The Bottom Line

We will finally dig out of that cold, dry air mass with rising temperatures starting Thursday. Our next weathermaker is set to arrive this weekend. Not a huge deal, but it will make for occasionally damp and dreary weather, followed by another cooldown into early next week.

Thursday

I was admittedly surprised to see some snow totals in the 1-2 inches range in North Jersey on Friday. (Warren, Morris, and Hunterdon counties each had at least one report over an inch.) I will remind you that 2 inches is more than most of South Jersey saw all last winter. It was a nice, conversational snow — as long as you didn't have to drive through the steadiest stuff.

Thursday's weather will definitely look and feel less wintry. Aside from some early flurries in North Jersey, our weather will be dry. And, aside from some clouds in North Jersey, we'll see bright sunshine and blue skies. High temperatures will push into the 45 to 50 degree range, slightly above normal for early-mid December. The coolest spots in the state will be where there remains a coating of snow on the ground. (Although with those temps in the 40s, most of that remaining snow will melt by the end of the day.)

Thursday night will be mostly clear and seasonably chilly, with lows in the lower to mid 30s. The coldest corners of the state will experience a light freeze. I also can't rule out a few pockets of fog overnight.

Friday

Probably the nicest day of the week. Skies will progress from sun to clouds, with mild high temperatures in the lower to mid 50s. No rain, no snow, no wind, no complaints.

Saturday

A warm front will lift through New Jersey (at least partially) early Saturday, furthering our warmup. We'll see high temperatures reach about 55 to 60 degrees.

However, Saturday will start foggy and drizzly (especially south and coast). And we'll continue to see showers and spotty showers through the afternoon. The day will not be a washout or total loss. Just occasionally damp and dreary.

Sunday

One more batch of rain is likely early Sunday morning. Models have really backed off the intensity and duration of that rainfall — it's definitely not going to be an all-day thing. That rain is associated with a cold front, so we are expecting the return of colder air on a brisk wind late Sunday. Highs will still reach 55 to 60 degrees, but thermometers will fall through the afternoon.

Monday & Beyond

Back to the 40s. Aside from a stiff breeze, all of Monday and most of Tuesday look quiet and cool. At the moment, it looks like a storm system will dive well south of New Jersey, drawing only clouds our way late Tuesday.

However, models are picking up on a fairly potent coastal storm in the Wednesday time frame. Given the resurgence of colder air next week, there is a concern for accumulating snow (especially away from the coast). It's still too early to even denote this system as a "hit" or a "miss". We will continue to refine this forecast and offer more confident details as it draws closer. If it is going to be a sizable storm for the Garden State, I expect we'll have to pull the trigger on "alarm bells" late Sunday or early Monday.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.