Good Monday morning, and welcome to July! We closed out June with a bang, with some potent thunderstorms on Saturday adding to our already inflated rainfall totals. We closed out the month with above-normal precipitation — the 14th time that has happened in the past 18 months, according to the NJ State Climate Office. (In case you're keeping score, the only below-normal months since the start of 2018 were January 2018, June 2018, March 2019, and April 2019.)

We're kicking off the new month with subjectively perfect summer weather. Low humidity is a real treat in the warm weather months, and we'll enjoy a healthy taste of dry air on Monday. That will keep skies sunny and temperatures comfortable Monday morning, as we start out in the 50s and 60s. High temperatures will push into the lower to mid 80s. Jersey Shore beaches will see highs in the 70s, thanks to the sea breeze. Clouds will build a bit Monday afternoon, but we'll stay dry and storm-free all day.

Monday night looks pleasant as well. Partly sunny skies and comfortable temperatures in the mid to upper 60s.

You'll notice a gradual uptick in humidity on Tuesday, as temperatures warm up too. Highs are forecast to reach the upper 80s to around 90 degrees, potentially starting a new heat wave for part of the state. An occasional breeze out of the west will keep that hot air moving around.

In addition, we'll have to watch the sky for our next round of scattered showers and thunderstorm from Tuesday late afternoon through Tuesday night. Strong storms, with gusty winds and heavy rain, will slide through northern and central New Jersey from about 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Then residual showers and lighter thunderstorms will carry through until after Midnight.

Wednesday gets even steamier, with widespread 90+ degree temperatures across inland New Jersey. Among our forecast models, there are differing opinions regarding our rain chances for late Wednesday. The NAM at 48 hours out shows a persistently rainy, stormy day. Meanwhile, every other model depicts no more than a popup storm. I've sided with the guidance consensus, calling for an isolated thunderstorm Wednesday, but we're going to have to watch and adjust this forecast accordingly.

The 4th of July is on Thursday, and it's definitely going to feel like summertime. High temperatures will again be close to the 90-degree mark for most of the state, although a southeasterly breeze will keep the coast a bit cooler. The early part of the day looks just fine for the beach or the pool. But a round of scattered showers and thunderstorms could impact your BBQ and/or fireworks plans. It's not going to be a washout evening, but there will be some storms around. Hopefully we'll be able to pinpoint the timing, geography, and potential impacts of these storms (regular vs. strong vs. severe vs. tornado) better later in the week.

And then it looks like we'll have a "copy and paste" forecast through the rest of the holiday weekend. Daily high temperatures near 90 degrees will join a daily chance for thunderstorms. Friday and Saturday look particularly steamy and stormy, with the unsettledness and the heat subsiding a bit on Sunday.

Of course, 90 and spotty thunderstorms are pretty typical for Independence Day, as we enter our wettest and stormiest time of the year. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, and we'll continue to keep you updated!

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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