Umbrellas up — again! For the third time this week, we've got measurable rain in the forecast. It's going to be soggy at times, and rather nasty given the cool-but-warmer-than-normal temperatures. But I don't see any huge risk of downpours or severe weather. And the threat for wintry weather is very limited. (More on that in a sec...)

We're starting off this Friday morning with light to moderate rain enveloping most of the state. As of this writing (5:30 a.m.), there is a notable band of drier conditions in North Jersey. Meanwhile, the heaviest rain in the state has been falling over South Jersey.

The wettest part of Friday will be the morning. Patches of drier weather will prevail Friday afternoon, with just spotty showers and low clouds around. Temperatures will rise slowly from the mid 40s to about 50 degrees — well above the freezing mark, of course.

While Friday early evening looks mainly dry, things will turn quite wet again by Friday late evening.

Steady rain will return Friday night through Saturday morning, as our next atmospheric impulse arrives. It's not a total washout of a day though. By Saturday afternoon, the rain should calm down a bit, with lingering showers potentially lasting into Saturday evening. (Are you getting the sense that it's going to be a wet period of weather here?)

A cold front will introduce a cooler, drier air mass Saturday night. That front should also sweep out most (if not all) remaining precipitation. By that point, we'll probably have about a half-inch in the rain gauge, give or take — healthy rainfall, but certainly not heavy.

Models have been waffling about a quick hit of snow or wintry mix at the tail end of this storm system early Sunday morning. Latest models are generally too dry and too warm, but I wouldn't rule out some pre-dawn snowflakes. I'm thinking accumulation or travel issues are unlikely.

The big weather story for Sunday will be wind, gusting out of the northwest up to 40 mph. It's really going to feel like a blustery day. High temperatures Sunday afternoon will only reach the mid 40s or so, despite increasing sunshine. Yes, it will be cooler than the weekend — but that's still above-normal for early January.

Mid to upper 40s with join additional sunshine on Monday. (The Euro model shows a snow shower, but I've opted to leave it out of the forecast for now.)

Tuesday turns mostly cloudy with highs near 50. Yet another batch of scattered rain will arrive in the afternoon and evening. Behind those showers, the door opens to cooler air again.

Clearing skies are expected on Wednesday, with a stiff northwesterly breeze. (That wind should not be as fierce as on Sunday.) Highs will only reach the seasonable lower 40s.

And with high pressure in control of the eastern seaboard, Thursday will be mostly sunny, dry, and cool in the lower to mid 40s.

So there you have it. A pretty uncharacteristically warm and wet forecast through the first third of January. Don't fret yet, snow fans — still a long winter to go!

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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