Hello there! I am back from a productive and refreshing week of vacation. And I have to admit I'm kind of glad I was away — last week presented some incredibly difficult forecast challenges. The practically unpredictable scattered rain and the oppressive humidity were unwelcome guests to the skies of Jersey. I'm happy to say the forecast for this week looks better, although far from perfect.

As of this writing (5 a.m. Monday), there are two final batches of rain driving through New Jersey. So if you're hitting the road early, you might get a bit wet. Those showers will exit the coast by around 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Meanwhile, it's pretty cool outside, thanks to the rain and (oddly enough) dry air. With temperatures in the upper 40s to lower 50s, it's our coolest morning in over two weeks.

After the rain ends, clouds should also depart rapidly. I expect skies to become partly to mostly sunny by Monday late morning. High temperatures should reach the lower to mid 70s across most of the state. Even though that is slightly below-normal for early June, it should turn into a nice day.

Having said that, models do suggest a few popup showers or sprinkles will be possible late-day Monday, between about 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Nothing to write home about, and most of the state will probably remain dry.

If your Monday plans include the Jersey Shore, keep in mind there is a high risk of rip currents posted once again.

By Monday night, it will be dry and mostly clear. I'll call it "comfortably cool" with low temps dipping into the mid 50s. (I think we'll avoid the 40s this time around.)

Tuesday will start off pleasant, with highs in the mid 70s and a fresh breeze to 20 mph. Then clouds increase markedly through the late morning hours, followed by a good chance for showers and thunderstorms for Tuesday afternoon and evening. The rain shouldn't be excessively heavy, and shouldn't last too long — but everyone in New Jersey is apt to get wet at some point on Tuesday.

Our weather turns cloudier and cooler for Wednesday. Although the forecast is grey, it is surprisingly dry (aside from an isolated shower in North Jersey). High temperatures will not pass 70 degrees Wednesday afternoon.

I believe Thursday will be the "weather winner of the week". It's our best shot at a completely dry day for all 21 counties in New Jersey, with almost-seasonable high temperatures in the mid 70s. Even with just a little bit of sunshine, it will be a beautiful early June day.

Friday looks OK to start, although warmer and more humid. We'll probably see widespread high temperatures in the 80s. At some point, clouds will roll in — maybe in the morning, more likely by the afternoon. And then an isolated shower chance will crop up from the afternoon through evening hours. Although models aren't pushing out a ton of rainfall, we'll have to watch for the threat of a stronger storm cell given the warm, humid atmosphere.

And then along comes the weekend, and another challenging, unsettled forecast. The early preview shows scattered showers and thunderstorms for Saturday, then heavier, steadier rain for Sunday. Lots can still change, of course — but I really, really hate rainy weekends around this time of year!

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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