The Bottom Line

The string of splendidly sunny, marvelously mild, and delightfully dry weather will continue for one more day. But there are April showers on the horizon, as our weather turns cloudier, slightly cooler, and more unsettled in the coming days. The only day with any degree of steady, heavy rain is Sunday - but you may want to keep outdoor plans flexible through early next week.

Thursday

No issues and no complaints about this forecast. There’s a chill in the air Thursday morning, with temperatures in the 40s. (Even some 30s in the coldest spots.) High temperatures will aim for the mid to upper 60s Thursday afternoon. The cool spot in the state will be the coast - look for upper 50s on barrier islands, and about 60 degrees on the mainland.

Skies will be sunny, and our weather will stay completely dry.

HRRR model forecast for midday Thursday, showing bright sunshine across the Garden State. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Clouds will roll in Thursday night. I could see some patchy fog developing by Friday morning. Low temperatures will descend into the mid 40s or so.

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Friday

Three changes, compared to the rest of the week. 1.) Mostly cloudy skies. 2.) Slightly cooler (more seasonable), with highs only reaching the upper 50s to around 60 degrees. 3.) A wave of rain showers will sweep through the state from midday through the afternoon (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

There are some model differences regarding just how widespread those showers are. I’m leaning toward a wetter scenario, given our marine-influenced air mass. But even that’s not saying much, as rainfall totals end up shy of a tenth-of-an-inch.

Just be prepared for a brief period of raindrops, but know the day will be mainly dry.

Saturday

Not pretty, but not a washout and not horrible. Saturday morning’s air looks pretty humid (relatively speaking), so I’m including a chance for fog and patchy drizzle in the forecast. Clouds will win the sky. But a continuing southeasterly wind will keep temperatures at or above seasonal normals, peaking in the lower 60s Saturday afternoon.

Sunday

As I mentioned, this is the one part of the next week that looks downright wet. But even then, we’re not talking about an all-day thing.

Forecast models have been back and forth all week about the timing and intensity of an impending storm system in the Sunday time frame. And unfortunately, they’re still largely out to lunch, with several different options still on the table.

I’m going to follow the latest trend, which calls for one or two brief bursts of rain on Sunday - mainly early and late day. There could be rumbles of thunder. There could be downpours. Although the threat for severe weather (wind, hail, tornado) seems marginal at this point.

Now here’s the really tricky part. In between those rounds of rain, substantial breaks of sun and a southwesterly breeze could really cause temperatures to soar. I’ve adjusted our forecast accordingly, suggesting 70 degrees is a possibility on Sunday.

Again, not a high confidence forecast at this point. But we’ll continue to refine the timeline and expectations over the next 72 hours until raindrops arrive.

The Extended Forecast

Carrying through the midpoint of April, next week’s outlook is also muddled at this point. There is a strong signal toward an easterly wind on Monday, causing thick clouds and cool temperatures (in the 50s). Then clouds and showers are possible Tuesday and Wednesday, before our next potentially sunny day on Thursday.

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