The Bottom Line

There are two major weather headlines here.

Of course, the Memorial Day Weekend is just a few days away. And we do have some rain, clouds, and cool temperatures to talk about.

More urgently, summerlike heat and humidity will fuel a line of strong to severe thunderstorms Wednesday. You will need to stay weather aware through the evening hours.

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Wednesday

Summerlike. Steamy and sultry. Then stormy.

Wednesday is starting out fairly comfortably, with early morning temperatures primarily in the lower 60s. There are scattered clouds overnight, and you might feel a little hint of humidity in the air.

By this afternoon, there will be a lot of humidity in the air. It’s going to get pretty hot too. I expect temperatures to peak around 90 degrees across most of New Jersey. Along the Jersey Shore, a sea breeze will keep it somewhat cooler. But mainland beaches may still hit 80+ degrees.

In addition, the heat and humidity fuel noisy thunderstorms, sparked by an approaching cold front. We’ll have to start watching the western sky starting around 5 p.m. Storm cells will drift to the south and east through New Jersey until about Midnight.

HRRR model forecast as of 9 p.m. Wednesday, showing a broken line of noisy thunderstorms rolling through New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Severe weather parameters look pretty healthy, supporting the threat for damaging winds, heavy downpours, and frequent lightning. Small hail and an isolated tornado are possible too. The worst weather will likely occur along the western border of New Jersey. Storms should weaken a bit as they approach the cooler, more stable air along the coast.

The Storm Prediction Center's severe weather outlook for Wednesday puts almost all of NJ in a precarious "Slight Risk" of dangerous thunderstorms. (NOAA / SPC)

Again, please be “weather aware” and stay alert to changing weather conditions starting around dinnertime Wednesday. These storms will roll in quickly and impactfully, and you do not want to be taken by surprise.

Thursday

Fantastic. Probably the nicest day of the week.

While there could be some lingering showers and clouds around early Thursday morning, I expect dry weather after sunrise.

Humidity levels will steadily drop throughout the day Thursday, as our new air mass settles in. Skies will be mostly sunny. And we’ll hold on to warm temperatures, with highs mainly in the lower 80s. That’s still 5 to 10 degrees above normal for late May.

Friday

Not so fantastic, as cooler air and soaking rain returns.

Skies will become mostly cloudy through Friday morning, although the day will start dry. I’ll include a “just in case” chance of showers beginning midday. Highs will only reach the lower 60s - a stark difference to the warmth of the previous two days.

Our next storm system will roll in around the mid to late afternoon hours on Friday. And it looks like we are going to get soaked. A period of steady to heavy rain through Saturday morning will dump between 1 and 2 inches of rain across New Jersey.

Rain, rain, rain. A period of steady to heavy rain is depicted by the NAM model forecast as of Friday night. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

It is absolutely much-needed rainfall, bringing month-to-date totals close to normal.

It is unfortunate that we start the holiday weekend with lousy weather.

Saturday

Blah.

There are some model differences regarding the rain end time. The wet weather should wrap up sometime Saturday morning. Possibly before dawn. More likely by Noon. The rest of the day will be cloudy, with some drizzle or sprinkles possible. A breeze from the northeast will keep temperatures only in the 50s at best. It’s going to feel more like late March than late May.

The GFS model temperature forecast for Saturday afternoon shows miserably cool 50s over New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Sunday

Still cool and cloudy, but at least it looks dry.

High temperatures will hopefully make it to 60 degrees.

Monday

Clearly the best day of the Memorial Day Weekend.

We finally lose the on-shore breeze, damp air, and unsettled weather. Skies should become mostly sunny for most of Memorial Day. And temperatures will respond nicely, bumping into the lower 70s.

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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