The Bottom Line

My weather forecasts play on radio stations across New Jersey over 200 times a day. So needless to say, I select the words in my forecast very carefully. In this case, I purposefully differentiate between calling the weather "very warm" and "hot". Bottom line: I don't call it "hot" unless widespread temperatures and/or heat indices top 90 degrees.

By that definition, Tuesday will be very warm. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will be hot. Perhaps dangerously hot.

New Jersey's last heat wave was a full three weeks ago. Heat warnings and advisories kick in around midday Wednesday. And the swelter won't break until the start of the upcoming weekend.

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Tuesday

Heat, humidity, and thunderstorms go together like bacon, lettuce, and tomato. (I would have said peanut butter and jelly, but needed a classic trio!) So it shouldn't be surprising that our juicy atmosphere produced a band of slow-moving, soaking thunderstorms overnight.

In South Jersey, part of Atlantic County picked up over 2 inches of rain. As of this writing (6 a.m.), storms stretch from Warren to Ocean counties. They are on the way out, but additional pockets of heavy rain and cloud-to-ground lightning will remain through about mid-morning. I expect storms to exit the Garden State by around 10 a.m.

The rest of Tuesday will be a seasonable, pleasant summer day. Skies will become partly to mostly sunny through this afternoon. High temperatures will reach about 85 to 90 degrees. Yes, it will be very warm. Yes, it will be humid. But a friendly reminder that it is summertime, and these conditions are pretty reasonable.

It looks like a good beach day, once the storms clear. Highs near 80, with a low risk of rip currents.

If another thunderstorm threat beckons, it likely won't be until Tuesday evening. An isolated popup may once again cause locally heavy rainfall. Then it'll just be steamy overnight, as low temperatures only dip into the lower-mid 70s. Not that "low" at all.

Wednesday

The heat is on! An Excessive Heat Warning has been issued for most of interior New Jersey, with a less-severe Heat Advisory covering far north, far south, and the coast.

High temperatures will push into the lower 90s across the vast majority of New Jersey. Plus, with dew points surging into the soupy mid 70s, the heat index will likely top 100 degrees for most. Remember, the heat index is not only the "feels like" temperature - it's an important indicator of the human health impacts of heat and humidity.

That heat index will be in the "danger zone" this week, so please take it seriously. You need to dress appropriately for the hot, humid weather. You need to stay extra hydrated. And try to take frequent breaks, in air conditioning if possible.

The best chance for a few thunderstorms on Wednesday will once again come late-day, primarily at night. There could be some strong cells with downpours, but widespread severe weather shouldn't be an issue.

Thursday

So much fun, let's do it again. Clouds, sun, heat, and humidity return on Thursday. It could actually be the hottest day of the week, with highs about 90 to 95 degrees. Heat index could top 105 in the hot spots.

I wish I could plop some rain in the daytime forecast, to cool things down. But for the fourth day in a row, the highest chance for raindrops will come Thursday night. And even then, models show a fizzling line of thunderstorms that likely won't survive all the way to the coast.

Friday

One more day of ferocious heat and humidity, before we get some relief. Partly sunny and lower 90s. The GFS model in particular shows NJ finding a pocket of lower humidity on Friday, which is why we fall out of the heat warnings. For now.

The Weekend & Beyond

A weak cold front is expected to push through New Jersey early Saturday morning. At the moment, I'll say that rain chances look minimal during that frontal passage. (Scattered storms are not impossible, mind you. Especially if the Euro model has something to say)

And I'm not sure Saturday will end up that much cooler - 90 degrees is still possible for inland New Jersey, making it the 5th such day in a row.

But at least dew points and humidity levels will start to slide back on Saturday. By Sunday, we should be under a more comfortable and seasonable warmth.

One more item of note. "Potential Tropical Cyclone #6" has entered the northeastern Caribbean Sea, and will likely become Tropical Storm Fred later Tuesday. It is currently centered 1,800 miles southeast of Cape May, N.J. So no immediate concern. And plenty of time for soon-to-be-Fred to decide which direction to go. 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.

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