Clouds and humidity will increase on Wednesday across the Garden State, setting the stage for some big changes through the rest of the week.

Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, November 18, 2015...

Increasing Clouds and Humidity

Satellite imagery shows a thick band of clouds is approaching New Jersey from the west. So while Wednesday began with sunshine and chilly temperatures, clouds will increase quite a bit through this afternoon. Additionally, southeasterly winds will bump humidity levels upward today. Not only will you feel the humidity in the air this afternoon, that extra humidity will increase rain chances starting late today and especially tomorrow. Meanwhile, today's high temperatures should be a little warmer than yesterday, in the upper 50s for most of the state, with lower 60s in South Jersey.

Models show a few showers potentially popping up late this afternoon and evening, but anything that falls through sunrise Thursday morning should remain light.

Rainy Thursday

A powerful storm system charging across the country has been creating some incredibly messy and dangerous weather... ranging from tornadoes in Texas and Mississippi, wind damage in Oklahoma and Louisiana, and multiple inches of snow in Colorado. That storm system is heading New Jersey's way, and will hit on Thursday.

Yes, Thursday is going to be a wet day for the Garden State... Possibly a washout, as rain is likely from about 8 a.m. Thursday through the evening hours. While humidity will be relatively high and temperatures quite warm on Thursday (in the 60s), I'm not overly concerned about the threat of severe weather. At worst, heavy rain could lead to localized flooding, and there could be some embedded lightning and thunder. I expect rainfall totals to average an inch across the state - certainly a good soaking. Those amounts could be higher where it rains the hardest.

The rain will be done by Friday morning, but that's when the door opens to some very autumnal air...

Big Cooldown

The cold front driving Thursday's rain will deliver a marginally cooler air mass for Friday and Saturday. A reinforcing shot of cold air will arrive early Sunday, which will lead to some of the coldest temperatures of the season (so far) to kick off Thanksgiving week. Here's the breakdown of high temperatures through this big cooldown:

  • Thursday: Mid 60s
  • Friday: Mid 50s
  • Saturday: Around 50
  • Sunday: Lower to Mid 40s
  • Monday: Lower to Mid 40s

In addition... The timing and precise track of Sunday morning's cold front will need to be watched. IF the track of the associated low is far enough south, IF there's enough atmospheric moisture to work with, and IF temperatures are cold enough, we could see some snow showers. These snowflakes are most likely in the northern third of New Jersey, in the pre-dawn hours on Sunday. While this is a low confidence forecast for now, snow accumulation is not expected - the ground will be too warm, and these showers will only happen during a brief window on Sunday morning.

One thing's for warm, there is definitely going to be a winter-like chill in the air by early next week!

Dan Zarrow is the Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.