A Brief Taste of High Heat and Humidity Friday for South Jersey
The heat index soars to 100 degrees Friday afternoon across the Garden State, but temperatures and humidity will be more reasonable for the weekend.
It's only temporary, but Friday is going to be a pretty steamy day for New Jersey! Morning low temperatures in the 70s will give way to afternoon high temperatures in the lower to mid 90s. Add in the humidity, and the heat index ("feels like" temperature) will peak around 100 degrees through Friday early afternoon. There is a chance for an isolated shower or thunderstorm to drift into New Jersey, but it's not looking very likely. Skies will clear from partly sunny to mostly sunny.
The effects of a weak cold front will be felt Friday night. Yes it will be a little cooler for the weekend. But more importantly, our atmosphere will dry out a bit - reduced humidity will allow temperatures to dip into the mid to upper 60s by Saturday morning. I'm calling that "almost" comfortable, and just above normal for late August.
Overall, it's going to be a sun-tastic summerlike weekend. I'm seeing mostly sunny skies for both Saturday and Sunday. Humidity levels will be moderate - dew points in the 60s are reasonable, especially for August. High temperatures on Saturday could still be close to 90 degrees, while Sunday looks to cool a bit to the mid 80s.
Meanwhile, at the Jersey Shore, ocean temperatures are a little cooler than last weekend, but still above normal. Gauges show water temps between 74 and 82 degrees along the coast. With the abundant sunshine this weekend, the UV Index will be Very High, so sunscreen is highly recommended. Waves will be reasonable, around 3 feet. The biggest coastal concern for the coming week is Tropical Storm Gaston. Gaston will remain way out in the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of miles away from New Jersey. However, as it churns up the ocean, increased swell may produce significant rip currents and rough surf. I expect the rip current risk to soar to Moderate or High by Monday/Tuesday.
There are no big changes in store for early next week, with very warm temperatures and mostly dry weather in the forecast. New Jersey may just barely reach heat wave criteria, with high temperatures in the neighborhood of 90 degrees for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
The forecast for late-week depends heavily on the track of a still-unnamed tropical disturbance over the Bahamas as of Friday. Although the storm's chances of developing significantly are dwindling, even indirect impacts on New Jersey (increased moisture and rough surf) could be significant. Still worth watching.