Waffling NJ weather: From delightful to unsettled to hot to cooler
The Bottom Line
There is a lot to like in this forecast. Dare I say something for everyone. Wednesday will be a beautifully warm, sunny, not-humid day. Then we turn unsettled on Thursday. Then things heat up on Friday. Then we'll cool down again for the Father's Day Weekend.
Along the way, there are three spurts of rain to watch: Thursday morning, Thursday evening, and late Friday.
Two thumbs way up.
Humidity levels are relatively low, gifting us with a comfortable morning. Temperatures are starting the day near 60 degrees. And we'll reach about 80 to 85 degrees by lunchtime. Skies will be mostly sunny, winds will be light, and our weather will stay completely dry.
It does look like an on-shore breeze will become more prominent Wednesday afternoon, potentially causing temperatures to slide downward into the 70s. (Both inland and along the coast.)
If you plan to make Wednesday a late spring beach day, keep in mind air temperatures will be cooler at the beaches, as usual. And there is a moderate risk of dangerous rip currents posted for the Shore — you'll probably want to stay out of the ocean, especially on unguarded beaches.
Wednesday evening looks pleasant as well. Partly cloudy, with lows in the lower to mid 60s. A Coastal Flood Advisory is posted for the Jersey Shore, with another round of minor flooding possible at high tide. (Not because of a storm, but due to the full moon, higher than usual astronomical tide, and gentle on-shore flow.)
Turning somewhat unsettled again.
There are two chances of rain to watch on Thursday. The first will be some spotty showers in the morning, between about 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. Raindrops will be sporadic and light — not everyone gets wet.
The second batch of wet weather will be a bit more impactful, with scattered showers and thunderstorms likely Thursday evening. Best chance looks to be between about 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. By the numbers, a few rumbles of thunder and a localized downpour are possible with that later round — but the risk for widespread severe weather looks pretty low.
In the middle of those two periods of inclement weather, it will be mostly cloudy and cooler than Wednesday. High temperatures should reach the upper 70s or so.
Hot and humid. We tap into the northern extent of a steamy air mass on Friday, pushing high temperatures into the lower 90s (away from the coast). We'll start the day with blazing sunshine and a blast-furnace breeze out of the southwest.
And then, along comes a cold front. And with that may come some thunderstorms. Models are variable in the strength and spread of that stormy weather. But given the heat (energy) and humidity (moisture) in the air, any storms that do form are likely to be strong to severe. In terms of timing, the storm threat has slid later, to the late afternoon to early evening hours. Let's call it 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Much cooler and more comfortable.
The sun comes out, and dry weather resumes throughout the weekend.
But will it be "too" cool? My latest forecast puts highs in the lower 70s across the state. The GFS keeps temperatures even cooler, no better than the mid 60s — but that seems unlikely. Bottom line: I think it's going to be much more like a pleasant "spring" day than "summer-ish" conditions.
Plus, will it be too windy? A refreshing breeze will blow from the northwest throughout the day, gusting over 20 mph. But if we peak above 30 mph for part of the day, it might get a little too blustery for some people's tastes.
Again, I have no doubt Saturday will be a nice day. Definitely not inclement, and completely dry. Just not quite perfect.
Sunday & Beyond
Sunday looks like another great day. Less windy and slightly warmer than Saturday, highs should push into the upper 70s. Again, we'll keep sunshine and dry weather.
Our next batch of showers is plugged in for late Monday into Tuesday. The long-range forecast shows the second half of June will really be status quo, alternating sunny and unsettled days. No extended stretch of intense heat is expected, although thermometers may start really cooking in the final few days of the month.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.