NJ weather: Most (but not all) of the next 72 hours will be dry
The Bottom Line
It may have escaped notice, but the official thermometer at Newark Airport has hit 90+ degrees for the last seven days in a row. Wednesday will probably be number eight — making it the longest heat wave there since July 2016. The heat has not been extreme, but certainly summer-ish.
We do have a break in the heat coming up, although it comes at the expense of unsettled weather. Ugh, I'm not a fan of "unsettled" forecasts with murky clouds and occasional raindrops. As a series of weak impulses ride past New Jersey over the next four days, we will see a few chances of rain.
But no widespread soakers. In fact, most of New Jersey will be dry at any given time between now and Saturday.
I'll try to pinpoint when/where it's going to rain and/or storm, and when it will not. And then we'll discuss the return of beautiful weather for most of the upcoming weekend.
It is a muggy morning, with temperatures almost exclusively in the 70s. And it is going to be a hot day, with highs near 90 degrees. With a more prominent land breeze preventing any substantial sea breeze from setting up, even mainland beaches will be hot and steamy Wednesday. (Barrier island beaches will be a bit cooler and more comfortable, as usual.)
Wednesday is a cold front day. But you'll hardly notice — our new air mass is barely cooler and only slightly drier than the last one, and early rain chances are minimal.
There is a batch of thunderstorms moving into western Pennsylvania as of this writing (6 a.m.) That piece of energy will provide our next chance of rain, over the southern chance of New Jersey. While I can't completely rule out some spotty showers centered around midday, a few thunderstorms may pop Wednesday evening. Best chance for a localized downpour would be over southern New Jersey.
Although the threat of severe weather (wind, hail, tornado) is low, a quick inch of rain could cause some ponding issues (big puddles).
I have to keep a shower chance alive for Wednesday night. It will be slightly less humid, with lows dipping to around 70 degrees, give or take. That is pretty typical for early July.
Scattered showers may extend into Thursday morning, especially for central and southern New Jersey. There are a couple of models (high-res NAM and Euro) that keep raindrops on top of us for most of the day. However, given our recent trend of guidance overdoing forecast rainfall, I'm leaning toward a drier forecast overall for Thursday.
More importantly, cloud cover and an on-shore wind direction will keep Thursday noticeably cooler than the last week. High temperatures will only reach about 80 degrees. 70s at the Shore. As you'd guess, that is below-normal for this time of year.
Dew points will bottom out close to 60 — not quite dry, but pretty comfortable, with just a hint of stickiness in the air.
A return to southerly winds will push temperatures back into the lower to mid 80s to close out this abbreviated workweek. Skies will remain mostly cloudy, with moderate humidity in the air.
Our best rain chance of the week is expected to arrive Friday afternoon, lasting through Friday night. Showers and thunderstorms will probably sweep through most/all of NJ, ahead of a cold front. Don't expect a massive soaking — but we'll take every drop we can get at this point.
Showers from the aforementioned cold front may still be with us through mid-morning Saturday. And then I really like what I see through the rest of this summer weekend.
Partial clearing will take over by Saturday afternoon. Dew points plummet into the dry, comfortable 50s. And high temperatures will be limited to the lower 80s.
Sunday & Beyond
Sunday might be a taste of September-ish weather. Turning mostly sunny, with highs around 80 degrees. Light breezes, dry air, dry weather. Sounds fantastic.
Monday looks good too, although temperatures will probably push back into the 80s.
And then heat and humidity will surge again on Tuesday. 90s are possible. Strong thunderstorms may become an issue late-day Tuesday too.
Still no "extreme" heat nor any tropical weather threats to worry about. I'm hoping we can keep it that way as long as possible.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.