Wednesday NJ weather: Gloomy sky, occasional showers, rough surf
The Bottom Line
After Tuesday's soaking, crops and reservoirs across New Jersey got a nice drink and are much happier. Everyone in the state saw at least a half-inch of rain, with most ending up between 1 and 2 inches. The big "winner" was Woodbine, in northern Cape May County, with over 5 inches of rain. Wow!
That super soaker storm is hanging out just off-shore. As the backside of that system brushes against New Jersey on Wednesday, we'll have one more damp and dreary day. However, flash flooding will not be a problem this time around.
Brighter, warmer weather resumes for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Another rain chance comes into view early next week.
Just blah. That's not necessarily a bad thing, after a summer of scorching heat and bone dry conditions. And again, flooding and severe weather are not concerns.
As of this writing (6 a.m.), we have some patchy drizzle around, especially in NJ's coastal counties. It is pretty breezy too, with some wind gusts over 20 mph.
Expect occasional showers and sprinkles both this morning and this afternoon. Overall rainfall totals will be light, ranging from a trace to a tenth of an inch. If something heavier does pop up, over saturated soil, there could be some ponding issues (i.e. "big puddles").
Skies will remain overcast pretty much all day too. That will combine with the northeasterly breeze to prevent temperatures from climbing more than a few degrees. Upper 60s in the morning will only improve to the lower 70s in the afternoon. That is about 10 degrees below normal for back-to-school week — more typical of late September than early September.
Not that Wednesday is going to be a good beach day — at all — but the ocean is going to be churned up too. A high risk of rip currents is posted, with 3 to 5 foot ocean waves forecast. Remember: beaches are unguarded after Labor Day, so swimming in the angry ocean will be extra dangerous.
A Coastal Flood Advisory also kicks in for the Jersey Shore during Wednesday evening's high tide. There could be several tide cycles of minor to localized moderate flooding of tidal waterways, through Thursday and early Friday.
Cloud cover will finally start to break apart Wednesday evening, as our rain chances wind down too. Thermometers should gently descend into the comfortably cool lower 60s by Thursday morning.
A much brighter weather day. I'll call it partly sunny. With high temperatures around 75 to 80 degrees. That's still a hair below the seasonal normal, but it should still be a pleasant day overall.
A couple models are showing an isolated shower drifting through the state late-day Thursday. But lacking any significant forcing or deep moisture, I think the chance of raindrops is very low.
Just beautiful. As high pressure builds overhead, we will enjoy golden sunshine and blue skies. Seasonably warm temperatures, topping out near 80 degrees. Low to moderate humidity. Light winds. And dry weather. Enjoy this one!
Saturday will be a continuation of Friday's gorgeous sky. It looks mostly sunny and dry, with highs again in the lower 80s.
Sunday & Beyond
Sunday, however, will pick up significant cloud cover. Models are still putting high temps in the lower 80s. (Maybe a degree or two cooler than Saturday, especially for inland areas.) The daytime hours look dry, although a shower may crop up Sunday evening.
More substantial rainfall is showing up in the long-range forecast. The timing is still pretty uncertain, but we're looking at Monday or Tuesday. A healthy half-inch to an inch of rain would be helpful for our drought status. Depending upon when the steadiest rain arrives, we'll probably have another period of gloomy, cool conditions.
Finally, we are always eyeing the tropics at this point of the year. Especially since the average peak of Atlantic hurricane activity is this weekend. Hurricane Danielle is heading to Europe. Hurricane Earl will brush past Bermuda. And there are two fresh tropical waves coming off the west coast Africa. Oh yes, the Atlantic is active. Just not here — for now.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.