When Dan Zarrow takes a vacation, everybody else in our newsroom kind of hopes for an easy weather week in the Garden State...and at least since late Tuesday, that's exactly what we've gotten.

Trees still waiting to bloom outside the "rear entrance" of the NJ101.5 studios on Friday (Patrick Lavery, Townsquare Media NJ)

Mother Nature is leaving New Jersey in good hands for Dan to return on Monday, as Friday will bring a third straight cookie-cutter day of seasonable temperatures and bright, abundant sunshine. Highs will range from the upper 50s to lower 60s for most of the state, with temperatures in the low to mid-50s along the Jersey Shore and the same light wind as the last couple of days.

For Friday night, skies remain clear, and lows settle into an upper 30s to lower 40s gradient that doesn't have a definitive split -- as with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights -- between temperatures inland, and those at the shore.

The weekend is looking much the same as we thought it was going to shape up in Thursday's forecast. On Saturday, temperatures climb to the mid-60s in most areas, staying in the mid-50s along the coast, under continued sunny skies. The variable wind from the past few days will pick up; we'll call it a "breeze," as 25 mph speeds could be in play. Sunday brings a definitive warmup, into the lower 70s for some spots, though the shore should remain about 10 degrees cooler. The forecast had been showing some cloud cover on Sunday, but that's now been wiped away and the next time we expect to see clouds mix in could be as far away as Tuesday.

By then, Dan will be back and will, I'm sure, have many more specifics and nitty-gritty details about what to expect for the rest of next week. For now, it's been fun filling in...have a terrific weekend!

Meteorologist Dan Zarrow is on vacation and returns Monday, April 18. Patrick Lavery produces “New Jersey’s First News” and is New Jersey 101.5’s morning drive breaking news reporter.

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