UPDATE as of 3:45 p.m. Monday...

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch (pink) is in effect for 13 of NJ's 21 counties until 9 p.m. Monday.

1.) A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued for 13 of NJ's 21 counties until 9pm. That's a formal heads-up that severe weather is possible.

2.) As of this writing, the closest thunderstorm is 60 miles west of NJ.

3.) I still think the worst weather (strongest storms) is coming later tonight. Let's put a broad window on it: 8pm to 4am.

4.) Heavy rain and frequent lightning are likely. Gusty winds and hail are possible.

5.) The watch will almost definitely be extended (in time) and expanded (farther south) this evening.


ORIGINAL POST from 5:43 a.m. Monday...

The Bottom Line

There is just one unsettled day in the forecast here: Monday. There will be some showers and thunderstorms around, especially late Monday night.

The rest of this final week of spring? Pretty fantastic. Dry air and dry weather resumes. With high temperatures near 80 - you can't ask for much better than that.

Monday

With dew points in the lower 60s, I would describe humidity levels as "moderate". Not overly juicy, but not dry either.

So I have to hesitate in forecasting raindrops on Monday. Several (approximately three) waves of spotty showers and light thunderstorms will try to pass west to east across New Jersey. But most of them will probably fizzle. It certainly won't be a washout, but you may want to carry an umbrella just in case.

Otherwise, clouds will win the sky over sunshine throughout the day Monday. (In fact, substantial breaks of sun would destabilize the atmosphere, leading to more numerous and/or stronger storm cells.) High temperatures should reach the mid 70s or so - similar to Sunday, and just below mid-June normals.

The biggest push of rain and thunderstorms - the grand finale, if you will - will accompany a cold front late Monday night. I'm thinking the best chance for steady to heavy rain will be between about 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. If that storm complex holds together, there could be some gusty winds and even small hail too.

Tuesday

By sunrise, thunderstorm activity should have calmed down. Although we could still see some lingering showers through midday Tuesday.

The day will feature improving weather, as skies clear late-day and humidity slowly dials back. As long as we see enough afternoon sun, I expect high temperatures to pop to near 80 degrees. (Yes, despite the "cold front," Tuesday will probably end up warmer than Monday.)

You'll really taste the drier air Tuesday night, with widespread 50s on thermometers away from the coast by Wednesday morning.

Wednesday & Thursday

Fantastic weather returns! Both days will be mostly sunny, dry, and seasonably warm. Look for highs around 80 degrees inland, and 70 degrees along the coast. No concerns, no complaints. Enjoy!

The Extended Forecast

Things get a bit iffy on Friday, with increasing clouds and both humidity ticking upward. Rising temperatures too, with highs in the lower 80s away from the coast. I've opted for a dry forecast for now.

And Saturday could get summer-ish and steamy, with widespread 80s and high humidity. That warmth may fuel some thunderstorms, especially if a front arrives late-day as modeled. The end result of such a solution would be clearing skies and comfortably warm temperatures for Sunday, the Summer Solstice. (Summer officially begins at 11:30 p.m. Sunday 6/20.)

I don't see any dramatic heat ridges or big storm systems building in through the rest of June.

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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