Periods of moderate to heavy rain are possible over the next 36 hours as a storm system sideswipes the Garden State.

Here are your weather headlines for Thursday, August 6, 2015...

No More 90s!

Yes, we did hit 90° one more time yesterday at Newark Airport and a few other scattered weather stations throughout the state. That will be the final chapter of this 9-day heat wave, as we successfully endured 90+ degree temperatures since July 28.

Temperatures will be a hair below normal for today and beyond. Our high temperature forecast for Thursday ranges from 80° to 86°. The Jersey Shore will be a bit cooler, as usual. And with dew points no higher than 60°, it will be a very comfortable warmth.

Clouds will increase from partly cloudy to mostly cloudy today. Winds will be lighter than yesterday, peaking at about 15 mph today.

Rain Incoming

This has been an incredibly complicated forecast for an incredible complicated and unusual storm system. That system will slide across the mid-Atlantic tonight through tomorrow, and will have effects for part - but not all - of New Jersey.

Our first round of showers is possible in far South Jersey (around Salem, Cumberland, and Cape May counties) late this afternoon. Pockets of heavy rain will be possible for New Jersey tonight, with continuing rain chances tomorrow as the system kicks out to sea.

So how far north will the rain reach? And how heavy with the rain be? Good questions. This morning's NAM forecast model run is quite wet for the southern two-thirds of the state, while the GFS model limits any wet weather to light rain only in far South Jersey and along the Jersey Shore. So unfortunately, there is still an uncomfortable degree of uncertainty surrounding this rain forecast. Therefore, I'm hesitant to go into specifics... But since we're now less than a day from the first raindrops, I'll take a stab at what to expect by region:

  • South of the AC Expressway: Quite wet. As I mentioned, showers could start as early as Thursday afternoon, with periods of rain potentially picking up in intensity through Thursday night and early Friday. Most of Friday looks wet here as well, with light to moderate rain and thick clouds. Rain totals of 2 to 3 inches will be possible by the time the rain ends Friday evening.
  • Between the AC Expressway and I-195: The current forecast shows some streaks of heavy rain moving through the Ocean and Burlington county vicinity late Thursday night through early Friday morning. Again, some 2 to 3 inch rain totals will be possible here. Hopefully, most of this area will clear out from the rain Friday morning, with clearing skies by Friday afternoon.
  • Along the Jersey Shore: Not only are pockets of heavy rain possible overnight, but showers could persist through part of the day Friday as the storm system kicks out to sea. Additional cloudiness is possible through Saturday morning.
  • Between I-78 and I-195: This is quite possibly the biggest question mark of this forecast. Be prepared for a few pockets of light rain overnight - but, the models are keeping the heaviest rain well to the south. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if Central and North Jersey stay mostly (if not totally) dry.
  • Along and North of I-78: Dry.

Where it rains on Friday, high temperatures will be limited to the upper 70s at best. Where it stays dry on Friday, we should see pleasant lower 80s for highs.

Along Comes the Weekend

I truly had a lump in my throat earlier this week, when this batch of rain was initially forecast to last through part of Saturday. (I hate rainy summer weekends!) But our weekend forecast is now looking much better, much drier, and much sunnier.

A few residual clouds and maybe a shower or sprinkle will be possible early Saturday morning, as the storm system fully exits New Jersey and heads out over the Atlantic Ocean. We'll call Saturday's skies partly to mostly sunny, with high temperatures in the lower 80s or so. The only problem with Saturday will be a stiff northeast wind up to about 20 mph. First of all, that wind will make coastal New Jersey quite a bit cooler than inland New Jersey. Second, I'm concerned that the combination of the brisk wind and the exiting storm system will lend toward some rough surf and strong rip currents. Honestly, it might not be an ideal beach weekend... But the boardwalk, the park, the backyard, and beyond are all looking good this weekend!

No weather problems are anticipated for Sunday, with mostly sunny skies and high temperatures in the lower 80s.