Still hot on Friday, but much cooler by the weekend

Highs will again soar to around 90° on the South Jersey mainland on Friday, and even the beaches will be warmer than the past few days with less of a sea-breeze. The day looks sunny and mostly dry, although there could be a late day thunderstorm.  The weekend also looks dry, but it will be much cooler for all with highs mainly in the 60s.

Courtesy: AccuWeather.Com

Meteorology is what I like to call an “inexact science.”

But if you simplify our forecast over the last two days, I suppose you can say that weather forecasting in South Jersey is easy.

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Here was my forecast for Wednesday and Thursday: Mostly sunny skies with a high from 67 to 92. That’s a mere 25-degree spread, in many cases over a relatively short distance of just 5 or 10 miles. With that large a spread, how can a meteorologist be wrong?

Pardon my attempt to use humor to draw attention to the impressive and dramatic contrast in temperatures over the last few days between the shore and the mainland.

That contrast will shrink somewhat Friday, as winds shift more from the west, limiting the ocean’s cooling influence and likely allowing the shore to share in the warmth. Expect another mostly sunny and hot 90-degree day on the mainland Friday, but even the shore may sneak past 80, presuming any sea breeze is kept at bay. While there could be an isolated thunderstorm in a few spots toward evening, most of the day and all of the weekend should remain dry.

The sea-breeze reminds us how pivotal wind direction is in South Jersey temperature forecasting, and another wind shift over the weekend will lead to more drastic temperature changes. Winds will come from the east Saturday and southeast Sunday, directly off the ocean, which allows the cooler ocean air to penetrate well inland. So the weekend looks partly sunny, dry and pleasant, but compared to our current summer preview, it will certainly feel much cooler. That will especially be the case on the mainland, which basked in 90-degree warmth for three straight days.

A somewhat unsettled pattern sets up next week, which will lead to several chances of rain. The first arrives in the form of some showers Monday, which will be followed by the potential for a steadier rain by the middle of the week.

Ideally, the unsettled weather will depart in time to secure a dry Memorial Day weekend.

I’ll have more on that forecast soon, so stay tuned.

Contact: 609-272-7247

Twitter @ACPressSkeldon

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