We're coming off an occasionally-gloomy, occasionally-nice, sometimes-sunny, sometimes-stormy, always-humid weekend — hopefully you were able to salvage a piece of it, given the iffy weather. The forecast for the week ahead has something for everyone — beautiful weather to start, followed by one brief shot of rain and thunderstorms, then ending with some intense heat and humidity.

Let's start with the good news — Monday looks great! Low humidity, low pollen levels, a low risk for rip currents, and low (i.e. zero) chance of rain. The day will start with abundant sunshine, with some fair weather clouds advancing into the state (mainly South Jersey) by Monday afternoon. High temperatures will reach the seasonable lower 80s for most. I expect the sea breeze machine to kick-in lightly, keeping beaches just a few degrees cooler.

Monday evening will be beautiful as well, and we'll keep comfortable conditions overnight. Under mostly clear skies, low temps will drop to around 60 degrees, give or take.

I'm liking Tuesday's outlook too, even though it will be slightly cloudier and cooler than Monday. Partly sunny skies will accompany continuing low humidity and light winds. We'll see high temperatures generally in the upper 70s to around 80 degrees — more reminiscent of an April-May spring day, perhaps.

Changes arrive Wednesday, as humidity ticks upward noticeably. Skies will become mostly cloudy, and we'll pick up a fresh southerly breeze (up to 20 mph). High temperatures will be around 80 degrees.

Our next rain chance is expected to arrive in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame, but the exact timing is very much up in the air. The GFS model is the earliest solution, showing showers spreading into North Jersey around late Wednesday morning. On the other hand, the Euro model doesn't push raindrops into New Jersey until early Thursday morning. That's a pretty big difference, eh? I've opted for a middle-ground, weak-consensus forecast of rain arriving Wednesday evening. But just keep in mind this low confidence rain forecast is very much subject to wiggle. There will be a chance for lightning and downpours, but the threat for severe weather appears low.

After the rain clears out Thursday, we'll quickly clear away to sunshine. And then, the heat is on! High temperatures Thursday afternoon will peak in the mid to upper 80s. A few spot 90s are possible too.

Friday's high temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s for all but far NW NJ and the immediate coast. Even the Jersey Shore may touch 90s for Saturday and Sunday as the heat ridge really surges in. Factoring humidity, the heat index ("feels like" or "apparent" temperature) will almost certainly pop over 100 degrees throughout the weekend — that's dangerous heat territory.

GFS model temperature forecast for Monday. 108 degrees?! Ridiculous! (College of DuPage Meteorology)

One very important note regarding this weekend's heat. The GFS model is suggesting some incredibly hot temperatures, peaking on Monday with a maximum high temperature of 108 degrees. That would be just 2 degrees shy of the all-time NJ state high temperature record (110° in 1936 at Runyon, Middlesex County). I'm not ready to buy this "extreme" heat just yet. There are several factors missing from a "widespread triple digits" forecast — the high pressure isn't high enough, the wind direction and speed isn't enough of a "blast furnace", dew points look too high, etc.

It's clearly going to be hot — it is summer, after all — but near-all-time-record heat? Eh, let's wait and see before we play that card.

This extended heat wave is expected to last through next Wednesday, which is the 4th of July. Sizzle, sizzle!

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