Sweat, work in the heat

Joe March, of Orbit Freight Line of West Deptford, quenches his thirst after adding gas to the Sunoco station in Egg Harbor Township when temperatures hit the mid-90s on Monday, July 2.

It will not just be the heat or humidity Wednesday, but the potential for thunderstorms that will bring a variety of potential weather hazards mid-week.

Temperatures will start off in the 70s on Wednesday morning. You’ll feel the increase in the mugginess in the air as well, with dew points in the sticky low 70s.

On Tuesday, Atlantic City International Airport reached 90 degrees, which will possibly kick off a six-day heat wave. More on why I say “possibly” and not “definitely” a little later.

For now, it’ll be hazy, hot and humid. Why do we see this? Barry’s moisture finally makes it into the area. Furthermore, an area of hot air will be pumped in from the Carolinas around a mid-level ridge of high pressure. If you read the column a few days ago, you’ll remember I said it’s that combination that will bring us our stifling feel, and now we have it.

Temperatures will quickly jump into the 80s. We’ll likely see a few 90s around by noon, all under a mix of sun and clouds. High temperatures on the mainland will be in the mid-90s! Factor in the dew points and you have a heat index in the low 100s during the afternoon. Yes, the shore will get a sea breeze against the southwesterly wind, but highs will still top out around 90.

While models don’t show it, I’d imagine there’ll be at least a thunderstorm around after 3 p.m. The main activity, which the models do show, will develop between 9 p.m. and midnight with an approaching low pressure system. Regardless, it will be far from a washout. Turn on the air conditioner, morning lows Thursday will be in the mid- to upper 70s.

700 millibar temperatures

This is a loop of temperatures at the 700 millibar level, or about 10,000 feet above sea-level between Wednesday ad Monday. Note how the yellows (warmer air) move from the Rockies into the region. 

Thursday will have the same high humidity, but with a mostly cloudy to cloudy sky. It is for this reason alone that highs may not reach 90 degrees, though I do still have a 90 in the mainland forecast. Regardless, isolated morning storms will give way to increased afternoon coverage. As long as you don’t need large chunks of dry time, your outdoor plans will be fine.

Once that low pressure passes, our flow turns more westerly aloft. Like a blowtorch, we will see extremely hot air from the Rockies. This will only reinforce the heat for the weekend, which is, coincidentally, the hottest time of the year, on average.

Friday will start off in the mid-70s and rise to the mid-90s on the mainland. The south wind will be the savior for those who don’t like the heat. The Delaware Bay communities and shore towns will stay in the mid-80s, putting the lid on the heat. It’ll actually be a good day for the beach, with plentiful sunshine. Don’t forget to put on the sunscreen, though.

We could break a maximum low temperature on Saturday morning, as we likely fail to drop below 80. That sets us up for what should be our first 100-degree day in seven years at A.C. Airport. That’d be a record, and the heat index of 110 is a number only seen maybe once a year, on average. The shore will even cook, in the mid-90s, again with full, scorching sunshine.

Meteorologist

This is my first newspaper but not my first forecast for NJ. I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology from Rutgers. Two TV internships gave me a taste for the newsroom. Then, after nearly 4 years in private NJ weather, I'm forecasting South Jersey for you.

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