The Bottom Line

It's hot. But you knew that already.

Newark Airport hit 100 degrees on Wednesday, for the first time since June 2021. That mark has been hit 99 times since records began 91 years ago — so, on average, about once a year. I suspect we're going to reach for the triple-digit mark again once or twice before this heat wave eventually breaks.

Thursday will be day 4 of 8 with widespread 90+ degree temperatures across New Jersey. Plus, dew points will surge into the mid 70s, making for ridiculously humid conditions. An uncomfortable day. Even a dangerous day, if you don't take care of yourself.

There is a chance of a stray thunderstorm on Thursday. But it will be isolated. And won't cool down much.

90s continue through the upcoming weekend. A slow cold front will introduce rain, somewhat cooler temperatures, and much drier air in the Monday-Tuesday time frame next week.

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Thursday

Thursday could bring the highest heat index of the week, due to a suffocating combination of heat and humidity.

A Heat Advisory has been issued for almost all of New Jersey yet again. (Everywhere but the immediate coast this time around.) Actually, for a good chunk of the state, that advisory has been extended all the way through Sunday evening.

A Heat Advisory is in effect for all of inland New Jersey Thursday. (Townsquare Media / AerisWeather)
A Heat Advisory is in effect for all of inland New Jersey Thursday. (Townsquare Media / AerisWeather)
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Morning temperatures in the 70s. Afternoon highs in the mid to upper 90s. Factoring in high humidity, the heat index will probably hit 100 to 105 degrees.

Remember, the heat index is not just the "feels like" temperature. It is an important indicator of human health. And when the heat index breaks the century mark, we call it "dangerous heat". Please take care of yourself out there — dress in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; stay extra-hydrated all day; and plan to take frequent breaks from the heat, in air conditioning if possible.

The entire country is hot right now. The NAM model forecast puts the Southern Plains over 100 degrees on Thursday. (Tropical Tidbits)
The entire country is hot right now. The NAM model forecast puts the Southern Plains over 100 degrees on Thursday. (Tropical Tidbits)
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HRRR model temperature forecast for Thursday afternoon. Expect widespread 90s across New Jersey, about 10 degrees above normal for late July. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
HRRR model temperature forecast for Thursday afternoon. Expect widespread 90s across New Jersey, about 10 degrees above normal for late July. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
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A southwest breeze up to 20 mph will probably prevent a significant sea breeze from setting up Thursday afternoon. Even mainland beaches will be hot, at or above 90 degrees. Barrier islands have a shot at "only" 80s. It will still feel incredibly steamy with the humidity.

You'll find some clouds obscuring the blazing sun at times. And there is a chance for a stray thunderstorm or two.

I don't want to get too specific about the timing or geography of a popup storm, based on how unpredictable the same situation was on Monday. I will say that any thunderstorm or shower threat is isolated.

Given how hot n' juicy the atmosphere will be, any storm that does develop will probably produce a brief period of torrential rain and possibly some gusty winds. The hail and tornado risk is not zero, especially for North Jersey.

Although the chance of a thunderstorm is low, it will likely be strong to severe. Especially in far northern and far southern New Jersey, according to Thursday's severe weather outlook. (NOAA / SPC)
Although the chance of a thunderstorm is low, it will likely be strong to severe. Especially in far northern and far southern New Jersey, according to Thursday's severe weather outlook. (NOAA / SPC)
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We will fall under the influence of a cold front Thursday evening. But don't get too excited — the impacts will be minor. Thursday night will be partly cloudy and still muggy, with low temperatures only dipping into the lower 70s.

Friday

Humidity will actually scale back noticeably on Friday. But it will still be quite hot, with another day of widespread 90s on the way.

Lower to mid 90s, in fact. With mostly sunny skies. Hopefully a lighter southwesterly breeze will allow for a sea breeze to cool the beaches, although that's a bit unclear.

A few models have popped in a popup shower right around sunset Friday evening. I've left that out of my "official" on-air forecast for now.

Saturday

Pretty similar to Friday. High heat, moderate humidity.

Look for highs in the lower to mid 90s, with sweltering sunshine. Winds will become more southerly, allowing more beach towns in Cape May and Atlantic counties to catch a taste of cooler marine air.

Sunday

According to model guidance, Sunday will be the hottest day of the week. By the thermometer at least — hopefully humidity levels will stay away from the "tropical" zone.

High temps are expected to climb into the upper 90s to around 100 degrees on Sunday. The breeze will kick up again, keeping the Jersey Shore toasty too. We'll see increasing clouds.

And again, probably dry weather. There is a chance rain creeps in Sunday night, although that is only a slight chance at best.

Monday & Beyond

Monday will be the big transition day, as a slow-moving cold front begins its path through New Jersey. We will eventually see scattered showers and thunderstorms. As we've experienced several times recently, that may include some real soakers. But "scatttered" also means parts of the state could miss out on the beneficial rainfall.

Monday's high temperature will still hit about 90 degrees for most of the state.

Rain may linger into part of Tuesday too. But I'm still confident and hopeful that we'll tap into slightly cooler and much drier air.

It's all temporary, of course. 90s will likely return to close out July and begin August. It is, after all, the hottest time of the year.

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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