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No big downpours or washouts, but on-and-off rain continues for NJ

Each of the next four days includes at least an isolated shower chance for the Garden State.

I’m not going to mince words — this is one heck of a muddled forecast. Details have been changing by the day, and it’s becoming very difficult to put together a confident, competent, coherent weather forecast story. The bottom line is easy: Periods of clouds and showers will dot occasional breaks of sunshine and warmth through the end of the weekend.

We’re starting Thursday morning with a few batches of showers. All light, and expected to exit the state by around 10 a.m. Through Thursday afternoon, we should see a few peeks of sunshine.

Meanwhile, temperatures will warm up from the cool gloom of Wednesday. Highs for most of NJ will reach the upper 60s to lower 70s Thursday. That pesky ocean breeze will keep the Jersey Shore on the cool side of the thermometer once again, limited to lower 60s at the warmest all day.

I have to keep scattered showers in the forecast for Thursday night, along with mostly cloudy skies. Because of the clouds and rising humidity, low temperatures will only fall to the mid 50s.

This morning’s forecast models now show Friday to be the wettest day of the next several, as pockets of light to moderate rain pass over the Garden State. Despite the raindrops and thick clouds, temperatures will continue to warm well into the 70s for inland New Jersey. (I wouldn’t be surprised if we make a run for 80 degrees in SW NJ.) Along the coast, we’ll only top out the 60s.

As for the weekend, it doesn’t look too bad.

Saturday will be a bit cooler than Friday, with most highs in the lower to mid 60s. By the way, a shift from southeasterly to northwesterly winds — a land breeze — means the temperature difference between “inland” and “coast” will be less stark. We’ll see a mix of sun and clouds throughout Saturday. I can’t rule out a few isolated showers, especially later in the day.

One more storm system puts one more chance of rain on Sunday. But this forecast is much improved (read: much drier) than we had been previously thinking. A round of showers is modeled for Sunday morning. Then it looks like we’ll get a break from the unsettled weather, with slowly clearing skies starting Sunday afternoon. Sunday looks cool, with highs just below normal, in the upper 50s to lower 60s.

Weather in a word for next week: Dry! As temperatures flip-flop from just above normal (Monday) to just below normal (Tuesday), I don’t see any storm systems posing a significant rain threat for New Jersey. It should be another stretch of perfectly pleasant springtime weather.

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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