Friday and Saturday look pleasant, but with about two-thirds of the Garden State now officially in drought, we'll hopefully see a good soaking Sunday.

Yes, gorgeous early-autumn-ish days like Thursday are a wonderful change of pace from the heat and humidity of summer. However, yesterday's Drought Monitor update affirms New Jersey's rainfall deficit is getting serious, with big potential agricultural and hydrological impacts down the road.

Standard 8-inch diameter rain gauge, amidst parched grass. (Photo: NOAA / NWS)

Hopefully we get some healthy rainfall this weekend. After all, on average, September is New Jersey's 5th wettest month of the year. (After August, July, March, and June.)

Friday looks to be a carbon-copy of Thursday. So much so, in fact, that I've opted to go with a "persistence" forecast. That means I'm literally taking Thursday's observed high temperatures and making them the forecast for Friday. (With a few tweaks.)

So it'll be another beautiful mid-September day with mostly sunny skies, light winds, and dry weather. High temperatures are expected to once again reach the lower 70s in North Jersey and along the coast, the mid 70s for most of inland New Jersey, and the upper 70s in South Jersey.

Friday evening will be comfortable and Friday night will be cool, with lows averaging in the mid 50s by Saturday morning.

I think we'll squeeze out another nice day on Saturday, even though clouds will increase quite a bit through Saturday afternoon. We'll stay dry with light winds. High temperatures will be a few degrees warmer, in the upper 70s to around 80 degrees.

The wet weather comes into play from Saturday night through Monday morning, as a cold front slides toward New Jersey. That front will serve as a "highway" for bursts of atmospheric energy to ride along. Depending on the exact timing, New Jersey could see anything from a few showers to a good soaking. I'll be doing my best rain dance this weekend.

Here's the way the rain forecast shakes out according to the latest model run...
--Showers could push into North Jersey as early as Saturday night (we should stay dry during the daytime hours).
--Through the day on Sunday, showers and thunderstorms will roll through the state (first north, then south).
--Some pockets to steady to heavy rain will be possible, although Sunday probably won't be a washout overall.
--It may still be raining at a solid clip Monday morning, before skies clear to sunshine by Monday afternoon.

Overall, rainfall totals are expected to fall in between 0.5 and 1.4 inches across the Garden State. Every drop helps, but such totals won't even bring us up to normal for September. Nevermind the running deficit since the summer and the beginning of the year.

Sunday-Monday looks to be our only shot of significant rain next week. It's back to sunshine and pleasant temperatures for Tuesday and beyond.

Meanwhile, in the tropics, we have Tropical Storm Ian headed for Iceland, Tropical Storm Julia remaining stagnant off the Georgia coast, and now Tropical Storm Karl just west of Africa. Still no direct threats to New Jersey from any of these storms, but we're watching.

Have a great weekend!

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