NJ weather: One more day of dangerous heat, sweet relief coming soon
The Bottom Line
Tuesday might be one of the worst days of this stretch of week. (Which is basically going on four weeks now.) Definitely in dangerous heat and humidity territory — stay cool, stay hydrated.
The big cooldown will arrive soon. The transition will be a slow process, including two rounds of thunderstorms. But the payoff will be sweet, as air conditioners will get a break by the end of the week.
It's already disgusting. Overnight temperatures did not drop much below 80 degrees, thanks to the abundant humidity in the air. So it's a very warm start to another very hot day.
Thermometers are expected to climb into the mid to upper 90s Tuesday afternoon. Factor in the humidity, and you get a heat index ("feels like" or "apparent" temperature) as high as 105 degrees. Most definitely on the extreme side — you need to take care of yourself in such conditions.
A Heat Advisory remains in effect until 8 p.m. for all or part of 19 NJ counties.
We'll see a mix of sun and clouds. It will be breezy too, keeping beaches hot. (Although the ocean is quite chilly along southern beaches again, due to upwelling.)
A few thunderstorms will likely start popping up Tuesday afternoon, as a weak cold front gently drifts southeast through Tuesday evening. Our atmosphere is fully juiced up, so downpours are likely. (Rainfall totals could top a quick inch in spots.) Lots of lightning is likely too. Gusty winds are possible.
Rain will linger into Tuesday night, again maneuvering toward NJ's southern coast. It will be sticky, but not as suffocating as last night. Low temperatures should dip into the lower 70s.
You will notice a change in the air. For northern and central New Jersey (at least), it will be slightly less humid with dew points descending into the 60s. And high temperatures should come down a bit, although it will still be very warm. I think we'll range from 80 degrees in North Jersey, to the mid to upper 80s in Central Jersey, to near 90 for inland South Jersey.
Wednesday will start partly sunny. And then the chance for thunderstorms will increase again in the afternoon, evening, and overnight hours.
Between these two rounds of thunderstorms, I think everyone in New Jersey will get at least a little bit wet. The potential is there for an inch or two of total rainfall. Not a total drought-buster, but that would be healthy rainfall. And much-needed.
The transition from hot to normal completes.
Some models suggest rain will linger into Thursday morning. I'm not totally convinced — realistically, I think we'll see a quick dry-out and clear.
More importantly, one final frontal boundary will introduce much drier air to New Jersey. As humidity plummets, our air mass will turn much much more comfortable.
High temperatures on Thursday will still be seasonably warm, likely reaching the mid 80s. Sunshine should break out by Thursday afternoon, at the latest.
As it stands, I have no hesitation in calling Friday a spectacular summer day. Sunny skies. Dry weather. (I know, I know, drought concerns.) High temperatures in the lower 80s. Dew points ridiculously low, in the 40s and 50s. What a change of pace from the last four weeks. And probably enough to give your air conditioner a break, for a few hours at least.
The Extended Forecast
The pleasant weather will extend into the weekend too. Highs on Saturday will be limited to about 80 degrees. That is on the order of 5 degrees below normal for mid-August. But with lots of sunshine, it should be warm enough for any outdoor summer activities.
Sunday looks a bit cloudier and slightly warmer, between 80 and 85 degrees. Still dry.
And the jury is still out on next week's forecast. The GFS model favors a series of wet weather days, starting with a real soaker in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame. Meanwhile, the Euro shows mainly dry weather.
I wouldn't get your hopes up too high for the wet solution, given how many times rain forecasts have busted this summer. At the same time, a return to unsettled weather would make sense given the weather pattern. So let's just wait to see how things will play out.