Fantastic Friday, Steamy and Stormy Saturday for NJ
Friday continues the pleasant warm stretch of weather for the Garden State, but Saturday temporarily turns hot and humid with the chance for thunderstorms.
Here are your weather headlines for Friday, August 5, 2016...
Friday... Wonderfully Warm
Friday will be the sixth day in a row of below-normal temperatures in New Jersey, as our stretch of picture perfect weather continues. High pressure is departing, but we should still enjoy plenty of sunshine for at least the first half of the day. As winds turn southwesterly, a subtle warmup is expected from the lower 80s to the mid 80s. However, with dew points still in the lower 60s during the day Friday, humidity levels will remain manageable and comfortable.
That humidity will take a leap upwards Friday night, and Saturday morning is going to be fairly muggy and warm, in the 70s. A shower may even pop up by daybreak, a precursor of what's to come in our weekend forecast.
Saturday... Steamy and stormy
I've been calling Saturday the one wrinkle or hiccup in an otherwise gorgeous weeklong stretch of weather. If you've been missing true summertime heat and humidity, you'll get a taste of it to start the weekend. And the heat and humidity will combine forces with an approaching front to potentially produce some powerful storms.
Let's start with the heat, because I believe will be the more pervasive and widespread weather issue on Saturday. High temperatures look to spike to around 90 degrees for most of New Jersey. As dew points return to the 70s, humidity will approach oppressive levels once again. So we have to talk about the heat index ("feels like" temperature) again, climbing into the upper 90s. (My math actually shows a heat index up to 102 will be possible in a worst-case scenario.)
Amidst the sweltering heat and humidity, an approaching cold front will fire off at least a few showers and thunderstorms during the day Saturday. Models are still inconsistent in the spread of rain on Saturday. It's safe to say that not everyone in New Jersey will see thunderstorms. And it's certainly not going to rain all day anywhere in the state. The NAM model has really backed off the rain, showing only a few spot storms throughout the day. The GFS is a bit more widespread, especially during the afternoon and evening hours.
I'm leaning toward the "better safe than sorry" solution, with pockets of localized heavy rain and the potential for gusty winds. (Especially given our recent trend toward stronger-than-expected downpours.) Bottom line for Saturday: if you see the sky darken up and/or hear thunder, it's time to head indoors for an hour or two.
Sunday... Back to Nice
The aforementioned cold front will cause humidity to once again plummet by Saturday night, and we'll return to pleasant weather through early next week. Sunday's highs will still be on the warm side, in the mid to upper 80s. Sunshine will be generous and humidity will be low.
Monday and Tuesday look good too, before our next rain chance comes into view somewhere in the Tuesday to Thursday time frame.