Hello, humidity: 7 things to know about NJ’s steamy forecast
Hot temperatures and high humidity will contribute to uncomfortable weather conditions for almost the next week, with an almost-daily chance of thunderstorms.
Background? Disgusting humidity has returned to New Jersey. Don't blame me - blame the warm front that pushed through the state on Tuesday night, which has caused dew points to spike into the 70s. Yuck. In addition, that front is expected to stall just north of NJ. That boundary, combined with the relentless high heat and humidity, will cause occasionally stormy weather over the next several days. Overall, we're falling into a very typical August pattern.
Daily Heat and Humidity? Sticky mornings and steamy afternoons will be the top weather headline over the next several days. Morning lows will generally bottom out in the 70s - not cool or refreshing at all. High temperatures will climb to near 90 degrees, with a heat index close to 100. I doubt we'll see any heat records. But we'll most likely hit heat wave criteria (3 consecutive days of 90+ degrees) across most of the Garden State by the end of the weekend.
Peak of the Heat? The hottest days of this particular stretch look to be the weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday have the capability of seeing temperatures in the lower to mid 90s. And, of course, with the continuing humidity, the heat index will probably top 100 degrees. Hopefully there will be some relief along the Jersey Shore, if and only if a sea breeze keeps the hot air at bay. (Of course, the ocean won't offer much of a cooldown, with bath-like water temperatures near 90 degrees.)
Daily Thunderstorms? Also typical of summertime in New Jersey, the front and the humidity will indeed combine to produce a daily chance of scattered thunderstorms. Any storm has the potential to produce localized heavy rain and/or gusty winds. It will be important to remain vigilant during this humid weather - if the sky starts to darken up overhead, and especially if a warning is issued for a severe thunderstorm or a flood, it's important to seek shelter for the duration.
Best Storm Chance? The storms that form this week will be "diurnal" thunderstorms, which means they are specifically driven by sunshine, heat, and humidity. It also means they are most likely to pop up between the time of peak heating (mid to late afternoon) through sunset (evening). In addition, with the frontal boundary to our north, it seems the storm threat will be highest in North Jersey (for Wednesday and Thursday, at least). But let's not rule out other possibilities here - it's very difficult, if not impossible, to provide a pinpoint, hour-by-hour, neighborhood forecast for this breed of storm.
Total Rainfall? Even though models backed off slightly on the impending rainfall through the weekend, I still think a wide area of 2 to 4+ inches of rainfall is likely for New Jersey over the next 7 days. Ultimately, precipitation totals will depend heavily on where thunderstorms set up, how strong they get, and how slowly they move. With plenty of moisture to fuel these storms, flooding will be a definite concern.
Relief? The biggest and most important question of all! A cold front is forecast to push through New Jersey sometime in the Monday-Tuesday time frame, finally sweeping out the humidity and delivering a much drier air mass. The front should arrive with one last push of steady rain, before skies clear quickly by Tuesday afternoon. I suspect it'll still be seasonably warm, with highs in the 80s (it is still August, after all). But as dew points drop from the 70s to the 50s, it's going to be glorious! Conditions will be much more comfortable by the middle of next week, especially in the evenings and early mornings.