New Jersey's weather forecast includes warmer days, not-so-cool nights, a few clouds, and meager rain chances.

Warming Up 20171004

Dry, dry, dry! It has now been more than two weeks since measurable rain fell in New Jersey. Our weather has been consistently dry, pleasant, and mild. As controlling high pressure shifts away from NJ, the door will now open to 1.) warmer temperatures, 2.) an uptick in humidity, and 3.) eventually some rain.

Wednesday looks pretty similar to recent days: a chilly morning, a mild afternoon, dry weather, and mostly to partly sunny skies. High temperatures are expected to reach the mid to upper 70s. It will actually become our warmest day in almost a week, about 5 to 10 degrees above normal for early October.

As moisture creeps into New Jersey's atmosphere, humidity will slowly increase. Moist air does not cool down as efficiently as dry air, so Wednesday night should be considerably warmer than the past few nights. Forget the 30s and 40s for now, as we only bottom out around 60 degrees by Thursday morning.

A weak cold front will try to push through New Jersey Thursday. Try, and fail. I have to include a few raindrops in North Jersey Thursday morning — but models are admittedly bone dry. So for the most part, Thursday will be another gorgeous day: partly sunny, breezy, and warm day. Forecast high temperatures are mostly in the lower 80s, 10+ degrees above normal and within a few degrees of the daily record highs.

Increased cloud cover will keep Friday a bit cooler, in the mid to upper 70s. The GFS model paints a pretty wet Friday afternoon and evening for North Jersey, but it stands alone in pushing this shortwave through the state. I have to include some rain in the forecast, limited to the area north of Interstate 78.

Saturday will be the shining star of the weekend, featuring partial sunshine and nice, warm temperatures back in the lower 80s. While the day will be dry, it does look a bit windy. Sustained southerly winds of 10 to 20 mph will fuel the warmup, and keep the heat moving around. I could see gusts over 30 mph at times — you might get a bit windswept if you'll be spending much time outside through the first half of the weekend.

Our weather turns downhill as our next substantial storm system arrives sometime on Sunday. While I had previously limited rain chances to Sunday afternoon, I fear raindrops could threaten the entire day. As a result of the rain potential and increasing clouds, temperatures will be a bit cooler (although still above normal). High temperatures are expected to reach the mid to upper 70s.

Complicating the rain forecast is a tropical disturbance currently over the southwestern Caribbean Sea. (It may become Nate in the next day or two.) The latest model forecasts show this area of tropical moisture moving toward the U.S. Gulf Coast and then toward us by early next week. If that tropical moisture enhances Monday's rainfall — and that's still a big if — we could end up with a good drenching, maybe a couple inches of rain. We'll have to keep watch for a potential washout, and I hope to have a better sense of rainfall timing and intensity in the coming days.

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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