Next Three Days in NJ: Pretty Good, Then Stormy, Then Delightfully Dry
The Bottom Line
The ferocious heat has departed once again. After widespread 90s again on Wednesday (as hot as 95° in South Jersey), we'll enjoy cooler, more pleasant weather for Thursday. In fact, I'm not sure when such heat will build back in again - rather unusual for "the dog days of summer".
Thursday will not be a good day for outdoor activities, as rain and severe thunderstorms become a concern. But the payoff comes Friday, as another dish of deliciously dry air arrives in New Jersey. It's going to feel September-ish heading into the weekend and the final days of July.
It will be a generally pleasant day. Overnight convection has exited, temperatures will be warm (not hot), and humidity levels will stay moderate (not high).
My only hesitation Wednesday is the chance for popup showers. Forecast models show rainfall will be very limited and very localized. But it's worth a mention, as someone in New Jersey will get wet at some point. There could be some rumbles of thunder too. (Best chance seems to be South Jersey around the late afternoon hours.)
Otherwise, you'll find mostly to partly sunny skies. High temperatures will range from the upper 70s (north) to mid 80s (south).
The smoke is back too. New Jersey's sky may look extra hazy Wednesday, with wildfire smoke trapped in our upper atmosphere. The latest air monitoring data from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Conservation show no surface air quality impacts from the fine particulates in the air.
Clouds will increase Wednesday night, although our weather looks quiet. Temperatures will be seasonable and reasonable, in the upper 60s.
In contrast, Thursday does not look like a very nice day. Several impulses will ride through our atmosphere, leading to approximately two waves of rain throughout the day.
The first push of raindrops will come from Thursday mid-morning through the afternoon. Pockets of light to moderate rain will lead to generally damp and dreary conditions, although I don't see anything too heavy or super dramatic just yet.
For the most part, skies will be cloudy and temperatures will be cooler-than-normal. High temperatures will only reach the upper 70s to (maybe) 80 degrees.
It's not going to be a total washout. There should be some breaks in the rainfall, especially as late afternoon approaches. However, keep in mind that any breaks of sun will quickly "cook" the atmosphere. The warmer it gets, the more unstable the atmosphere will be. And so, the greater the chance of strong to severe thunderstorms from the "grand finale" round of rain late-day. Dew points also look to spike late Thursday, leading to an increased risk of downpours.
The best chance for strong thunderstorms will blow through New Jersey in the early evening hours. We're under an elevated risk for severe weather - especially wind, but there's also a chance of hail and tornadoes.
Bottom line... The later it gets Thursday, the more important it will be to "keep an eye on the sky". Stay alert to changing weather conditions.
The big payoff. Just like last week, a block of very dry air will work into New Jersey throughout Friday. That's going to lead to more comfortable and refreshing conditions - a rare treat in mid-summer.
Dew points will dial back throughout Friday, from the mid 60s in the morning to the mid 40s in the evening. (That is ridiculously dry for this time of year!)
Meanwhile, skies will clear to sunshine. It will be breezy for most of the day, with winds out of the northwest at 10 to 20 mph.
Temperatures should reach the lower to mid 80s. There's a chance thermometers max out around midday, before sliding back slightly in the afternoon. (The dry air mass is also slightly cooler.)
The Weekend & Beyond
Saturday looks spectacular and September-ish. Dry air. Sunshine. Highs near 80. Please go outside.
Sunday will be the warmer day of the weekend, as highs return to the mid 80s or so. It will also be the more unsettled day, with scattered showers developing. Not a washout, and I don't see a huge severe weather concern. But obviously something we'll have to watch in case outdoor plans are jeopardized.
Temperatures should remain at or below normal through the first few days of August. Our next shot at widespread 90s may not come along until mid-August, at the earliest.