricane track over the next four days. I am sure that even while away, Dan will contribute to this space if needed, with the reliable, thoroughly researched information you've come to expect from him.

What I can do is tell you what I'm seeing in the general forecast picture for New Jersey for the rest of this week, and do so by writing to you plainly, directly, and with a generous dose of pop culture references for levity. (See my last post on Friday.)

So, as I alluded to in the headline, Monday was indeed glorious in the Garden State — as we thought on Friday that it would be. The spike in temperature and splashes of sun that began Sunday afternoon and continued through Labor Day will culminate on Tuesday, with a mixture of sun and clouds and highs in the mid- to upper 80s.

However, there will be a chance for a stray shower or thunderstorm, which does not bode well not only for Tuesday evening, but all of Wednesday too. Those showers and thunderstorms, perhaps Hurricane Harvey remnants, take over the forecast for just shy of 36 hours, with lows in the mid- to upper 60s late Tuesday into Wednesday, and then high temperatures only in the lower 70s during the day on Wednesday.

Those temperatures actually inform how it'll feel in the Garden State for the rest of the week. Right now, I don't see highs rising out of the low 70s for the foreseeable future: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. But, the good news is rain should stay away for that entire stretch. Friday looks like the sunniest of the bunch, but there should only be partial cloud cover on the other three days.

And one final note. If you've seen her latest work, it appears Taylor Swift herself isn't all that fond of the "You Belong With Me" video anymore. So maybe Kanye had a point.

Meteorologist Dan Zarrow is on vacation and returns Monday, Sept. 11.

Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. His favorite Kanye West song is "Stronger" and his favorite Taylor Swift song is "Style," but he prefers the version of the "Single Ladies" video that's overdubbed with the "DuckTales" theme song.

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