Wednesday NJ weather: One more day of intense heat and humidity
UPDATE as of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday...
The National Weather Service and Storm Prediction Center have issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 10 p.m. Wednesday for five counties in North Jersey: Warren, Sussex, Morris, Passaic, and Bergen.
A watch means that thunderstorms may produce dangerous weather, including damaging winds, hail, and even a tornado. Heavy rain is also a possibility with Wednesday evening's storms.
While the rest of the state falls out of this watch, you're not necessarily out of the woods for strong storms. They'll be scattered, so not everyone will get wet.
An even more widespread round of rain arrives on Thursday, kicking off the big cooldown. A Flash Flood Watch has already been issued in advance of that rainfall, expected to add up to 1 to 3 inches statewide. (Keep reading for more on the upcoming unsettled forecast.)
ORIGINAL POST from 5:43 a.m. Wednesday...
The Bottom Line
Not only are we looking ahead to the end of the intense heat wave, but we also have the big 4th of July weekend in sight. The cooldown and holiday weekend forecast are directly related, as rain and clouds could have a prolonged impact through the first few days of July.
Steamy 70s in the morning. Blazing 90s (at least) in the afternoon. Suffocating humidity, shooting the heat index as high as 106. You don't need me to tell you how hot it is!
So, same story, different day. With two exceptions:
1.) The Jersey Shore has been the one sweet spot during this heat wave, with daily temperatures only in the 70s and 80s. However, on Wednesday, a southwesterly breeze will blow up to 20 mph. That land breeze may very well prevent the sea breeze from setting up, making even the beaches hot and humid.
2.) A weak wave is expected to fire off a few thunderstorms Wednesday in the late afternoon and evening hours. (4 p.m. to Midnight) Given the soupy air, those storms could be strong to severe, with heavy rain, gusty winds, and possibly even an isolated tornado.
An Excessive Heat Warning and Heat Advisory continue for the majority of NJ through 8 p.m. Wednesday evening. Yes, we're still in "dangerous heat" territory - please take care of yourself out there.
After the storm threat, Wednesday night will be steamy once again. Lows will only fall into the lower 70s overnight.
The big cooldown day!
Thursday will start partly sunny, warm, and humid. High temperatures will range from the mid 70s in far North Jersey to near 90 in far South Jersey. So most of the state will see summery 80s by lunchtime. (I do expect Thursday to be the 5th and final 90+ degree of this heat wave for at least part of New Jersey.)
A cold front will drive in steady to heavy rain starting around midday Thursday. First raindrops between about 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. And I do mean heavy - I expect it to really pour through Thursday afternoon, evening, and night. Areas of flash flooding are possible, along with some wind and wicked lightning.
The raindrops will cause temperatures to tumble almost immediately. Having said that, the humidity really is not going to scale back yet - so it will be a steamy, tropical rainfall.
I count 9 locations in the state that have fireworks planned for Thursday evening. Ain't gonna happen - expect the rain date to be exercised.
The rain will end at some point on Friday. What time? Depends on which model solution you like.
There is a chance that we dry out early Friday morning, even by sunrise. However, I sense scattered light to moderate rain will linger through at least midday Friday. Rainfall totals will probably end up between 1 and 3 inches for most of the state.
The wet weather, along with cloudy skies, will keep temperatures much cooler. You might even classify it as "miserably cool," especially while it's raining.
High temperatures on Friday will only reach the mid 70s, at best. Keep in mind, that's about where we are as of this writing Wednesday morning. What a difference!
Fireworks on Friday evening will be iffy, but possible.
Still mostly cloudy. Still cool. Still unsettled. A few showers and thunderstorms are possible during the day Saturday, although it will not be a washout. We'll finally get a substantial break from the humidity, allowing morning temperatures to dip into the 50s.
Highs on Saturday will only reach the lower 70s - a full 10+ degrees below seasonal normals.
I think fireworks shows will likely be a "go" for Saturday night.
If all goes well, we should earn our freedom from the unsettled, grey, cool weather just in time for Sunday, July 4th.
My latest forecast shows partly sunny skies and dry weather. High temperatures near 80 would be below normal, but still quite pleasant. Humidity levels should be manageable. (Dew points in the lower 60s.)
Those fireworks planned for Sunday evening should be able to fire off without weather issues.
Monday & Beyond
Heating up again. Highs on Monday should reach about 85 to 90 degrees. Skies will generally be partly sunny, although an isolated shower or thunderstorm is possible.
Widespread 90s return on Tuesday and Wednesday. I do not expect that next round of heat and humidity to be as extreme as our current late June heat wave.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.