Umbrellas up! Periods of heavy rain and possible flooding Thursday
Rain, rain, rain! This first full day of Spring is going to be a soggy one, as a coastal storm system visits alongside an approaching cold front. Flash flooding and coastal flooding will both be minor concerns.
—RAIN... As of this writing (6 a.m.), radar shows scattered, freckled dollops of rain throughout New Jersey. That's going to be the case through Thursday morning, before pockets of steadier, heavier rain arrive Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening. Rain will largely taper off after Midnight Thursday night, with residual showers ending early Friday morning. Rainfall totals will end up between 1 and 2 inches across most of New Jersey. Even higher amounts are possible for western New Jersey.
—FLASH FLOODING... Don't think of flooding as a biblical wave of water. During weather events like this, flash flooding mostly manifests itself as a big puddle on roadways and in low-lying areas. A big, deep puddle that you really do not want to drive or walk through. The Thursday afternoon commute could be particularly challenging due to downpours and ponding issues. Stay alert, stay smart.
—SNOW... Nah. There could be a few snowflakes around NW NJ at some point, but that's it.
—WIND... Not a big deal, in general. East-southeast gusts over 20 mph during the day Thursday.
—COASTAL FLOODING... The combination of the on-shore wind and an almost-full moon will raise tidal water levels about a foot during Thursday evening's high tide cycle. That's enough to produce minor to moderate flooding of roadways and low-lying areas along the Jersey Shore. Ocean waves of 5 to 7 feet are expected too.
So, it's clearly not going to be a really pleasant day, with a few potential weather dangers out there too. Here is a rundown of our current advisories:
—Flood Watch... 8 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday... northwestern Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Salem, Somerset, and Warren counties.
—Coastal Flood Warning... 6 p.m. Thursday to 2 a.m. Friday... Middlesex and Monmouth counties.
—Coastal Flood Advisory... 7 p.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday... Atlantic, southeastern Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, and Ocean counties.
—Coastal Flood Advisory... 10 p.m. Thursday to 2 a.m. Friday... Salem county.
—Coastal Flood Advisory... 1 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Friday.. northwestern Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties.
Behind the storm on Friday, a brisk northwesterly wind will regularly gust to 30-40 mph. We'll probably catch a few peeks of sunshine, although one more round of rain and snow showers is likely for Friday afternoon into Friday evening. No accumulations, no travel issues.
Bright sunshine and dry weather returns for the weekend. However, Saturday is going to be blustery, with wind gusts still over 30 mph. High temperatures Saturday afternoon will be limited to the upper 40s to around 50 degrees, which is below normal for late March.
Sunday will easily be the warmer and nicer day of the weekend, with highs near 60 degrees.
The long-range forecast shows another mild day for Monday, with high temperatures potentially reaching the lower 60s. However, a strong cold front will arrive late Monday afternoon, pushing a line of precipitation through New Jersey. It looks like mostly rain, but there could be some wintry mix and/or snow at the tail-end Monday night. At the moment, I'm not concerned about accumulations as the ground will be pretty warm and pretty wet, and any snowfall will be light and brief. It's still worth keeping an eye on.
Next Tuesday and Wednesday look sunny, but downright cold. (Thermometers may struggle to climb out of the 30s on Tuesday!) I am seeing a more sustained warmup arriving for Thursday and beyond, hopefully leading to a mild start to April.