Several rounds of showers with occasional downpours are expected through Friday morning, as summer temperatures and humidity continue.

Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, July 8, 2015...

Heat and Humidity

You know the saying... it's not the heat, it's the humidity! I tend to agree... I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a breezy and hot "blast furnace" day over this disgusting tropical soup. Any cooler weather in sight? Not really.

High humidity has made for a steamy morning, with temperatures almost exclusively in the 70s across the state. Despite mostly cloudy skies and the chance for rain today (see below), I think temperatures will still end up on the "hot" side of normal - near 90° again. If heavy rain does happen today, temperatures might be held a bit cooler, but upper 80s to lower 90s are still a reasonable expectation in between the raindrops.

A bit more rain and a weak cold front will drop temperatures into the lower to mid 80s for Thursday (maybe with a few highs in the 70s). But look for a warming trend to ensue beyond tomorrow, keeping us at or seasonal normals for most of the next week.

Pockets of Rain

An approaching front is expected to push through New Jersey today, and stall just to our south. This is a familiar setup, creating an atmospheric "highway" that storm systems will ride across, bringing us sustaining rain chances for a few consecutive days. Confidence is admittedly low regarding the exact timing and intensity of the rain, but I think we can break down these rain chances into three rounds.

The first round stretches across the daytime hours today. A line of showers and thunderstorms has been marching across Pennsylvania this morning, but it's fizzling. We'll still likely see a few showers through mid-morning, especially in North Jersey. The models show more substantial rain firing up through this afternoon. As I mentioned, forecast uncertainty is pretty high here - I can't nail down who might see the heaviest rain (and whether we'll see truly "heavy" rain at all). If the rain does pour down in this humid atmosphere, localized flash flooding will again be a concern today.

Aside from a few spot showers and some fog/haze, tonight should be mostly dry. The rain machine turns on again tomorrow, in spurts... there will likely be some scattered periods of dry weather in between the raindrops. (So neither today nor tomorrow look to be a "washout".) Again, this "second round" of rain again isn't a sure bet, but carrying an umbrella might be a good idea.

The final round of rain in the next 48 hours is currently forecast to be the heaviest. An MCS - Mesoscale Convective System - is a complex of thunderstorms that, for New Jersey, generally happens overnight. And one looks to form and head our way late Thursday night through early Friday morning, with the possibility of some very heavy rain and some loud thunder too.

Beyond 48 Hours

By about sunrise on Friday, the rain will be done and skies will be clearing rapidly. Sunshine should win the day, with high temperatures in the mid to upper 80s. I'm thinking humidity will be *a little bit* lower than the early part of this week, but that sticky feeling unfortunately won't go away completely.

This weekend is looking wonderfully warm and superbly sunny! On Saturday, high temperatures will generally climb into the upper 80s, and on Sunday we'll approach 90°. Light winds will allow the sea breeze to kick into high gear, so the beach will be THE place to beat the heat.

The only hiccup in the weekend forecast will be increasing clouds on Sunday afternoon, eventually leading to some showers Sunday night. But don't worry too much - for now, the daytime hours look dry.