Coastal Storm to Bring a Bit of Rain, Wind, and Rough Surf to NJ
Technically named "Potential Tropical Cyclone 10," this disturbance is already churning up the Atlantic Ocean.
All eyes this weekend were on the developing catastrophe in Texas, as Tropical Storm Harvey continues to sit and spin and dump inches upon feet of rain. For many residents, it will take years to recover. And this will be the kind of extreme storm that will be studied for decades. Incredible. And devastating.
Back in New Jersey, we're watching a "sneaky" storm system that could bring some unpleasant weather to New Jersey. The forecast (and the hype) warranted an early end to my weekend on Sunday to author a special weather blog post:
PTC 10: Right Now
As of this writing, PTC 10 is centered just off the Florida-Georgia line. It is weak (winds 35 mph), it is unorganized, and it is hardly moving.
The forecast track still shows the storm sliding up the coast toward the Carolinas, where a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect. It will then intensify as it makes a turn to the east, out-to-sea.
Confidence is rising that the center of the storm will stay away from New Jersey. As the storm's center is expected to pass at least 160 miles from the Jersey Shore, we're becoming more certain that the overall impacts for the Garden State will be relatively minor. However, the Atlantic Ocean is already pretty angry. And there are some question marks, particularly regarding rain totals.
Monday's Weather: Quiet and Dry
Weather-wise, things are looking good across New Jersey throughout Monday. We're starting the day with cool, refreshing temperatures and sunshine. Clouds will increase by the afternoon hours, but the weather forecast remains dry during the daytime hours. High temperatures will still be a degree or two cooler than Sunday and still well below normal, in the mid 70s or so.
While the weather will be pleasant, the surf will not. A Moderate to High risk of dangerous rip currents has been posted along the Jersey Shore, as easterly winds are already churning up the surf. Ocean wave heights of 5 or 6 feet will be possible too.
Monday Night: Showers Arrive
Models disagree on the precise start time for PTC 10's rainfall — NAM says before Midnight, GFS says after Midnight. Regardless of the nitty-gritty details, showers will spread from south to north at some point by sunrise Tuesday. Again, showers — light, scattered, and mostly insignificant. Under cloudy skies, overnight low temperatures will dip into the lower 60s for most of the state. 50s are possible in the usual cool spots.
--SURF: At least as bad as Monday (6+ foot waves, high risk of rips). 1 to 1.5 feet of surge could lead to minor flooding of low-lying areas along tidal waterways.
--WIND: Breezy to windy throughout the day Tuesday, with gusts to 30 mph possible.
--RAIN: Everyone in New Jersey will see some rain. The NAM model in particular paints an area of heavy rain over the Garden State Tuesday night. If those heavier rain bands set up, I wouldn't be surprised to see some 2 to 3 inch rain totals. If not, you'll be highly unimpressed, with rainfall totals barely to a half-inch. Again, this is the biggest question mark yet to resolve regarding this forecast. While I'm leaning toward the less-rainy forecast, I have to leave the door open to continued forecast developments.
--CLOUDS: A lot. Don't expect to see the sun on Tuesday.
--TEMPS: Quite cool. Thermometers won't go anywhere on Tuesday. Lower 60s in the morning, and maybe 70 degrees by the afternoon. That's close to 15 degrees below normal for late August.
No matter which model's rainfall forecast verifies, showers will wrap-up sometime Wednesday morning — let's say by 10 a.m. at the latest. As the storm system pulls further and further out to sea, skies will clear rapidly. I think we'll see increasing breaks of sunshine by midday Wednesday. High temperatures will respond, pushing into the mid to upper 70s by Wednesday afternoon.
The Extended Forecast
Thursday looks nice and warm, with widespread 80s across the state. It will be short-lived, however, as a cold front is forecast to push across the state around Thursday evening. We'll probably see a round of brief showers and thunderstorms from that frontal passage too.
As our new air mass settles on Friday, it will be a cool but dry and sunny day. Highs will end up at or below 75 degrees. The early look at Labor Day Weekend weekend is positive. My current forecast has upper 70s with sunshine on Saturday, with fair-weather clouds and 80s on Sunday. Cross fingers that nothing gets in the way of a pleasant end to unofficial summer.