One more day of dangerous heat, sweet relief ahead

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The essential

Tuesday could be one of the worst days for this part of the week. (Which is basically four weeks now.) Definitely in dangerous hot and humid territory – stay cool, stay hydrated.

The big cooldown is coming soon. The transition will be a slow process, including two rounds of thunderstorms. But the gain will be mild, as air conditioners will have a break by the end of the week.

Tuesday

It’s already disgusting. Nighttime temperatures did not drop below 80 degrees, thanks to the abundant humidity in the air. So it’s a very hot start to another very hot day.

Thermometers are expected to climb into the upper mid-90s on Tuesday afternoon. Factor in the humidity and you get a heat index (“feels like” or “apparent” temperature) as high as 105 degrees. Most definitely on the extreme side – you need to take care of yourself in such conditions.

A Heat Notice remains in effect until 8 p.m. for any or all of NJ’s 19 counties.

The heat index could climb to 105 degrees on Tuesday. (Townsquare Media / AerisWeather)
The heat index could climb to 105 degrees on Tuesday. (Townsquare Media / AerisWeather)

We will see a mixture of sun and clouds. There will also be breezes, keeping the beaches warm. (Although the ocean is again quite cold along the southern beaches, due to upwelling.)

JERSEY SHORE REPORT: Tue 8/9

A few thunderstorms will likely start to appear Tuesday afternoon as a weak cold front drifts gently southeast through Tuesday evening. Our atmosphere is fully charged, so showers are likely. (Precipitation totals could exceed a quick inch in places.) Heavy lightning is also likely. Strong winds are possible.

A small bubble of instability over New Jersey could bring gusty thunderstorms Tuesday night. (NOAA/SPC)
A small bubble of instability over New Jersey could bring gusty thunderstorms Tuesday night. (NOAA/SPC)

The rain will persist into Tuesday night, maneuvering back to the south coast of NJ again. It will be sticky, but not as suffocating as last night. Low temperatures are expected to dip into the lower 70s.

Wednesday

You will notice a change in the air. For northern and central New Jersey (at least), it will be slightly less humid with dew points dropping into the 60s. And high temperatures are expected to drop a little, although it will still be very hot. I think we’re going to go from 80 degrees in North Jersey, mid upper 80s in central Jersey, to near 90s for interior South Jersey.

Wednesday will start partly sunny. And then the risk of thunderstorms will increase again in the afternoon, evening and night.

Between these two rounds of thunderstorms, I think everyone in New Jersey will be at least a little wet. The potential is there for an inch or two of total precipitation. Not a total anti-drought, but it would be healthy rain. And essential.

Thursday

The transition from hot to normal ends.

Some models suggest the rain will persist Thursday morning. I’m not totally convinced – realistically I think we’ll see quick and clear drying.

More importantly, a final frontal boundary will introduce much drier air to New Jersey. As the humidity drops, our air mass will become much more comfortable.

High temperatures on Thursday will still be seasonally warm, likely reaching the mid-80s. Sun is expected to come out no later than Thursday afternoon.

Friday

As things stand, I have no hesitation in calling Friday a spectacular summer day. Sunny sky. Dry weather. (I know, I know, the drought issues.) High temps in the lower 80s. Ridiculously low dew points, in the 40s and 50s. What a change of pace from the last four weeks. And probably enough to give your air conditioner a break, for a few hours at least.

The long term forecast

The good weather will also continue over the weekend. Highs on Saturday will be limited to around 80 degrees. It’s about 5 degrees below normal for mid-August. But with plenty of sunshine, it should be warm enough for all outdoor summer activities.

Sunday promises to be a little cloudier and a little warmer, between 80 and 85 degrees. Always dry.

And the jury is still out on next week’s predictions. The GFS model favors a series of wet weather days, starting with a real soaking weather in the Tuesday to Wednesday period. Meanwhile, the Euro is showing mostly dry weather.

I wouldn’t put your hopes too high for the wet fix, given how many times the rain forecast has broken out this summer. At the same time, a return to unstable weather conditions would make sense given the weather pattern. So let’s wait and see how things will unfold.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: Your forecast for 5 days and more

Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook Where Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

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