Bottom Line

Get ready for a wild weather ride as we barrel through this last week of May.

Tuesday will be brighter and slightly warmer than Monday.

Wednesday will be hot and potentially stormy.

Thursday looks beautiful.

And Friday into the start of the Memorial Day Weekend? Cool and wet.

Tuesday

As I was sitting outside at my son’s baseball practice Monday afternoon, I noted how it felt like a cool, breezy autumn day. Tuesday will be brighter and better.

We’re starting the day with typical late May low temperatures, averaging mid 50s across the state. Highs should reach the 70-degree mark by Tuesday afternoon. That’s still about 5 degrees below normal for this time of year - but at least humidity levels will stay nice and low too.

The layer of clouds will allow peeks of sun as the day presses on. Winds will be light and our weather stays dry. Overall, not bad at all.

Tuesday evening, dew points creep up and we’ll maintain partly cloudy skies. Those two factors will prevent temperatures from dipping too low. Thermometers will bottom out in the lower 60s or so. Not muggy, but not all that cool either.

Wednesday

Heat and humidity come roaring back, for one whole day. It will be a partly sunny and breezy day, with southwest gusts over 20 mph. High temperatures will reach the mid to upper 80s across inland New Jersey. I wouldn’t rule out a few 90+ readings - but those won’t be as widespread as this past weekend.

As dew points rise to 70+ late-day, it’s probably going to become uncomfortably steamy.

In addition, the heat and humidity will combine with an approaching cold front to produce a broken line of thunderstorms. The best chance for storms will be between about 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Let’s call that “dinnertime” - or late afternoon to early evening.

Severe weather parameters are showing the potential for some gusty winds and downpours there. Again, not for everyone. The greatest severe weather risk on Wednesday will be west of the NJ Turnpike corridor. That estimation is based largely on timing - as sunset approaches, those storms will lose a lot of their “oomph”.

Accordingly, the Storm Prediction Center has painted northern and western New Jersey in a “marginal risk” of severe thunderstorms. Hence the “yellow alert” icon on our 5 Day Forecast.

Thursday

The aforementioned cold front won’t do all that much for temperatures. But our new air mass will be much drier, so dew points and humidity levels will plummet by Thursday morning.

That will leave us with a fantastic day Thursday. Easily the nicest of th eweek.

High temperatures will bump into the lower 80s, outside of NW NJ and the Jersey Shore. Skies will be bright and sunny. And humidity levels will stay low.

Friday

We need rain. Although only 6% of New Jersey (the northern edge) is classified as “abnormally dry” at this time, a good chunk of the state hasn’t seen a drop of rain in over two weeks. Relief is coming. Unfortunately, it will set up a lousy start to the big Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday will start with increasing clouds. Our next storm system will push in rain from west to east around midday. That batch of steady to occasionally rain will continue through at least Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, the combination of clouds, raindrops, and an influx of cooler air will prevent temperatures from climbing past the mid 60s on Friday.

The Memorial Day Weekend

We’re still piecing together the rain timeline for the holiday weekend. However, even if the rain ends by Noon as expected, Saturday looks pretty miserable due to overcast skies and cool temperatures. My latest forecast puts highs only in the mid 50s - more reminiscent of late March than late May. Ouch.

There’s some uncertainty regarding another batch of showers late Sunday. Once again, temperatures will be very much on the cool side, under mostly cloudy skies. Highs will hopefully reach 60-ish degrees. That’s “only” 15 degrees below seasonal normals.

Memorial Day Monday will absolutely be the best day of the extended weekend. Partly sunny and dry, with highs hopefully popping into the lower 70s? We’ll take it!

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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