Rain and humidity return Wednesday, heat wave brewing late-week
The buzz surrounding our impending heat wave is building, and the forecast is looking good. My message remains the same: we'll be right on the edge between "typical summertime heat" and "dangerous heat". As long as you take it seriously and take care of yourself, 5+ days of 90+ degrees is really no big deal.
Wednesday will be the opposite of a heat wave. Skies will become mostly cloudy Wednesday morning. Additionally, a stiff south-southeasterly breeze will increase humidity levels throughout the atmosphere. I expect dew points to rise into the somewhat-sticky 60s, not the oppressive 70s.
In addition, our one and only storm system of the week will draw closer Wednesday afternoon, potentially spreading a few showers into New Jersey. The best chance for rain will come after sunset Wednesday evening through Wednesday night. While the latest model guidance shows more "scattered" rain that I'd been seeing earlier in the week, I think a few pockets of steady to heavy rain are likely (especially early Thursday morning). A few rumbles of thunder are possible too, although limited instability means our severe weather chances are limited too.
Thursday will start out dreary and damp, with lingering showers remaining in the forecast throughout the daytime hours. We'll probably see some clearing Thursday afternoon. Amidst the scattered raindrops, it's going to be warm and very humid — high temperatures should spike into the mid to upper 80s. A few 90-degree temperatures are possible.
Skies will clear by Friday morning, setting the table for our extended heat wave. With lots of hazy sunshine, Friday's high temperatures will peak in the lower 90s across most of the state. The Jersey Shore will be a bit cooler, thanks to the marine influence, with highs in the 80s. The "hot spot" will be the urban corridors surrounding Philadelphia and New York City. That's where thermometers may approach the mid 90s, with a heat index ("feels like" or "apparent" temperature) near 100.
The heat and humidity will continue through the weekend as well. Saturday looks mostly sunny, with highs in the lower to mid 90s. With a very light wind, the hot air is going to be stagnant and rather uncomfortable. Yes, the beaches will be a bit cooler. But it's going to be pretty sultry across the entire state, about 10 degrees above normal for the final day of June.
Heat wave day #3 will be Sunday. Again, lower to mid 90s are likely, under partly sunny skies.
As skies become mostly cloudy on Monday, we might get a little break from the heat. High temperatures are forecast to "drop" to the upper 80s to lower 90s. But higher humidity levels might make up the difference.
Tuesday looks hot too, with a few showers ahead of a slow-moving front. The timing of that front — and subsequent cooldown — is still very much in question. I'm keeping fingers crossed that rain does not impact the 4th of July.