Welcome to May!

This month begins with normal high temperatures in the upper 60s and normal lows in the upper 40s. By the end of May, our normal highs climb to the mid 70s and normal lows reach the upper 50s. On average, May is New Jersey's sixth wettest month of the year.

Of course, we'll blow normals out of the water for the first few days of the month. Summerlike heat and humidity will build across the Garden State over the next few days — a welcome forecast after the active, bitter winter we just completed.

A Cool Start

With all this talk of warmth, don't be fooled by Tuesday morning. Temperatures are starting off in the cool 40s across most of the state, with chilly 30s in a few spots too. This will be the coldest morning we see for quite a while (at least a week).

Warm: Tuesday

While you might need a jacket or sweater early on, feel free to toss it out the window later on! By Tuesday afternoon, thermometers will soar into the mid to upper 70s. With mostly sunny skies, and a fresh westerly breeze (10 to 20 mph) keeping the air moving, Tuesday has the potential to be a top 10 day of the year!

Of course, tree pollen remains in the "high" range. Ahh-choo!

Tuesday night looks fantastically comfortable too, with low humidity and mostly clear skies. Overnight lows will dip into the mid to upper 50s.

Cooler at the Shore

Ahhh, an oft-used phrase around here in the Spring and Summer. And boy is the beach forecast tricky this week.

Ocean water temperatures currently range from 51 to 55 degrees along the Jersey Shore. So if you're headed to the beach during this stretch of warm weather, you might be shocked if you dare dip a toe into the Atlantic. Brrrr!

In addition, as usual, we have to consider how the cooler marine environment will affect air temperatures along the coast. Will the warm land breeze (out of the west-southwest) counteract the chilly sea breeze? I think it will, for mainland beaches (mainly Monmouth County), allowing mostly warm temperatures there.

For barrier island beaches and along the Delaware Bay, we'll almost certainly see significantly cooler temperatures all week (60s to around 70, instead of 80s).

Warmer: Wednesday

The warmup really ramps up on Wednesday, as our giant dome of high pressure maneuvers enough to shift our winds from westerly to southwesterly. That's almost always a "blast furnace" wind during the warm-weather months, and this time will be no different. Wednesday afternoon's high temps will reach 80 to 85 degrees for most of the state. Once again, it will be a warm, breezy, summerlike day.

I should mention that humidity will steadily build through this warming trend as well. Dew points should top out around 60 — so we'll feel a touch of mugginess in the air. Noticeable, but not quite oppressive.

Warmest: Thursday and Friday

Thursday will get a bit steamy, with high temperatures in the mid to upper 80s. That's very warm, on the order of 20 degrees above normal for early May! (Note: I reserve use of the word "hot" unless we experience widespread temperatures or heat indices over 90 degrees — close, but not quite this week.) Skies will become partly sunny by Thursday morning.

I could also see a shower or thunderstorm popping up late-day Thursday, right around sunset. If anything gets going, it will be very isolated — there's no major forcing or storm system to worry about.

We'll have one more day of widespread 80s on Friday, with increasing clouds and that continuing brisk wind (with potential gusts climbing over 30 mph). A slightly better chance for spot showers and thunderstorms will enter the forecast as a cold front approaches late-day Friday, mainly for northern and central New Jersey.

Cooler Weather Returns

The cooldown will come this weekend, in two steps. Part one will come behind Friday night's cold frontal passage, as northwesterly winds push high temperatures down about 5 to 10 degrees for Saturday. That's upper 70s to around 80 degrees — still quite pleasant! Part two looks like a backdoor cold front late Saturday, which would put winds out of the northeast. At this time of year, considering the aforementioned chilly ocean temperatures, that would cause a pretty dramatic drop in air temperatures. If such a pattern does develop, highs for Sunday and Monday could end up close to 60 degrees again.

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