Cooler to hot, possible rain on the horizon
As of this week, part of New Jersey — 12.34% of the state, to be exact — is officially in drought. Lawns are brown, streams are drying up and voluntary water restrictions are already in effect.
Our recent spell of dry weather has been a hot topic of conversation lately. So I decided to take a deep dive into our spiraling drought situation. What is drought and how do you monitor it? When did it start? Who is worse off in New Jersey? How bad is that? And how much rain do we need to collect?
Welcome to August! In the back of summer, it is the 2nd hottest month and the 2nd wettest month in New Jersey (on average). We’ll get a taste of both of these stats in the coming week.
We are coming off of a stellar summer weekend, with glorious weather Saturday and Sunday. Plus – bonus! – it rained during the night. Over half an inch of rain fell in places. Not one anti-droughtbut at least the wet weather “rewinds the clock” about a week on our dry state.
As the showers roll out, the rest of Monday looks… weird. It might be our coolest day since late June, although still humid with barely a breeze.
Heat and humidity rise again on Tuesday as the widespread 90s return to New Jersey. The humidity will return on Wednesday, which will make for a pleasant summer day.
We face a dangerously hot, near-record day on Thursday as temperatures approach 100 degrees. And then rainy and stormy weather is forecast for Friday.
As of this writing (6 a.m.), the last tail of this patchy batch of rain is still growing in the middle of New Jersey. Radar trends push most rain out of the state around 8 a.m., with the last raindrops arriving late Monday morning.
The sky will become partly sunny Monday afternoon. More ostensibly, it is not going to be all that hot. High temperatures will range from the mid 70s in North Jersey to the mid 80s in South Jersey. So we’ll call it “about 80 degrees”. This is a little below normal for the first of August. And also, potentially our coolest day since the end of June.
It’s still going to be humid though, with a dew point near 70. And with barely a breeze, the air will be still and sticky.
Monday evening remains calm, with mostly clear skies and seasonal humidity. Thermometers will hit the dew point around 70 degrees.
Return to heat and humidity. With mostly sunny skies, high temperatures will reach the lower 90s (far from the coast). The heat index (“felt like” or “apparent temperature”) may enter the mid-90s.
A cold front will sweep through New Jersey late Tuesday afternoon. The risk of showers or thunderstorms at the end of the day is not zero. But it looks quite moisture-starved and quite dry. So I’ve chosen to leave the chance of rain out of my on-air forecast, as it will be very isolated at best. (Most likely to the north.)
It will still be very hot – sporadic temperatures of 90 degrees are possible. But the humidity decreases a little, which makes a summer day comfortable and pleasant.
Expect mostly sunny skies and dry weather. Most highs will hit the upper 80s.
Thursday will be not be a pleasant day as we watch a return from a day of dangerous and near record-breaking heat.
Most high temperatures are expected to reach the mid to upper 90s on Thursday. 100 degrees is not out of the question. With moderate to high humidity, the heat index will likely be in “the danger zone” in the lower three digits. So it’s a ‘look after yourself’ day – have loose, light colored clothes ready and extra hydration ready to go.
A popup thunderstorm is possible around dinnertime Thursday. Given the juicy air, if a thunderstorm forms it is likely to become strong or severe.
The long term forecast
The end of the week will bring our best chance of widespread driving rain in some time. Models sporadically spat out precipitation totals in the range of 1-2 inches. And boy do we need it.
The latest forecasts reduce the overall precipitation a little. And the timeline is still unclear. The GFS puts almost all of our showers and thunderstorms on Friday. But the Euro also keeps chances of rain in the forecast for much of the weekend. We will take these impacts further into account as the week progresses.
Amidst rain and cloud, temperatures will likely be maintained near normal in the mid-80s (more or less) through the first weekend of August.
Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.
What would happen to NJ if we were attacked by nuclear weapons?
Models show what would happen during an air detonation, meaning the bomb would be detonated into the sky, causing extensive damage to structures and people below; or what would happen in a detonation on the ground, which would have the alarming result of nuclear fallout. The models do not take into account the number of casualties that would result from the fallout.