Good Friday morning to you, South Jersey, and T.G.I.F! The good news is that it is, indeed, the end of the work week, and the weekend is in sight. The bad news is that we are still well within our heat wave, and today is shaping up to be the hottest day of them all. High pressure to the west will continue to decay and drift to the south, but not before we feel another blast of hot and moist air travel up from the Gulf of Mexico via a strong southwesterly flow at the surface and aloft. Heat advisories are posted for the entire region, including Salem county, until 8pm. Heat indices are expected to reach and/or exceed the 100 degree mark. Excessive heat warnings are posted for Gloucester, Camden, all of Burlington, and Ocean county until 8pm for forecasted heat index values over 105 degrees. Regardless of where you are, this is a very serious heat wave we are in, and I ask you all to please do all you can to stay safe, cool, and hydrated today. High temperatures will once again reach the mid to upper 90s on the mainland and 90 on the beaches with a southwest wind at 10mph. No relief in sight overnight either; conditions remain just as muggy as they are this morning. Lows will only fall into the upper 70s under partly cloudy skies with a light southwest wind at 5 to 10mph.
The weekend holds the key to our relief, and it comes in the form of a slow moving cold front that is currently in the Midwest as of this post. This front will slowly drift to the southeast over the next day or two and arrive in the Mid-Atlantic by Saturday evening. Timing is the biggest concern for not only the arrival of this front, but also for the formation of thunderstorms. This could spell trouble for the Night in Venice celebration in Ocean City, but Dan, Sydney, and myself will keep a close eye on things. For now, though, I'll leave the mention of some late day thunderstorms on Saturday with one more day above the 90 degree mark on the mainland and upper 80s on the coast. Once that front passes, it is expected to stall just to the southeast of the Cape May coastline. As a result, instability remains for another day, but we replace the 90s with 80s and the dew points drop into the mid to upper 60s...not great, but at least better than the mid 70s for dew points. A brief break occurs on Monday as high pressure nudges in from the north, giving us partly cloudy skies and highs in the mid 80s on the mainland and low 80s on the beach. That stalled front will linger and drift slightly northward, bringing the instability right back into our backyard. Tuesday through Thursday, while highs will be in the mid 80s, all have at least a slight chance at some pop-up thunderstorms.
I know I've mentioned it a lot this week, but especially today...please take it easy out there and take all necessary precautions outside. Stay safe, stay cool, and stay hydrated. Don't overdo it outside.
Have a great weekend!
- Meteorologist Adam Rutt