Hot and juicy atmosphere, nasty thunderstorms
Last week’s coastal gloom is over. And now it’s time for a summer weather.
You will definitely notice some humidity in the air on Monday. Not stuffy, just there. This humidity will be a big factor in Monday’s summer feeling. And in the stormy weather that was to come later.
Monday is going to turn into a severe weather day. Period, period. Widespread heavy to severe thunderstorms are likely between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Gusts of wind, heavy rain and violent lightning are our biggest concerns. Hail and a tornado are also possible.
So you need to stay “in the know about the weather” Monday afternoon and evening as these storms arrive. Pay close attention to changing weather conditions and take them seriously.
We will lose the humidity on Tuesday, but will pick up some wind.
Two more rains are coming this week. One from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning, and another series of showers on Friday.
Then we cook, because the heat rises next weekend. The 90s are likely for much of New Jersey by Saturday afternoon.
Let’s talk about the timing of the storm first. Next, we will take a closer look at the expected impacts.
We start Monday with some patchy fog and temperatures in the 60s. It looks like a pleasant June morning.
The sky will be partly sunny until Monday morning and noon. High temperatures will reach around 75-80 degrees. Pretty close to where we met on Sunday. Hot and humid enough to make you sweat, and eventually go for the shorts and skirts.
A spot of showers or a light thunderstorm is possible at any time on Monday. (The models specifically identify 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. as the best chance for winding raindrops.)
Our main event will start around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon, more or less. Fueled by heat (instability) and moisture (humidity) in the air, and triggered by the approach of a cold front (lift), a line of strong to severe thunderstorms will likely impact the whole of State.
The most widespread and strongest thunderstorm activity is likely to be between approximately 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Ugh, coinciding perfectly with the evening rush.
Storms are expected to largely descend and leave the state around 8 or 9 p.m. Monday evening. And then skies will clear, while humidity levels and temperatures drop overnight.
This is not one of those “conditional” weather situations, where if do storms form could be strong or severe. No. There will be thunderstorms, and they will pack a punch.
Without getting too technical, these storms will have a lot of instability (energy) to work with. CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy) of 2,000 to 3,000 J/kg is quite high here in New Jersey. Dew points will also rise by nearly 70 degrees, adding plenty of moisture to fuel soaking storms.
In terms of geography, it’s pretty clear that the strongest storms of the day will be the first burst along the western edge of the state. Storms are expected to fizzle at least a little as cooler, more stable air approaches along the Jersey Shore.
Overall, the biggest concern on Monday will be wind. The thunderstorms should grow and become linear fairly quickly given the advance of the cold front towards the west. Gusts of 40+ mph are likely and 60+ mph are possible. It’s strong enough to bring down trees and power lines, and make driving conditions particularly unpleasant. Therefore, this is the main reason you don’t want to travel during the strongest Monday afternoon/evening storms.
Concern number two is heavy rain, which could cause ponding and flooding of low-lying, poorly drained areas. Keep in mind that the strongest storms will coincide with the evening commute of most New Jersey residents. Driving in blinding rain is no fun at all.
Dangerous cloud-to-ground flash is also a concern. By definition, every thunderstorm contains lightning. And the atmosphere must be charged enough to give a noisy spectacle before, during and after the storms.
Hail is possible. And I can’t rule out one tornado or two. They are not at the top of the list, but certainly potential impacts to keep in mind.
I suspect SPC/NWS will issue a watch around noon on Monday. Remember, this is only a formal warning that atmospheric ingredients are gathering for dangerous weather. Warnings are issued when storms are imminent, and that’s when you want to act, change your plans, and take shelter in a sturdy building.
The arrival of a new air mass will bring a reversal to clearer, drier and more pleasant weather on Tuesday.
50 in the morning, 70 in the afternoon. So it’s not gonna be that much cooler – temperatures are still expected to hover at or above seasonal normals. It will feel much less humid and more comfortable too, as the dew points date back to the 50s.
We will have lots of sunshine throughout Tuesday. The northwest wind can blow for a few hours, with gusts of over 25 mph. Given the heat, sun and dry air, I think the breeze will be refreshing rather than annoying.
The coolest day of the week.
NW NJ and the Pine Barrens could touch 40s Wednesday morning as the core of dry air passes overhead. On Wednesday, the highs will reach nearly 70 degrees as the sky changes from sun to clouds.
Our next storm system will arrive late Wednesday bringing rain showers. I don’t see anything crazy developing here – no severe weather, just rain, mostly at night.
Some models indicate continued rain past 8 a.m. Thursday morning. But the rest of the day should be good. The sky will slowly clear to partial sunshine.
And temperatures will begin to warm again, thanks to the return of southerly winds. Thursday’s highs are expected to reach the mid-70s of the season. The shoreline will likely be a few degrees cooler than inland areas.
Friday and beyond
The warm-up continues. From hot to very hot to frankly hot.
On Friday we might see a few showers seeping in. The best chance currently seems to lie in the southern half of New Jersey. High temperatures will hit the lower 80s, despite raindrops and scattered clouds.
Saturday will be the hottest day of the week. In fact, the hottest day of the season so far, as temperatures soar into the 90s across most of the state. Time to turn on the air conditioner and/or open the pool for the season, perhaps? And be sure to dress for the warm weather and stay hydrated, of course.
A cold front will put an end to the heat on Sunday. And it will also bring a series of potentially severe thunderstorms. But the timing of this frontal crossing is in question. The Euro model favors Sunday morning, which results in a wet start to the day and a cooler end to the day. Meanwhile, the GFS paints later storms and therefore overall warmer temperatures on Sunday. We’ll see how it plays out – just know that things are likely to get stormy at one point on Sunday.
As with any potentially dangerous weather situation, our entire team is on standby to help you stay “in the know about the weather”. Live coverage will continue on air and online throughout the day, to help you stay ahead of nasty storms. Thanks, as always, for following. And please be smart and stay safe out there.
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.
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