Tuesday NJ weather: Humidity, clouds, and rain chances ramp up
The Bottom Line
As of early this morning, there were three tropical storms in the Atlantic basin. Fred made landfall along the Florida panhandle Monday night. Grace will scrape by Jamaica Tuesday, aiming for the Yucatan. And Henri is making a big U-turn around Bermuda. Fred is still our main weather driver for the week, carrying moisture (humidity) and energy (rain chances) toward the Northeast U.S. For the record, Henri could come close enough to kick up some rough surf and rip currents too.
Looking for bright sunshine, completely dry weather, and seasonable temperatures? You'll be waiting at least a week.
As of this writing (5:30 a.m.), Tropical Depression Fred is centered over the Alabama-Georgia state line, about 700 miles southwest of New Jersey. There is a direct connection between Fred's tropical moisture and our atmosphere. So that will lead to increasingly unsettled weather across the Garden State over the next 48+ hours.
First of all, skies will be cloudy throughout Tuesday. Second of all, humidity is going to ramp up - the dew point will rise from about 60 early on to 70 in the afternoon. A noticeable uptick in steaminess.
Meanwhile, a "river of rain" has been hovering over Pennsylvania, where upwards of 6 inches of rain may fall this week. Here in New Jersey, we saw only isolated pockets of rain on Monday. But for Tuesday, I think showers, thunderstorms, and even localized downpours will be somewhat more numerous. It's not going to be a washout. The best chance of rain will be away from the coast. Most rainfall totals will stay less than a tenth of an inch - although if you get stuck under a downpour, an inch or more is a possibility.
High temperatures on Tuesday will only reach about 80 degrees, limited by the mostly cloudy to overcast sky.
Tuesday night will feature a continuing shower chance. It will be cloudy and muggy, with lows in the lower 70s.
More of the same. Showers and thunderstorms are possible at any time Wednesday. (Although some model solutions are much drier than others.) High temperatures will be a couple degrees warmer than Tuesday, pushing into the lower 80s.
The center of Fred's remnants will approach NJ from the southwest late Wednesday. As it does, guidance shows a pretty clear band of heavy rain and thunderstorms from late Wednesday evening through early Thursday morning. There is a slight risk of severe weather (wind) from that line.
Although the day starts wet, as we end up on the drier backside of Fred's remnant low, I expect some improvement through Thursday afternoon. Hopefully even some breaks of sun. That will allow temperatures to climb into the almost-seasonable lower-mid 80s.
Friday & Beyond
Although Fred's impact on the Northeast will fade, it won't be a perfect forecast heading into the weekend.
Clouds and sun will allow Friday's high temps to reach the mid 80s. It will be sticky. And we could see a thunderstorm or two.
I have a feeling the same will be true of the weekend, although generally unsettled forecasts are pretty low confidence at that 4-5 day time frame. Highs in the lower 80s. (Hey, at least temperatures are fairly consistent here.) More clouds than sun. And a chance of showers.
Long-range models show no heat. Nor immediate hurricane threats. We'll hopefully get a fresh infusion of dry air around the middle to end of next week, kicking out humidity and bringing a return to pleasant weather conditions.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.