A much cooler, drier air mass arrives with a vengeance this weekend, causing temperatures to tumble and winds to increase dramatically across New Jersey.

Here are your weather headlines for Friday, October 21, 2016...

Ocean Influence: Warm, Showery

It's been a weird week of weather here in New Jersey, as temperatures have remained way above normal since Sunday. Some BIG changes are ahead for this weekend though - it might be a shock how chilly and how windy it's going to get! But as an avid reader of my weather blog, you will be well-prepared as we fall back into autumn.

Friday will remain on the warm side, with most highs in the mid to upper 70s. A light breeze from the southeast will keep the Jersey Shore a few degrees cooler, and is also keeping our humidity rather high (especially for October). Clouds will win the sky Friday, with just a few breaks of sun along the way.

In addition, a few showers and even thunderstorms are possible along the coast during the daytime hours Friday. Rainfall amounts look unimpressive. Just like Thursday, if you dodge the raindrops Friday, it'll be an OK day.

Cold Front: Cool and Windy

By Friday evening, New Jersey will start to feel the influence of a cold front approaching from the west. As it nears, scattered showers will become likely for just about everyone in the Garden State. I think the best timing for this band of rain will be between about 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. While a rumble of thunder will be possible, instability should be limited after sunset. So we're just talking about rain showers. If that. (How many rain chances have completely fizzled over the past few months?)

The bigger impact of this front will be felt across New Jersey by the time you wake up Saturday morning, as winds increase dramatically and temperatures drop rapidly. Morning lows should end up in the upper 40s to lower 50s. Saturday afternoon temperatures will be limited to the upper 50s to maybe 60 degrees. A far cry from Wednesday's upper 80s!

In addition, wind gusts to 40 or 50 mph will be possible throughout Saturday. That will not only make for an unpleasantly blustery day, but the fierce winds could lead to downed trees, sporadic power outages, and significant leaf drop. Get your jackets AND rakes ready!

Long-Range Outlook: Cool and Windy

Sunday stays chilly and blustery. High temperatures will comb slightly into the lower to mid 60s. But wind gusts to 40 mph remain possible for at least the first half of the day.

Monday will be breezy (hey, not windy!) with highs again in the 60s.

And it seems like autumn-like conditions will be the new normal for next week. In fact, a reinforcing shot of cold air will likely limit highs to the 50s by midweek.

Bundle up, and have a great weekend!

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