NJ weather: Delightfully dry weather won’t last much longer
The Bottom Line
The short-term forecast looks fantastic, for one more day at least. Thursday will be another day of unusually low humidity, below-normal temperatures, and bright skies.
A weak disturbance off the coast will try to spit some raindrops toward New Jersey Thursday night through Friday morning.
And then the big weather story in the medium to long range is the return of heat and humidity. Just in time for the first full weekend of summer.
I expect Thursday will be New Jersey's coolest day in almost two weeks. It is also going to be our coolest, more comfortable day for some time to come.
For the second day in a row, we start with a chill in the air. As of this writing (5:15 a.m.), thermometers are averaging 53 degrees across the state - more than 10 below seasonal norms. Just like Wednesday, we'll warm up quickly after sunrise, peaking in the mid 70s by Thursday afternoon. The breeze will blow from the southeast though, keeping the beaches a bit cooler, closer to 70 degrees. Once again, there will be a "spring feel" to the air. (Or a "fall feel" - same thing.)
The daytime hours Thursday look great. Mostly sunny, dry weather, delightfully dry air. Enjoy!
A weak area of low pressure will develop off the North Carolina coast Thursday afternoon. Key word: weak. It's hard to even call it a "storm," since it's going to be so uneventful. That low will throw a couple waves of showers and sprinkles toward New Jersey Thursday night into Friday morning. But rainfall will be minimal. Best chance of raindrops overnight will be along the eastern edge of the state.
Clouds will creep in overnight, with comfortable temperatures falling to about the 60 degree mark.
I think our only chance of rain Friday will come from that coastal low in the morning, wrapping up by 8 a.m. at the latest. Because that disturbance is moving faster than previously expected, I expect brighter, more pleasant skies on Friday. We'll see a mix of clouds and sun through the afternoon.
And let the warmup begin. Highs will push to near 80 degrees Friday afternoon, with a noticeable uptick in humidity. Still, dew points will "only" push to the lower 60s. That's somewhat sticky, but not steamy. (Yet.)
This weekend will definitely feel like more typical summertime - very warm, humid, and breezy. Skies will range from partly to mostly cloudy on Saturday. High temps will surge into the mid 80s away from the coast.
Depending on which model you believe, some popup showers and thunderstorms are possible Saturday afternoon and early evening. Given the heat and humidity, any storm cells that pop could blow some wind and dump some rain. But I don't think it's going to be a widespread thunderstorm event.
Even warmer. Highs are forecast to push into the upper 80s. 90 is a possible in SW NJ and urban areas. Skies will be partly sunny.
The Extended Forecast
I smell a heat wave for next week, with widespread 90s a good possibility for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at least. (Models even go as high as 99 degrees - woo!) Each day will feature the chance of an isolated shower or thunderstorm too.
The issue here is a stalled frontal boundary just north of New Jersey. That will keep us on the hot and humid side of the world. If that front edges closer to NJ, we could see a round of scattered thunderstorms. Maybe even taste some cooler, drier air to the northwest.
But in general, we won't face widespread rain and/or a big cooldown until that front completes its pass through the Northeast U.S. That will probably happen sometime around the 4th of July Weekend. (At the moment, models show Saturday, July 3rd to be that transition day - but that is highly uncertain at this point.) Obviously, we'll be watching that forecast very carefully, given the implications on your holiday weekend plans.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.