Heat and humidity surges across New Jersey, but only for Tuesday
Severe Thunderstorm Watch issued for Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties until midnight.
A Heat Advisory has been issued for the NJ Turnpike corridor Tuesday afternoon, as heat index values make a run for 100 degrees.
Here are your weather headlines for Tuesday, August 22, 2017...
One Day of Heat and Humidity
New Jersey missed 90 degrees on Monday, and I fully blame the #GreatAmericanEclipse. Temperatures dipped about 5 to 7 degrees as the moon partially obscured the sun, and that was just enough to keep every thermometer in the state below 90. The hot spot in the state, according to the NJ Weather Network, was Mansfield, Burlington County at 89 degrees.
No eclipse to cool us down on Tuesday, so we're staring down a hot day, with high temperatures topping out near 90 degrees. Skies will alternate between periods of sun and clouds. With a stiff breeze out of the southwest (a land breeze), even the Jersey Shore will be toasty warm, well in the 80s.
Additionally, humidity is going to surge to ferocious levels, so it's going to get pretty oppressive during the heat of the afternoon. The heat index ("feels like" temperature) could be close to 100 degrees.
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for the NJ Turnpike corridor for Tuesday afternoon and evening. That includes all or part of 11 counties:
--From 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. for northwestern Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties.
--From Noon to 6 p.m. for eastern Bergen, Essex, Hudson, eastern Passaic, and Union counties.
It's somewhat weird to draw such an advisory through the middle of the state, but I see where the NWS is coming from. The coast will be slightly cooler due to the influence of the marine air. NW NJ will be slightly cooler due to elevation. Those microclimates will keep those areas just below the technical criteria for a heat advisory.
Cold Front = Changes
As we're baking in the heat and broiling in the humidity Tuesday, a cold front will be racing toward New Jersey. That front — the leading edge of cooler, drier air — will spark a broken line of showers and thunderstorms, which will sweep across the state from northwest to southeast late Tuesday night.
Models show slight timing differences, but I expect rain to move into the state between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday, and potentially last through 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday.
And the forecast models also show this line of rain to be mostly unimpressive. While there could be a strong thunderstorm cell or two at onset in NW NJ, I'm pretty confident it's going to fizzle considerably by the time it reaches the coast. So, areas south and east of the NJ Turnpike, don't except much (if any) rain overnight.
Regardless of rain, it's going to remain very muggy and mostly cloudy overnight. Low temperatures will only be able to fall into the lower to mid 70s. Yuck.
Tranquil, Pleasant Weather
Eventually, our new air mass will arrive and weather conditions will improve dramatically. Skies will clear on Wednesday, with cooler temperatures and lowering humidity levels. There may be a lag in the truly dry air — you'll certainly notice how much more comfortable it gets upon arrival.
While I can't rule out a shower redeveloping along the south coast on Wednesday, I'm leaning toward a dry daytime forecast. High temperatures are expected to reach the lower to mid 80s across the state.
Thursday looks great! It will be a mostly sunny day, with highs in the lower 80s.
And that's just the start of a tranquil, pleasant period of weather. Temperatures will be admittedly below normal for the foreseeable future, maybe even getting stuck in the 70s for the upcoming weekend. For some summer lovers, that may be a bit too cool. But I'm just fine with an extended period of calm, comfortable weather!