NJ weather: Rain, glorious rain! Then drying out and heating up again
The Bottom Line
I was so excited to head out for work today to find delicious raindrops falling from the sky. It has been an incredibly dry summer so far. Parts of the state (about 8% of NJ) now officially fall in the "severe drought" category, running about 7 inches behind normal rainfall over the last 60 to 90 days.
Monday's one-day burst of occasionally wet weather definitely will not be a drought buster. But with upwards of an inch (or more) of total rainfall, it will roll back the drought clock by about a week — at least things won't get any worse for now. (We need a solid multi-day rain or tropical weather event to really make a dent in our drought condition.)
After 3 or 4 waves of showers and thunderstorms on Monday, we will dry out and heat up again. There will be some pleasant summer days ahead this week, especially as humidity dials back again.
Our next chance of rain will come at the end of the week. And the tropical Atlantic is starting to wake up as well.
The steadiest, most widespread "main event" rain of the day has probably passed already. Most of NJ picked up a tenth to a quarter of an inch of rainfall early Monday morning. Of course, some spots saw considerably more, over an inch where it really poured.
We will continue to see on and off rain Monday. It's not a total washout — meaning it is not going to rain non-stop all day long. Just occasional showers, occasional thunderstorms, and occasional downpours. The risks of severe weather and flooding are low — just watch for big puddles where it pours.
Total rainfall will end up in the half-inch to inch range across most of New Jersey. Great news. Downpours may push totals over 2 inches. Even better news, as long as flooding doesn't occur.
Amidst the raindrops, it will stay very humid on Monday, with dew points mainly in the 70s. High temperatures will end up around 80 degrees. We'll have lots of cloud cover — although I would not rule out some peeks of sun along the way.
Monday evening will probably bring one more round of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Then we'll see some clearing after about 10 p.m. or Midnight. Muggy conditions will continue overnight, with low temps only falling to around the 70-degree mark.
A mainly dry weather day, as temperatures start to rise again.
Look for a mix of clouds and sun on Tuesday. There is some disagreement among our forecast models whether the blue or the gray will win that battle. And a few showers are possible in the early afternoon time frame, especially around northern New Jersey.
It will still feel very humid all day Tuesday. And warm, with highs pushing into the lower to mid 80s.
An early morning cold front will be rain-free, and will sweep out the humidity in the air. So it will be a more comfortable day.
Don't expect it to be cooler though. With partly to mostly sunny skies and dry weather, high temperatures on Wednesday will climb to about 85 to 90 degrees. (Cooler at the Shore.) That is a touch above normal for late August.
Hot summer weather returns.
Of the first 22 days of August, 13 of them have seen 90+ degree temperatures at Newark Airport. (As I discussed a few weeks ago, there may be a problem with that weather station's thermometer.) We will add to that 90+ tally later this week, as heat surges once again. (Humidity too, to an extent.)
High temperatures on Thursday will reach the lower 90s. Definitely hot. Look for 80s in NW NJ. And cooler along the coast too, as a nice sea breeze kicks in.
Thursday will be mostly sunny and dry.
The Extended Forecast
Unsettled weather may come back into play in the Friday-Saturday time frame. I say "may" because I am not convinced these showers will actually make it to New Jersey. The organization is not looking all that impressive on model guidance. And we've seen such situations fizzle so many times already this summer. So we'll see just how widespread and steady that rain turns out to be.
Temperatures will probably stay generally at or above normal through early next week. Our next opportunity for any kind of super soaker rain event would be mid-to-late next week.
One more note: The tropics are finally showing some signs of life, after about 7 weeks without a named tropical system anywhere in the Atlantic basin. We almost had a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. And there is a new tropical wave coming off Africa that is under investigation. No concerns to New Jersey whatsoever at this point, but we will keep you posted. The next name on the 2022 Atlantic hurricane list is still Danielle.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.