The warmup across New Jersey has been incremental, if not imperceptible, over the last few days. But that will accelerate as slowly increasing cloud cover portends a wet weekend.

Thursday begins with sunny skies, just like the four days preceding it, but a few clouds will dot the sky by afternoon. High temperatures will be the highest of the week so far, in the 40s across the state. Some clouds will also be in the picture Thursday evening, and lows overnight won't be as frigid, but will still be below freezing — mid-20s up to 30 at best.

Clouds increase throughout the day on Friday, with temperatures even warmer, getting into the upper 40s to lower 50s. But then the rain arrives, in showers, on Friday night, and continues right on into Saturday.

Saturday actually could start with a mix of rain and wet snow in the northwest corner of New Jersey, but for most of the rest of the state, rain is likely throughout. Highs will settle back just into the 40s.

The system moves out quickly, though, and sun should return by Sunday.

Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow returns Monday, Jan. 27. Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News."

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