Steamy stretch of summer weather continues for NJ
While the heat and humidity won't be quite as oppressive as the weekend, Garden State temperatures will remain sticky and steamy for several more days.
Atlantic City International Airport broke a 31 year-old record on Sunday, with a high temperature of 98 degrees. Even more disgusting? ACY's morning low temperature was 83 degrees. More disgusting still? Heat index values topped 110 for both Saturday and Sunday across much of New Jersey.
A cold front on Sunday night attempted to help our heat and humidity situation, but it's not going to do much. Temperatures on Monday morning have only fallen to the mid 70s - better than 80+ degrees for sure, but still pretty muggy. Some areas of fog and haze are expected early Monday, especially in areas where it rained on Sunday.
One piece of good news I can offer for Monday is slightly lower humidity and slightly lower temperatures, making the day slightly more comfortable. Highs should still reach the lower to mid 90s on Monday afternoon, with a heat index of 102. As I said: better, but still hot.
So hot, in fact, that the National Weather Service has extended the Excessive Heat Warning for the Philadelphia metro area (including Mercer, NW Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties) through Tuesday evening. Yup, the heat rolls on.
Meanwhile, rain chances for Monday afternoon and evening should be limited to an isolated storm or two, mainly in the southern half of the state. As we've seen countless times this summer, any storm that forms will have the potential of becoming strong or severe (with gusty winds) and/or producing torrential rain.
Once again for Monday night into Tuesday morning, the humidity in the air will prevent temperatures from falling below the mid 70s. Skies will remain mostly clear to partly cloudy, with just a chance for a residual shower.
Humidity levels bounce up again for Tuesday, unfortunately. High temperatures will top out in the lower to mid 90s. The heat index could be as high as 108. Scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast for Tuesday as well (and not just limited to the usual afternoon/evening hours.)
Forecast confidence admittedly goes down for Wednesday and beyond. However, for several runs, the models have painted at least a noticeable (if not significant) decrease in humidity and temperatures for the second half of the week. Once again, I think it's safe to say that we deserve a break from the tropical weather!
Wednesday will hopefully be our transition day. It'll still be hot, with highs mostly in the lower 90s. Winds look brisker for Wednesday, possibly up to 20 mph. Thunderstorms becoming possible as well. Most importantly, humidity should begin dropping by the afternoon hours, with dew points falling from the 70s to the 60s.
And those dew points should keep falling into Thursday. Drier air is more comfortable air! There are some question marks surrounding sky cover, precipitation chances, and exact temperatures. But I'm comfortable keeping an optimistic forecast, limiting statewide high temperatures to the 80s.
I'm leaning toward the drier, more seasonable forecast persisting for Friday and the weekend too. But it's too early to definitively make that call.