NJ weather: Looking ahead to the 4th of July holiday weekend forecast
The Bottom Line
It's hard to believe we're coming up on the end of June. After a spectacular weather day on Monday, we have more good news in the forecast. The rest of the month is looking seasonably warm, with the continuation of deliciously dry air.
Heat and humidity surge on Friday. And then we dive into the 4th of July holiday weekend. There is only one question mark, one potential problem that could get in the way of your fireworks plans: Thunderstorms on Saturday.
Scattered clouds and light patchy fog has developed overnight. But with dry air still in place, sunshine and blue skies will emerge by mid-morning.
We start the day in the comfortable 60s — our coolest morning in over a week. High temperatures will shoot for the lower to mid 80s Wednesday afternoon. A bit warmer than Tuesday. And with continuing unusually low humidity, it's going to be another beautiful summer day.
Over the past few days, forecast models have sporadically put a little sprinkle over North Jersey rise around sunset Wednesday evening. That shower chance looks pretty minimal at this point — I really suspect the dry air will negate any raindrops that try to fall.
Otherwise, it will be a mostly clear night with seasonable temperatures. Thermometers will bottom out around the mid 60s by Thursday morning.
Also uneventful, warm, and summer-ish. Sunny and dry. Highs will push to about 85 to 90 degrees.
Inland South Jersey could begin NJ's first heat wave of 2022 on Thursday. Remember, that's 3+ consecutive days of 90+ degree temperatures. Heat waves are particularly dangerous because the heat is unrelenting for an extended stretch of time.
Dew points will increase to the lower 60s on Thursday, so it might feel a little stickier. But it won't be steamy or tropical. Yet.
July kicks off with a real taste of Jersey summer. Hot and humid, with a southwesterly "blast furnace" breeze. High temperatures 90 to 95 degrees — hopefully we'll get some relief at the beaches. Dew points surge to about 70 degrees too, so you'll be chewing through humidity again.
At the moment, parameters stay below the "dangerous heat" threshold for Friday, but only barely. If the heat index ("feels like" or "apparent" temperature) approaches 100, we may have to talk more seriously about the need to take care of yourself and keep cool.
Despite the increase in heat (energy) and humidity (moisture), Friday's forecast is dry and storm-free.
Saturday is the one problem child of the week, and presents a not-great start to the 4th of July holiday weekend.
A slow-moving cold front will push from northwest to southeast during the daytime hours on Saturday. This forecast actually resembles Monday's weather situation — unsettled skies, a few hours of rain, heavy in spots, with rumbles of thunder, and sweaty humidity in the air.
High temperatures on Saturday will be limited to about 80 degrees. Cooler to the north, where the front and rain arrive in the morning. Warmer to the south and along the coast, where storms may hold off until the midday-afternoon hours.
Depending on the speed and timing of the front, I am concerned about any fireworks shows scheduled for Saturday evening. We still have a few more days to figure out the exact timeline here. But if you have outdoor plans at any point on Saturday, you should watch how this forecast evolves very closely.
Sunday & Beyond
I had been concerned that the aforementioned cold front would stall just south of New Jersey Saturday night. Close enough that southern NJ could still see some clouds and showers on Sunday.
But the latest model guidance has trended drier, sunnier, and warmer for Sunday. I like the sound of that. I'm now thinking we'll clear to at least partial sunshine by Sunday afternoon, with seasonable high temperatures in the 80s.
Monday is the 4th of July, and is probably the best of the bunch. Sun and clouds, moderate humidity, highs in the 80s. And most importantly, it looks completely rain-free.
Our next storm system will probably arrive in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame, with another batch of scattered showers and storms.
There's a good chance for an extended stretch of heat building into the Garden State by mid-July. We are approaching the average hottest part of the year, after all.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.