Drenched Again: Heavy Rain, Flooding Threat Return to NJ Monday
Hello! And welcome to the Monday-est Monday of the year! Let's start with a recap of the holiday weekend: Thanksgiving was cold. Black Friday was cold. Saturday was cloudy. Saturday night was very wet (3+ inches of rain) and windy (top gust 71 mph). Then Sunday become quite pleasant.
Back-to-work and back-to-school, and it's back to rain in the forecast across the Garden State. Because our ground is still thoroughly soaked from this weekend's drenching rain, flooding alarm bells are ringing once again.
As of 6 a.m. Monday, radar is quiet. Skies have become mostly cloudy overnight, and it's comfortably chilly with temperatures in the 30s and 40s across the state. Before raindrops arrive, it will be mostly cloudy to overcast with a stiff breeze (southeasterly sustained 10 to 20 mph, gusts to 30 mph). High temperatures will reach the lower to mid 50s for most of the state.
Our first concern of the day will be Monday morning's high tide cycle, expected in the 9 a.m. hour along the oceanfront. (High tide occurs several hours later along back bays and other tidal waterways.) That stiff southeast breeze will cause up to a foot of saltwater inundation along the Jersey Shore — that's enough to cause minor flooding.
A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for all tidal waterways in and around New Jersey: Raritan Bay, Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and Delaware River.
Showers will push into New Jersey during the morning hours, but the heavy rain threat will really ramp up Monday afternoon to early evening. More specifically, guidance suggests the peak rainfall will happen between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Most spots will see a half-inch to an inch of total rainfall, with potential wind gusts over 30 mph. Not nearly as dramatic as Saturday night's system, but still pretty "yucky" for most of the day. Keep in mind, that storm peak coincides with the Monday evening rush hour.
A Flood Watch has been issued from 10 a.m. Monday to 1 a.m. Tuesday for 16 of New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren.
A Flash Flood Watch is posted from Noon Monday to 1 a.m. Tuesday for the other 5 counties in northeastern New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Union.
What's the substantial difference between a Flood Watch and Flash Flood Watch? Ehhh, I'm not really sure.
On top of that confusing mess, as increased runoff from this weekend's rain continues, Flood Warnings continue for several NJ waterways:
--North Branch Rancocas Creek, Greenwood Branch, and West Branch Wading River (Central Burlington County)
--North Branch Rancocas Creek at Pemberton (Burlington County)
--Passaic River at Pine Brook (Essex, Morris, Passaic counties)
--Millstone River at Blackwells Mills (Somerset County)
--Pequest River and tributaries (Central Warren County)
--Manalapan Brook near Spotswood (South-Central Middlesex County)
Got all that? Great. Let's move on then.
As rain wraps up Monday night, there could be a few snowflakes flying around the higher elevations of NW NJ. (No accumulation or travel concerns.) Skies should clear quickly overnight. It will be breezy and cool, with low temps falling to around 40 degrees.
Our midweek forecast shows a trio of mostly dry, pretty windy days for the Garden State.
Tuesday will be partly sunny with high temperatures in the mid to upper 40s. Not terrible, but a brisk wind (westerly sustained 15 to 25 mph) will remind you hold cool it is.
Wednesday looks a bit cloudier. More importantly, it will be the cold and blustery day of the week. High temperatures in the lower 40s. Westerly sustained winds still 15 to 25 mph. A snow shower may pass by North Jersey, but even a coating of snow accumulation would be a stretch.
We'll have one more breezy day on Thursday (northwesterly sustained winds 10 to 20 mph). High temps should recover to the upper 40s with plenty of sunshine.
Even though winds will be lighter on Friday, our weather forecast dips downhill somewhat. Skies become mostly cloudy ahead of our next storm system, which is currently forecast to impact New Jersey from Friday late afternoon to early Saturday morning. For now, I'm thinking mostly rain — but depending on precise timing and temperatures, there could be a snow or wintry mix component.
We'll kick off December this weekend with a little warmup, into the 50s. (Maybe even 60s in South Jersey?) However, those mild temps will come with rain from late Saturday to early Sunday. (As always, stay tuned as the weekend forecast continues to evolve.)