With high temperatures close to 50 degrees, Wednesday will probably be New Jersey's warmest day through the middle of next week.

Welcome to February! Between now and the beginning of March, we'll earn over an hour of daylight as normal high temperatures climb from about 40 to 45 degrees. Plus, there are now only 47 days until the official first day of Spring! (Of course, there's still plenty of time for Old Man Winter to rear his ugly, snowy head.)

For the third day in a row, we have some precipitation in the forecast. The NAM is, by far, the wettest model of the bunch (as has been the case for a while). Meanwhile, the GFS and Euro models keep the Garden State almost completely dry. So we're going to downplay Wednesday's rain/snow chances, keeping the raindrops widely scattered and light. What little falls from the sky will be mostly rain, although a few snowflakes will be possible (especially in North Jersey).

Bottom line: You can probably do without the umbrella. I wouldn't be surprised if a good part of New Jersey stays dry.

Skies will be mostly cloudy, and a stiff breeze will pick up by Wednesday afternoon. Given the mostly dry forecast, I think most temperatures across New Jersey will reach the upper 40s. 50 degrees is within the realm of possibility for South Jersey! However, I think it's worth mentioning that if the rain coverage is ultimately heavier or more widespread than forecast, temperatures may end up a few degrees cooler.

An isolated shower will remain possible Wednesday night. As skies become partly cloudy, temperatures to fall to either side of 30 degrees by Thursday morning

We'll start to feel the effects of cooler air on Thursday, with a continuing stiff breeze. High temperatures will be limited to the lower 40s - not bad for early February! Skies will feature a mix of sun and clouds.

The chill will really be on starting Friday morning, as low temperatures dip into the upper teens to lower 20s. And high temperatures on Friday afternoon will only peak in the mid 30s. Skies will progress from sunny to cloudy on Friday. While the NAM model again pushes the idea of showers late on Friday, we're going to keep the forecast dry for now.

Saturday stays cold. Despite sunshine, high temperatures will end up about 5 to 10 degrees below normal, in the lower 30s.

I'm happy to report that this blast of cold air won't last through the entire weekend, as thermometers recover to the lower 40s for most of New Jersey on Sunday. Clouds will return as well, and Sunday afternoon could bring along some (rain) showers. We had been tracking a much more sizable, more significant storm system for the Sunday-Monday time frame - but that threat has fizzled.

Temperatures should continue warming through Monday and Tuesday. Our next storm system of any significant won't arrive until Tuesday afternoon, at the earliest. (And even then, the latest data suggests a wet weather event, not a wintry one.)

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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