Much needed rain on the way to New Jersey for Friday

    (Photo: mxgirl85 via Flickr)

    (Photo: mxgirl85 via Flickr)

    The recent dry spell in New Jersey ends on Friday as a cold front pushes through the region, forecasters say.

    Rain showers will overspread the area during the day on Friday before ending Saturday morning as the cold front moves offshore. The weekend will feature mostly sunny skies and high temperatures around 60 degrees, which is near average.

    According to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, the forecast calls for up to a half-inch of rainfall, temporarily alleviating the ongoing wildfire concerns.

    The area has been precipitation free for a week, and with low relative humidity and gusty winds, the dry ground has prompted numerous fire weather bulletins from the National Weather Service. In the past week, wildfires have sparked locally in Wharton State Forest and Brick and further north in Kearny and Secaucus.

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    New Jersey is also at the peak of the wildfire season, a yearly concern that the state Forest Fire Service mitigates with controlled burning beginning in February.

    While the current drought status is currently at the “normal” level, ground water levels in the northern coastal region are in the “severely dry” category, while the southern coastal region is fairing slightly better at “moderately dry,” according to

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