NJ weather: Not much rain in sight, temps just below normal
The Bottom Line
We had been watching a storm system with great anticipation for early this week. With 80 percent of New Jersey classified as "abnormally dry" or worse, we really need some serious rain. Soon.
Unfortunately, that area of low pressure has developed farther south and will track farther east than anticipated. We will see some raindrops Monday, especially in the southern half of the state. But don't expect much.
Meanwhile, this weekend's trend of low humidity and slightly-below-normal temperatures will continue for the bulk of the week. (If we were running a rainfall surplus right now, we would be celebrating this pleasant streak of weather.)
New Jersey's next chance of substantial rainfall? Next weekend, Saturday into Sunday. If that storm system even holds together.
As of this writing (6 a.m.), scattered rain is knocking on the door of southwestern New Jersey. These showers are going to battle some very dry air in our atmosphere, likely causing them to fall apart. Still, I do think some raindrops will pass through the southern half of the state between sunrise and Noon Monday. Rainfall totals will be less than a tenth of an inch.
Farther north, I would include a chance of an isolated shower early Monday afternoon. (Just following along the trajectory of rain over Pennsylvania and the latest model trends.) But again, don't expect much.
Skies on Monday will start mostly cloudy. Then we'll break into sunshine in the afternoon.
Morning temperatures are comfortable, primarily in the 60s. Most of NJ will top out in the lower 80s Monday. That is a hair below normal for the midpoint of August. With a southeasterly (ocean) breeze, the Shore will be the cool spot, stuck in the 70s. Humidity stays relatively low — I do not see the dew point climbing above 60.
Monday night will be quiet and comfortable again. Most lows will end up in the lower 60s, under partly cloudy skies. The coolest corners of the state — NW NJ and the Pine Barrens — will likely feel a hint of coolness in the air, dipping into the 50s.
The aforementioned near-miss of a storm system will be parked well off-shore on Tuesday. Winds will blow out of the east-northeast — probably in the "breezy" category for part of the day (20-ish mph). That will keep temperatures at bay, with highs only around 80 degrees.
It's tough to call Tuesday a good beach day, with that on-shore breeze keeping temps in the 70s and churning up the ocean.
Skies will be partly sunny. And I can't rule out a stray shower being spit toward the Jersey Shore at some point too.
As high pressure starts to build in, our weather gets flat-out boring. Look for a mix of sun and clouds on Wednesday, with almost-seasonable high temperatures back in the lower 80s.
About the same as Wednesday. Sun and clouds, 80 to 85 degrees.
Friday & Beyond
No big surprises for Friday, as skies progress from sun to clouds. Guidance nudges slightly warmer, perhaps into the seasonable mid 80s to close out the workweek.
Next weekend will be our next shot at some unsettled (read: wet) weather. Long-range models currently depict scattered rain sometime between Saturday afternoon and Sunday midday. (Although not necessarily steady rain during that entire time period.) Total rainfall may approach an inch. It is going to turn considerably cloudy, of course. And noticeably more humid too.
Don't hang your hat on that rainy forecast, but keep fingers crossed that it comes to pass. I generally don't like rain chances on summer weekends. But I really don't like the way our drought conditions continue to spiral, as we head out of the traditionally wet and stormy summer months.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.