NJ weather: Ferocious heat is done, still sticky with some storms
The Bottom Line
Thank goodness for air conditioning. Tuesday will probably go down as the worst day of the summer, with air temperatures as high as 101 degrees and the heat index over 110 at times.
I'm happy to say that the truly dangerous heat and humidity are behind us now. The first in a series of cold fronts has brought in slightly cooler and slightly less humid air for Wednesday. And there are two more frontal boundaries to come. The first, nudging forward Wednesday evening, will drive in some thunderstorms. The second, arriving Thursday evening, will deliver deliciously dry air.
By the weekend, we'll find a burst of refreshing, September-ish weather.
It's a sticky morning, with temperatures in the 70s. Still better than Tuesday morning, where some temperatures did not drop below 80 degrees.
There is a stalled front sitting over New Jersey. That boundary means North Jersey will be slightly cooler and less humid than South Jersey. I'll put high temperatures around 80 degrees to the north, but close to 90 degrees for inland South Jersey. Probably leaning toward the warm side of that range in central NJ, in the mid to upper 80s. We should get a sea breeze Wednesday, keeping Jersey Shore beaches closer to 80 than 90.
Skies will average partly sunny throughout the day. While some forecast models show a popup shower around lunchtime, there will be very little forcing for any rain during the daytime hours. So I have opted for a dry forecast.
Wednesday evening, however, is a different story. After about 7 p.m., we will probably see a cluster of thunderstorms traverse southern, central, coastal, and (maybe) northeastern New Jersey. Our atmosphere still has plenty of moisture for these storms to drink and spit out downpours — rainfall totals could easily top an inch in SW NJ.
Low temperatures overnight will dip to around 70 degrees, give or take.
More transition, more improvements. Showers may linger through Thursday morning. Maybe even as late as midday. And then we should see some peeks of sun through Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, humidity will slowly drop throughout Thursday. And it will be seasonably warm still, with highs reaching the mid 80s.
One more cold front Thursday night will be the final nail in the coffin for our latest wave of humidity. While I can't completely rule out a shower, I favor another dry period. Low temperatures should dip into the much more comfortable 60s by Friday morning.
Ahhh. A refreshing breath of not humid air!
As dew points descend into the 50s (or even the 40s), our air mass will become considerably more comfortable and breathable on Friday. We'll see mixed periods of sun and clouds overnight, allowing for warm temperatures in the lower 80s. If all goes well, I think it could turn into one of the best days of the entire summer.
While last weekend was stifling and sweltering, the start of this weekend will be fantastic.
Sunny skies. Warm temperatures. (Actually a few degrees below seasonal normals.) And low humidity. Nice.
Look for highs near 80 degrees on Saturday. Early morning and late night temps could even dip into the 50s in the coolest corners of the state.
Sunday & Beyond
Sunday will be the warmer day of the weekend, with highs pushing into the lower to (maybe) mid 80s. It will also be the cloudier day, although that should not be too unpleasant. You might notice a twinge of extra humidity in the air too.
Guidance now puts scattered rain showers over New Jersey in the Sunday night to Monday time frame too. This is a new wrinkle that had not shown up in previous runs. And I'm not totally convinced this is an "everybody gets wet" situation. Again, I'm thinking we escape the weekend daytime hours dry.
But let's keep everything in perspective. With all of New Jersey officially in "Drought Watch" status as of yesterday, we need rain. As much as we can get. Even so, it is going to take a lot to pull Central Jersey out of its 6-inch (and growing) rainfall hole.