The weather phrase for today is "temperature inversion." Usually the temperature drops as you go up from the ground, but that pattern is inverted this morning so the air is actually warmer at the top of the Empire State Building than it is on the ground. Warm air sitting on top of cold air makes for a very stable atmosphere, so gunk near the ground, like pollen or air pollution, stays near the ground, making it unpleasant and even unhealthy to breathe.

Much of New Jersey, the Hudson Valley and Connecticut away from the Sound are under an air quality alert. Out over the water the inversion is not letting dry air above mix in with the saturated, foggy air, leading to a dense fog advisory. The good news is the inversion will weaken as the ground heats up and we should see fresher air this afternoon. Most of us will see highs in the upper 70s as early summer returns for the weekend, but there will be a wide variation with shore areas only warming to the low 70s and inland locations getting up to the lower 80s.

Since a big high pressure system will continue to sit off the southern end of New Jersey the next couple of days we can expect weather conditions very similar to today over the weekend. Fog at night, cruddy air and highs ranging from the low 70s to low 80s depending on how the sea breeze circulates.

The high will also keep subtropical storm Ana confined to the Carolinas for a few days. Ana, or what is left of her, may make her presence known around here early next week. She isn't much of a storm but showers and thunderstorms are possible on both Monday and Tuesday and the unseasonably warm weather should continue with highs at least in the upper 70s (the Weather Channel says mid to upper 80s) both days. Cooler weather is expected to return next Wednesday.