No major flood concerns in NJ yet
Moisture from a tropical storm, interacting with an approaching cold front, is expected to deliver New Jersey a heavy dose of rain and thunderstorms later this week, but any flooding issues shouldn't be enough to ruin the long holiday weekend.
Dr. David Robinson, the state climatologist at Rutgers University, said due to a rather dry June, a couple inches of "soaking rain" would be welcome in many areas of New Jersey. The state ran about an inch below normal for precipitation last month.
"The ground is quite dry; the rivers are well within their banks, so we're starting off in a situation where we can handle several inches of rain pretty darn well," Robinson told Townsquare Media.
Robinson said he is not greatly concerned about inland flooding threats, but depending on where heavy thunderstorms pop up, there could be some localized issues.
"It would take multiple inches of rain in a short period of time to bring about major flooding concerns," he added.
The timing, size and strength of the weather event will determine how much of a storm surge, if any, is experienced along the coast. Robinson said mariners will definitely need to exercise caution, but "we're in a wait-and-see mode" on whether or not any significant flooding affects New Jersey's shoreline.
According to the Mount Holly office of the National Weather Service, the time for concern is late Thursday into Friday, when a series of cold fronts work with the moisture produced by Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Up to 3 inches of rain is expected, with some locally higher amounts.
"It looks like mid-to-late evening Friday, things should be cleared out," said James Bunker, observing program leader at the Mount Holly office. "We could have conditions to have some fireworks."
Rip currents should be a threat for most of the July 4th weekend.