NJ weather: Deliciously dry air this weekend, rain next week
The Bottom Line
The heat wave is finally over. After 10 days in a row of 90+ degree temperatures, cooler and less humid weather will prevail across New Jersey. (By the way, that's the longest stretch of 90s at the Newark Airport weather station in over a decade, since 2012.)
Dry air has returned, and weather conditions will continue to clear and improve Friday. We'll fully tap into deliciously dry air on Saturday, making for a spectacular summer day.
Sunday late-day could turn a bit dreary and damp. And then early next week is trending cloudy, cool, and wet. Possibly very wet. Is it just what the "drought doctor" ordered? Or will the pendulum swing in the other direction, forcing us to ring flooding alarm bells?
As of this writing (6 a.m.), dew points have fallen into the 50s. I would call that dry air. But temperatures are hanging on to the lower 70s for most of the state. That's pretty warm. And we have a few showers around, as expected. They are very spotty, and should not survive past about 8 a.m.
Morning clouds will give way to sunshine and blue skies by Friday afternoon. It will be breezy at times, especially early on, blowing out of the north up to 20 mph.
Friday will be nice and warm, but I think we'll miss the 90-degree mark. Look for highs in the lower to mid 80s. That is right around or just below normal for mid-August.
More importantly, humidity will stay nice and low.
The bone-dry air will contribute to a dry, comfortable overnight. Clear skies will allow temperatures to drop to around 60 degrees by Saturday morning.
I have no hesitation in calling Saturday a beautiful day.
It's kind of amazing how dry the air will be. Dew points may touch the 40s — that's pretty ridiculous for the middle of summer.
We'll enjoy sunshine all day Saturday. High temperatures will reach the lower 80s. Those are "Goldilocks" summer temperatures — not too hot, not too cool, just right.
The second half of the weekend looks OK, although things could turn a bit damp and dreary.
Clouds will increase starting Sunday morning, becoming mostly cloudy by the afternoon. High temperatures will still end up in the almost-seasonable 80 to 85 degree range. While dew points will rise a bit, humidity levels will remain manageable and comfortable.
I do have to add a chance of a shower to the forecast late-day Sunday. (That's the afternoon and/or evening hours.) Rainfall totals will be very light, so it will be only nuisance raindrops potentially getting in the way of your outdoor activities. Nothing heavy, steady, or drenching. And not a drought buster (yet).
Monday & Beyond
Over the past few days, forecast models have flip-flopped between unsettled and quiet weather for New Jersey for early next week. Latest guidance leans heavily into a "wet" solution, specifically in the Monday to Tuesday time frame.
I would love to see a good soaking. But the GFS paints an area of 3" of rain over NJ. The Euro model goes as high as 6". Most of that falling Monday night, in South Jersey. That is a lot of rain, raising eyebrows to the potential for flash flooding.
In addition, the combination of rain and thick clouds would cause temperatures to crash. Highs will be limited to the 60s and 70s for both Monday and Tuesday. (And possibly Wednesday too.)
Keep in mind: We have to blur our eyes a bit talking about pinpoint details, since this stagnant storm system is still 72 to 96 hours away. That is plenty of time for this forecast to shift and evolve. We will be watching it throughout the weekend, and you should too.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.