The bottom line of this forecast: cool and sunny Thursday, rain Friday, then getting pretty cold for the weekend.

Following the passage of a weak cold front late Wednesday, some thick cloud cover is hanging over southern and coastal New Jersey on this Thursday morning. Those clouds are acting like a blanket, holding in (some of) yesterday's warmth. Therefore, under the clouds, temperatures haven't fallen below the 50s. Further north, where skies are clear, we're seeing some 30s this morning.

Everything will taste sunny skies on Thursday — although in South Jersey and right along the Jersey Shore, that may take a while. I think it's fair to call it a pleasant, albeit cool, early November day. High temperatures should end up in the mid 50s across the state, on the order of 5 degrees below normal for this time of year.

Following a clear, cool evening, clouds will increase again Thursday night as our next storm system inches closer. I've put low temps in the upper 30s to lower 40s in the forecast — remember, the cloudier it gets, the milder it will stay. I think the Pine Barrens could experience a frost (< 37 degrees) by Friday morning. Higher elevations of NW NJ may see a light freeze (< 32 degrees).

Our weather will turn damp again on Friday, as our next storm system arrives from the southwest. A shower or sprinkle will be possible at any time through the first half of the day. Models have been waffling on the exact timing of the heaviest rain, and it now appears the biggest soaking will come from about 4 p.m. to 10 pm. Friday. A quick inch to inch-and-a-half of rainfall could cause some driving difficulties during the evening commute. Embedded thunderstorms are possible. In addition, a gusty wind may kick up alongside the rain, potentially making for a pretty nasty period of weather.

I have seen some forecasters suggest some wintry mix and/or snow in far NW NJ with Friday's system. I suppose, if temperatures are cold enough, you might see some flakes flying around. However, accumulation and travel issues are unlikely.

By the time you wake up on Saturday morning, the rain will be all gone and temperatures will be in the basement for the duration.

Saturday will be sunny and dry! But also blustery/windy — with gusts as high as 35 mph — and chilly. I've dragged my high temperature forecast for Saturday afternoon, into the upper 40s for most of the state. The NAM model has trended very cold for Saturday, keeping temperatures in the 30s all day — I'm not ready to pop out that kind of forecast frigidity just yet!

Sunday will also be sunny and dry! And not windy! But still pretty cold. A widespread morning freeze is possible. High temperatures will get stuck in the mid 40s. While this kind of weather would be a "nice mid-winter day," that is 10 to 15 degrees colder than normal for early-to-mid November.

In the longer-range forecast, temperatures will stay on the cool side of normal throughout next week. Our next storm system on Tuesday could get complicated. A period of steady to heavy rain could be followed by widespread snow showers as temperatures drop again on the backside. Again, accumulation and travel issues are not expected for now — but this forecast is all about track and timing, which we'll continue to nail down through early next week.

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