NJ weather: Heat, humidity, and daily thunderstorms roll on
The Bottom Line
Heat, humidity, and thunderstorms? Hey, that's the story of summertime in New Jersey. But remember, we are always trying to pinpoint those days that will be extra steamy and stifling, putting us in the "danger zone". Friday will be another one of those days — the heat index will once again flirt with triple digits.
Temperatures scale back slightly for Saturday, before surging again on Sunday.
Meanwhile, we have to talk about a daily chance of thunderstorms in this juicy atmosphere. The threat for flooding rains, gusty winds, and wicked lightning looks particularly potent Friday evening.
If you're looking for any substantial break in the heat and humidity, you will have to wait until the middle of next week. Our next cold front will drive in rain and then cooler, drier air in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame.
The Heat Advisory has been pared back in area a bit, but remains in effect for 14 NJ counties until 8 p.m. Friday.
We are starting Friday morning with temperatures in the 70s across almost the entire state. Yuck.
Highs on Friday will hit about 90 to 95 degrees. Sure, that's a couple degrees "cooler" than Thursday. But humidity will push even higher, with dew points firmly in the lower 70s for most. Doing the math, that gives us a heat index ("feels like" or "apparent" temperature) around 96 to 102 degrees during the heat of the day.
We had some thunderstorms develop in our juicy atmosphere overnight. And the soupy, unsettled weather is expected to fire up again late Friday.
A stray shower is possible early on. And then starting around 3 p.m. and lasting through about Midnight, we'll have to watch the sky for spotty to scattered thunderstorms. Peak storm spread and intensity looks to be around the early evening hours.
As usual, this is one of those situations where a storm is not necessarily guaranteed for everyone in the Garden State. But with humid air at all levels of the atmosphere, any storm that blossoms will almost certainly produce an area of heavy rain. Some models are pumping out over 3 inches of (localized) rainfall. Yes, we need the rain. But that much water will raise flash flooding alarm bells.
Gusty winds and frequent lightning are also possible from any late-day storms.
During the day, we'll see mixed clouds with some sunshine.
Overnight low temperatures will only dip into the lower 70s. Still muggy. Still uggy.
The effects of a very weak cold front will make themselves known, as temperatures scale back a few degrees. With highs about 85 to 90 degrees and a heat index in the mid 90s, we should end up just shy of benchmarks for "dangerous heat and humidity". You're still going to sweat, of course.
Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy on Saturday. And once again, a round of late-day showers and thunderstorms is possible.
Coverage/spread of those storms looks less than Friday. But given how moist the atmosphere will be, there will be rich opportunity for thunderstorm development. With the potential for downpours and wind and lightning too.
Heating up again. Expect temperatures back in the lower 90s. That could put the heat index near 100 again. Plus, we'll pick up a stronger southwesterly breeze on Sunday. That would prevent a sea breeze from setting up along the Shore, keeping even beach areas toasty.
Different models show different solutions regarding storm timing on Sunday. So I'll just say an isolated (popup) shower or thunderstorm is possible at any time during the day and night.
I suspect we'll have more heat alerts posted for early next week, as Monday runs 10+ degrees above normal for early August.
Highs in the lower to mid 90s. Heat index potentially over 100. Still a "blast furnace" breeze, cooking the beaches. And plenty of blazing sunshine.
I have left Monday's forecast dry, for now. I want to see how the weekend's unsettled weather plays out before attempting a guess at any potential rain.
Tuesday & Beyond
Our hero, a strong cold front, will start its approach on New Jersey Tuesday. With it will come a round of showers and thunderstorms.
But that frontal boundary is going to be moving very slowly. In fact, I suspect most of the state will still make a run at 90+ degrees on Tuesday.
It's really Wednesday that we'll feel the cooling effects of our new air mass. There could still be some rain and clouds around on Wednesday. (Substantially dreary, damp weather even.) High temperatures will be limited to the 80s, at best.
By Thursday of next week, we should settle into drier, much more comfortable air and seasonably warm temperatures in the mid 80s.
I don't see a return to 90s and 100s through the midpoint of August. Also, no tropical developments are expected to threaten New Jersey over the next 7 to 10 days.