The end is near... The end of this week's stormy, soggy weather pattern! We still have muggy and rainy conditions to start Friday, but big improvements are on the way by the afternoon. And to be frank, this weekend's forecast looks amazing!

Of course, Friday is also the Summer Solstice — the day when the northern hemisphere of the Earth is tilted closest to the Sun. It is the longest day of the year, with just over 15 hours of daylight. That means it's all downhill from now until the Winter Solstice on December 22!

In honor of our impending drier weather and change of seasons, I offer a slideshow of post-storm rainbow photos from across New Jersey on Thursday! (Thanks to my Facebook fans for sharing!)

Rainbows across New Jersey

On this Friday morning, we still have batches of showers and thunderstorms rotating through New Jersey. Temperatures are close to the 70 degree mark, and humidity remains high. Raindrops look to clear out of New Jersey from southwest to northeast, between about 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday.

We'll enjoy increasing sunshine and decreasing humidity Friday afternoon. It will be breezy, with occasional northwesterly gusts over 20 mph. That combination will make for refreshing conditions. High temperatures are expected to reach the upper 70s to around 80 degrees.

It's also worth noting that a Flood Warning continues for the Rancocas Creek at Pemberton, Burlington County. As of 6 a.m. Friday, water levels have fallen from the "Major Flood " to the "Moderate Flood" category, following the second-highest crest on record (behind only Hurricane Irene in August 2011). The creek is not forecast to fall below flood stage until early next week.

Rancocas Creek at Pemberton historical and forecast water levels. (Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center)
Rancocas Creek at Pemberton historical and forecast water levels. (Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center)

Friday night will be mostly clear and comfortable. Low temps fall to a seasonable 60 degrees.

No complaints at all for Saturday. It will be sunny, breezy, warm, and dry. High temps in the lower 80s. (Very little sea breeze, so even mainland beaches should come closer to 80.)

A few extra clouds are expected Sunday, and a warmup kicks in. We'll see highs in the mid 80s to close out the weekend. (Sea breeze will kick in Sunday, keeping the immediate coast a bit cooler.)

Thermometers really get cooking next week, flirting with 90 degrees pretty much every day. A spot shower or thunderstorm is possible Monday night, but models have really backed off the idea of widespread rain. A few more showers and storms are in the forecast for Tuesday, as a cold front stirs up our atmosphere a bit.

It's very clear that next week's weather will be very different than the past week here in New Jersey. Transitioning from wet to hot isn't necessarily a bad thing — it is summertime, after all!

Have a great weekend!

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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