The Bottom Line

On Thursday, both New Jersey's rain chances and my forecast were very much "hit or miss".

For Friday, a coastal storm system will make its closest pass to the Jersey Shore, spitting out a few more waves of rain showers. It will be another "carry the umbrella, just in case" day with occasional raindrops, lots of clouds, and rough surf.

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Skies will clear just in time for the final weekend of summer. But there is a cold front forecast to arrive right in the middle of the weekend. That will have some minor (mainly good) impacts on our weather.

Friday

As of Friday morning, the center of a coastal storm system is passing by North Carolina, expected to pass within 300 miles of the Jersey Shore. As it approaches, we could see a few raindrops Friday. Nothing heavy, nothing severe, nothing widespread. The best chance for passing showers Friday will be around southern and coastal New Jersey. We'll have to keep that shower possibility alive through about sunset Friday.

The NAM model forecast for midday Friday shows spotty showers over New Jersey, as a coastal storm system passes off-shore. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

I'm calling skies "mostly cloudy to overcast". There is a reasonable chance for some clearing to the west by Friday late afternoon.

Temperatures will be stuck in the sticky 70s all day: Lower 70s in the morning, mid 70s in the afternoon.

And along the Jersey Shore, 2 to 4 foot ocean waves will batter beaches. A high risk of rip currents is posted for both Friday and Saturday. That should not be too much of a surprise — any time a strong storm system is over the western Atlantic, it usually kicks up our surf.

We'll really see big improvements Friday evening, as our stretch of unsettled weather comes to an end. Clearing out and drying out overnight, with fairly comfortable low temperatures falling into the mid 60s.

Saturday

It looks like a really nice day. Skies will become mostly sunny by midday, at the latest. Temperatures will warm up to about 80 to 85 degrees, firmly above seasonal norms for mid-September. And with dew points in the 60s, you'll still be feeling stickiness and humidity in the air.

There is one and only one wrinkle in this weekend's forecast: The arrival of a cold front late Saturday. That front is going to be moisture-starved, so the chance of rain is low. But it's not zero — I wouldn't completely rule out a few little sprinkles popping up Saturday evening. A northerly wind may kick up to 20+ mph for a bit Saturday night too.

And then, most importantly, that front will open the door to some (much) drier and (slightly) cooler air. That's a good thing!

Sunday

By the time you wake up Sunday morning, dew points will have dropped into the 50s. Dry and comfortable!

That will set us up for a spectacular Sunday. It will be sunny and dry, with high temperatures around 80 degrees.

Monday & Beyond

The pleasant weather will continue for Monday and Tuesday. Even though there will be more clouds in the sky, it should still be bright and fair. High temperatures should end up in the seasonable upper 70s.

Our next significant storm system is forecast to arrive in the Wednesday-Thursday time frame, a strong cold front. I don't want to get too deep into details just yet. But we'll have to watch for some heavy rain (1+ inches), associated with a line of strong thunderstorms (60+ mph winds), leading to a big cooldown.

By the end of next week, we could see some morning lows only in the 40s, with some afternoon highs in the 60s.

The flip to more fall-like weather makes sense — the Autumnal Equinox arrives Wednesday 9/22 at 3:20 p.m.

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