Active, humid weather returns – strong storms possible Thursday
I have to admit, I had some trouble writing today's weather forecast. The theme is pretty clear — potentially stormy Thursday, dry Friday, and generally nice for the holiday weekend. But what is it going to feel like? Exactly when and where is it going to rain? What language best captures the little nuances of this more active forecast? Tougher than usual! (Especially for a perfectionist like me!)
As of this writing early Thursday morning, a batch of light to moderate rain is passing through northern New Jersey. This rainfall is associated with a warm front, which will result in warmer temperatures and increased humidity for Thursday. It's going to be a mostly cloudy day, with high temperatures reaching the mid to upper 70s.
These showers (with possible rumbles of thunder) have to stay in the forecast through about lunchtime. It's mainly a "northern half of NJ" thing, but I wouldn't rule out raindrops anywhere in the state.
Our bigger meteorological issue of the day will be stormy weather later on. A cold front is expected to spark one or two rounds of thunderstorms from Thursday late afternoon through Thursday evening. (I'd estimate about 4 p.m. to Midnight.) That timing is tricky to pinpoint, given poor consensus among our short-term, mesoscale weather models:
Given our warm, very humid atmosphere, any thunderstorms that do pop up could become strong or severe. Heavy downpours, gusty winds, hail, and an isolated tornado are all on the table, especially away from the coast.
Stay alert to any watches and/or warnings that are issued. And be smart about when you embark upon your evening commute — if skies are getting dark, you may want to delay your travel (if possible) to stay safe.
After Midnight Thursday night, clearing skies and drier air will take over. Low temperatures will fall to around 60 degrees across the state.
For Friday, we flip back to sunshine and dry weather. It is going to be another breezy day (similar to Tuesday), with northwesterly gusts as high as 25 or 30 mph. But with high temps in the lower to mid 70s, it's still going to be a pleasant Spring day overall.
The Memorial Day Weekend is getting closer and closer, and there's still a lot to like in the forecast.
Saturday looks great for most of the state. We'll enjoy mostly to partly sunny skies, with highs in the mid 70s. However, along the coast, an on-shore breeze will limit temperatures to the 60s — not terrible, but probably cooler than you'd like.
A few showers are possible Saturday night.
On Sunday, west-southwest winds will fuel a big warmup. High temperatures should climb well into the 80s for all but the immediate coast. Humidity levels will creep upward as well. Therefore, Sunday is probably your best bet for a "beach day".
However, Sunday also presents New Jersey's best chance for showers and thunderstorms this weekend. I expect at least some rain to impact the state from Sunday evening through early Monday morning. It's not going to ruin your weekend, but you'll definitely want to keep these potential raindrops in mind as you make your plans.
I'm seeing that rain coming to an end by about 8 a.m. Monday morning, which is good news for all of the Memorial Day remembrance ceremonies and parades. As skies clear to at least partial sunshine Monday afternoon, thermometers will once again make a run for 80s (away from the oceanfront).
The long-range forecast for the final days of May show a continuation of this warm, semi-unsettled weather pattern. (We could see some widespread 90s by the middle of next week.) No washout days are expected for the next week — but there are no deliciously perfect weather days either.