The week ahead will feature high pollen levels, slowly increasing temperatures, and two chances for rain showers.

Here are your weather headlines for Monday, April 27, 2015...

Spotty Spring Showers

An area of low pressure northeast of New England will affect our weather today, with increased clouds and a chance for showers this afternoon. Otherwise, today looks similar to Sunday - temperatures in the lower to mid 60s, a stiff breeze up to about 20 mph, and a mix of blue and grey skies.

Any showers that do pop up this afternoon will be battling dry air in the lower atmosphere. Plus, the impulse that will be spawning these raindrops is expected to be weak. So don’t expect anything too heavy or prolonged... but you might be wise to grab an umbrella for this afternoon and this evening, just in case.

Any rain we get will alleviate the high concentration of pollen in the air. Otherwise, allergy-sufferers (including me!) will continue to suffer through the next rainfall or air mass change.

Slow Warming Trend

This afternoon’s spot showers will be the only hiccup in an otherwise pleasant and "springy" first half of the week. Temperatures will experience a slow warmup, from the lower to mid 60s today, through the mid to upper 60s on Tuesday, and into the lower 70s on Wednesday. Normal highs for this time of year are rising through the 66° to 68° range, so afternoon temperatures will be within a few degrees of seasonable all week.

Meanwhile, low temperatures may occasionally dip into the upper 30s - cold enough for patchy frost. Most spots in New Jersey will see mornings chilly but seasonable in the 40s.

Thursday-Friday

The storm system that will affect the Northeast US on Thursday and Friday presents a forecast challenge due to divergent forecast model solutions. A storm system will pass through the Mid-Atlantic (around the Carolinas) on Thursday morning, and the direction the system takes at that point will directly affect the resultant weather conditions we see here in New Jersey.

On the one side, the GFS model (and associated ensembles) keep the low right along the coastline, which would result in heavy, steady rain for most of Thursday and probably Friday too. This wet solution would also keep skies cloudy and therefore keep temperatures cool (with highs only in the 50s). The other solution, favored by the rest of the model suite (specifically the NAM and the Euro), pushes the system further out to sea. That would bring New Jersey some clouds and some rain showers, but the impacts would be far less significant than the inland course. The lower, more scattered rain totals would also lead to warmer temperatures overall (with highs in the 60s).

So which model will turn out to be right? I’m leaning toward the drier, warmer solution at this time, since the GFS seems to be the outlier here. Confidence remains low to moderate, however, so this forecast is certainly subject to change as the week progresses and we get more model information.

In either case, Friday looks windy. And, for now, the upcoming weekend looks very good!