Forecasters will be keeping a close eye on the record books this weekend as a surge of tropical air will sweep into New Jersey and push temperatures into the 80s on Friday, then into the 90s on Saturday and Sunday.
Some parts of eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey could make the all-time record highs for any day during the month of May.
But in order for that to happen in the Garden State, the mercury would have soar to 99 degrees in Atlantic City, Newark and Trenton. That’s the overall May record at the National Weather Service.
Atlantic City’s all-time record was set in 1969, Newark’s record was set in 1996 and Trenton’s record was established in 1911 and matched in 1986, according to weather service data.
The daily record highs for May 21 appear to be more reachable: Atlantic City’s record is 93 degrees, set in 1996, Trenton’s record is 94 degrees, set in 1934, and Newark’s record is 96 degrees, set in 1996.
From warm to steamy
There’s some irony in even considering a record or near-record heat this weekend. Temperatures in May have been slightly cooler than average, with about half of the state having only 80 degrees – and some areas seeing no more than 80 degrees this month.
Newark Liberty International Airport has only three 80-degree days this month (May 16, May 17 and May 18), and Atlantic City International Airport in Pomona reached 80 for the very first time this month on Tuesday, when mercury climbed to 81 .
Trenton Mercer Airport in Ewing has not had one 80-degree day so far this month, as of Thursday morning. It did come close, however, with 79-degree readings recorded on May 15 and May 16. (Trenton had two 80-degree days in April, but none in May.)
New York City’s Central Park is one of the few places in our region that hasn’t had any 80-degree readings this month, but none for the whole year, according to weather service data.
But all of these stats will soon become obsolete, with temperatures forecast to rise into the 80s in most areas of New Jersey, New York and eastern Pennsylvania on Friday, then into the 90s on Saturday and again on Sunday.
Cooler at the Jersey Shore
One region that is likely to miss out on this mini-heat wave will be the Jersey Shore, where cool ocean temperatures and a slight sea breeze could keep the mercury along coastal areas stuck in the 70s and some weekend, according to forecasts from AccuWeather.
Mostly sunny skies are expected on the Shore on Saturday, and partly sunny skies are on Sunday, so it should make for nice beach days. Just keep in mind, the humidity will be high, so it could feel uncomfortable laying on the sand.
Current weather radar
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Len Melisurgo may be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com.