The Bottom Line

This forecast is pretty easy to follow. The numbers and timeline have been very consistent, which leads to high confidence in the outcome.

80-ish degree temperatures are expected for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, more reminiscent of typical Memorial Day or Labor Day weather than mid-October. Then Saturday will be the big transition day, as a cold front drives in wind, then wet weather. By Sunday, thermometers will turn about 15 degrees cooler — much more October-ish.

Thursday

We begin the morning with pockets of dense fog around New Jersey. Visibility is down to a quarter-mile to half-mile in spots, which is the point where you need to slow down and pay extra attention. A Dense Fog Advisory blankets most of the state until 7 a.m. I expect fog to lift by the 9 a.m. hour, at the latest.

Temperatures are around 60, and humidity near 100% (hence the fog).

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After a series of mostly cloudy to overcast days, I'm pleased to say the sun will come out today. Scattered clouds will mix with blue sky to make for a pleasant day. It will be dry and mild, with high temperatures reaching about 75 to 80 degrees. On average, we're running about 10 degrees above normal for mid-October.

Thursday night looks great too. Partly cloudy and quiet, with lows mainly in the lower 60s. (Keep in mind, we typically dip into the chilly 40s regularly this time of year.)

Friday

I've been musing about potential "beach and boardwalk weather" this week, as air temperatures soar to 80 and ocean water temperatures hover between 67 and 70 degrees. Well, why not hit the sand and surf in October!

I still believe Friday will be the warmest day of the week. Temperatures will peak around 80 degrees in the afternoon. Jersey Shore communities will end up a few degrees cooler, as a sea breeze kicks in. Skies will be mostly sunny. Humidity will be moderate. Pretty summerlike. And pretty spectacular.

Saturday

The big cold front day. You'll have to stay "weather aware" as we transition from warm to cold, with raindrops and thunderstorms along the way. Especially if you have outdoor activities planned.

Saturday will start warm and windy. Initial gusts out of the south could hit 20 to 30 mph. Clouds will slowly increase, as high temperatures hit the upper 70s to around 80 degrees. So far so good, aside from the strong breeze.

A cold front will push from west to east across New Jersey between Saturday mid afternoon and early evening. And that lift will spark a line of thunderstorms. A brief period of heavy rain may accompany gusty wind and vivid lightning. The window for stormy weather looks to be between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. (I'm casting a semi-wide net on that timeline — it's not going to rain and/or storm that entire time in any given spot.)

Behind the front, cooler, drier air will "whoosh" into New Jersey on a brisk northwest wind. Wind speeds probably the same magnitude as earlier in the day, with 20 to 30 mph gusts.

Sunday

A much more October-ish day. Morning lows will bottom out near 50. And afternoon highs will only reach the lower to mid 60s. That's actually a hair below normal for this time of year.

Skies should quickly flip to sunshine on Sunday, with dry weather expected all day. It will still be breezy, with a westerly wind blowing between 10 and 20 mph.

The Extended Forecast

50-ish in the morning, 60s in the afternoon, lots of sunshine. That's pretty much the forecast for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week. Patchy frost may become an issue in the coldest corners of the state, specifically NW NJ.

The long-range forecast suggests another autumn cold front will come to visit late next week. That will not only produce our next chance of rain, but also knock back temperatures again. By next weekend (October 23-24), we could be talking about widespread frost. And possibly our first freezes of the season in far North Jersey.

Oh yes, the wild roller coaster of autumn rolls right along.

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