Heat, humidity, and a few raindrops in the forecast for NJ
The Garden State will get a taste of summerlike heat and humidity as the final weekend of August approaches.
Here are your weather headlines for Thursday, August 25, 2016...
Heat and Humidity Build
You can feel it in the air already - temperatures have been warming, and humidity slowly increasing this week. Wednesday's high temperatures reached 90 degrees at a few spots, including Newark Airport. Thursday morning's low temperatures were in the 60s - a noticeable bump-up from the cool, refreshing 50s we enjoyed through the rest of the week.
Thursday's high temperatures will top out in the upper 80s to around 90 degrees. As dew points climb into the 60s, it's going to be a bit sticky during the heat of the day. Skies will transition from mostly sunny to partly sunny as the day goes on.
Thursday night will be quite muggy and uncomfortable, as lows only dip into the lower 70s.
And then the heat and humidity peak on Friday, with high temperatures forecast to reach the lower to mid 90s for most of New Jersey. (The only exceptions will be far North Jersey, far South Jersey along the Delaware Bay, and parts of the Jersey Shore.) Additionally, with the high humidity, we have to talk about the heat index ("feels like" temperature), which should be near 100 degrees through Friday afternoon. Some call it hot, typical summer weather. I call it air conditioning weather.
Along with the heat and humidity, New Jersey will experience a pair of rain chances between Thursday and Friday. But I have to be completely honest - I don't see most of the state seeing any rain through the middle of next week.
A cold front will march across Pennsylvania on Thursday. But models show it mostly or completely fizzling before it makes it to New Jersey. (The official term is "washing out," where the air mass difference from one side of the front to the other becomes negligible.) So I'll included a slight chance for a shower or thunderstorm in the forecast from late afternoon through Thursday evening just in case. The best chance will be in North JerseyBut even if you see rain, it's not going to amount to much.
A cold front will make it through New Jersey on Friday afternoon. While all models show a dry frontal passage, I don't want to rule out a couple of stray thunderstorms popping up through the hottest part of the day (late afternoon to evening).
Overall rainfall totals are less than a tenth of an inch across the Garden State. If (and it's a big "if") there is a heavier downpour somewhere at some point, localized totals would certainly end up higher.
By Saturday morning, humidity will return to reasonable levels, and skies will clear away to sunshine. Highs will generally reach the upper 80s on Saturday. That's still very warm, and still a bit above normal for late August. But certainly pleasant by summertime standards!
Sunday will also feature plenty of sunshine. Forecast high temperatures are in the mid 80s to close out the weekend.
Watching the Tropics
Fiona has fizzled, Gaston is a hurricane, and a yet-to-be-named tropical disturbance is still worth watching.
Gaston's storm track takes it out to sea before even reaching Bermuda, it could still have some dramatic indirect effects on New Jersey. As the storm churns up the Atlantic Ocean, increased swell will cause an elevated risk of rip currents. On the 3-level scale (Low, Moderate, High), the rip current threat will be in the Moderate range for Thursday. For Sunday through Tuesday, an upgrade to High Risk will be possible, as the storm passes by New Jersey's latitude. If you're destined for the beach this weekend or early next week, only swim in guarded areas and be sure to follow any lifeguard instructions, flags, and posted signs.
We're also still watching a disorganized area of showers and thunderstorms struggling through the mountains of Hispanola. It's headed toward the Bahamas and Florida, but the forecast beyond that is very low confidence. Again, if this system gets a name, it would be called Hermine (pronounced her-MEEN). Whether it strengthens or not, this storm could still have direct (rain/wind) or indirect (moisture/waves) effects on New Jersey late next week.