Why does it always seem to rain on the weekend? It certainly seems to be the trend here in the Garden State lately. This will be our fourth weekend in a row with measurable rainfall. (Although it will not be a total washout.) Our active weather pattern looks to continue, with another storm system looming for early next week.

Skies cleared out across most of New Jersey overnight, leading to a chilly and frosty start to your Friday morning. As of this writing (5:30 a.m.) temperatures range from 22 degrees in Sussex County to 36 degrees at the Atlantic City Marina.

Clouds will thicken up again quickly Friday morning, with mostly cloudy to overcast conditions expected for the balance of the day. Despite the blanket of grey overhead, it will remain fairly mild and dry during the daytime. High temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 40s to around 50 degrees, slightly warmer than Thursday.

Our next storm system will begin knocking on New Jersey's door Friday evening, with first raindrops now expected in South Jersey around 8 p.m. Periods of steady rain will spread across the state throughout the evening and overnight hours.

NAM model rainfall forecast for about 3 a.m. Saturday morning, showing steady rain over New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
NAM model rainfall forecast for about 3 a.m. Saturday morning, showing steady rain over New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

The steadiest rain will fall early Saturday morning, before tapering to scattered showers Saturday afternoon and ending completely Saturday evening. In between the raindrops, it will be cloudy and breezy (to about 20 mph). Temperatures will be in the 40s.

As we've discussed, none of this rain looks incredibly heavy. Unlike the past few weekends, it looks like we'll miss the pouring, driving, drenching, flooding rain. And that's fine with me — it's just going to be wet n' soggy Friday night into Saturday.

It's also worth mentioning that the Saturday morning high tide cycle might run a little high. Brief minor flooding is possible, but only in the most vulnerable low-lying spots along the Jersey Shore.

In fact, there are no warnings, watches, or advisories in effect for rain, wind, or coastal flooding at this time. In other words, our weather this weekend will be inclement, but not really hazardous.

The second half of the weekend looks much brighter, drier, and more pleasant than the first. Model guidance now suggests sunshine will win the sky for most of Sunday — hooray! However, the northwesterly wind looks a bit gustier, over 20 mph at times. That makes me worry about temperatures (and the chance for an early morning or late evening snow shower). I'll keep high temperatures near 50 for Sunday afternoon, although it will be quite a bit cooler (lower 40s) in NW NJ.

Monday looks "eh". After a cold morning in the 20s, high temperatures will be limited to the lower 40s. Clouds will be on the increase again.

And then our next next storm system arrives Monday night. This looks to bring a two-pronged precipitation chance to the Garden State — both early and late Tuesday, with some sunshine in the middle. It looks like mainly rain again. However, because of the overnight timing and cooler temperatures, there could be some snowflakes involved for northern New Jersey. Maybe even 1+ inch on the ground — let's see how this one develops.

A series of cold fronts will re-introduce colder air to New Jersey late next week. As I said, our next arctic blast looks to arrive around the middle of January, in the 10 to 14 day time frame.

Have a great weekend! Stay dry, New Jersey!

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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