A wild roller coaster of early spring weather is ahead, with a mix of wind, rain, storms, warmth, and cold for the Garden State.

Here are your weather headlines for Thursday, March 31, 2016...

Warm and Windy

The common theme over the next 4+ days will be the return of a fierce gusty wind, to 40 mph or higher. For now, it's a nice warming wind. But only for now...

During the daytime hours on Thursday, clouds will increase and so will wind speeds. Southwesterly sustained winds are expected to peak in the 15 to 25 mph range, with occasional gusts to around 40 mph. That's enough to make driving and walking difficult and potentially bring down small branches and trees. It will also blow around lots of pollen (sniffle, sniffle) and keep the wildfire danger high.

We will see a nice warmup on Thursday (and Friday too), as thermometers make a run for 70+ degrees. That's about 15 degrees above normal for late March/early April.

Clouds will increase too as a storm system approaches, and skies will become mostly cloudy by the afternoon. However, it looks like the Garden State will stay dry during the daytime hours Thursday.

Stormy, Warm, and Windy

The aforementioned storm system carries a cold front, that will eventually cause a big temperature tumble. But first, some rain will push through New Jersey. And thanks to the growing warmth and humidity in our atmosphere, some of that rain could come in the form of strongish springtime thunderstorms.

First raindrops are currently forecast to fall in New Jersey just before midnight Thursday night. Rainfall should stay fairly light through the overnight hours. The best chance for thunderstorms will be throughout the day on Friday (both morning and afternoon). I still don't think Friday will be a total washout - but you'll want to be indoors (or at least under an umbrella) when one of those storms rolls overhead.

At the moment, Friday looks warmer than Thursday by a couple of degrees, with highs bumping into the lower 70s. The gusty wind will be back, again gusting to 40 mph.

Cold and Windy

Showers look to stick around for at least the first half of Saturday. We'll also start to feel the cool air effects of that cold front, although high temperatures on Saturday should still reach around 60 degrees. One more round of rain or snow showers will be possible Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The most ferocious winds of the week will pick up late Saturday through all day Sunday. Gusts could reach 60 mph - that's high enough to potentially cause some damage and power outages. And that wind will fuel our big cooldown too, with Sunday's high temperatures limited to the mid 40s at best. That's about 15 degrees below normal and 30+ degrees cooler than Thursday and Friday!

So yes, Sunday looks like a downright cold, blustery, overall unfriendly weather day.

A series of cold fronts will keep the chilly, below-normal temperatures embedded upon New Jersey through at least the middle of next week. Each passing front and weak storm system will present a chance for rain or even snow showers, but no accumulation is expected.

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