Tuesday NJ weather: Mostly sunny and dry, heat builds late week
The Bottom Line
Following Monday's unseasonable warmth, humidity, and (non-severe) thunderstorms, we fall into a pleasant weather pattern for Tuesday and most of Wednesday. Mild temperatures, plenty of sunshine, dry weather, and low humidity? Sounds good to me. The only weather nuisance will be a stiff breeze.
Our next storm system is set to arrive Wednesday night through Thursday morning. Nothing crazy, just a half-inch of rain.
The biggest weather story of the week is coming Friday into Saturday, as summerlike weather surges. Are you ready for NJ's first 90-degree day of the year?
The only question mark is how strong and impactful the wind will be. Westerly gusts will max out between 20 and 30 mph, right in the middle of the "breezy" and "windy" categories. I think it will feel "refreshing" rather than "blustery". Especially when combined with a bright, mild forecast.
We have fallen into the 50s across most of New Jersey on this Tuesday morning. Comfortably cool. Possibly enough to warrant a jacket to start the day.
Skies will be bright and sunny Tuesday morning, before scattered clouds visit in the afternoon. That will help high temperatures reach the mid to upper 70s. Really, not much cooler than Monday. And a few degrees above normal for mid-May.
We'll stay dry all day. And Tuesday night too. Lows should dip into the lower 50s, with some 40s sprinkled in too. Again, possibly a jacket night.
The daytime hours look fine. Wednesday will be cooler than Tuesday, with highs only around 70 degrees — a hair below seasonal normals. Winds will be lighter. And skies will progress from sun to clouds throughout the day.
Our next storm system rides in from the southwest Wednesday evening. Forecast models paint initial raindrops as early as 6 p.m. or as late as 2 a.m. There could be some pockets of moderate to heavy rain around New Jersey early Wednesday morning. I'd expect rainfall totals to average a half-inch across the state. Healthy, but not really heavy.
Rain should wrap up by mid-morning, around 9 a.m. give or take. And then skies will skies clear to partial sunshine through Thursday afternoon.
With a warm front draped over New Jersey, we'll see a wide range of temperatures across the state. North Jersey will be stuck in the below-normal mid 60s. South Jersey should spike into the above-normal mid 70s. Not a bad day though, with drying conditions and light winds.
As winds become southwesterly and we tap into a very warm air mass, temperatures will really start to heart up on Friday.
Latest guidance shows highs in the mid 80s (away from the coast) on Friday. Wow, summerlike! We'll see a mix of sun and clouds. And with plenty of instability in the air, a little spark could cause an isolated shower or thunderstorm to pop up at some point. Again, isolated.
The Weekend & Beyond
This weekend is the last weekend before Memorial Day Weekend. And Saturday will easily be New Jersey's hottest day of the week, our first widespread 90s of the year.
I've seen on social media that many New Jerseyans are planning a beach day this Saturday given the hot forecast. Just keep in mind the Jersey Shore will NOT be 90 degrees. Ocean temperatures are only 52 to 61 degrees right now. So air temperatures Saturday afternoon along the immediate coast will be closer to 70, thanks to that cool sea breeze.
Sunday will be a day of turbulent transition. High temperatures will soar into the 80s (at least) one more time, as skies become mostly cloudy. A cold front will push in potentially strong thunderstorms Sunday afternoon and evening.
And then we'll cool down significantly for early next week. Monday's highs will be in the cooler, but still very nice, lower 70s.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.