The Bottom Line

We fall into a pleasant slice of the atmosphere for a couple of days, as sunshine, dry weather, warm temperatures, and low humidity dominate.

Of course, drought conditions are still looming over our heads. We need to see some serious rain soon. We are watching two upcoming rain chances aiming for the Garden State: Saturday morning showers, followed by the potential for steadier rain early next week.

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Thursday

I have no hesitation in calling today a beautiful summer day. It will be mostly sunny, with dry air and dry weather. With a shift from northerly to westerly winds, temperatures will end up about five degrees warmer than Wednesday. Look for highs in the mid 80s — that is right on the normal for mid-August. Rock on.

I'm not sure a sea breeze will be able to set up until late in the day, due to that (light) westerly (land) breeze. So beaches may be just as warm as inland areas. And potentially buggy too.

An elevated risk of rip currents also continues along the Jersey Shore Thursday.

Thursday night will be comfortable. There is at least one model that pushes a sprinkle into northwestern New Jersey in the evening hours — but I have written off any serious raindrops, given our dry air. Otherwise, the overnight will be mainly clear with low temperatures in the mid 60s.

Friday

Another weather winner, although temperatures tick upward a bit more. Highs will end up around 85 to 90 degrees Friday afternoon. Throughout the day, we'll progress from sun to clouds. The daytime hours once again look completely dry.

Humidity levels will be slightly higher, with the dew point popping to 60 degrees. Just a little hint of stickiness in the air.

Our next storm system will approach from the southwest late Friday evening. We could see some raindrops creep in eventually — but not until well after Midnight.

Saturday

Our next storm system will barely kiss New Jersey to start the weekend. It won't be especially strong or deep. And there are a few question marks: How close to the coast will it veer? And how long will wet weather linger?

The best chance of rain showers will be Saturday morning, to the south and along the coast. (I would not rule out a brief shot of rain farther inland, but don't expect much.)

There is a slight chance that raindrops linger along the Shore for most of Saturday. A dreary and damp solution. Rainfall totals will be unimpressive though, only a couple tenths of an inch at the most.

But I am a bit more optimistic, calling for breaks of sun Saturday afternoon. The day should not be a total loss, even at the beaches.

High temperatures will come down a bit on Saturday, to the lower to mid 80s. (The coolest spots will also be the wettest.)

Sunday

Daytime hours look good. Under partly to mostly cloudy skies, highs will once again reach the lower to mid 80s. If you don't mind the cloud cover, it should be an OK beach day with a light southeasterly (on-shore) breeze.

Forecast models depict another broad area of low pressure riding toward New Jersey Sunday night. First raindrops would not arrive until 10 p.m. at the earliest.

The Extended Forecast

So many times this summer, we have seen a solid chance for steady rain completely fizzle as it reaches the medium-range (4 to 5 days out).

Well, we have another solid chance of steady rain in the forecast, centered on Monday. 5 days away.

I really hope it holds together, as we could pick up a healthy half-inch in the bucket by Monday night. (Keep in mind, we are still running about 6 inches behind this summer — this will not be a "drought buster".)

Scattered rain on Monday may include some localized downpours or rumbles of thunder, but no severe weather or flooding is anticipated.

Because of the clouds and raindrops, high temperatures on Monday will be limited to the 70s.

I wouldn't rule out some rain lingering into Tuesday, but in general we'll start warming up again. Expect lower 80s Tuesday and mid-upper 80s next Wednesday.

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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