Wednesday NJ weather: Smoke and haze still in the air, warming up
The Bottom Line
This forecast is all about smoke, heat, and maybe a little bit of rain.
Our weather pattern has been incredibly stagnant lately. (This month will almost definitely be New Jersey's driest May of all time, with records dating back to 1895.) Our trend of quiet, consistent weather is changing, as we do have some variable conditions showing up in the forecast here. Some waves in the atmosphere, if you will.
A trio of wildfires continue to burn in Nova Scotia in eastern Canada, sending a thick plume of smoke directly toward New Jersey. That will have three impacts on Wednesday's weather in particular: a hazy sky, diminished air quality, and vivid sunrise/sunset.
Our weather turns summerlike, as a warming trend kicks into high gear for Thursday and Friday. 90s are a possibility, away from the coast.
And then a backdoor cold front will lead to some issues on Saturday. There are still some questions regarding when and how it might affect NJ's weather. Probably some rain and a cooldown will be in play for the first weekend of June.
Pleasant weather, although the concentration of smoke particles in our atmosphere is significant.
An Air Quality Alert has been issued for all 21 counties of New Jersey on Wednesday. It is "Code Orange" — that means the air may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. The very young, the very old, and those with heart/lung issues should consider limiting time outdoors.
Most of NJ will see hazy sunshine throughout Wednesday. A bank of stratus clouds will come and go along the southern and eastern edges of the state.
Temperatures are starting in the 40s and 50s — status quo as of late. Highs Wednesday afternoon should reach the mid 70s for most. That is a few degrees warmer than Tuesday, and close to normal for this time of year.
You'll barely notice a breeze, but it will be blowing off the 63-degree ocean. So Jersey Shore communities will be held closer to that number, rather than 70s.
I am hopeful the smoke concentrations will decrease Wednesday night. (Although there's no guarantee they'll stay that way, until the Canadian fires are brought under control.)
Wednesday night will be clear and comfortable, with low temperatures averaging mid 50s by Thursday morning.
The warmup continues Thursday, as high temps return to the lower 80s away from the coast. Skies should stay pretty sunny, although smoky haze is a possibility once again.
A nice sea breeze should keep the beaches closer to 70 degrees.
Humidity levels will rise on Thursday too, as dew points surge toward 60. That's not quite steamy or tropical. But you probably will notice some stickiness in the air. And you may sweat extra.
The hottest day of the week. Inland New Jersey will shoot for 90+ degrees. The coast will be warmer too — in the 70s and 80s — although a nice sea breeze will prevent you from sweating and roasting too much.
Skies will be partly sunny on Friday. Some forecast models paint a shower or thunderstorm over northern NJ around the late afternoon hours. But I have opted for a dry forecast at this time.
Things turn iffy as we dive into the first weekend of June, as a backdoor cold front and broad area of low pressure come into view. Backdoor fronts are especially tricky — so named because they introduce cooler air from the northeast, instead of the northwest.
For now, I will make two vague statements with shaky confidence:
1.) It will turn cooler this weekend.
2.) We will probably see some rain showers, at least.
Exactly how and when that backdoor front will impact New Jersey's weather is very much up in the air. The GFS model favors a Saturday morning arrival, with clouds, rain, and miserably cool temperatures lingering all the way through the weekend. Meanwhile, the Euro has a quick burst of showers midday Saturday, followed by a temporary dip in temperatures.
My latest forecast takes a "middle of the road" approach. I do not favor a wash-out scenario for Saturday, although a few pockets of rain could get in your way. High temperatures Saturday morning will push into the 70s. Maybe even 80 in South Jersey. And then thermometers will dip as the day goes on, following a quick round of scattered showers.
The Extended Forecast
Cooler 60s seem like a good bet for Sunday.
And then the extended forecast wholly depends on whether the "lingering storm system" or "only temporary cooldown" solution wins out. I'm not even taking a stab at early next week's temperature forecast yet. (The benefit of only publishing a relative 5 day forecast.)
We will see how things continue to develop.