The Bottom Line

Thursday turns cloudier and breezier. Friday becomes steamier and stormier. Then the weekend? Hot hot hot.

Thursday

For the fourth morning in a row, we're starting the day with mainly 60s on the temperature map. And with partly to mostly cloudy skies, in addition to an on-shore breeze (east-southeast at 10 to 20 mph), temperatures will be held at bay all day. Highs only reach about 75 to 80 degrees — that's 5 to 10 degrees below normal for mid-July.

I am highly confident this will be our coolest day for at least a week. Maybe through the rest of the month.

Thursday evening (around 6 p.m.), a shower may clip northern New Jersey. Then more widespread showers become possible overnight. We'll see lots of clouds overhead. Low temperatures should dip into the upper 60s, with just a hint of mugginess in the air. However, if our impending surge of humidity arrives earlier than expected, some fog may develop by Friday morning too.

Friday

Back into the sauna. Humidity will ramp up dramatically, as dew points push into the 70s. As you chew through the air, high temperatures will warm into the mid 80s across most of the state.

Meanwhile, we'll face a couple batches of rain during the daytime hours on Friday. Round 1 looks to be spotty showers in the morning — let's say between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. Round 2 will be scattered thunderstorms later on — between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. That late round of storms could have some localized downpours and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning.

Saturday

Heating up for the weekend. Hazy sunshine will push high temperatures to about 90 degrees. There will be little wind to keep that hot air moving around. But at least that means the sea breeze will be able to set up, cooling down beach towns along the Jersey Shore. As our air dries out slightly, I think the chance for a popup shower or thunderstorm will be minimal.

Sunday

Even hotter. Under partly sunny skies, highs will reach the lower to mid 90s. The heat index (or "feels like" or "apparent" temperature) may come close to 100 degrees — that's right on the edge of "dangerous" heat. I've also opted for a storm-free forecast here, although an isolated popup can't be ruled out.

Monday

The peak of the heat and the humidity. High temperatures in the mid 90s away from the coast. Dew points in the 70s. That would put the heat index in the neighborhood of 105 degrees. Steamy and dangerous — even air conditioning struggles to effectively cool spaces in such steamy conditions.

The Extended Forecast

While there's no big cooldown in sight, the GFS model in particular shows a slow-moving front in New Jersey's vicinity around the middle of next week. That would spark several rounds of showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm not totally convinced of the timing. And if the speed of that front changes even slightly, this rain timeline would have to be adjusted too.

There is a legitimate chance that somewhere in New Jersey hits 90+ degrees from Saturday (7/18) through the end of July. Ahhh, summer in New Jersey!

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