The Bottom Line

It's over. After a string of 8 days with temperatures in the 90s (and 100s), the heat wave is over. A cold front delivered some temperamental thunderstorms on Monday. Rainfall ranged from a big fat zero between I-78 and I-195, to over 3 inches along the southeastern coast near Atlantic City.

Now we're seeing cooler, drier air filter into New Jersey. Not cool, crisp, and refreshing. Just more seasonable and more comfortable.

The frontal boundary has stalled just south of NJ. That "highway in the sky" means we will remain prone to cloud cover and occasional showers and thunderstorms in the coming days.

If you're looking for a bright sunny day, you'll have to wait more than a week. If you're looking for a widespread, statewide soaking, you'll also be waiting a while. Not good news for our spiraling drought concerns.

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Tuesday

We're starting the day with temperatures around 70 degrees, give or take. That's not really cool — but 5 to 10 degrees cooler than Monday morning. Dew points will continue to drop through midday. So it is going to be a much more comfortable, bearable day than the last eight.

Look for highs in the lower to mid 80s Tuesday afternoon. We'll see clouds and some sun. The farther north you go, the brighter the sky will be.

Meanwhile, spotty showers will likely clip southern New Jersey Tuesday. I would limit raindrops to the area south of Interstate 195. (Depending on the exact trajectory, those showers could stay south of the Atlantic City Expressway.) It may look dreary and drizzly from midday into part of the afternoon. But rainfall won't amount to much — maybe a few hundredths of an inch.

Tuesday night will be fairly comfortable, as low temperatures dip into the mid to upper 60s. It could be our coolest night in over two weeks.

There is a chance of a shower or brief downpour Tuesday night through early Wednesday morning.

Wednesday

Looking holistically at our entire suite of model guidance, there are two opportunities for a quick soaking on Wednesday: one in the early morning hours, one in the late evening. Not everyone will see rain Wednesday — it all depends on whether, when, and where little impulses set up. There is the opportunity for about an inch of rain if it really pours — I'm keeping fingers crossed that happens over a dry section of the state.

Otherwise, expect mostly cloudy skies and seasonably warm temperatures. Highs will make it to the mid 80s.

Thursday

Back into the soup. Heat and humidity return. Although it won't be extreme, dangerous, or prolonged heat like last time.

High temperatures on Thursday will soar into the lower 90s. The heat index may hit 95 degrees, so you are going to sweat.

Expect partly sunny skies and a strong southwest breeze. (That will likely keep the beaches hot.) There is a chance for a popup shower or thunderstorm — although I will say that Thursday is probably the lowest overall rain chance of the week.

Friday

Friday is where the forecast really starts to diverge and get muddy.

The Euro model shows a prominent cold front sweeping across the state in the afternoon, dragging through a round of scattered showers and thunderstorms.

But the GFS is a weaker solution, with just a few showers around.

Friday will still be pretty steamy. Highs scale back slightly into the upper 80s (maybe 90), due to cloud cover.

The Weekend & Beyond

I think Saturday has the potential to be a really nice summer day. Partly sunny and dry, with seasonable highs in the mid 80s.

But Sunday gets iffy again, as showers and clouds come back into view. If we can dodge raindrops, temperatures will be good. Again, we should max out in the mid 80s — typical for the last day of July.

As August begins next week, I fear we'll be heating up again. Most long-range models put us back in the 90s and 100s by the second week of August. And that means rain chances will be very limited, as real drought becomes more and more of a concern.

Meanwhile, the tropics remain very quiet. Hurricane development is not expected in the next week.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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