A typical summer weekend for NJ: Warm, humid, a few thunderstorms
The Bottom Line
Summer may be winding down, but our weather will stay warm and humid through the final weekend of August. There will be some thunderstorms around, with the best chance coming Friday afternoon, followed by late-day Saturday, However, raindrops will be isolated to spotty at best.
The long-range forecast shows a strong cold front arriving as we turn the calendar page from August to September.
The heat rolls on. And humidity has ramped up too — dew points will steadily flirt with 70 through the middle of next week.
I have been watching a batch of thunderstorms over eastern Pennsylvania early Friday morning. They are fizzling. So while I would not rule out an isolated shower affecting western and/or northern New Jersey early Friday, it's not looking likely.
So our Friday will start off partly sunny, breezy at times, and hot. 70 in the morning, close to 90 in the afternoon. That breeze will probably keep mainland beaches hot too. The ocean water is also nice and warm, near 80 degrees — word on the sand is that jellyfish are loving the warm water too.
The window for thunderstorms will open around Friday mid-afternoon, starting around 3 p.m. Spotty to isolated — so not everyone will see a storm. But if you do, it could spit some heavy rain and possibly some gusty winds. (FYI, I am more concerned and confident about 1+ inch downpours than severe wind.)
Any storms will largely pulse down as sunset approaches, although a few showers may linger into Friday evening. Overnight will be partly cloudy and somewhat muggy, with low temperatures around 70.
All things considered, Saturday will be a pretty nice summer day.
We will fall under the influence of a cold front on Saturday. But that frontal boundary will hardly do anything to our weather — early rain chances are minimal, and the new air mass is very similar to the old one.
So it will be another very warm day with moderate to high humidity. High temperatures will come down slightly, to the mid 80s. We'll enjoy mixed sun and clouds throughout the day, with a light wind. (A nice sea breeze should set up at the Jersey Shore.)
However, once again we will have to watch the sky late-day Saturday (afternoon and evening) for a few thunderstorm cells. Once again, there could be some super-soaker cells. And some vivid lightning. This time around, it looks like storms would be localized to the southern half of New Jersey.
It is still not a "cancel your plans" situation. Just stay weather aware, keep an eye on the sky, and have a backup plan in case thunder starts to roar.
Models paint some spotty showers over South Jersey to start Sunday. And then mostly cloudy skies for the rest of the day.
With a southeasterly (sea) breeze, high temperatures will hold steady in the mid 80s. Not too shabby.
I'm keeping Monday's forecast completely dry. It is going to be sunny. And hot. And humid.
Highs will push back to around 90 degrees. Factoring in humidity, the heat index ("feels like" temperature) may rise into the mid 90s. Good day for the beach and/or pool.
Tuesday & Beyond
Tuesday also looks hot — possibly the hottest of the week, reaching the lower 90s. At the moment, I'm thinking any threat of rain will hold off until late night.
Eventually, a strong cold front will arrive in New Jersey next week. The GFS model says it will be on Wednesday. The Euro model is more like Friday. The outcome will be the same though, in three parts: 1.) A period of rain — although not the big soaking we really need. 2.) A cooldown, with highs potentially in the 70s for a day or two. 3.) A big reduction in humidity, as dew points drop into the 40s.
It's a little too far out to see how that big change may impact the Labor Day Weekend forecast. I will say that the first half of September still looks mighty dry across New Jersey. (Barring any tropical weather developments, of course.)
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.