The Bottom Line

We have three big weather headlines brewing in the forecast. Beautiful Thursday. Wet Friday. And then a cool weekend.

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Thursday

The only weather nuisance of the day will be a brisk southerly breeze, occasionally gusting over 20 mph through the afternoon. Skies will be mostly sunny, with just a few banks of clouds passing overhead. It will be dry and mild, with high temperatures pushing into the mid 70s. That is about 10 degrees above normal for the midpoint of October.

Thursday evening also looks comfortable and pleasant, with clouds on the increase. Any chance of rain should hold off until Midnight or so. Low temperatures will dip into the mid to upper 50s by sunrise.

Friday

Wet, wet, wet. For the second time this week, a storm system will deliver a rainy and miserable day. I don't want to call it a total washout, but it will be close.

It looks like several waves of steady rain will pass through the state from southwest to northeast starting around mid-morning Friday. That rainfall will become heavy at times, particularly later in the day.

There are still some model discrepancies regarding rainfall totals. I think most of the state will end up on either side of an inch, with locally higher amounts where it really pours. Widespread flooding is not a concern, although ponding (big puddles) could create travel issues.

Meanwhile, thermometers will barely budge amidst the raindrops — and if they do, they'll probably go down. We'll be stuck in the 50s all day.

Saturday

There is now overwhelming consensus that final raindrops will exit New Jersey by daybreak Saturday morning (7 a.m.) Skies will clear to sunshine very quickly, with a brisk (even chilly) northwest breeze. High temperatures will only reach the upper 50s to around 60 degrees — more typical of early November than mid October.

Both Saturday and Sunday mornings could be among our coldest overnights of the season so far. Widespread 40s are likely. And, if skies stay clear enough and winds stay light enough, patchy frost is a possibility along the northern and western edges of New Jersey. (Frost does not necessarily require subfreezing temperatures — usually 37 degrees is cold enough for ice crystals to form in the lowest few inches of the atmosphere.)

Sunday

We'll do better in the temperature department, as thermometers push into the lower to mid 60s Sunday afternoon. Skies will be partly sunny. So I think it's fair to call Sunday a pleasant fall day.

Monday & Beyond

A series of little atmospheric impulses will try to push into New Jersey on both Monday and Tuesday. Some model guidance does suggest a shower chance, mainly in the northwestern corner of the state. As southerly winds prevail, we should kick into a warming trend too. Mid 60s on Monday and Tuesday. (I would have gone warmer, but clouds will probably win the sky.) And then hopefully we'll be back in the 70s by Wednesday of next week.

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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