If you like steamy summer days, you’re in for a treat.
After dealing with nasty thunderstorms earlier this week and refreshingly dry July weather on Wednesday, New Jersey is in line for another sizzling heat wave — just in time for the weekend.
For most of the Garden State, temperatures will be creeping up into the high 80s to low 90s on Thursday and Friday, then pushing into the mid- to upper 90s on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Although many of those days will be humid, making it feel hotter than the actual air temperature, the humidity levels probably won’t be as high as they were during last week’s oppressive heat wave, said Rob Reale, a meteorologist at WeatherWorks in Hackettstown.
Helping to keep the humidity down is the fact that the current weather pattern will have more of a westerly flow, bringing drier air compared to last week, when our region was hit with a southerly flow of air from the very humid Gulf of Mexico, Reale said.
In advance of the upcoming heat wave, the National Weather Service has placed most of the Garden State under an excessive heat watch, effective from Saturday morning through Sunday evening. The watch will likely be upgraded to a warning the closer we get to Saturday.
Heat wave No. 4?
The latest blast of hot air will be the third or fourth heat wave of the year, depending on where you live. (A heat wave is typically defined as three or more consecutive days with air temperatures of 90 degrees or higher.)
The longest heat wave so far this year was the one that just ended on Monday, July 18, which stretched five days in several parts of the state. Forecasters said that one could be matched by the upcoming heat wave.
• Hillsborough had a heat wave in late June, with readings of 92 on June 19, 93 on June 20, 90 on June 21, according to data from the New Jersey Weather and Climate Network at Rutgers University. Hillsborough had its second heat wave of the year in early July, with temperatures hitting 94 on July 6, 92 on July 7 and 91 on July 8. The township just had a five-day string of days with 90+ temperatures, with readings of 92, 90, 91, 91 and 93 from July 14 through July 18.
• In New Brunswick, there were lots of hot days in June but no string of three straight days at 90 or higher that month. July has been a different story, with two heat waves so far. The city had 94, 91, 90 readings from July 6 to July 8, and 92, 91, 92, 91 and 94 readings from July 14 to July 18.
• Atlantic City had no official heat waves in May or June, but came very close in early July with a string of days at 92, 92 and 88 degrees, according to weather service data. However, the city pulled off a streak of five straight days with temperatures of 90 degrees or higher (92, 93, 94, 90 and 93) from July 14 through July 18.
• Newark had no heat waves in May or June, but came very close on Memorial Day weekend, with temperatures of 91 on May 25, 93 on May 26, 89 on May 27, 96 on May 28, 88 on May 29. In early July, Newark had its first official heat wave of the year, with temperatures of 95, 95 and 90 from July 6 through July 8. Newark just wrapped up its second heat wave, with the mercury hitting 91 on July 14, 94 on July 15, 91 on July 16, 93 on July 17 and 95 on July 18.
• Trenton had its first heat wave from June 19 to June 21, then another one from July 6 to July 8. The city was only one degree away from its third heat wave of the year last week, with the thermometer hitting 93 degrees on July 14 but getting stuck at 89 degrees on July 15 and July 16.
New York lagging behind
For our friends in New York City, there’s actually been no official heat waves this year in Central Park, none at John F. Kennedy International Airport and one at LaGuardia Airport. At LaGuardia, the mercury ranged from 91 to 97 degrees each day from July 14 to July 18, but the other two major climate stations in NYC weren’t able to get a string of three 90-degree days.
That will change this weekend, forecasters said.
By Len Melisurgo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com