The danger of flooding and severe weather continues today, and it wouldn't be surprising to see steady rain somewhere in New Jersey from now through Tuesday night.
Welcome to June! Today marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, and also the beginning of climatological summer (we use calendar months for seasons for easier record-keeping). And it's going to be another very wet, active weather day across New Jersey.
Yesterday, parts of North Jersey picked up over 5 inches of rain, causing flash flooding and massive headaches to end the weekend. Meanwhile, along the Jersey Shore and in South Jersey, very warm weather continued. Residents there thought I was crazy talking about heavy rain, as the sun continued to shine brightly. Today, everyone gets into the rainfall action.
This soggy, drought-busting weather pattern started as a cold front pushed toward New Jersey. As a storm system rode along that front, it spawned showers and thunderstorms Sunday morning. Those storms continued to grow and respawn in the hot and very humid atmosphere all day yesterday. Some of those storms were really impressive... quarter-sized hail and rainfall rates near 3 inches an hour were reported in Middlesex County. Meanwhile, flood waters inundated major roads from Bergen to Union to Monmouth counties, and travel home from a weekend away was made quite difficult at times.
This morning, we're experiencing a bit of a lull in the rainfall action. As of this writing, the aforementioned front has settled right along I-195, and will once again present a catalyst for strong storms and heavy rain today. The next round of heavy rainstorms will be this afternoon and evening, as temperatures heat up (especially in South Jersey). Once again, the strongest storms today may cause flooding, low visibility, gusty winds, hail, and frequent lightning. All of these impacts are potentially dangerous, so it's extremely important to monitor the weather today if you'll be outside for any period of time.
A quick overview of how to read that current weather radar graphic... Green and yellow are your "everyday" light to moderate rain. Orange, red, and purple colors show increasingly heavy bands of rain - those downpours are going to be the real problem spots for flooding and travel today.
Warnings represent weather that is going on right now. Watches indicate weather that is possible, but not necessarily occurring already. Advisories serve as a "heads up" to bad, but not really life-threatening, weather.
The rain will spread out and taper off a little bit tonight. However, any showers and thunderstorms could still present a flooding threat where the ground is already saturated, where storm drains are blocks or overflowing, or where streams and rivers are already running high.
Tomorrow will be another wet day, although the rain looks to be of light to moderate intensity... I'm thinking (and hoping) we'll avoid the really heavy bands of rain. Additionally, the severe weather threat (wind and hail) will be lower tomorrow. You can thank the cooler air for that. With highs only in the 60s tomorrow, there just won't be that abundance of heat and energy to build strong thunderstorms and torrential downpours.
Forecast models currently show the end of the steady rain to be around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, although a few showers remain possible for Wednesday and again on Thursday. Meanwhile, the cooler air will have fully taken effect by Tuesday afternoon, as highs struggle to climb to 65° (compare to near 90° last night). Temperatures should return to the seasonable 70s for Wednesday and beyond.