The Bottom Line

We started this week (Monday) with a powerful storm system, rain, and wind. And it looks like we'll end the week (Saturday) the same way. And while this system will primarily be another rain-maker (1 to 2 inches) and wind-blower (40 mph) for New Jersey, we can't ignore the (slim) chance of wintry weather on the backside.

Thursday

All things considered, it's going to be a pleasant early December day — likely our nicest weather day of the next seven. As expected, temperatures crashed overnight, with a light freeze across most of New Jersey. We'll climb from about 30 degrees to 50 degrees by the afternoon — par for the course for this time of year. Sunshine in the morning will lead to slowly increasing clouds Thursday afternoon. We will stay dry all day.

A blanket of clouds will keep Thursday night from getting so cold. I expect most of NJ to stay above the freezing mark, with low temps averaging upper 30s statewide.

Friday

The day will start dry, although mostly cloudy. And a good chunk of the state — especially south and coast — will probably stay dry for most of the daytime hours. However, as our next storm system bubbles up from the southwest, spotty then scattered showers will be possible from midday into the afternoon. Despite the smattering of raindrops, thermometers should still reach the lower 50s.

Rainfall will become steadier and more widespread Friday night.

Saturday

A yucky day. Probably a total washout.

Periods of rain will be with us all day. Rainfall will likely be heavy at times, totaling 1 to 2 inches across most of the state. (The only exception could be NW NJ, if the storm track keeps the heaviest rain bands away from the top of the state.)

Meanwhile, this powerful storm system will drive in strong northeasterly wind gusts, on the order of 40 mph. That on-shore flow may cause minor coastal flooding too.

High temperatures on Saturday will range from the mid 40s (north) to mid 50s (south). Those numbers are important as Saturday night falls and temperatures start to drop, drop, drop...

Model consensus puts the precipitation end time around 10 p.m. Saturday evening. At that point, temperatures will probably be in the mid 30s in far northern New Jersey. Still above freezing.

However, if the rain lingers for just a few hours longer than expected, into early Sunday morning, we could very well see a transition from rain to snow. In fact, some guidance is promoting the idea of light accumulations (1-2 inches) in northern Sussex County. At the moment, I think substantial accumulation is a stretch. But the chance of snowflakes at the tail end of this thing is worth keeping an eye on.

Sunday

A shower may linger into early Sunday morning. And then skies will start to clear by midday. It's going to be breezy and cooler, with highs only in the 40s.

Monday & Beyond

Below-normal temperatures are the theme of our extended forecast. Highs will be limited to the 40s for both Monday and Tuesday, despite sunshine. Hopefully we'll start to see more seasonable 50s by the end of the week. At the moment, models keep next week dry and quiet — our next storm system would be a cold front in the neighborhood of next 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.