NJ weather: Two more days of heat, then much cooler and wetter
Well, we can officially call this record-breaking heat. 96 degrees at Atlantic City International Airport on Tuesday smashed the previous record of 92 set in 2008. Tuesday's high temperature of 95 degrees at Newark Airport tied the previous record for the date, set in 1973. Trenton missed the record high by a single degree.
Wednesday will end up a few degrees cooler than Tuesday — just enough for most of New Jersey to fall out of the potentially dangerous heat category. Forecast high temperatures range from the lower to mid 80s along the Jersey Shore, to the upper 80s across most of the state, to the lower 90s in urban areas.
A Heat Advisory remains in effect for limited areas of the state:
--Until 7 p.m. Wednesday... Northwestern Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties
--Until 8 p.m. Wednesday... Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Union counties
It will be a mostly to partly sunny day across the Garden State, once again with very little wind away from the immediate coast. We'll be watching the sky and radar for a popup shower or thunderstorm later, between about 4 p.m. and 10 p.m..
The rest of Wednesday night will be mostly clear and quiet. Overnight low temperatures will once again get stuck in the muggy lower to mid 70s.
We'll have to endure one more really steamy day on Thursday, with high temperatures back into the lower to mid 90s for all but northwestern and coastal New Jersey. Look for sunshine Thursday morning, turning to clouds by Thursday afternoon.
Eventually, a cold front will drag a round of scattered showers and thunderstorms through the state. NW NJ will see first raindrops around 2 p.m. Thursday, with most of the state getting wet Thursday night. The NAM paints some pretty heavy rain over central NJ around 10 p.m. — that's not a pinpoint or definite forecast, just a signal that we'll have to watch for some downpours. (No surprise given the energy and moisture (i.e. heat and humidity) in our highly charged atmosphere.)
The big cooldown arrives on Friday, but it comes at a cost. High temperatures will only reach the upper 70s or so — a big difference from the days-long stretch of 90s, and below-normal for early September. It's not going to be the crisp autumnlike day you might be craving, however. An on-shore flow will keep thick clouds over most of the state (at least for central and southern NJ). And lingering showers are likely too (especially around South Jersey). Not a pretty day, although certainly less sweaty than the rest of the week.
Unfortunately, it looks like unsettled, cloudy, cool, and occasionally damp weather will continue into the weekend too. (I almost headlined this post Of course it's going to rain this weekend!) There are a couple of forecast scenarios that could play out — the GFS model is quite wet for both Saturday and Sunday, while the Euro model dries out New Jersey from Saturday night through Sunday evening.
Regardless of rain chances, don't expect much sunshine over the weekend. Temperatures will be even cooler too, with thermometers hovering between about 65 and 75 degrees at all times.
The final question mark in this forecast is Tropical Storm Gordon, which made landfall overnight along the Gulf Coast. Gordon's rain shield and plentiful tropical moisture will drift over the Ark-La-Tex area, before getting caught up in the jet stream and head toward the east coast. Again, there are two scenarios at play for us. The GFS model shows some a period of very heavy rain from Sunday night to Tuesday morning. Meanwhile the Euro tracks Gordon's remnants further north producing just showers over us on Monday.
In either case, the next nice weather day here in New Jersey? Next Tuesday, at the earliest.