Strong southwest winds will carry some of the warmest air of the season into New Jersey for Thursday and Friday, although there is a chance of rain as well.

Here are your weather headlines for Thursday, April 2, 2015...

Warm and Windy Thursday

Spring is really springing today, thanks to some solid warm air advection. In other words, brisk southwest winds (gusting to 30 mph) will carry much warmer air into New Jersey. Consequently, high temperatures today should end up in the 60° to 65° range. As long as you don’t mind a bit of wind, it will be a beautiful spring day... maybe even warm enough to open up the windows for some fresh air.

I debated between putting "mostly sunny” and “partly sunny” skies for the forecast today, since a few extra clouds look to pass through our sky today. And clouds will likely increase late today, ahead of our incoming storm system and rain chances. All in all, I think the sun will dominate most of the state for most of the day, contributing further to this nice spring weather day.

Warm, Windy, and Wet Friday

A cold front will approach New Jersey tonight, but it looks to stall just to our west until Saturday morning. Areas of atmospheric energy will ride northward along this front, and provide sustaining rain chances for Friday. I don’t think the day will be a total washout, for a couple of reasons. First, because we should see a few breaks in between the heaviest pockets of rain. And second, because the storm total rainfall from Friday morning through Saturday morning are forecast to only add up to about an inch. (For a 24-hour rain event, that’s really not much at all.)

So, while there will be a few periods of moderate to heavy rain on Friday, a few rumbles of thunder, and maybe some gusty winds, the day won’t be all bad... Especially since, among the rain and the wind, temperatures will stay warm for Friday. Morning lows will only fall to about 50° - you’ll certainly notice how mild and even humid it is tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon, temperatures will climb into the mid to upper 60s. That’s about 10° above normal for early April.

Cooler, Quieter Holiday Weekend

Showers will taper off Saturday morning, as that stubborn cold front finally pushes past. At that point, the precipitation will still be almost all rain. But I can’t rule out a little bit of snow in far North Jersey, if temperatures drop further than forecast (currently about 40° Saturday morning in Sussex County).

By late morning on Saturday, the rain should be done and skies will clear quickly in the cool, dry air behind the front. Highs on Saturday will only reach the lower 50s - noticeably cooler than Thursday and Friday, but only 6 to 8 degrees below normal. Temperatures should bounce back into the mid 50s for Easter Sunday, with partly sunny skies.

At the moment, early next week looks warmer but potentially unsettled. This morning's models show that we could flirt with 70° on Tuesday, but there almost certainly will be some rain chances to speak of for the first half of next week too. Stay tuned.