The Bottom Line

The change of seasons is always a magical time in New Jersey. And this particular transition is going to seem pretty "backwards" — spring ends dry, summer starts showery and cloudy and cooler than normal.

This is always a busy week in the weather center, with graduation season in full force. Although we are talking about daily raindrops for Tuesday and beyond, I'm pleased to see there's nothing particularly dangerous. No severe weather. And even the risk for downpours and lightning is low. (If you do have outdoor plans for Tuesday and Wednesday in particular, it may have to be a "gametime decision" based on current weather conditions.)

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Monday

After a weekend of wind and cooler-than-normal temperatures, we should squeeze out a beautiful day for Monday.

Having said that, it is another chilly morning with near-record low temperatures in the 40s and 50s. With bone-dry air, we'll warm up quickly to highs in the upper 70s to around 80 degrees. Skies will progress from mostly sunny to partly sunny. And the wind will be considerably lighter, blowing out of the northwest up to 15 mph. (Compared to 30+ mph this weekend.)

One important note: A large wildfire continues to burn in the Wharton State Forecast in Burlington County. Given the northwesterly breeze, a smoky smell and hazy sky are likely in South Jersey today. (Especially in Atlantic County.) That may even keep temperatures a few degrees cooler. The lighter winds will help with firefighting efforts. Rain on Tuesday will help even more.

Monday night, increasing clouds and slightly higher dew points should prevent thermometers from crashing as far as last night. Look for comfortably cool low temperatures in the mid 50s or so.

Tuesday

The summer solstice officially arrives at 5:13 a.m. And for the first day of summer, a passing storm system will spark a return to unsettled weather.

During the day Tuesday, it looks like we'll just see some hit-or-miss showers from mid-morning on. Nothing heavy, and not a total washout. Sunshine will be limited, but I don't think the sky will be totally grey and dreary. Therefore, high temperatures should reach the mid 70s on average. Some model solutions (the Euro in particular) push temps into the 80s — but that would require a mainly dry and partly sunny day.

The steadiest rain of Tuesday is expected to roll in Tuesday evening, starting up in the 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. neighborhood. Instability is limited, although I wouldn't rule out some rumbles of thunder. But again, nothing big here — just some scattered rain. Rainfall totals should stay below a half-inch. (For most, well below that mark.)

Wednesday

We get stuck under the clouds on Wednesday, with a continuing chance of a shower at any time. Once again, the threat for any steadier rain looks to be later in the day Wednesday. (Maybe afternoon, more likely evening.) We could add another quarter to half inch to our rainfall totals.

It's going to feel more humid on Wednesday too, as dew points push into the 60s. High temperatures will be limited to the lower 70s at best. (Some models keep us in the 60s — as you'd expect, that is way below normal for late June.)

Thursday

Although we'll start Thursday with spotty leftover showers, and an isolated shower is still possible later on, there will be improvements. Specifically, I am hopeful for partial clearing into Thursday afternoon. That will have a big effect on temperatures, pushing them toward the 80 degree mark.

Friday & Beyond

Unfortunately, the storm setup from earlier in the week will be stuck off the coast through the upcoming weekend. Although our weather looks brighter and drier heading into the weekend, we'll still have to battle on-shore breezes and a few pesky isolated showers.

Friday looks OK. Certainly summer-ish, with highs in the lower 80s (away from the coast). It'll be partly sunny, with a few showers possible.

The first weekend of summer could swing either way: Good or Meh. Sun and clouds Saturday with highs near 80. Partly sunny and lower 80s on Sunday. Either day could feature an isolated shower.

All this unsettled junk will be swept out by a strong cold front arriving late Monday. In the long-range, that should lead to a stretch of quiet, warming weather to close out June and begin July.

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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