Air conditioners at the ready: NJ turns steamy and a bit stormy this weekend
The Bottom Line
After two days of spectacularly splendid springtime weather, it's time for some change. That change will come in the form of a warmup into the Father's Day Weekend. Not only will temperatures soar, but humidity levels will increase too. And we have to talk about a few waves of showers and thunderstorms too.
However, don't go changing your plans based on this steamy and potentially stormy forecast. We'll just have to stay cool and hydrated and keep an eye on that unsettled sky over the next few days.
One last unusually cool morning underway. As of this writing (5:15 a.m.), temperatures are mainly in the refreshing 50s. It's not quite as chilly as Thursday morning, but there are some 40s sprinkled around North Jersey and the Pine Barrens.
Once the sun rises, temperatures will start to jump. Highs are forecast to reach the lower 80s Friday afternoon. That will be about 5 degrees warmer than Thursday. And close to normal for mid-June.
We'll start the day with sunshine, before clouds roll in through the afternoon. The daytime hours look predominantly dry. And dew points will slowly rise through the 50s - not quite humid or muggy (yet).
Forecast models have been hinting at a batch of showers blowing through New Jersey around Friday late afternoon to evening. It's not a slam dunk - but it's prudent to include a chance of rain in the forecast. Any rain threat should be relatively brief and light.
You will notice an uptick in humidity overnight. As a result, low temperatures will only be able to drop into the mid to upper 60s. Way warmer than the past two nights.
Getting steamy and summerlike. We see intermixed sunshine and clouds throughout your Saturday (about 50/50). High temperatures will spike to about 85 to 90 degrees - akin to a mid-summer day.
With a warm front in the neighborhood, a few rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the weekend. Probably the best chance of rain of the weekend will come late Saturday into early Sunday.
Having said that, it is unclear how widespread rainfall will be. It's possible that only spot (isolated) thunderstorms popup in the end.
Of course, as you know, when we combine heat, humidity, and storms, we have to put severe weather on the table. Pockets of heavy rain and gusty winds are possible. Again, best chance would be late-day Saturday.
Saturday night's low temperatures will only dip to around 70 degrees for most of the state. Sticky.
Sunday (Father's Day)
Still very warm. And there could be some residual rain in the morning. But I think the majority of the day will end up dry.
Look for partly sunny skies and high temperatures again 85 to 90 degrees. I had been hoping for a little cooldown for the second half of the weekend, but now I'm wondering if Sunday will be a degree or two hotter than Saturday. Dew points may slide down a few ticks, but not enough to really notice.
One more day of heat and humidity. The chance for a few showers and thunderstorms is not zero, but I've opted to keep the forecast dry for now. We'll see scattered clouds and high temps near 90. It is totally possible that some place in NJ hits official "heat wave" criteria on Monday. (That's three days in a row of 90+ degrees.)
The Extended Forecast
Tuesday is going to be a big transition day, as a strong cold front passes from west to east across New Jersey. The timing of that front - Tuesday morning vs. Tuesday afternoon - is still a big question mark. But a batch of heavy rain and potentially strong thunderstorms is under consideration.
Behind that front, we'll lose the heat and humidity. In fact, long-range models show another brief burst of comfortable weather through the middle of next week. If morning 50s and afternoon 70s were unusual for mid June, they're darn irregular in late June too!
One more note, just because we've been tracking it. There is a storm system in the Gulf of Mexico, currently denoted as "Potential Tropical Cyclone 3". It will likely become a tropical depression or tropical storm soon. (The next name on the 2021 list is Claudette.) After making landfall around Louisiana, this storm system will progress inland toward the mid-Atlantic. Model guidance consensus keeps the system well south of NJ. But it's still worth watching, as tropical moisture could still interact with our Tuesday front and enhance that rainfall.
Have a great weekend! And a very happy Father's Day to my fellow dads out there!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.