A brief downpour will be possible Wednesday too, thanks to our hot and juicy atmosphere.

Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, July 12, 2017...

Wednesday: Hot and Humid

Believe or not, we are already approaching the peak of summer. On average, New Jersey's hottest day of the year falls somewhere between July 17 and July 24. So it's no surprise that we have more heat and humidity in the forecast. Even so, it's very important to pay attention to the forecast. Especially as Thursday looks to exceed the "dangerous heat" threshold.

Wednesday's high temperature is forecast to reach the upper 80s to lower 90s. Even the beaches will be very warm, in the 80s, as the land breeze overcomes the sea breeze for most of the day. We'll see a mix of sun and clouds overhead.

Just like Tuesday, a thunderstorm and/or brief downpour will be possible from late Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday evening. I think the spread and threat of the storms will be less than Tuesday, with just an isolated storm popping up in our juicy air. According to the latest model run, the best chance for raindrops will be in the northern third of New Jersey.

Wednesday night will be steamy and stifling, with low temperatures only falling into the 70s for the third night in a row. There could be a few showers and sprinkles hanging around overnight too.

Thursday: Potentially Dangerous Heat and Humidity

The heat and humidity will kick up another notch on Thursday, leading to potentially dangerous conditions. I don't use that word casually — Thursday will be the kind of day where you have to be aware of the heat's impacts on your body. Frequent breaks and constant hydration will be necessary if you spend any time outside. Air conditioning will be your friend.

Thursday's high temperatures are forecast to spike into the lower to mid 90s. (Vulnerable record highs may be in jeopardy.) Add in the humidity, and the heat index ("feels like" temperature) will push above 100 degrees for much of the Garden State. That combination of hot air and high humidity is what makes this weather hazardous.

An Excessive Heat Watch has been issued for the Philadelphia metro area on Thursday. On the Jersey side of the Delaware River, that includes urban sections of Mercer, NW Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties. The watch will probably be upgraded to a warning by Thursday morning.

By late-day Thursday - say around 4 p.m. - we could see rain showers knocking on the door of NW NJ. However, it looks like most of the state won't see raindrops until Thursday evening at the earliest. So don't expect much relief on what might be the hottest day of the summer.

Rain will continue to spread south and east through Thursday night. It will still feel quite tropical, with low temperatures once again only falling into the 70s for most of the state.

Friday: Wet, Maybe Cooler, Still Steamy

Forecasting the weather is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The more you stare at the pieces, the more you can piece together. However, sometimes it takes a while to get a sense of the whole picture. Especially if your dog stole a few of the puzzle pieces. (Yes, that really happened to me once!)

We're still missing a few pieces of Friday's forecast puzzle. So I still remain a bit puzzled about what the day will look like. It may very well turn into one of those "tale of two Jerseys" situations, where the weather in North Jersey is dramatically different than South Jersey.

At the very least, Friday does look occasionally wet across the entire Garden State, as waves of showers and thunderstorms push through. Downpours will be possible. Skies will be mostly cloudy. That should keep temperatures cooler, especially to the north.

Our latest high temperature forecast for Friday ranges from the mid 70s in far North Jersey to near 90 degrees in South Jersey. That's a wide and precarious forecast — any little change in the precipitation, cloud cover, or wind forecast could shift the cooler temperatures southward or the warmer temperatures northward. Regardless of where you are, humidity will remain high on Friday, so it's going to be a steamy, tropical day.

So Friday is kind of a coin flip, but almost certainly unsettled and cooler than Thursday. We'll keep you posted as the forecast continues to evolve.

Weekend: Great!

A cold front will "sweep out the junk" late Friday night through early Saturday morning, setting the scene for another glorious summer weekend!

Any and all rain should come to an end by sunrise Saturday. Residual morning clouds should erode away by lunchtime, leading to mostly sunny skies for the rest of the weekend. As dew points drop from the 70s to the 60s, it won't be as humid this weekend. However, "lower" is a relative description — I would not go so far as to describe our new air mass as truly "dry" or "comfortable".

Saturday's high temperatures look to peak in the lower to mid 80s. Sunday will be the warmer day of the weekend — although not by much — look for high temps in the mid to upper 80s.

We had previously been forecasting the onset of rainfall late Sunday, but that now looks to hold off until Monday at the earliest.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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