While it won't be the widespread soaking rain the Garden State could use right now, showers with occasional thunder are expected Friday and Friday night.

Here are your weather headlines for Friday, April 22, 2016...

Rain Arrives

While our weather has been fantastic over the past week and a half, the fire danger and pollen have been somewhat unbearable here in New Jersey. Month-to-date rainfall totals are running more than 2 inches below normal for most of the state. A bit of relief will be on the way Friday, but it's far from the all-day drenching that we could use right now.

We will begin Friday with mostly cloudy skies, breezy conditions, and warm temperatures. Highs will spike into the mid to upper 70s on Friday. 80+ degrees is not out of the question. The Jersey Shore will be the exception, as usual, with somewhat cooler temperatures.

Models show the first raindrops will arrive in New Jersey between about 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Most of the rain will take the form of showers - light, and hit-or-miss. Some of these showers could grow into a localized downpour, and a few rumbles of thunder will be possible. Friday's warmth will add a bit of instability to our atmosphere, and rising humidity will provide the necessary moisture for pockets of heavier rain.

The chance for rain will continue through Friday evening, Friday night, and even into Saturday morning. North Jersey and inland Central Jersey should be done with the rain by around sunrise Saturday. The coast and South Jersey may hold on to raindrops a bit longer, through mid to late morning.

Rain Departs

In any case, skies will clear rapidly behind the rain, as a front finishes its push through the Garden State. By Saturday afternoon at the latest, we'll see mostly sunny skies and drying air.

Temperatures on Saturday will be comfortable, and still above normal. (The normal high for this time of year is around 64 degrees.) Look for afternoon highs in the mid to upper 60s on Saturday. Comfortable and pleasant!

Sunday looks good too, albeit slightly cooler. Highs in the lower to mid 60s will accompany mostly sunny skies.

Unsettled Next Week

On Monday, clouds will start to increase again. And so will temperatures, with forecast highs back in the lower to mid 70s.

Our next chance for rain will come along in the Monday evening to Tuesday time frame. This is associated with a slow-moving and/or stalled front, which will complicate forecasting the precise timing of the precipitation and the ensuing temperature drop. So, for now, confidence remains low in the details for early next week.

Having said that, as I mentioned in yesterday's weather blog post, Monday looks warm, Tuesday looks wet, and Wednesday looks cooler.

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