All week long, Thursday's forecast has been troublesome. Weather transitions are always the hardest to pinpoint. Especially around autumn, as those transitions are usually rapid and volatile. I have settled on a prediction calling for clouds, two rounds of rain, and one more day of warmth and humidity (for most).

The first round of rain Thursday is already wrapping up, as a band of rain fell apart as it passed over the Garden State. We'll keep spotty showers in the forecast throughout Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, it's still warm and very humid. And it's going to stay that way for most of New Jersey today, as highs push into the lower to mid 80s. The exception will be far northern NJ, which should start to taste cooler, drier air early in the day. That will limit highs to the lower to mid 70s.

Our second round of rain is expected to arrive around Thursday late afternoon. (Let's say the best chance for raindrops will be 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.) Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be sparked by our approaching cold front, and will potentially impact all corners of the Garden State. Some of those storms may be on the strong side, with 40+ mph wind gusts, a quick hit of heavy rain, and lots of lightning.

As rain exits Thursday evening, temperatures will start to cool very quickly. Overnight low temperatures will fall into the upper 50s to around 60 degrees.

Friday is going to be a very different weather day. It's going to be much cooler, with highs only in the upper 60s to around 70 degrees — a full 10 degrees below-normal for mid-September. I'm seeing mostly cloudy skies — not quite overcast, as I could see some breaks of sun as the day goes on. And we'll feel a stiff on-shore breeze at 10 to 20 mph. Most models are pointing to a dry day Friday — at most, I supposed a few sprinkles are possible.

I'm happy to pass along that the forecast for the weekend is actually looking better!

A few rain showers will fall in New Jersey on Saturday. But it will be far from a total washout, and much of the state may stay completely dry. I'm optimistic we'll see breaks of sunshine throughout the day. High temperatures will improve to the lower to mid 70s — still slightly cooler than normal.

Sunday will clearly be the brighter, drier, and warmer day of the weekend. Morning clouds will give way to afternoon sun, pushing highs into the summery lower to mid 80s.

Monday will remain warm and sticky in the 80s, before another cooldown arrives. Tuesday and Wednesday are looking much more autumnal, with highs back in the 70s.

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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