Record heat for NJ Wednesday, followed by rain and a big cooldown
Are you ready for a taste of summertime weather? More importantly, are you ready for the taste of fall that will follow?
It truly feels like a summer morning, as overnight temperatures only dipped to around 70 degrees. That primes thermometers for an unseasonably hot and humid day. We'll absolutely be in record territory Wednesday. Here are the record highs for October 2nd, as they stand now:
—New York (Central Park)... 90° (1927)
—Newark... 86° (2013)
—Long Branch... 85° (1986)
—Trenton... 88° (1927)
—Atlantic City... 85° (2013)
—Philadelphia... 87° (2002)
It is also important to note that Atlantic City International Airport has only hit 90 degrees twice in October (10/5/1959 and 10/7/2007). If ACY hits 91 degrees — which is my forecast — it would be a monthly high temperature record.
Wednesday afternoon's high temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 80s to lower 90s (for all but far NW NJ). Usually we don't have to talk about the heat index in October — but here we are! When you factor in the humidity, with dew points in the mid 60s, the heat index ("feels like" temperature) may pop as high as 95 degrees. Not quite dangerous heat, but certainly uncomfortable and unseasonable. This is about 20 degrees above-normal for early October.
You'll see a fair amount of hazy sunshine throughout Wednesday, with clouds increasing late-day. A stiff southwest breeze will occasionally gust over 20 mph.
Beaches may be very popular on this summery day. But please keep in mind, a high risk of rip currents continues for the Jersey Shore. Ocean wave heights will hover around 4 to 5 feet.
The heat and humidity will be short-lived. A cold front will start impacting northwestern New Jersey around 3 p.m. Wednesday. A few strong thunderstorm cells may pop up in our hot and humid atmosphere.
As we descend into Wednesday evening, scattered rain will spread southward. (Key word here: Scattered. It's not going to be heavy or steady.) The rain will cause an immediate cooldown.
Thursday will be a very different weather day, as periodic rain and drizzle pass through New Jersey all day long. The combination of soggy weather and thick clouds overhead will prevent thermometers from rising much. Thursday morning will be in the upper 50s (give or take). Thursday afternoon, only lower 60s at best.
The wet weather will exit Friday morning. (Most models suggest final raindrops by 5 a.m.) Skies will quickly clear to sunshine. And then we get the whoosh of cooler, drier air. Friday will be a blustery day, with wind gusts up to 35 mph. High temperatures will be limited to the mid 60s.
Our weather finally settles down on Saturday. It's going to get pretty chilly Saturday morning — if skies are clear enough, humidity low enough, and wind speed calm enough, there could be widespread 40s to start the weekend. Highs will only reach the lower 60s, several degrees below seasonal normals. It will be a pleasant autumn day, with dry air, dry weather, and plentiful sunshine.
Clouds are set to increase on Sunday. Temperatures should too, rising into the seasonable lower 70s. A few rain showers are possible, especially late-day and especially along the coast.
Another frontal complex will impact New Jersey early next week. And we could see an extended period of soaking rain — certainly a welcome sight, given our recent drought concerns. However, the timing of this wet weather is still very much in question as models waffle back and forth. For now, I'll say that a period of rain is likely sometime from Sunday night through Tuesday. We do have the potential for an inch or two of total rainfall. But again, this is a shaky forecast — we'll add more detail and more confidence as we get closer.
Stay cool Wednesday! Stay warm Thursday and beyond!