Cooler, more seasonable air has returned to the Garden State. In other words, it's going to start feeling like late January.

(Special programming note: A cold has taken my voice hostage! Rather than transmitting the forecast via morse code, I called upon Meteorologist Ken Boone to handle the radio side of the weather center on this Friday. Even though you won't hear my voice, I'm still playing weather producer and web editor behind-the-scenes.)

Oh, that wicked wind! Yet again wind gusts kicked over 40 mph in New Jersey on Thursday. While not quite as ferocious as the nor'easter from earlier in the week, the brisk wind certainly added a "blustery" characteristic to the day. And the same will be true for Friday, as colder air returns.

It's January, yet most of New Jersey has remained above freezing since the morning of the 16th - a full 11 days ago! That is about to change, thanks to the cold front that swept through the state on Thursday.

Thermometers on this Friday morning are generally in the upper 30s to around 40 degrees. And they're not going to go very far, thanks to the newly refreshed brisk air. Highs will be limited to the lower to mid 40s across the state Friday afternoon. Westerly wind gusts to 25 or 30 mph will make for another blustery day. At least we'll see breaks of sunshine along the way, along with occasional clouds and maybe some flurry activity.

Quiet weather and fair skies will allow temperatures to drop below that magical freezing mark Friday night. I suspect most New Jerseyans will wake up to a freeze on Saturday morning.

The weekend won't be half bad - we'll call it seasonable, with typical chilly late January temperatures. Daily highs through this last weekend of January will reach the lower 40s, with morning lows around 30 degrees. Saturday looks partly sunny and still breezy. So does Sunday, with the addition of a morning snow shower chance, particularly in South Jersey.

On Monday, we'll get a reinforcing shot of cooler air, as winds briefly shift from westerly to northwesterly. That will keep highs from climbing above the 30s Monday afternoon. At least the winds are forecast to be light, in the 10 to 15 mph range.

The long-range forecast has a chance for snow and rain on Wednesday. Only the GFS model shows accumulating snow, on the order of a couple inches in NW NJ. Any chance of major snow is still over a week away.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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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