Friday NJ weather: Very warm with possible storms, cooler weekend
91 at Trenton! 93 at Atlantic City! 94 at Newark! Record high temperatures were smashed at all three of New Jersey's climate reporting stations on Thursday, easily New Jersey's hottest day since last July. We have one more very warm and humid day in the forecast before big changes take over this weekend.
For the first time this week, we're waking up to a case of the muggy-uggies on this Friday. Abundant atmosphere moisture (read: high humidity) has prevented temperatures from falling before the upper 60s across most of New Jersey. (South Jersey is starting Friday in the 70s.) Not oppressive or unbearable, but certainly summerlike.
Friday looks mostly cloudy, with a continuing southerly wind gusting to 35 mph during the afternoon hours. I can't rule out a spot shower at some point (we've already seen a few raindrops in North Jersey through the early morning hours.)
The combination of thickening clouds and higher humidity should temper the temperatures a bit. In other words, I believe we're going to be a few degrees cooler (just a few) Friday afternoon than on Thursday. My forecast shows much of New Jersey missing the 90-degree mark.
We'll be closely tracking a cold front that will approach New Jersey Friday evening. Given the heat (energy) and humidity (moisture, fuel), that front may fire off some strong to severe thunderstorms. Here's the rundown:
--Best timing for storms would be 5 p.m. to Midnight.
--Best chance of strong storms would be northwestern New Jersey, which the Storm Prediction Center has placed under a "Slight Risk" of severe weather.
--Biggest threats would be heavy downpours, frequent lightning, and a sudden burst of 40+ wind gusts.
--Storms may fizzle to showers (or a big fat nothing) by the time they reach the coast.
After our potential thunderstorms, the rest of the overnight will be dry, cloudy, and breezy. Low temperatures should be comfortable, falling into the upper 50s by Saturday morning.
Bottom line, the weekend will be cooler and pretty unsettled. On Saturday, a rain shower will be possible at any time (depending on which forecast model you believe). I do believe we'll see at least a few hours of dry weather, possibly with a few breaks of sunshine. That warrants pushing high temperatures into the lower to mid 70s. Not too shabby.
A period of steadier rain is expected from Saturday evening through much of Sunday. I don't think Sunday is going to be a total washout, and I don't think this rainfall will be particularly heavy. (Rainfall totals will mostly end up below a half-inch.) But the day does look pretty wet. And cloudy. And fairly cool, with highs limited to the mid 60s, slightly below normal for early May.
I'm still liking the forecast for next week, as sunshine returns to the skies of Jersey around Monday morning. The current outlook puts high temperatures in the upper 60s on Monday, the lower 70s on Tuesday, and mid 70s on Wednesday.