NJ weather: Humid, unsettled weather is here to stay this week
The Bottom Line
Some weeks feature great weather. Some weeks are active and complicated. This week's forecast is in the middle. We will flip-flop between great beach days and somewhat stormy days. The common theme here is humidity — if you're looking for a taste of comfortably dry air, you'll have to wait until the weekend.
There are only two chances of strong, super-soaker thunderstorms this week. First, from a compact cluster of rain that may impact New Jersey early Tuesday. And then another round of thunderstorms set to arrive late-day Thursday.
We're starting to get a preview of Father's Day Weekend too. (Also the last weekend of Spring, by the way.) And it looks good, with one minor hesitation.
NJ's highest rainfall totals over the weekend topped 2 inches. Certainly not everywhere. And everyone in New Jersey found some peaks of sun and breaks in the wet weather on both Saturday and Sunday.
As of this writing (6 a.m.), we still have a few spotty storm cells dotting New Jersey. A washed-out frontal boundary is parked on top of us. While that won't have a huge impact on temperatures, humidity, or wind on Monday, it does present an impetus for a stray shower or thunderstorm at any time. And if a storm cell gets going, it could produce a narrow swath of heavy rain. Again, very isolated stuff.
Having said that, I think Monday will be far more dry than wet though. Look for periods of sun and clouds, amidst a warm and humid day. High temperatures will mainly shoot for the mid 80s Monday afternoon — a typical mid-summer day. The Shore will end up cooler by about 10+ degrees, thanks to the sea breeze machine kicking in.
Monday night will be quiet, with partly cloudy skies. It will be somewhat sticky - you'll notice some humidity in the air. Lows will dip into the mid 60s by Tuesday morning.
To understand Tuesday's forecast, we have to talk about the definition of a Mesoscale Convective System, or MCS. It's a fancy term for a compact cluster of thunderstorms. The rain area is much smaller than that of a typical cold front or low pressure system (which are on the "synoptic" scale). And that makes them much more difficult to pinpoint and forecast.
Well, there's going to be an MCS in the neighborhood early Tuesday, riding the ridge. There's a chance that it clips New Jersey with rain and clouds — mainly in the morning hours, mainly to the south and west. However, there's also a chance that it drenches Pennsylvania and Delaware, but not New Jersey. Model guidance has a poor handle on this thing.
I hate making such an uncertain "boom or bust" forecast, but I want to lay out all the solutions here, so you can plan your day accordingly. Worst-case scenario, over an inch of rain in South Jersey. Best-case scenario, dry with clouds and pleasantly warm temperatures.
High temperature on Tuesday will average 80 degrees. There's a lot of give and take in that part of the forecast too. If we stay dry and sunnier, I could see another day in the lower to mid 80s for most of the state. However, if rain wins, we'll be stuck in the 70s.
You want another grand beach day, here you go. Mostly sunny skies resume, with dry weather all day. Temperatures will be nice and warm, in the lower to mid 80s.
Flipping back to an unsettled weather day.
At the moment, I see a slight chance of spotty showers Thursday morning. Then a better chance of widespread thunderstorms Thursday evening. There is a risk for some severe weather there — something we'll continue to track over the next 84 hours or so.
In the middle, it will be a partly to mostly cloudy day. High temperatures will be seasonable, close enough to 80 degrees.
The Extended Forecast
Friday is a cold front day, a day of rapid transition. However, the GFS model in particular currently shows that frontal passage to be completely dry. Just breezy.
Friday will start toasty, with thermometers once again surging close to 90 degrees. And then in the afternoon, the wind direction will shift, and cooler, drier air will start to arrive. While I wouldn't rule out some shower or thunderstorm activity, we'll keep a dry, bright, happy forecast for now.
The drop in humidity should be immediately noticeable. (And welcome.) But the cooldown won't really settle in until Saturday.
That cooler, drier air mass should leave us with pleasant weather conditions for the big Father's Day Weekend. But there's a chance we end up a bit "too" cool for summer-ish activities like beach, pool, etc. Right now, I'd put high temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. I'd like to see them closer to 80 degrees to go full-bore on a beautiful weekend.
Our next substantial chance of rain won't show up until Tuesday or Wednesday next week.