Before he left for vacation, Dan told me he always appreciates my creativity in this space when I "fill in" for him on the weather blog. So, as Acting Assistant Junior Meteorologist, I don't want to let him down.

Yes, there are some tweaks in the forecast I put out there on Thursday. But the real change, I think, was Thursday itself, which turned out to be a lot nicer of a day over much of the state than had been anticipated in the early-morning analysis.

Friday actually looks like it could be a beach day, if you are starting your holiday weekend early. Bring a cover-up, because it won't be blazing hot — highs likely won't venture past the lower 70s. But we will avoid rain for the day and, actually, get a bit of sun. At night we turn partly cloudy, with lows in the lower to mid-50s and a light, variable wind.

The nadir of this Labor Day weekend cooldown is Saturday, specifically Saturday afternoon, as highs will only top out in the upper 60s and rain showers will develop. Those showers continue through Saturday night and into early Sunday, but as things clear up later on Sunday, temperatures will quickly rebound: upper 70s by the peak of the day.

I do stand by what I hinted at on Thursday, and that is that Monday, Labor Day itself, looks like the best day of the bunch. Mostly sunny skies and highs in the lower 80s are expected for the holiday.

There is, of course, a silver lining here ... as of right now, Tuesday looks even warmer and sunnier than Monday. But alas, we'll all be back at work and school by then (except for Dan, who won't even be in New Jersey).

Meteorologist Dan Zarrow is on vacation and returns Monday, Sept. 11. Patrick Lavery, who played Chip in the Broadway cast of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" from 1994 to 1996, produces “New Jersey’s First News” and is New Jersey 101.5’s morning drive breaking news reporter.

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