Early morning showers and embedded downpours in Southern New England – and a combination of rain and freezing rain showers in Northern New England – were a signal of warmer air moving into the New England sky, a couple of thousand feet above the ground. At ground level, it’s been a slower evolution from cool to warm, with heavy, dense cool air stubborn to move in eastern and northeastern New England, particularly close to the coast where a sea breeze in spots makes it very difficult for warmth to arrive. Inland, mild air more readily replaces the cool after pockets of thick fog have thinned out and breaks of sun help the process in an otherwise very light wind setup – not a classic spring warming setup for New England, where we usually see gusty southwest winds. In other spots, like the North Country or most of Maine, significant warmth simply never makes it in, but this day does end up milder than Wednesday was. Regardless, an incoming cold front Thursday evening delivers late day into night rain showers from northwest to southeast, falling for several hours from late day through the first half of the overnight and lasting into predawn on Cape Cod before exiting and opening the door to a new air. The new, brisk air arrives on northwest gusts to 40 mph Friday with a blend of sun and variable clouds forming in a continued changing of air aloft, where cool air makes a return. In fact, while the entire holiday weekend will be dry except for some Friday flurries in the Northern Mountains, the holiday weekend will also be cool, with overnight lows in the 20s for many and daytime highs only near 50 Saturday and in the 50s Sunday. Nonetheless, this is classic, early spring weather for New England and does mark the start of an extended dry stretch. As a massive area of high pressure – fair weather – sets up over the Eastern United States next week, our exclusive First Alert 10-day forecast shows a delightful early spring week with gradually rising temperatures each day through the 60s and even into the 70s by later week, though sea breezes likely will develop on some days near the coast, particularly by late week. Of course, while the weather next week will be beautiful, new tree pollens will emerge in a rising overall pollen count, and brush fires can be expected in the dry conditions without leaves yet on the trees and bushes.