When and How Will Irma’s Remnants Affect New Jersey?
To be clear, Irma's impacts on the Garden State will be minimal, with clouds and a bit of rain on the way.
Hello, New Jersey! As you may have seen on social media, my family and I escaped our Disney World vacation just in time. Florida has endured a terribly rough day and night thanks to Hurricane Irma. Most of the state receiving hurricane-force winds, torrential rain, and big storm surge.
As of the 5 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Irma has weakened to a minimal hurricane, with 75 mph sustained winds. The storm is centered about 65 miles north of Tampa and 80 miles west-northwest of Orlando. The vast majority of Irma's convection — the rain and wind — is located in the northern part of the storm. Irma will continue pushing northward Monday, through northern Florida and southwestern Georgia. As it does, the storm will continue to disintegrate, likely becoming a tropical storm by Monday night and a post-tropical cyclone sometime on Tuesday.
So, the two big questions on New Jersey's lips — 1.) when will Irma end up in our neighborhood, and 2.) what kinds of weather impacts should we expect? Just before I left for Disney World, I wrote a special weather blog entitled "Hey NJ, please chill out about Hurricane Irma's uncertain forecast. I continue to urge you to chill out — the effects of Irma on New Jersey will be quite minor and unimpressive.
Irma's first impact upon New Jersey will actually arrive Monday afternoon, as the bright September sunshine turns to cloud cover. Don't worry, we'll stay dry — just clouds. Meanwhile, temperatures across the Garden State are starting in the 40s and 50s. We'll top out in the mid 70s — slightly warmer than Sunday, and slightly below normal for mid-September.
Clouds will persist through Monday night, as low temperatures dip into the 50s for most of the state. The NAM model does show an isolated shower drifting into Cape May County, but I'm writing off those raindrops as insignificant.
Tuesday looks mostly cloudy as well. Even so, high temperatures should climb to around the 80 degree mark.
The first chance of rain related to Irma's remnants could arrive as early as Wednesday. It looks to be just a shower. Maybe a thunderstorm. I'd even wager that most of New Jersey will stay dry and partly sunny on Wednesday. High temps will once again reach the upper 70s to near 80.
Unsettled weather ramps up Thursday, with "widely scattered" showers and thunderstorms passing through New Jersey. Even though this rain will originate from Irma's residual tropical moisture, it really doesn't look like much. Winds might be breezy, but only 15 to 20 mph tops. Thursday will also be the warmest day of the week, as thermometers push into the mid 80s. Depending on timing, this warmth (read: atmospheric energy) could increase our storm potential from Thursday afternoon to evening.
I'll keep showers in the forecast for Friday, but Irma's remnant low will clear the coast eventually. That should clear the way for high pressure to return for at least part of the weekend. I wouldn't rule out some rain this weekend too — let's see how things develop during this volatile, tropically-influenced forecast period.
One more thing to talk about, and that's Hurricane Jose. As of 5 a.m. Monday morning, Jose was a category 2 hurricane with 105 mph sustained winds. The center is located 400 miles north of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, 550 miles east of Nassau, Bahamas, 725 miles east of Miami, Florida, and over 1,000 miles south-southeast of Cape May, New Jersey.
Jose is a powerful, but very confused storm. It is expected to spend the next 3-4 days moving in a clockwise loop. What happens after the loop is uncertain. Yes, one model puts the storm very close to the Jersey Shore early next week. But, as we clearly saw with Irma, that's way too far out to make a definitive forecast. Worth watching? Yes. Worth panicking? Nope. Chill out, NJ.