Rumors are swirling about New Jersey's first snowflakes of the season coming in the next week. And according to the latest forecast, those rumors are true! Before you dig out the snow shovel and run to the store for bread a milk, please keep reading.

Spotty rain showers are in the forecast for this Election Day, but I'm not seeing anything heavy or steady that would dissuade a voter from heading to the polls. The best chance for wet weather will be during the morning hours, and in southern and coastal New Jersey. Having said that, I could see a shower creeping into any corner of the Garden State Tuesday. Skies will be mostly cloudy.

High temperatures will reach the lower 60s Tuesday afternoon. This will be the warmest day we're going to see for quite a while...

Our atmosphere will be drying out and clearing out as early as Tuesday evening. It will be chilly again, as lows dip into the upper 30s to around 40 โ€” close to the widespread frost, limited freeze zone.

No weather problems for Wednesday. We're facing bright sunshine and cooler-than normal temperatures, only topping out in the lower 50s.

And most of Thursday looks OK too. Increasing clouds will join rising temperatures, improving to the upper 50s.

Our next storm system is a strong cold front that will start pushing into western New Jersey around Thursday late afternoon. Initial rain showers will be light, transitioning to heavier, steadier rainfall Thursday evening. As colder air arrives after Midnight Thursday night, the forecast gets a bit more interesting.

If temperatures drop below freezing before precipitation comes to an end, a period of wintry precipitation (mix or snow) is possible. (By the way, we're not just talking about temperatures at the surface, but also about a mile up in the atmosphere.) Some weather outlets โ€” including the National Weather Service โ€” are promoting the idea of an inch of accumulation in NW NJ.

However, given the latest model guidance, that seems like a stretch to me. The timing of the cold air just isn't right.

GFS model forecast for 1 a.m. Friday, showing rain ending from northwest to southeast. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
GFS model surface temperature forecast as of 1 a.m. Friday, showing North Jersey (finally) falling below the freezing mark. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
GFS model 850mb temperature forecast for 1 a.m. Friday, showing freezing temperatures in the "snow zone" about a mile above the ground. It will be cold enough to sustain some snowflakes in North Jersey, but the geography and time frame will be very limited. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

I do believe North Jersey (let's say above I-78, and especially west of I-287) has a good shot at the first snowflakes of the season. But substantial accumulations and travel issues, even in higher elevation areas? For now โ€” almost 72 hours away โ€” I say nah.

The biggest story here is the big cooldown that hits on Friday. It's going to be a blustery windy day with occasional northwesterly gusts to 35 mph. Despite emerging sunshine, high temperatures will only reach the lower 40s. A full 15 degrees cooler than Thursday. 15 to 20 degrees below-normal for early November. And likely New Jersey's coldest day since early April.

In other words, if you haven't dug out the heavier jacket and coat yet this season? It's time.

This weekend will remain cool, but dry. Saturday's high temperatures will reach the mid 40s, under mostly to partly sunny skies. Models are suggesting more clouds for Sunday, alongside slightly warmer temps near 50 degrees.

The next next storm system is really the one to watch. Temperatures will already be chilly exiting the weekend, and only getting colder for next week. Meanwhile, an atmospheric impulse could drive through an extended period of wintry mix and/or straight snow during the day Monday. And again, if it's cold enough and/or if the snowfall intensity is heavy enough, there could be some light snow/ice accumulations. (Some models are promoting the idea of "a few inches" โ€” I don't want to get any more specific than that.)

It's worth watching for now, but that's it. As I will say often during the winter season, I strongly prefer to let snow forecasts play out carefully, methodically, and slowly. If there's a time or reason to take action (or panic), you'll be the first to know. Stay tuned!

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