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Another round of scattered soaking storms across NJ Thursday

Once again, torrential downpours will be fueled by New Jersey’s very warm, humid atmosphere.

Edison experienced some truly torrential rain and dramatic flash flooding along Route 1 on Wednesday.  (Photo: Doe Vallone Bassano)
Edison experienced some truly torrential rain and dramatic flash flooding along Route 1 on Wednesday. (Photo: Doe Vallone Bassano)

Wednesday’s weather took quite the stormy turn, as slow-moving thunderstorms dumped very heavy rain over many spots across the Garden State. Top rainfall totals were over 2 inches, which generally fell in a short period of time. It wasn’t really surprising to see such dramatic photos of flooding and difficult travel conditions during the evening commute.

We’re prone to do it again on Thursday. While the potential spread and intensity of this second round of storms looks slightly diminished compared to Wednesday, it will still be very important to stay alert to changing skies and weather conditions all day.

So far Thursday morning, we’ve seen some thick fog in spots. Leftover puddles and a wet ground provides plenty of ground-level moisture to fuel the fog, reducing visibility below a quarter-mile in a few spots. As the fog burns off, we’ll see mostly to partly cloudy skies. Temperatures will be warm, although not quite hot. Look for mid 80s inland, and upper 70s at the beach. We may very well miss 90 degrees, thanks to clouds and eventual rain.

We’ve already seen a few very isolated showers, but the main focus for storms will occur Thursday afternoon. There will be two points of initiation for storms: differential heating in the higher elevations of NW NJ, and the sea breeze front. So that places the best chance for stormy weather in northern and central New Jersey.

Once again, isolated instances of severe weather (wind and hail) will be possible, but this shouldn’t be an outbreak due to limited sunshine and diurnal heating. However, heavy rain may quickly lead to ponding on roadways, in addition to flooding of low-lying and poor-drainage areas. Remember: never attempt to drive, swim, or walk through flooded areas.

A few leftover showers and thunderstorms will be possible Thursday evening. Once again, dense fog may form from the deep puddles through Friday morning. Overnight lows will fall to around the 70 degree mark.

That brings us to Friday, which I have to admit is looking decent. Skies will average partly sunny, and it will be a very warm and breezy summer day with highs in the mid to upper 80s. I’m also comfortable calling the day mostly dry — however, I wouldn’t remove a shower chance from the forecast table completely.

The weekend will begin with a cold front pushing through the state. Yesterday’s forecast models insisted on a wet and dreary Saturday. But I wasn’t buying the persistent rain forecast — the front was modeled to move too slow. Our latest forecast puts thick clouds and showers over New Jersey for Saturday morning, with clearing skies starting by lunchtime. The front will eventually deliver drier air, which we may start tasting by Saturday afternoon. It will be seasonably warm on Saturday, with high temps in the mid 80s.

And I’m still hesitantly-yet-optimistically seeing simply great weather for Sunday, for the second weekend in a row. Dry air and dry weather will make for a pleasant day, with mostly to partly sunny skies. High temperatures will reach the lower 80s inland, with the sea breeze keeping the coast slightly cooler.

As on-shore flow sets up next week, we may experience a prolonged period of grey, damp, cool weather. Highs on Monday and Tuesday may get stuck in the 70s.

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

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