The Bottom Line

An epic battle rages on between an area of low pressure off the coast and a frontal boundary stalled over and west of New Jersey. The front will ultimately be the victor, driving one more round of rain through the state on Thursday. While the day will start damp and dreary, it will end with big improvements.

Those changes will lead to some beautiful weather for the first weekend of summer. Oh, it is going to get very warm. But isn't that appropriate here in late June?

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Thursday

Thursday begins just like the last two days. Blah. Cloudy and cool. Damp and dreary. But it will end brighter and drier.

There is one more band of rain soaking Pennsylvania Thursday morning. A few showers are clipping the western edge of New Jersey, along the Delaware River. More of that rain will shift eastward over the entire state between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Let's say wet weather will resume between about 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. for most.

The rain may be steady for a time in western New Jersey, with total additional rainfall possibly topping a quarter-inch. Closer to the coast, you're not immune to wet weather Thursday, but totals will be much lighter.

That's because the rain is expected to fizzle before reaching the coast. It looks like the storm system is going to just run out of gas.

There may be some leftover clouds and dampness heading into the dinnertime hours. But it's also wholly possible that you'll catch peeks of sun before it sets this evening.

Because of the rain and clouds and on-shore breeze, temperatures will be stuck on the cool side again. It will get no warmer than the lower 70s Thursday afternoon. A moderate risk of dangerous rip currents continues for the Jersey Shore.

Clouds will continue to thin out and conditions will continue to dry out Thursday evening. Humidity is not going to be zapped from our atmosphere this time around. But the stickiness level will be manageable overnight. We'll end up comfortable, around 60 degrees.

Friday

Looks like a beautiful late June day to me. Under partly sunny skies, high temperatures will push to about 70 degrees. The breeze will be light.

The weather looks almost completely dry too. Having said that, one or two models still paint a popup shower over NJ around midday Friday. There's no big forcing or storm system in play here, so I've removed the shower mention from my on-air forecast. But the chance for a few raindrops somewhere in the state is not necessarily zero.

Saturday

Warming up even more. Most New Jersey locales will surge to the upper 80s to around 90 degrees on Saturday. Mostly sunny skies, completely dry weather, manageable humidity, and a sea breeze keeping the beaches cooler? Sounds like a phenomenal first weekend of summer.

Sunday

Some extra clouds and a more prominent southerly breeze, compared to Saturday. But still a pleasant, very warm summer day. Look for mixed sunshine and clouds, with highs temperatures again in the upper 80s to around 90.

The Extended Forecast

Beyond Thursday, New Jersey faces one and only one storm system and one rain chance through the rest of June. That will be a cold front on Monday.

Most long-range models are now painting a pretty slow frontal passage Monday, and therefore a pretty wet day. If all goes according to plan, we should get a stretch of bright, dry, warm, not-humid days through the middle of next week. And then heat will probably surge just in time for the 4th of July Weekend — as it seems to do every year.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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