Although the holiday weekend will begin with clouds and cooler-than-normal temperatures, the unofficial summer season will finish with sunshine and warmth.

The beach will be a popular destination over this Labor Day Weekend. The weather will mostly cooperate, although rough surf and rip currents could be an issue. (Photo Amy Zarrow)

Thursday closed out a 5-day heat wave for New Jersey, with widespread 90s and even a record-breaking 95° at Atlantic City International Airport. While the 90+ degree heat is over, Friday will remain somewhat muggy as a backdoor front will take its sweet time delivering cooler and drier air to the Garden State.

Our weather will be iffy for today, and therefore it is difficult to add much precision to our forecast. Skies will remain mostly to partly cloudy, and a chance for a spot shower or storm will continue through the daytime hours. As the backdoor front comes on-shore, a brisk wind will pick up from the ocean. That will keep the Jersey Shore in particular cool-ish this afternoon, with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. Inland New Jersey should be a bit warmer, mostly in the lower 80s. In the southwest corner of the state - the last area to see the cooler, drier air - highs are expected to climb into the mid 80s today.

By Friday night, the entire state should see clearing skies and cooling temperatures.

There will likely be a few clouds leftover for Saturday morning, as temperatures dip into the comfortably cool lower to mid 60s. Sunshine should return to all of New Jersey by Saturday afternoon. There could still be a bit of a breeze leftover, especially along the coast. That will keep the beach a bit on the cooler side on Saturday - somewhere in the 70s. Inland areas will top out around 80 degrees.

A warming trend will kick in for Sunday and beyond, as abundant sunshine and low humidity will really make for a beautiful Labor Day Weekend. Sunday's highs will end up in the lower to mid 80s. Labor Day Monday will probably be even warmer, with highs in the mid to upper 80s. Humidity levels will remain comfortable all weekend.

Finally, a very important note for those heading to the Jersey Shore this weekend... Given the continued easterly wind for the first half of the weekend, rough surf (waves 4 to 5 feet) and an elevated risk of rip currents (moderate to high) are expected for at least Friday and Saturday. Depending on conditions at your favorite beach, it might be smart to just stay out of the water and stick to sunbathing and building sun castles. If you insist upon going in the water this weekend, please pay very close attention to posted signs, flags, and lifeguard instructions.

Have a great weekend!