It's Christmas in July as a nor'easter threatens to develop today and potentially bring high winds and copious amounts of precipitation to the area tonight and tomorrow. Before that happens we'll have a partly sunny and muggy afternoon with a high in the lower 80s. Believe it or not, the temperature has not reached 80 degrees since the heat wave ended last Saturday.

The fun begins tonight as a strong upper-level shortwave that's over the Great Lakes this morning reaches the Mid-Atlantic coast. Just like in winter, a surface low will rapidly develop under the shortwave and that storm should produce lots of precipitation. Another similarity to a winter nor'easter will be the very sharp fall-off in precipitation on the north side of the storm.

And as in winter, the steep precipitation gradient makes the rainfall forecast quite difficult. The forecast updates have been pushing the heaviest rain south of the city. It currently looks like much of the Jersey Shore could receive an inch or two of rain with the city getting about half that amount from late this evening through mid-morning Saturday. Unlike a winter nor'easter, and this is a very safe bet, no snow is expected from this storm.

Light rain may linger well into tomorrow afternoon, and it is going to be breezy with a northeasterly wind buzzing around 20-25 mph for much of the day. That is likely to cause some coastal flooding, beach erosion and strong rip currents. Saturday's high will only be in the mid 70s. Warmer, calmer, weather returns on Sunday when we can expect to see a mix of sun and clouds and a high near 80.