Flash floods saturated streets and highways in New Jersey Wednesday afternoon as thunderstorms rolled in following four days of intense heat and humidity.
Severe pop-up thunderstorms stranded drivers in Union and Essex counties, turning Routes 22 and 78 into virtual lakes of vehicles.
"It was just building up more, more, more, and the rain wasn't stopping," said John Hutchinson, who saw the water rising up and pouring over the median on Route 22 in Scotch Plains. The road had buckled by Wednesday night.
Near the Watchung Reservation, water surrounded cars all the way up to their front lights, nearly covering their tires.
Some drivers didn't heed the obvious hazard. Viewers across Union County sent in photos of cars driving through water and some became stuck, requiring rescues.
Temperatures in New York City climbed into the middle 80s Wednesday afternoon, stopping a few degrees short of the 90-degree mark required to continue a heat wave, Storm Team 4 says. But the slight drop in temperatures didn't grant much respite from sweaty conditions -- high humidity actually made it feel hotter in spots than it has the last few days.
Thursday's conditions look like they'll be a repeat of Wednesday's sticky, wet weather, Storm Team 4 says. Storms late Thursday and early Friday will likely develop, crossing over the area throughout the day Friday.
There's a chance that Friday's wet weather could bring heavy downpours, though it's too early to tell which parts of the tri-state could be hit hardest, according to Storm Team 4.
The volatile trend will likely continue into the weekend as warm, sunny and humid weather gives way to isolated afternoon thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday.