TORNADO WATCH in effect until 12 midnight for Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties. A watch means that conditions are conducive for severe thunderstorms, including 60+ mph winds, 1+ inch hail, heavy rain, and yes even a tornado. (This complex of storms has a history of producing tornadoes this afternoon in both Pennsylvania and New York.)

I hope you enjoyed reading that headline as much as I enjoyed writing it. This week is a welcome change of pace after a super soggy September — heck, almost the entire summer was woefully wet. We just have to get through a few thunderstorms and a bit of rain Tuesday afternoon and evening, and then it's back to mostly dry, warm, summerlike weather.

We're waking up to a hint of mugginess in the air Tuesday morning, with temperatures across New Jersey generally in the 60s. There are some patches of fog, and a thin blanket of clouds overhead. Skies will range from partly to mostly cloudy throughout Tuesday, as we stay warm and breezy and pretty humid. Look for high temperatures in the lower 80s — about 10 degrees above normal for early October.

Tuesday's severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center paints New Jersey in a "slight risk" for wind, hail, and a tornado. (NOAA / SPC)

In addition, we'll have to watch the sky for thunderstorms creeping into North Jersey (north of I-78) starting around 2 p.m. Tuesday. The big question mark of the day is how fired up these initial storms are going to be. Sure, it's going to be warm and humid — but our air mass won't be that hot nor saturated. Brief downpours and gusty winds are possible. And if those storms are able to really gather some steam, hail and an isolated tornado can't be ruled out.

That's the worst-case scenario. For most of the state, we're just looking at scattered showers during Tuesday evening. No big deal, just a short period of rain, maybe a few rumbles of thunder. The wet weather is forecast to exit the Garden State by around Midnight, with rapidly clearing skies thereafter.

HRRR model forecast for Tuesday evening, depicting the scattered showers and thunderstorms sweeping across New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

It's going to stay fairly muggy through Wednesday morning, with overnight low temps in the mid to upper 60s.

And then for Wednesday, we flip back to sunny, warm, dry, summerlike weather! High temperatures will return to the lower 80s for most of the state. (70s along the Jersey Shore, as the sea breeze machine fires up off the cooling ocean waters.)

Thursday looks to be the warmest day of the week, as thermometers spike into the lower to mid 80s. Wow — that would be warm in the middle of the summer! Clouds will increase throughout Thursday too.

Model guidance shows a cold front approaching New Jersey late Thursday. Rain chances will be minimal — just a few showers Thursday night. But the temperature gradient will be significant — by Friday morning it will be noticeably cooler and drier around here.

Friday's high temperatures will be about 10 degrees cooler than Thursday's, in the lower to mid 70s. Still a bit above seasonal normals, for the record. It will be a partly sunny, breezy, refreshing early autumn day.

The early look at the weekend continues to show good news. I've got partly sunny skies penciled into the forecast, with highs in the 70s on Saturday and 80s on Sunday. No major storm systems, heat waves, or cold snaps on the horizon.

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