The Bottom Line

There is nothing "extreme" in this forecast, in terms of a significant heat or severe weather threat. Unsettled, sure. Three more days with rain chances. But approximately five days with near or below-normal temperatures, staying away from the nasty 90s.

The first half of Thursday will be pretty wet for the southern half of New Jersey only. The combination of rain, cloud cover, and an on-shore breeze will lead to New Jersey's coolest day in about two weeks.

Thursday night and most of Friday will probably stay dry. But more rain will come into play for the start of the weekend.

Even though Saturday will start with showers, they won't last long. I still like what I see for Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.

Thursday

Thursday's first big weather headline is the light to moderate rain streaming through the southern half of the state. The northern extent of the rain as of this writing (5:30 a.m.) is literally along Interstate 195. I do not expect this morning rain to bubble up north of Mercer/Middlesex counties. Things look wet for South Jersey until about midday / lunchtime, with upwards of an inch of rain possible. (Some forecast models are considerably wetter, with rainfall totals over 5 inches — but I have tossed them out the window as unreasonable outliers.)

I will mention that we're getting a good soaking right where we need it most. Approximately the southern quarter of New Jersey has been classified as "abnormally dry" since December. Not quite "drought" status, but enough to raise eyebrows. So we'll take every raindrop we can get.

Thursday afternoon, an isolated shower is possible anywhere in the state. Skies will range from partly sunny (north) to mostly cloudy (south).

The second weather story of the day is the lack of heat. After 8 days in a row of 90+ degree temperatures somewhere in the state (including Newark Airport), Thursday will be 5 to 15 degrees cooler. Highs will range from about 75 degrees in the "rain zone" of South Jersey, to about 80 degrees in North Jersey where skies will be brighter and weather will be much drier.

Humidity levels will be moderate. Dew points will be in the mid 60s for the next couple of days. Not exactly "dry" or "comfortable," but noticeably better than steamy 70s.

Thursday night will probably stay dry. Temperatures will be seasonably mild — typical for early July — dipping into the upper 60s on average by Friday morning.

Friday

Most of Friday's forecast reads like a pleasantly warm summer day. We'll see mixed sun and clouds throughout the day, with most high temperatures reaching in the mid 80s. It will be cooler at the Jersey Shore, thanks to a sea breeze. Humidity levels will once again be moderate, not high.

There is a chance of a popup shower or thunderstorm at any time. (Model guidance suggests early afternoon is most likely during the daytime hours.)

A better chance of rain, associated with an approaching cold front, will hold off until late Friday night. (Probably Midnight-ish.)

Saturday

Yes, the weekend will start wet. But it won't stay that way for long.

Showers may linger through Noon on Saturday, limiting early outdoor activities, including beach time. But skies look considerably brighter and drier Saturday afternoon. Plus, humidity levels will plummet once again, leading to much more comfortable weather.

Highs on Saturday will be limited to about 80 degrees, give or take. It depends on the timing and degree of clearing.

Sunday

The weather winner of the week. I see a completely problem-free end to the weekend. Mostly sunny, dry, warm, and still not humid. High temperatures will probably end up just below-normal again, around 80 degrees.

The Extended Forecast

Monday looks great too, with sunshine and seasonable mid 80s.

Tuesday and Wednesday turn hot, humid, and stormy. Widespread 90s with a couple rounds of strong thunderstorms are likely.

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

Don't complain: Seven reasons why you're lucky to be living in NJ

Despite the cost, here are seven lucky reasons why you should be proud to be living in such a fun and great state as New Jersey.

9 dumb NJ laws they say actually exist