Happy Monday, New Jersey! As promised, this weekend's weather screamed "FALL" with cooler temperatures, low humidity, and partial sunshine. I have to admit that I 1.) turned on the central heat at home, and 2.) grabbed a jacket for the first time since the spring.

Our first frost of the season occurred Sunday morning around NW NJ and the Pine Barrens. The coldest temperature in the state was 33 degrees at Berkeley Township, Ocean County!

In general, the week ahead will feature some below-normal temperatures — cool, if not chilly at times. The one exception will be Monday, as rain and mild temps become the story.

As you open your eyes on this Monday morning, we're seeing some spotty showers and sprinkles passing through mainly northern and central New Jersey. Temperatures range from the mid 40s at the top of the state to the mid 60s at the bottom of the state.

This first round of scattered rain won't be heavy, and won't last long. By lunchtime Monday, we'll encounter a break in the rainfall action. While I believe skies will remain mostly cloudy to overcast all day, there could be a peak of sunshine through the early afternoon hours. That, along with a stiff southwesterly breeze up to 20 mph, will push high temperatures to the upper 60s to around 70 degrees Monday afternoon.

Rain returns to the forecast later on. Most prevalently, a line of gusty thunderstorms looks possible late Monday evening, in the 8 p.m. to Midnight window. It will be a quick burst of potentially intense rain and thunder and lightning and wind.

After Midnight, we'll clear out, dry out, and start cooling down again. By daybreak Tuesday, thermometers should be somewhere around the upper 40s to lower 50s.

Tuesday's high temperatures will struggle to reach the upper 50s — that's 5 to 10 degrees below normal for mid-October. You'll see a mix of sun and clouds throughout Tuesday, and you'll feel a stiff westerly breeze.

Wednesday looks sunny, but cool, with highs around 60. It will be even windier, with brisk northerly gusts to 40 mph.

And then another cooldown arrives on Thursday. Morning lows could dip into the 30s for most of the state — could it be the first widespread frost of the season? Afternoon highs will be limited to the lower 50s — quite possibly New Jersey's coolest day since April 20th?

I don't want to look too far into the future, given the dual cold fronts I've already outlined. But don't expect any big warmup any time soon — autumn is here to stay for a while!

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

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM