The Bottom Line

Partly sunny skies and mild temperatures will make both Thursday and Friday quite pleasant. However, the combination of a backdoor cold front and a coastal storm system will lead to some weather challenges heading into the Columbus Day Weekend.

Thursday

Thursday morning's fog seems to be a bit thicker and more widespread than it was on Friday, although it's not everywhere. I've seen visibility numbers as low as a quarter-mile, which is our usual benchmark for "dense" fog that could cause slowdowns. Radar is even picking up some drizzle or light showers, as those water vapor molecules coalesce. By about 9 a.m., give or take, we should see big improvements in the dampness and fogginess.

For the rest of Thursday, skies will become partly sunny on average. (A little cloudier to the north, a little sunnier to the south.) High temperatures will push into the mid 70s, running about 5 degrees above normal for early October.

Thursday night looks quiet too. Some clouds, and probably another round of fog. Low temperatures will be comfortable, bottoming out in the upper 50s.

Friday

Again, no problems during the day. We'll see periods of clouds and sun. Compared to Thursday, temperatures will probably end up a degree or two warmer for inland areas, and slightly cooler along the coast. On average, we'll again hit mid 70s. I love 70s.

The chance of rain showers will increase late Friday night, probably holding off until 10 p.m. or later.

Saturday

Not a great day, unfortunately. Cloudy, breezy, showery, and cool.

While we will see several waves of light rain during the day Saturday, I see nothing heavy or concerning at all. In fact, parts of the state (especially away from the coast) have a shot at a "mainly dry" day. So don't cancel your plans — it's definitely not a "total washout".

Temperatures will be stuck in the mid to upper 60s all day, swinging to below seasonal normals.

The on-shore wind, occasionally blowing over 20 mph, will drive some ocean water toward the coast. Enough to cause a foot or two of water rise, which would fall in the "widespread minor" tidal flooding category at high tide. Surf will be rough too, with 5+ foot ocean waves. (Not that it's going to be great "beach weather," of course.)

Sunday

At the very least, Sunday will be just like Saturday. Lots of clouds and a few showers. Temps again only in the 60s at best.

There is a chance for a period of steadier, heavier rain kicking in Sunday morning. The big question mark surrounds the exact storm track of an approaching storm system. The GFS and Euro — our most reliable, highest quality long-range forecast models — are showing completely different solutions here. So I have to shrug my shoulders, include the rain chance in the forecast, and hope we have better resolution and a more refined forecast soon.

The Extended Forecast

Monday's forecast depends largely on how Sunday shakes out. If that coastal storm system is in the neighborhood, your Columbus Day could be pretty cloudy and cool too. There could be a shower chance, but rainfall would be minimal.

A warmup should ensue for Tuesday and Wednesday, as the sun comes out and we lose the prominent easterly wind. 80+ is a possibility by the middle of next week!

The long-range forecast also looks more warm than cold through the middle third of October.

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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