NJ weather: Beautiful summer day Friday, then a bit of rain this weekend
The Bottom Line
There are 15 weekends in this year's unofficial summer season, between Memorial Day and Labor Day (inclusive). This will be weekend #11. Not a single one of them so far has been "perfect" - but that's typical of summertime in New Jersey.
This weekend will be more of the same, with clouds, a batch of rain, and an on-shore flow to talk about. But those elements will keep temperatures from getting too steamy just yet. And there will be plenty of dry weather to enjoy too.
I have no hesitation in calling Friday a gorgeous summer day. Oh yes, it will be very warm. Most NJ locales will hit upper 80s to around 90 degrees. Coastal communities will benefit from the sea breeze, keeping temperatures in the upper 70s to near 80.
We'll maintain sunny skies through about mid afternoon, and our weather will be completely dry. Humidity levels remain manageable - you'll only notice a hint of stickiness in the air Friday afternoon, with dew points in the lower 60s or so.
Friday night looks pleasant too. Clouds will increase overnight, but we'll stay dry. Low temperatures will dip into the upper 60s by Saturday morning. That's about par for early August.
The day will start off fine. Skies will be mostly cloudy, but temperatures will push into the mid 80s. That's very close to seasonal normals for this time of year.
The big wrinkle of the weekend comes as a storm system pushes into southwestern New Jersey sometime in the afternoon. Some models plug in raindrops as early as 2 p.m. More likely, initial showers will hold off until late afternoon.
That disturbance will drive pockets of rain through at least part of New Jersey until late Saturday night. The best chance of wet weather will be along southern and coastal New Jersey - some steady-ish rain may develop there. I'd say it's a coin flip (50/50) whether northern and western New Jersey stay completely dry late Saturday.
But here's the thing. This storm system doesn't have a lot of "oomph" behind it - it's just a weak wave sliding by our southern coast. Limited sunshine and moisture will keep instability down too. So I don't see any big, bad thunderstorms or a huge severe weather risk. It's just going to be clouds and some raindrops.
On Thursday, I elaborated on the challenges of an uncertain forecast for Sunday, on the backside of Saturday's storm system. I feel better about the forecast now, although there are still some question marks.
It looks like that area of low pressure will get stuck (stall) just off our southern coast. Most models keep our weather dry beyond sunrise Sunday morning. However, lingering clouds and a prominent breeze blowing off the ocean will keep temperatures cool on Sunday, at least for southeastern NJ.
Actually, I shouldn't say cool. Let's call it "not hot". High temperatures may struggle to hit 80 degrees around Atlantic and Cape May counties on Sunday. Farther inland, we should pop into the mid 80s. I am optimistic that everyone in the state will break into partial sunshine at some point Sunday.
And again, as long as it stays dry, Sunday won't be unpleasant at all.
Monday & Beyond
The big story for next week will be a big surge of heat and humidity. For the next two weeks, the pendulum will definitely swing to the warm side of normal. How long will we hit technical "dangerous heat" or "heat wave" criteria? We'll see.
Monday actually looks nice. Almost as nice as Friday, although it will get slightly more humid. Our latest forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and high temps in the mid 80s.
Tuesday is going to be hot and humid. High temperatures around 90. Heat index pushing into the mid-upper 90s. Get ready to sweat.
While any hot summer day could spark a shower or thunderstorm, the best chance for popup rain looks to be late Wednesday. Highs will once again aim for 90-ish.
As it stands now, Thursday could be the hottest day of next week, with thermometers in the lower-mid 90s.
Long-range forecasts show 80s and 90s and high humidity continuing through approximately next next weekend. That would be our next chance of rain, followed by a burst of cooler, drier air.
Of course, a lot can change in two weeks. Especially since the tropics are firing up - any tropical storm or hurricane in the neighborhood would completely foul up that forecast. There are a couple of waves in the tropical Atlantic, but nothing imminent for the U.S. East Coast.
Have a great weekend!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.