Dry air on the way – most of NJ could stay rain-free to Labor Day
All right, New Jersey. So far our transition from "gross" to "ahhh" is running right on schedule. We had some healthy rainfall overnight — over an inch in SW NJ, almost an inch in North Jersey. As of this writing (5 a.m. Wednesday), that batch of rain has almost completely exited the Garden State. While Wednesday will remain warm and sticky and potentially stormy, the forecast for the rest of the workweek looks incredibly refreshing.
Temperatures on this Wednesday morning are starting out around 70 degrees. You may notice a hint of mugginess in the air, but it's not too bad at all. Forecast high temperatures are in the mid 80s today — right around or just above seasonal normals for late August. We'll actually see some healthy breaks of sunshine — I'm calling the day partly sunny on average. A fresh breeze out of the southwest could blow up to 20 mph Wednesday afternoon.
So far, a nice day.
The final step in our changeover to more comfortable weather will be a cold front, passing through New Jersey Wednesday afternoon to evening. While this will be a marginally strong frontal boundary, and there will be a chance for spotty showers and thunderstorms, the forecast continues to trend "mainly" dry for the rest of Wednesday.
Behind the front, the skies over Jersey will be clearing out and drying out Wednesday night. One of the most important impacts of drier air (i.e. lower humidity) is cooler overnight temperatures. We'll enjoy lower to mid 60s across most of the state. The coolest spots — the higher elevations of NW NJ, and perhaps the Pine Barrens — could dip into the 50s by Thursday morning.
Honestly, both Thursday and Friday have a bit of a "September" weather vibe to them. (But don't worry, summer ain't over yet!)
Both days will be spectacularly sunny and deliciously dry. Thursday afternoon's high temperatures will be limited to the upper 70s to around 80 degrees. (That's about 5 degrees below normal.) Friday will warm into the lower 80s, but humidity levels will remain "ridiculously" low by summertime standards.
I remain optimistic we'll finally get to enjoy a pleasant, dry, warm summer weekend. But it's not all roses, as Saturday looks pretty cloudy. Highs on Saturday will be similar to Friday, in the lower 80s.
Hotter temps and higher humidity come back into the picture for Sunday, with highs in the mid to upper 80s. While the daytime hours look brighter on Sunday, models suggest the chance for an isolated shower from sunset onward.
Long-range models suggest next week will be almost exclusively dry, with minimal chances for a popup shower or storm. Hence the claim I've made in the headline of this post — from here on out, the vast majority of New Jersey may very well stay completely dry through Labor Day (September 3rd), and beyond?
However, keep in mind that "dry" doesn't necessarily mean pleasant or comfortable. It looks like some ferocious heat and humidity will build through the last week of August. Highs will probably end up in the lower to mid 90s.