Steady rain this morning will transition to scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, before a big warmup this weekend.

Here are your weather headlines for Friday, April 17, 2015...

Scattered Showers and Thunderstorms

Even as this morning’s band of steady and occasionally heavy rain moves off-shore, we’ll have to keep an eye on the sky today for more raindrops. We should see a mostly dry period from mid-morning through mid-afternoon, with just some isolated sprinkles and showers. In that time, we'll even get to enjoy a few breaks of sunshine.

How much sunshine we see today will significantly impact our weather conditions for the second half of the day. Limited sun will, at least, help temperatures warm into the upper 60s to about 70 this afternoon. The more sun we get, the warmer temperatures will get, potentially pushing into the lower to even mid 70s for part of the state.

Furthermore, the hints of sunshine will introduce some marginal instability (energy) to the atmosphere. That should be sufficient to fire off another round of scattered showers and thunderstorms late this afternoon through this evening. There could be a few heavy downpours, lightning and thunder, and perhaps even some gusty winds. Current models show rain activity to pulse down by about 10 p.m. at the latest, and then skies will quickly clear overnight.

Oh, What a Weekend!

For the second weekend in a row, we earn some very nice weather... for Saturday, at least. Mostly sunny skies will be accompanied by a brisk 20+ mph wind, and high temperatures should soar well into the 70s. (It will be a bit cooler at the coast, as usual.) Part of New Jersey may make a run for 80 degrees! Really quite pleasant, and about 15 to 20 degrees above normal for mid-April.

Sunday will be dry, but not quite as warm. Our wind direction will transition to northeast/southeast during the day (just like Thursday). So the ocean influence, in addition to increasing clouds, will keep temperatures significantly lower. Most highs on Sunday should be in the lower 60s, still near-normal and still a good day. But along the Jersey Shore, I have a feeling highs will only be in the 50s - probably a bit cooler than we’d like. But again, no complaining... overall, this will be a gorgeous spring weekend.

Wet Start to the Workweek

The increasing clouds on Sunday and the return of humidity signal a change to our dry weather pattern. As our next storm system arrives, Monday frankly looks to be a washout, with periods of heavy rain all day with gusty winds. The steady rain will limit Monday’s temperatures to about 60 degrees.