Thursday NJ weather: Dry air in August? What a treat!
The Bottom Line
After a surprisingly powerful thunderstorm spawned a probable tornado near Lincroft in Monmouth County on Wednesday, we flip the switch back to pleasant weather on Thursday. Low humidity is a real treat in the middle of summer, lending to a refreshingly cool morning and a comfortably warm afternoon. Our big weather headline in the coming days will be a surge of warmth and humidity as the weekend approaches.
When you think "August weather," I bet low humidity and dry air are not the first images that come to mind. But that's exactly what will drive a splendid weather day for your Thursday. We're starting off quite cool, with widespread 50s on the temperature map (away from urban areas and the coast). And we'll see an afternoon high temperature around 80. That is slightly below normal for mid-August — really more typical of early September weather.
I've seen some reports of patchy fog along the coast early this morning. But sunshine should generally dominate the sky for the first half of the day. Some cloud cover will build in from the south through Thursday afternoon. But I've opted for a dry forecast, especially given our dew points only in the 50s.
Clouds will continue to increase Thursday night. Still comfortable and pleasant, with seasonably cool low temperatures in the mid 60s.
Starting on Friday, you'll notice a slight uptick in temperatures and humidity levels. Highs will push to about 80 to 85 degrees, with a pleasant mix of sun and clouds. Earlier in the week, I had been watching a rain chance. But I've taken raindrops out of the latest forecast, making it a pretty nice day.
If you've been craving a return to summertime heat and stickiness, you'll like this weekend. Saturday's high temperatures will reach the mid 80s, slightly above normal for this time of year. Skies look mostly cloudy. And, on the edge of a storm system, I think a couple of rounds of scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible. I don't want to nail down the timing and geography of those raindrops too firmly yet, as forecast models are literally shifting every time I look at them. I don't think severe weather (wind, hail, tornado) will be a big concern, although downpours and flooding could develop. The day won't be a total washout, and it probably won't rain everywhere — just keep your plans flexible for now.
Thermometers will soar to about 90 degrees Sunday, making for a hot and humid, partly sunny and breezy day. (This will be our first 90-degree day since the middle of last week.) I think Sunday will be the less unsettled, more pleasant day of the weekend. Having said that, a spot thunderstorm is possible.
Monday & Beyond
The hot, humid weather looks to continue through Monday and Tuesday. Not entirely unpleasant, as the heat index stays out of the "danger zone" and thunderstorm chances look minimal. Right now, a cold front is progged to slide through New Jersey late Tuesday, leading to breezier and cooler conditions by midweek.
Finally, let's check in on the tropics — on fire! And still three weeks to go until the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. One tropical wave (which may become a depression or tropical storm) will crash into Central America soon, with heavy rain. The next wave in line was upgraded to Tropical Depression 13, and will likely become a tropical storm then a hurricane in the next day or two. The consensus forecast track for TD #13 skirts the northern edge of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, before aiming for Florida. Lots of uncertainty that far out. Will it make a right turn up the U.S. coast? Will it head for the Gulf? How strong will it get? We will see — as always, we'll be watching.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.