High temperatures across New Jersey will once again approach 80° on Thursday, but our forecast becomes cooler, cloudier, and potentially wetter this weekend.

Here are your weather headlines for Thursday, September 24, 2015...

Thursday: Almost a Repeat of Wednesday

Forecast high temperatures for Thursday will be very similar to Wednesday, in the 70s. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
Forecast high temperatures for Thursday will be very similar to Wednesday, in the 70s. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

On days like these, it can be difficult to know how to dress - a light jacket is just about a necessity in the morning, but not in the afternoon. Ahh, autumn!

This morning is slightly cooler than yesterday, and we'll see a few additional clouds today... Otherwise, we have a "carbon copy" forecast ahead. Mostly to partly sunny skies will help warm temperatures once again to the 75° to 80° range. Winds will peak at about 15 mph for inland New Jersey today, with gusts over 20 mph along the coast. And yet again, that brisk wind coming off the ocean will keep the surf rough the the risk for rip currents high today.

Increasing Clouds, Decreasing Temperatures

Clouds will dominate the sky again by midday Friday, and will continue to thicken into the upcoming weekend. Additionally, the northeast wind is expected to become a bit brisker on Friday, with inland gusts around 20 mph and coastal gusts up to 25 mph.

These two changes will combine to begin a cooling trend. Highs on Friday are expected to be around 69° to 75° - still near-average for late September. (Normal highs right now are in the lower 70s.)

A storm system is expected to slide up the coast this weekend, which will cause skies to remain overcast and temperatures to therefore stay on the cool side. (This will be especially true for the southern half of New Jersey.) Highs on Saturday will be about 70°, while Sunday's afternoon temperatures may be stuck in the 60s for much of the state.

Weekend Rain Chances

The aforementioned storm system has been a thorn in our weather forecast all week long. But resolution has now grown slightly better, and our confidence continues to increase that it's going to be a grey, windy, cool, and potentially wet weekend for part of New Jersey.

The biggest question is how far north this system will traverse... thus answering the question of how far north the rain will spread. We are pretty sure the biggest weather impacts in New Jersey will be primarily within the southern half of the state - primarily below I-195. (Would I be surprised if some raindrops march as far north as I-78? Nope.)

Saturday should be mostly dry, with just the threat for an isolated shower or two as clouds thicken and the low pressure drifts closer. The better rain chance will come on Sunday. Forecast models don't show any heavy rain for New Jersey - really just some scattered showers with a period or two of steadier rainfall. Unfortunately, this won't be the drought-buster we need at the moment, but Sunday does look damp.

In addition to the rain, we'll have to deal with a gusty wind this weekend (especially Sunday). Far South Jersey could see wind gusts in excess of 30 or even 40 mph.

This dismal weather forecast may impact the Pope's visit to Philadelphia this weekend. Officials have said Sunday's outdoor mass will be cancelled only in the event of dangerous thunder and lightning... That is unlikely. But it could be a pretty uncomfortable time for those New Jerseyans making the pilgrimage across the Delaware River this weekend, with the cool temperatures, brisk wind, and damp weather.

As the Pope departs early next week, so do our clouds and our ugly weather. Temperatures in the 70s and sunshine look to return for the early-to-middle part of next week.

Dan Zarrow is the Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for your latest forecast.

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