Our weekend weather forecast starts out sunny and mild, but ends cloudy and wet.

I think it's fair to describe our Friday forecast as pretty pleasant and typical for late January. We'll enjoy warmer temperatures this weekend too, but it comes at a cost — in the form of cloudy skies, rain, and an eventual cooldown.

Aside from a few passing clouds, we'll once again see lovely sunshine and blue skies throughout Friday. We have to dig out of the freezer though — morning temperatures are quite frigid, in the teens and 20s. High temperatures Friday afternoon will reach about upper 30s (in North Jersey and along the Jersey Shore) to lower 40s (everywhere else). Winds will be light.

As slightly warmer, slightly more humid air starts to leak into New Jersey, Friday night won't be as cold as Thursday night. Lows should only dip to about the 30-degree mark. Skies will remain clear, with calm winds.

Saturday should start off very nice, with morning sunshine. Clouds will begin to increase and thicken by lunchtime, and a stiff southwesterly breeze will pick up to 20+ mph. That warming wind will push high temperatures into the lower 50s for most of the state. (Far North Jersey may get stuck in the upper 40s, while far South Jersey may touch the mid 50s.) We should stay dry through at least Saturday afternoon.

A slow moving cold front will come close enough to New Jersey Saturday night to provide a track for a weak storm system to ride through the area. This precipitation is expected to be 1.) all liquid (nothing wintry), and 2.) scattered (on-and-off). The best chance for widespread raindrops will be from about 10 p.m. Saturday to Noon Sunday. Models suggest showers may linger over southern NJ through Sunday afternoon too, making for a wet and cloudy day overall.

Despite the clouds and showers, I think Sunday will remain mild, with temps generally peaking near 50 degrees once again. Saturday will likely be the warmer and overall nicer day of the weekend.

The forecast is still really muddy for early next week. The tail end of the NAM model forecast indicates showers and sprinkles could persist into Monday morning, while the GFS dries us out completely by daybreak. Eventually, a cold front will bring about another cooldown — I'm thinking the temperature tumble starts around Monday midday. 40s will become 20s by Monday night, with highs on Tuesday only in the 30s.

Another concern is another shortwave that is forecast to push through New Jersey Tuesday morning (say around 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.). Given the newly refreshed chill, this system would provide snow, and I'm seeing hints of light accumulations too. Definitely worth watching, especially given the morning commute timing.

Remember: the forecast beyond Sunday is pretty low confidence right now. We'll add details on the impending cooldown and chance of snow in the coming hours and days.

In the long-range, I'm still seeing a flip toward a more active weather pattern around Groundhog Day (Friday 2/2). Partnered with a return to chilly temperatures, we could see several shots of snow throughout the first half of February.

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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