Let's deal with the obvious right away. From the Willard Scott school of weather reporting: Happy 65th Birthday, Michael Bolton!

OK. Now that that's over ...

No, seriously, with apologies to Otis Redding, the next few days in New Jersey will be pretty nice for (sittin' on) the dock of the bay. And I want to be your soul — er, sole — provider of the forecast. If the previous four days of rain kept you cooped up, feeling like there were steel bars wrapped all around you, the next three will get you back on your feet again.

(Ed. note: Dan, hurry back. Please. Save us.)

After some clouds and patchy fog to begin your Monday morning in the Garden State, sunshine takes over for the afternoon, with highs ranging from the mid-50s to near 60. The overnight hours may still be a little chilly; we're expecting lows as low as the mid-30s, though skies will remain clear.

Tuesday promises widespread sunshine, with highs in the mid-50s. Clouds increase on Wednesday, with temperatures possibly inching into the upper 50s.

However, that could be it for the dry weather. Rain looks like it returns on Thursday, just as it did last week, and could continue into the weekend once again. It's something to monitor as we roll out an updated forecast each of the next several days.

Meteorologist Dan Zarrow is on paternity leave and returns Tuesday, March 6. Patrick Lavery produces "New Jersey's First News" and is New Jersey 101.5's morning drive breaking news reporter. One of Patrick's first claims to fame was, at age 6, belting out "When a Man Loves a Woman" (in the style of Michael Bolton) at Friday night karaoke at the Rockaway Townsquare Mall in 1993.

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