It's beginning to feel a lot like... Spring! As a southerly breeze kicks in Thursday, thermometers will soar. We are watching a massive storm system over the middle of the country — while New Jersey could turn a bit soggy and unsettled, our overall impact is looking pretty minor.

Thursday morning temperatures are hovering around the 40-degree mark. We're expected to reach the lower 60s for much of New Jersey by Thursday afternoon. Although that chilly Atlantic Ocean will keep coastal communities cooler, stuck in the 50s.

Skies will remain mostly cloudy throughout the day. By definition, that represents an average of 75% sky cover — allowing some peeks of sunshine throughout the day. Winds will be light, and weather will be dry. No complaints — it should be a very nice day.

Thursday night will be one of the warmest nights we've seen in months. Temperatures only fall to around 50 degrees, thanks to the blanket of clouds and increasing humidity. A rain shower may drift into New Jersey after about 4 a.m.

Model guidance (especially the short-term, mesoscale NAM) has really backed off the rain potential for Friday. Widely scattered showers are possible throughout the day. Convective indices and temperatures are just high enough to allow for a few rumbles of thunder too. It looks like a pocket of steadier rain will clip the Garden State late Friday, probably in the evening hours. The best chance for this steady rain will be southern and coastal NJ.

Rainfall totals will probably end up less than a half-inch. High temperatures will once again be on the warm side, in the lower 60s for most.

Behind the rain will come a reasonably strong cold front, leading to cooler, drier, windier weather for the weekend.

There are some differences among the models for Saturday's temperatures, but I've settled on a forecast for 40s in the morning and lower 50s in the afternoon. Skies will become sunny very quickly. The breeze will be somewhat annoying, potentially gusting over 30 mph.

Sunday (St. Patrick's Day) will also feature lots o' sunshine, and winds will be lighter too. High temperatures are expected to end up slightly below seasonal norms, in the mid to upper 40s. Not bad.

Back to work and school on Monday, and a little shortwave could impact New Jersey. Forecast models are still all over the place on this one, so I'm not convinced we have a confident handle on it. I've settled on a chance for a rain or snow shower during the day Monday. With high temperatures in the 40s, the threat for significant wintry conditions is low. However, if this forecast trends cooler or the storm system packs a bit more oomph, that prediction may need to be adjusted.

Tuesday and Wednesday look sunny and calm, with highs generally between 45 and 50 degrees. Wednesday is the Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring — which will officially begin at 5:58 p.m. EDT.

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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