It’s the first Friday of fall, but it will probably feel more like the first Friday of summer with abundant sun and unseasonably warm temperatures. No, we won’t come close to challenging any record warmth, as Friday’s record high of 93, set in 1970, is quite safe. However, highs will be running a solid ten degrees warmer than average, as we wrap up the work and school week feeling more like late June rather than late September.


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Even the ocean thinks it’s mid-summer, not early fall. At last check, the ocean temperature is a warm 72 to 74 degrees, an impressive seven degrees above our early autumn average. With highs near 80 on the sand and 70-something-degree ocean water, I can safely forecast the beaches will likely be more crowded than they normally would be in late September. Whether you’re taking the day off or perhaps playing hooky, something I can’t officially encourage, do be aware that the rip current risk is in the moderate range, and will probably remain there through the weekend. That’s worth noting because most beaches are unguarded this late in the season, so please be mindful and cautious if taking advantage of the fine fall beach weather.

Now it will start to feel like fall this weekend, as an autumnal air mass arrives from the Canadian Maritimes, courtesy of a back door cold front that will slide down the coast early Saturday morning. The front will not bring any clouds or rain, but it will deliver a shift in the wind and some cooler air that will create more of a fallish feel as the weekend unfolds.


For Thursday and Friday, September 29-30, 2016

I expect a mix of clouds and sunshine both Saturday and Sunday, with occasionally brisk ocean breezes bringing more seasonably cool air into South Jersey. That will eventually mean highs closer to 70 rather than 85 for a few days early next week, and crisp and comfy 50-degree nights that will be great for sleeping.

The blast of fall will not be a permanent one, as a gradual warming trend is expected to develop next week. And while temperatures and winds will change from time to time in this weather pattern, the dryness looks to persist indefinitely.

Meteorologist/Staff Writer

Broadcast meteorologist for 15 years (Marquette, Michigan; Burlington, VT; Albany, NY; South Jersey). NBC40 Chief meteorologist from December 2003 through December 2014. Press meteorologist since January 2015