Home Radiation 3″ rain, gusts over 30 mph, minor tidal flooding

3″ rain, gusts over 30 mph, minor tidal flooding

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The essential

Unsurprisingly, this forecast is for Ian. We still have a calm, dry day in New Jersey before things start to get rainy and windy early next week.

Much of Florida is windswept and underwater after powerful Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday. Power outages measured in the millions and total rainfall estimated at over a foot in multiple locations.

As of this writing (6 a.m. Thursday), Ian has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Maximum sustained winds have dropped significantly, to 65 mph, as the storm’s circulation center approaches Melbourne, Florida.

The last forecast track of newly declassified Tropical Storm Ian, as of 5 a.m. Thursday. (NOAA/NHC)
The last forecast track of newly declassified Tropical Storm Ian, as of 5 a.m. Thursday. (NOAA/NHC)

After ejecting into the Atlantic Ocean later Thursday, Ian will make his third landfall around South Carolina on Friday. And then our attention turns to how Ian’s remains will affect New Jersey.

Bottom line: it’s going to be inclement and miserable for part of the weekend. Maybe even downright naughty for a while on Saturday morning. Some forecasters are suggesting a total washout from Friday to Tuesday – and that’s just not the case. It will become wet then windy this weekend. But we will miss the worst of the storm. And there will be dry weather breaks along the way.

A glimpse of the timing of the storm’s impact as Ian’s remains pass New Jersey this weekend. (Cloth)
A glimpse of the timing of the storm’s impact as Ian’s remains pass New Jersey this weekend. (Cloth)

Thursday’s forecast

No weather problems for you, as we enjoy another dry and comfortable fall day. 50 in the morning, middle to over 60 in the afternoon. It’s still a few degrees below normal for the end of September. Winds will be light. And the clouds will increase from south to north. Yes, those clouds are all the way north of Ian.

Thursday evening also remains calm. The weather will be mostly cloudy and cool with low temperature around 50.

Ian’s Timeline

-Friday afternoon… Showers will begin to creep into New Jersey from the south. Although the exact start time of the raindrops is unclear, most of NJ (along and north of Interstate 195) could remain dry through the daytime hours Friday.

The NAM model forecast shows the first arrival of rain in South Jersey on Friday in the early afternoon. (DuPage College of Meteorology)
The NAM model forecast shows the first arrival of rain in South Jersey on Friday in the early afternoon. (DuPage College of Meteorology)

-Friday night… The rain continues to spread north into the Garden State. Intensity picks up after about midnight Friday night.

-Saturday morning-noon… Prime time – the period with the strongest and most regular rain. Let’s say about 2 am to 2 pm on Saturday. Rainfall rates can approach an inch per hour, enough to cause large puddles and flooding problems. It will also be windswept rain, with gusts in the 20-30 mph range.

The GFS model forecast from 8 a.m. Saturday shows a band of very heavy rain flooding New Jersey. (DuPage College of Meteorology)
The GFS model forecast from 8 a.m. Saturday shows a band of very heavy rain flooding New Jersey. (DuPage College of Meteorology)

-Saturday night… I prefer a dry window arriving around dinner time on Saturday, resulting in drier weather through Saturday evening. Of course, there could still be showers. And, if the wind clears enough, maybe areas of heavy fog overnight.

-Sunday… Hit or miss. A few waves of patchy to scattered showers will likely sweep through NJ throughout the day. Again, South Jersey seems wetter than North Jersey.

-Monday Tuesday… One last piece of Ian’s energy will be “stuck” just south of New Jersey until early next week. This will keep the winds high. And we could see a few more rains. Maybe even a pocket of heavier stuff. Uncertainty is still quite high as to the exact location and spread of these potential thunderstorms.

-Wednesday… The next totally dry New Jersey day.

Ian Impacts, in numbers

-Rain… The heaviest and most prolonged rainfall will be along the South and Jersey Shore, in the 2-3 inch range total. Father inland near the NJ Turnpike corridor, we’ll end up with a good thumbs up in the bucket. Northwest New Jersey, not your storm, with less than a quarter inch of rain forecast.

-Flood… Whenever several inches of rain are forecast, we must raise the alarm for flash floods and river floods. That said, New Jersey’s rivers, streams, and streams are all pretty low following this summer’s drought conditions. So yes, there could be “big puddles” and travel issues in the state for the first half of the weekend.

The risk of flash flooding from Ian extends as far north as New Jersey. (NOAA/NHC)
The risk of flash flooding from Ian extends as far north as New Jersey. (NOAA/NHC)

-Wind gusts… Ian has already lost a lot of steam. And again, the center of the storm will remain south of NJ. During heavy rain, gusts can approach 30 mph. And then Sunday-Monday potentially gets even windier, with some northeasterly gusts in the 30-40mph range. (Especially along the coast.) Not incredibly pleasant and enough to knock down vulnerable tree branches and power lines. But I wouldn’t call 40mph gusts “damaging” per se.

Official forecasts of the likelihood of tropical storm-force winds (39+ mph), painted well south of New Jersey. (NOAA/NHC)
Official forecasts of the likelihood of tropical storm-force winds (39+ mph), painted well south of New Jersey. (NOAA/NHC)

— Tornadoes… The risk of a quick spin-up is low, but not zero. The best chances are likely to come from thunderstorms that recur Monday through Tuesday.

-Storm surge… This storm is “attacking” us from land, not the ocean. But as I mentioned, there is a strong northeast wind component (over land) involved here. This will push water towards the Jersey Shore. At the very least, choppy waves and rip currents will be a problem on the beaches for the duration. And an additional foot or two of tidal surge (storm surge) could result in multiple rounds of minor category flooding at high tide this weekend.

MORE: Coastal Flood Categories, Explained
MORE: The Jersey Shore Report

The long term forecast

By Wednesday, Ian will finally be out of our hair. And on Thursday, a cold front could lead to another brief round of rain, followed by clear skies.

One thing is very clear in the long-term forecast: there is no warming in sight here. High temperatures will only reach the 60s, at best, over time. Significantly below normal for late September and early October.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: Your forecast for 5 days and more

Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

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