The Bottom Line

Once again, we find ourselves in a stretch of beautiful weather. Chilly mornings, mild afternoons. And those days are only going to get warmer through the middle of the week, as 70s return to NJ thermometers.

There are two storm systems on the horizon, one for Thursday night-Friday morning and another over the weekend. Rain chances are worth mentioning, but total rainfall looks pretty low.

Tuesday

We're starting the day with the coldest morning since mid-May, with temperatures averaging lower 40s top to bottom across New Jersey. There are several pockets of 30s, with the coldest corners of the state in frost territory (at or below 37 degrees).

This air mass is not only cool, but it's also dry. Dry air warms up quickly when subjected to sunshine. So expect temperatures to rise rapidly around mid-morning.

There is one big change in Tuesday's forecast: Wind direction. On Monday, that strong breeze blew straight out of the northwest. Now, we'll see a subtle shift to a westerly direction. That's blowing from a warmer air mass. And the "lake effect machine" is shut off, keeping skies clearer and drier.

High temperature should reach the mid 60s Tuesday afternoon. That is right on the long-term average (or "normal") for the 19th of October.

Tuesday night will not be as cold as Monday night, thanks to a rise in dew points and scattered clouds. Most lows will bottom out in the lower to mid 50s, with 40s only in the coolest spots. No frost.

Wednesday

A beautiful weather day, as our warmup kicks in. Just a few clouds. And just a light breeze. High temperatures will surge into the lower to mid 70s. Above normal for this time of year.

Thursday

Also looking good. Back into the mid 70s for most of the state, with mixed periods of sun and clouds.

A very weak front will approach New Jersey Thursday night through Friday morning. That will carry in the slightest chance of a shower popping up over the state, between about 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. However, don't expect much - our air will be pretty dry, severely limiting rainfall spread and amounts.

Friday

I'll keep a rain shower chance on Friday, with mostly cloudy skies. We'll tap into slightly cooler air, keeping high temperatures closer to the 70 degree mark. Probably still a nice day overall.

The Extended Forecast

This weekend could get iffy, with another cold front driving in another surge of cool air. Latest forecast models show a couple rounds of rain showers on Saturday, especially early and late in the day. You should catch some dry, although cloudy, weather in the middle with high temperatures somewhere in the 60s.

On the backside of that front on Sunday, thermometers will only make it about 60, give or take.

The forecast gets really uncertain for next week, with the past few long-range model runs split between "miserably cool" and "pleasant and mild". I'll hold off on definite details for Monday and beyond until we get a little closer. (And forget any kind of confident call for Halloween at this point, 12 days away.)

Enjoy the sunshine!

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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