Let's start by recapping the past week. Severe wind gusts, up to 82 mph, hit last Monday. A pair of freezes impacted non-coastal, non-urban corners of the state on both Friday morning and Sunday morning. And upwards of 0.8" of snow was recorded in North Jersey on Friday too.

Ahh, the meteorological smorgasbord of April.

Over the coming week, my forecast shows all but one day featuring below-normal temperatures. (The exception will be Tuesday.) And I count four separate storm systems, impacting New Jersey with four distinct rounds of rain — Monday morning, Tuesday afternoon, late Thursday-Friday, and Saturday-Sunday.

Rain round one is an off-shore storm system that is just barely kissing New Jersey on this Monday morning. The result of being on the western edge of this thing? Clouds for all. Some rain showers, especially in far southern NJ and along the immediate coast. And cool temperatures, limited to the mid 50s Wednesday afternoon. You might see some slow improvements later on, but I'm thinking we'll be under grey-ish jacket weather all day.

As that coastal storm moves away, skies should quickly clear out across New Jersey Monday evening. The loss of that "blanket" of clouds will allow low temperatures to dip into the lower 40s overnight.

That means we'll start Tuesday morning with sunshine. But it won't last long, as clouds increase again soon enough. Tuesday looks to be our warmest day of the week, with seasonable high temperatures in the lower 60s.

However, a cold front will spark a line of strong thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon. Just as we've seen several times this month, those storms could be on the strong side, given the strength of that front and the (relative) warmth throughout the atmosphere. Wind and heavy rain are our primary concerns. A gusty northwesterly wind will follow that frontal passage through Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, we'll flip back to bright sunshine. But it will be a cool and breezy day, with highs back down to the mid 50s.

Clouds return on Thursday. And our next batch of rain will arrive from the west, eventually. The start time is where our forecast models start to diverge, ranging from lunchtime to sundown. (I'm calling it late Thursday for now.)

That rain, heavy at times, will last through at least Friday morning, although I hesitate to call Friday afternoon completely dry. As a result of the raindrops and the cloud cover, high temperatures will once again get stuck in the 50s.

The fourth and final rain chance of the week is scheduled for the weekend. (Cue sad trombone sound effect.) At the moment, guidance is favoring a dry Saturday morning and a very wet Saturday afternoon and night. As the storm system slowly meanders through New England, we get stuck on the backside under clouds and showers for Sunday too.

However, it's worth mentioning that the 6-7 day forecast lately has been very shaky. So there is reason to remain hopeful that the weekend won't turn into a total washout. (Fingers crossed!)

One more important note... Starting Monday 4/20, the National Weather Service radar at Fort Dix will be taken out of commission for approximately two weeks for an important (scheduled) maintenance upgrade. From a forecasting and nowcasting point of view, we can work around it — we're lucky that New Jersey is also covered by the radars at Upton NY, Binghamton NY, Dover DE, Newark Airport, and Philadelphia Airport. But be aware you might see some incomplete and even deceiving radar images here on our web site and in your favorite weather app soon enough.

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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