New Jersey’s Heat Wave Comes to an End
Lower humidity and cooler air has finally arrived, although today could still be our 9th and final consecutive 90+ degree day.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, August 5, 2015...
Very Warm, but Not Humid!
Even though yesterday's thunderstorms were mostly a miss, our cold front did arrive on schedule. And the cooler, less humid air has arrived, making for a comfortable morning with most temperatures in the 60s (and even a few 50s). Partly sunny skies will accompany a brisk northwest wind up to 20 mph today. I can't rule out an isolated shower this afternoon in North Jersey, as a weak atmospheric impulse passes by.
Temperatures look to still end up on the warm side of normal today, with highs in the mid to upper 80s. A few 90-degree readings will be possible this afternoon, but they will not be widespread. Regardless, that will extend our heat wave one more day, to 9 consecutive days of 90+ degree temperatures in New Jersey. But this will be the last time we see a 90° reading for quite a while, as cooler air settles in further tomorrow, and we'll have a few reinforcing shots of that cooler air through next week.
To Rain, or Not to Rain
In yesterday's weather blog post, I talked quite a bit about a storm system scheduled to bring rain to New Jersey from Thursday night through Saturday morning. I ended that discussion with the disclaimer, "This is a low-to-medium confidence forecast, as a tiny shift in the forecast track of this system will dramatically affect our weather. Frankly, the forecast models have been incredibly wishy-washy resolving this system and the resultant impacts for New Jersey."
Well, the models have flipped, the forecast storm track has shifted, and our weather forecast has in turn changed dramatically. There is general model agreement this morning that the storm system will take a jog further south than originally anticipated, pushing the heaviest rain further away from New Jersey. In fact, the rainfall forecast from Trenton to Newark is now completely dry - a significant improvement from yesterday's forecast of moderate to heavy rain! That doesn't mean everyone is staying dry, however. There will be a chance for a shower late-day Thursday, mainly in far South Jersey. And Friday could still bring thick clouds and periods of steady rain, especially in South Jersey and along the Jersey Shore. But for most of the state, the current forecast keeps the weather dry through the end of the week... Great news for most outdoor plans on Friday!
However, allow me to once again hesitate... This has been an incredibly challenging, headache of a forecast. Please understand that it is incredibly uncomfortable to change my forecast so dramatically from one day to the next. But I can't deny that the GFS, NAM, and Euro are now showing good consistency and a trend in the same (drier) direction. As I discussed above, I am definitely leaning toward this mostly rain-free forecast for Thursday night through Saturday morning. But it would not it be unprecedented to flip back to a wetter forecast for Friday, if that storm track does shift back northward. My advice would be to keep your plans intact for Friday (except perhaps in southern and coastal New Jersey), and keep an eye on the forecast between now and then to make sure it doesn't change back.
Beyond any rain chances in the Thursday and Friday time frame, the weekend is looking pretty good! Any residual showers and clouds will shove out to sea early Saturday morning, and we should clear away to partly/mostly sunny skies for the rest of the weekend. Inland highs will be in the lower 80s. A brisk northeast wind around 20 mph will keep the Jersey Shore a bit cooler, in the 70s. And, because of the aforementioned storm system passing just off-shore, I'm concerned about rough surf and strong rip currents this weekend.