Wow, what a day we had on Tuesday! As promised, temperatures reached the upper 70s and lower 80s across most of New Jersey, with lovely low humidity, spectacular sunshine, and a fantastic fresh breeze. 5 of the last 6 months brought below-normal statewide average temperatures — Mother Nature's plans for early May are clearly trending in the opposite direction.

GFS model temperature forecast for Wednesday afternoon, showing widespread 80s across New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
GFS model temperature forecast for Wednesday afternoon, showing widespread 80s across New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

We're enjoying a comfortable start to Wednesday, with temperatures mostly in the 50s (60s along the coast). The day will start with more golden sunshine and blue skies, causing temperatures to climb rapidly. High temperatures will reach the lower to mid 80s for the vast majority of the Garden State Wednesday afternoon — the only cooler spots will be the barrier islands and along the Delaware Bay (just like Tuesday). Some fair-weather clouds will build during the afternoon hours, and we'll have a stiff southwesterly breeze up to about 20+ mph.

This summerlike day will be followed by a summerlike night. Under partly cloudy skies, low temperatures will only fall into the lower to mid 60s. That's really not that cool.

Thursday looks warmer and somewhat cloudier. It will be more humid, with dew points well into the 60s. The southwest breeze will be a bit stronger too, with potential gusts to 30 mph. That blast furnace wind will help high temperatures into the mid to upper 80s. That's about 20 degrees above normal for this time of year, and within a couple of degrees of record highs.

North Jersey could be clipped by a shower or thunderstorm Thursday afternoon or evening, but most of the state should remain dry and storm-free. We'll see a mix of sun and clouds overhead. Once again, it will definitely feel like summer!

Skies will become mostly cloudy by Friday, and I have no hesitation in calling it a windy, hot, and humid day. Highs will once again reach the mid to upper 80s. And, for the first time this week, one model (the GFS) pops out a 90-degree temperature for NJ. 90s won't be widespread, but it's certainly a possibility for inland New Jersey (around the Turnpike corridor).

Our inevitable cold front will approach New Jersey Friday afternoon, and is expected to drag a few showers and thunderstorms through the state Friday evening. Not everyone gets wet, and rainfall looks mostly light and brief. However, given the high heat and humidity, any spotty storm that does form could be on the strong side, with a short period of heavy rain, gusty winds, and/or dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning.

The forecast for the weekend looks cooler, cloudier, and a bit unsettled — but the details are muddy and changing rapidly. The latest model consensus paints a dry daytime for Saturday. Even as clouds win the sky, high temps are expected to reach the upper 70s to around 80 degrees. So it should be a decent start to the weekend.

By Saturday evening, we have to add a chance for rain to the forecast through the day on Sunday. Not a washout, but everyone in the Garden State will probably see a period of light to moderate rain at some point.

Sunday's high temperatures will be limited to the lower 70s — possibly even cooler along the oceanfront with an on-shore wind component.

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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