Records were smashed, bones were chilled, and heaters were fired up. We will start to dig out from the winter-like arctic chill on Thursday. But, to be fair, this forecast contains only below-normal temperatures for the foreseeable future (through at least the middle of next week).

For most of New Jersey, Thursday morning is actually a few degrees colder than Wednesday morning. We're mainly seeing teens and 20s on the temperature map for inland NJ. Along the Jersey Shore, things are a bit warmer, close to the freezing mark. The big difference here is the lack of wind — you will not have to battle a biting wind chill as you step out the front door.

A slight warmup is on the way for Thursday afternoon. While Wednesday only saw high temperatures between 24 (High Point) and 37 (Cape May Courthouse), thermometers should reach the mid 40s Thursday. That's only about 10 degrees below seasonal norms.

Overhead, you'll see clouds and some filtered sunshine. A few forecast models hint at flurries or sprinkles Thursday, mainly in northern and southern New Jersey. Nothing big or travel-headache-inducing though.

Thursday night will be chilly, but not as frigid as the past two nights. Under mostly cloudy skies, lows only fall into the lower to mid 30s. The coldest spots may experience a light freeze.

A series of coastal storm systems make the forecast somewhat more complicated and more unsettled. However, we are still not facing direct impact from any of them.

We have to split the state in half for Friday's forecast. In South Jersey and along the Jersey Shore, clouds will win the sky as a few rain showers potentially clip the coast. On the flip side, to the north and west, I think we'll see plentiful sunshine. No matter which side of the state you're on, I think high temperatures will make it to around the 50 degree mark. That is pretty much the warmest day of the week, but still 5 to 7 degrees below normal for mid-November.

Another burst of cold air arrives for the weekend. Wind will kick up late Friday night, potentially gusting to 30 mph. So it's going to be breezy and blustery Saturday. And colder, with high temperatures scaling back to the upper 30s. At least skies will be clear and bright during the daytime hours.

Clouds return Saturday night into Sunday, as another storm system develops off the North Carolina coast. This one is looking pretty strong — so I'm glad it's going to take a turn out-to-sea. However, I do have to include showers in Sunday's forecast, especially along the coast.

I am a little concerned about the timing of Sunday's showers. If they visit during the day, temperatures will be warm enough to sustain all rain. However, any Sunday night showers could have some wintry mix and slippery spots involved. Just something to keep an eye on.

The latest long-range forecast shows quiet weather through Monday afternoon and Tuesday, before another storm system drives in some rain in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame.

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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