Wednesday NJ weather: Ahhh, a one-day break in humidity
The Bottom Line
We have some subtle changes and weather variety on the way through the rest of the week. One beautiful, non-humid day. One dangerously hot and humid day. One steamy day with rain.
And then we fall into fairly typical summertime weather for the first weekend of August. Hot, humid, and occasionally stormy.
We'll get an official update on drought statistics on Thursday. At the moment, we still have 12% of NJ classified as "moderate drought". Another 57% of the state is not technically in drought, but still categorized as "abnormally dry". As I discussed in my weather blog earlier this week, some areas of the state need a full five inches of rain to dig out of the drought deficit.
It is going to be very warm. But as long as you don't mind sweating a little bit, you will find Wednesday to be a beautiful summer day.
We're waking up to lowering humidity, thanks to a weak cold front passage overnight. Dew points may briefly dip into the 50s Wednesday — that is some comfortable air, especially in the middle of summer.
Temperatures are starting the day near 70 degrees. We'll top out in the upper 80s to around 90 degrees. A nice sea breeze will keep the Jersey Shore cooler and more comfortable through Wednesday afternoon.
Sunshine and dry weather all around.
No problems Wednesday night either. It will be clear and mild, with lows around 70.
I do not break out the "dangerous heat" phrase often — only when it is truly warranted. And Thursday is going to be one of those days where you have to intentionally take care of yourself.
A surge of hot, humid air will push high temperatures into the mid to (maybe) upper 90s. The heat index (the "feels like" or "apparent" temperature) may shoot over 100 degrees for part of the day. (Note: Some forecasters are promoting a heat index of 105 or even 110 on Thursday — that seems a bit extreme to me, given the latest model trends.)
The National Weather Service has already popped out a Heat Advisory for most of the state, in effect from 11 a.m. Thursday all the way through 8 p.m. Friday. (I'll break out the exact counties, map, and timing for the advisory in Thursday morning's weather blog, as it is subject to change.)
Thursday will feature blazing sunshine overhead. A popup shower or thunderstorm can't be ruled out, especially in the evening hours.
It is still going to be steamy on Friday. Humidity looks particularly bad.
We'll start the day with temperatures around 75 to 80 degrees — a pretty disgusting morning. I've put Friday's high temperatures near 90 degrees. However, if cloud cover and impending raindrops hold off, I would not rule out thermometers pushing further into the 90s again.
Yes, there is a good chance of rain on Friday too, as a weak, slow-moving front pushes toward New Jersey. The spread and duration of rain will depend on how dry the air is. (Yes, it's going to be humid — but not necessarily throughout all layers of the air.)
Having said that, the atmosphere is going to be exceptionally juicy Friday. (Precipitable water values well over 2 inches.)
So I read the latest forecast as follows. Spotty to scattered showers and thunderstorms from midday through the afternoon and evening hours. Not necessarily steady rain, although downpours are likely. Most locations in New Jersey will see a half-inch to an inch of rainfall. Higher totals are possible where it really pours.
It won't be a drought-buster. But every raindrop helps.
Saturday looks like a typical summer day. Sun and clouds. Hot and humid, with highs in the upper 80s. Moderate to high humidity.
And there is a chance for an afternoon shower or thunderstorm. It does not look like Saturday's rainfall will be as widespread as Friday's — so don't go canceling your weekend plans just yet. But once again, downpours are expected.
Sunday & Beyond
Sunday will be the hotter day of the weekend, as highs return to the lower 90s. Skies will be brighter — I'll call it partly sunny. And while there's still a chance of a shower or storm, it looks isolated at best.
Next week starts hot and humid, with more 90s. Our next opportunity for rain and a cooldown will come midweek. (Current model guidance suggests Tuesday into Wednesday will be wet.)
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.