One More Nice Day Then Rain and Heat Take Over the NJ Forecast
If you ever wondered what a "normal" late June day felt like, Monday was a perfect exemplar. High temps in the lower to mid 80s and fair skies gave us a gorgeous weather day. Even though Tuesday will end up a few degrees cooler, it should still be a delightful day overall. Then, following a quick round of wet weather from Wednesday into Thursday, the heat is on starting Friday!
Tuesday morning is starting off fairly comfortable, with most NJ temperatures on either side of 60 degrees. The Jersey Shore is closer to 70 degrees, thanks to the marine influence (ocean temperatures are now around 70 degrees). I'm actually surprised to see some of the hilltops in NW NJ have fallen into the almost-chilly upper 40s too!
With partly sunny skies, low humidity, and light winds in the forecast, it's going to be another spectacular day. However, as thermometers end up in the upper 70s to around 80 degrees Tuesday afternoon, about 5 degrees below seasonal normals, it might be more reminiscent of an "early June" day than a "late June" day.
Clouds will increase Tuesday night, but we'll stay dry and comfortable. Overnight lows will dip into the lower 60s for most of the state.
More changes appear in Wednesday's forecast as skies become mostly cloudy, we pick up a fresh south-southeast breeze up to 20 mph, and it gets a bit more humid. (Dew points bump from the 50s on Tuesday to the 60s on Wednesday.) High temps will once again peak around the upper 70s to around 80 degrees.
There could be a spot shower or sprinkle around during the day Wednesday, but that will be the exception and not the rule. The far better chance for rain will arrive Wednesday evening, after about 7 p.m. Most of the rain will be of light to moderate intensity, although a few embedded downpours and some rumbles of thunder will be possible (especially early Thursday morning).
The end time of this batch of rain is still a bit up in the air. Model consensus is pointing to showers largely tapering by mid-morning Thursday. But the NAM in particular shows lingering scattered showers into Thursday afternoon. I'm aligning with the "drying out early" option, allowing for some sunshine by Thursday late afternoon and high temperatures soaring into the mid to upper 80s. A few weather stations could hit 90 degrees on Thursday.
And then Friday, the heat is on! Fueled by a huge ridge of high pressure enveloping the U.S. East Coast, our high temperatures on Friday will soar to about 90 to 95 degrees. Humidity will be present, but not oppressive. (Dew points hopefully stay in the 60s, rather than the 70s.) That's still enough to push the heat index (the "feels like" or "apparent" temperature) to near 100 degrees. We'll be right on the edge of "dangerous heat" territory — as long as you take it seriously and take care of yourself, it'll just be an extended taste of summery weather.
The hot weather will continue through the weekend, with a general lower to mid 90s for each day. There's really only one spot in the state that won't hit 90 degrees on a daily basis — the Shore. (Although even the beaches should push well into the 80s.)
I'm happy to report that forecast models have backed away from the ridiculous 100 to 108 degree predictions through early next week, matching the hesitations I elucidated in Monday's weather blog post. Could we hit triple-digit heat somewhere in New Jersey, at some point during this heat wave? Sure — but such extreme heat is not a widespread concern at this time.
Our current forecast calls for widespread 90s for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (the 4th of July). On the horizon, a cold front is progged to arrive on Thursday with some rain and cooler air by next weekend. However, that's a 9 day forecast and the details are very much subject to change in the coming days.