I haven't changed much in New Jersey's short-term forecast, with widespread 50s on Wednesday, 60s on Thursday, and 70s for Friday/Saturday. The period for Sunday and beyond is starting to come into better resolution, and it's becoming clearer that our taste of truly warm weather is not going to last long. At all.

You might be surprised by how cold it's gotten Wednesday morning. Clear skies and dry air have allowed thermometers to sink into the 20s across the majority of the state, with some 30s in the warmest places (near 40 along the coast). Another side effect of drier air is rapid warming — once the sun comes up, we should climb above-freezing in relatively short-order.

The first half of Wednesday should feature plenty of sunshine, illustrated by the HRRR model cloud cover forecast for 11am Wednesday. (College of DuPage Meteorology)
The first half of Wednesday should feature plenty of sunshine, illustrated by the HRRR model cloud cover forecast for 11am Wednesday. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

Even though high temperatures will end up 5 to 10 degrees below seasonal norms (normal high is 60), I believe it's fair to call the rest of Wednesday's weather forecast pleasant. We'll enjoy some good sunshine with fair weather clouds (especially during the afternoon hours). A fresh breeze out of the southwest could gust as high as 15 or 20 mph.

We'll stay dry during the day Wednesday, but I can't rule out a shower or sprinkle Wednesday night. The air will remain dry, so it'll be cool again. Look for upper 30s to around 40 degrees, with a few clouds overhead.

On Thursday, clouds will increase to the partly to mostly cloudy range. We'll even see a batch of showers clip northern and central New Jersey between late morning and early afternoon. And that southwesterly wind will ramp up, gusting to 30 mph. Even though it will be a less-than-perfect weather day, the warmup will begin. We'll see widespread mid 60s on thermometers by Thursday afternoon.

I can't completely rule out a shower early Friday morning, but the rest of the day should be wonderful! Mostly sunny. Breezy. Warm. Highs 75 to 80.

Saturday looks great too! Partly sunny. Breezy. Warm. Highs again well into the 70s.

As we've discussed previously, there is one exception to the building warmth, and that is the Jersey Shore. Coastal water temperatures currently range from 43 to 47 degrees. Typical in the Spring, the chilly water will have a significant impact on air temperatures in our coastal communities. Wednesday will get stuck close to 50 degrees, Thursday in the 50s, and Friday/Saturday only in the 60s. Not terrible — and still warmer than it has been lately — just don't expect anything close to 80 degrees near any ocean or bay this week.

It looks like the end of our warm stream will come in two parts. On Sunday, a backdoor cold front will push into New Jersey — so named because it comes from the northeast (back door) instead of the west (front door). That front will manifest itself by introducing clouds, occasional showers, and cooler marine-influenced air to northern and eastern NJ. Far inland, we may still reach 70 degrees. Closer to the coast, not so much — we'll be closer to 60 degrees. If you can dodge raindrops, it won't be a terrible day.

Cooldown part 2 is forecast to arrive on Monday, as a more traditional cold front will approach from the west. This front looks to have some "oomph" to it — a period of heavy rain and stormy weather looks probable from Monday morning through midday. Even though Monday's high temperatures should still reach the 60s, cooler air will almost certainly settle over us by Tuesday. Guidance suggests high temperatures for the rest of next week will once again settle below-normal, in the 50s.

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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