The Bottom Line

We've made it to the last day of July. And what a month it has been. Bouts of intense heat, mixed with bouts of intense thunderstorms. Of course, when the weather turned nice, it was really nice.

Speaking of turbulent thunderstorms, as of this writing (7 a.m.), the National Weather Service has confirmed five tornadoes touched down in New Jersey on Thursday. One in Essex County, two in Mercer County, and two in Ocean County. They're still investigating and analyzing data, and will issue final reports in the coming days. In the meantime, here is our latest write-up of the storm aftermath:

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Five tornadoes in a single calendar day ties for the second most on record (since 1951) here in New Jersey. A total of 7 touchdowns were confirmed on November 16, 1989. And 5 also occurred on March 10, 1964.

With a grand total of 8 tornadoes, July 2021 now ties for New Jersey's most active tornado month on record. July 1987 and November 1989 also had 8.

Weatherwise, we have mixed weather news for the weekend, as the calendar page turns from July to August. Saturday will look and feel like a typical September day, likely the nicer day of the weekend. Clouds, showers, and maybe a thunderstorm will invade on Sunday.

Saturday

What's the opposite of hot and humid? Cool and dry! The air mass over New Jersey right now is ridiculously dry. And that will contribute to a pleasant, crisp day.

It was quite cool this morning, of course. Temperatures in the 40s stretched as far south as Mercer County. (Keep in mind, normal lows for late July are still in the sticky upper 60s.)

Look for high temperatures Saturday between about 75 and 80 degrees across the state. That's running around 6 or 7 degrees below seasonal norms, more typical of September than hottest-part-of-the-year late July.

Is that too cool for the beach or pool? Eh, probably not. Ocean temperatures are still nice and warm, well in the 70s. Plus, even when we reach 90 degrees across inland NJ, the sea breeze often keeps coastal communities in that same 75 to 80 degree range. Plus, I'm calling it "September-ish" - and that's my favorite month of the year to head to the Jersey Shore. #LocalsSummer

It will be a nice, bright day. Even though a bank of clouds is hanging over the southern half of the state, I think it's still fair to call Thursday "mostly sunny" overall. Winds will be light. And I don't see any threat of rain for the next 24 hours.

Sunday

Not as nice as Saturday. But not a total loss either.

August will begin with a couple of atmospheric impulses clipping New Jersey, leading to increased cloud cover and a chance for some rain. There are significant differences among model guidance regarding the timing and spread of rain. To me, the most likely scenario would be spotty to scattered showers, primarily centered around the early morning and then the afternoon hours.

Everyone in the state will probably get wet, at some point. However, rainfall totals will be light, mainly below a tenth of an inch.

An embedded thunderstorm is possible, but severe weather is unlikely. The chance of an extended period of steady rain is low, but not impossible.

Temperatures are tricky for Sunday too, and will directly correlate with the thickness of the clouds and duration of the rain. Calling it "70s" is the easy bet. It will be in the lower 70s if the day ends up especially damp and dreary. Thermometers should creep into the upper 70s if we catch mainly dry weather with peeks of sun.

It might feel stickier on Sunday too, as dew points creep upward.

Monday

Flipping back to dry, pleasant weather for one whole day. Mostly sunny and near 80. Still running a bit below normal. But two thumbs up.

Tuesday & Beyond

A coastal low sliding by New Jersey will bring back clouds and rain chances for Tuesday, especially along the Jersey Shore. Once again, nothing major.

At the moment, Wednesday and almost all of Thursday look dry.

Another storm system is forecast to arrive Thursday night into Friday with some steady, potentially heavy rain.

There's no risk of extreme heat and humidity returning for the next 7 to 10 days. And that's fine by me!

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