New Jersey officials who are urging people not to crowd the beaches are getting a powerful ally Sunday and Monday — the Atlantic Ocean.
Surf temperatures Saturday were around 48 degrees Fahrenheit near Atlantic City, and 51 offshore of Cape May, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information; on average they are around 60 this time of year.
With onshore winds from the northeast expected on both days, some of that chill from the overlying air will be imported landward.
For those with fine memories of sea-breezes on sultry summer evenings, this probably isn’t what you had in mind: Temperatures made it to 80 on Saturday before the winds started coming off the ocean and they were down to the 50s by 8 p.m.
Readings at the Shore on a cloudy Sunday might not get out of the 50s; the normal high in Atlantic City for a May 24 is 74. Monday, the sun is due to make a reappearance; however, the onshore winds will continue, and the temperature isn’t expected to get past the mid-60s.
The boardwalks are likely to be far-more popular than the strands.
A big reason for the cooler waters is the protracted spell of below-normal temperatures around here, said Sarah Johnson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
After a cool last half of April, officials temperatures in Philadelphia have been below normal in all but five days in May, and six days in Atlantic City.
Water tends to have a far greater attention span than land and changes temperatures more ponderously, she said.
A warm-up is due to gain wings by Wednesday with temperatures heading into the 80s right on into the weekend, but the ocean is apt to take its time to respond to the heating.
Looking ahead, the government’s 8-to-14-day outlook into the first week in June says the odds favoring below-normal temperatures.