The Bottom Line

Drought concerns aside, New Jersey has some spectacular Local's Summer weather ahead for the final weekend of summer. And beyond.

Yes, we are in the last week of the summer season. The Autumnal Equinox — the official start of fall — arrives on Thursday at 9:03 p.m.

There are just a few things in the forecast to highlight:
—A cold Friday morning.
—Warming up through the weekend, from the 70s to the 80s.
—Turning summer-ish by next week, with 90 degrees possible on Monday and Thursday.
—Very dry, aside from spotty showers late Monday and a few thunderstorms Thursday.

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Friday

Hey, it's chilly out there! Temperatures across New Jersey have tanked into the 40s, thanks to incredibly dry air and clear skies. If you're in a city or near the coast, you're a bit more insulated — thermometers are primarily in the 50s there.

Don't be shy or ashamed to reach for long paints, a sweatshirt, or the light jacket to start the day. For the first time in a long time, I had to flip on the heat during my morning commute.

The good thing about dry air is that it warms up quickly too. Especially in direct sunshine. And we'll enjoy plenty of sun throughout Friday. Dry air, dry weather, hardly a breeze. Look for high temperatures in the mid 70s — just a degree or two below normal for mid-September.

With a few clouds creeping in late-day and slightly higher humidity, Friday night won't be as cold as Thursday night. Low temps will average upper 50s.

Saturday

Fall is a very busy for kids' sports and other outdoor activities. And Saturday looks like a phenomenal September day to enjoy them all.

High temperatures will push to about 75 to 80 degrees by Saturday afternoon. Humidity levels will remain nice and low, with dew points no higher than the 50s. I'm calling skies partly sunny, so you'll get a pleasant mix of sun and clouds. And once again, not a drop of rain.

Sunday

The warmup continues into Sunday. I think it is going to feel a bit summer-ish, especially with a hint of humidity in the air. Highs will push into the mid 80s — typical of July and August here in Jersey.

Cloud cover will be similar to Saturday, partly sunny to start the day. Latest models show more and more "blue" developing by the afternoon.

Monday

The final days of summer look quite warm. In fact, Monday's high temperatures are forecast to reach the mid to upper 80s. 90 is even in play in a few spots. (It is not unusual to see 90s in September. But it is 10+ degrees above normal for this time of year.)

Monday will probably feature more clouds than sun. And then, as a shortwave swipes through late-day, we could see some showers.

Don't expect much. A smattering of raindrops is possible from about 3 p.m. through Midnight Monday. Rainfall totals will hold less than a tenth of an inch. That's hardly enough to moisten the ground.

The Extended Forecast

By Tuesday, temperatures and humidity will slide back a tad as we clear to sunshine again. So both Tuesday and Wednesday will be great weather days.

Thursday heats up again. And, as a strong cold front arrives in the afternoon or evening hours, a round of scattered thunderstorms is possible. That might be our best chance of precious rainfall through the end of the month.

Another cooldown and drydown will take hold as we welcome in the fall season next weekend.

Tropical Storm Fiona is still out there in the Atlantic. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Caribbean islands of Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy, and St. Martin. What happens next to Fiona (and another tropical wave behind it) is still up in the air. Some models still paint a close fly-by to the Jersey Shore around next weekend. Still 9 to 10 days away, still plenty of time for things to evolve.

Have a wonderful 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.

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