The initial raindrops from our coastal storm have begun to fall in South Jersey. And that rain will continue to spread north and intensify Friday evening. It's going to be a rough night, with the worst weather yet to come Saturday morning.

Here three of the biggest concerns as this nasty nor'easter begins to bear down on our area:

1.) 50+ mph Wind Gusts

What? Scattered power outages, downed tree limbs, driving difficulties, and airborne Halloween decorations.
When? Winds will start to kick over 20 mph after Midnight. Peak gusts up to 50 mph are expected just after sunrise Saturday morning (7-8 a.m.) Winds will calm significantly by Saturday afternoon.
Where? The highest winds (50+ mph) are expected along the eastern edge of New Jersey (i.e. the immediate coast). But there will be some ferocious winds further inland too (40+ mph).

High Wind Warning from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday for Monmouth and Ocean counties, calling for easterly sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph.
Wind Advisory from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday for Middlesex County, suggesting 15 to 25 mph sustained winds with gusts to 50 mph.

2.) 2+ Inches of Rain Across the Area

What? It's going to rain. It's going to pour, at times. There will be a minor flash flooding risk during the heaviest downpours. Falling leaves may block gutters and storm drains, exacerbating the flood potential. Those wet leaves will also make roadways extra-slippery during and after the storm.
When? Steady, heavy rain will overtake the Garden State from south to north Friday evening through early Saturday morning. The wet weather will start to taper off after Noon Saturday, with rain exiting New Jersey completely by late Saturday evening.
Where? Everybody in the state gets wet. Lowest rainfall totals, possibly under an inch, will be in NW NJ. Most of the state will see between 1 and 2 inches of rain. Over two inches will be possible where it really pours, most likely along the Jersey Shore.
Flash Flood Watch from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for Atlantic, southeastern Burlington, Cape May, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean counties.

3.) 2+ Feet of Storm Surge at the Shore

What? Widespread flooding of tidal waterways is likely during high tide. That is sufficient to inundate roadways and make them impassable in "the usual spots". There may be some property damage in vulnerable, low-lying areas — be mindful of where you park your car during the storm.
When? Saturday morning's high tide cycle is still the only one of concern for now. Tides are expected to crest in the 9 a.m. hour along the oceanfront, and up to 3 hours later along back bays and tributaries.
Where? With the strongest winds blowing from the east-northeast, any beaches and tidal waterways with an east-northeast exposure will experience the biggest push of water. In other words, the biggest flooding risk will stretch from Ocean to Monmouth (including the Raritan Bay).
What Else? 8+ foot ocean waves may cause moderate to significant beach erosion, in addition to dangerous rip currents.

It should be no surprise that the coast gets smacked hardest by this coastal storm system. However, even if you live far inland, away from the ocean, the wind and rain are going to pose a significant nuisance (if not a significant hazard) for you.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of outdoor activities, were postponed or canceled Saturday, and with good reason.

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and real-time weather updates.

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