UPDATE as of 11:55 a.m. Monday...

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for most of New Jersey. For the details of that watch and the latest storm timeline for the rest of the day, please see my latest weather blog post here:

ORIGINAL POST from 5:39 a.m. Monday...

As you hopefully know by now, Monday is going to be a significant weather day for New Jersey. If that forecast is a surprise for you, I recommend you begin by reading my comprehensive weather blog post from Sunday afternoon. It includes some special considerations and insight as this severe weather event meets our ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This powerful storm system has a history of producing deadly, devastating, and dramatic weather across the Deep South. And now it's our turn, with weather conditions turning downhill dramatically after sunrise Monday.

My goal for this update is to give you a short n' simple summary of our impending wind, rain, and severe weather threats. As always, we will be on your radio all day with the meteorological play-by-play.

A High Wind Warning (orange) and Wind Advisory (tan) are in effect for New Jersey from early Monday morning through Monday evening.


—Top wind gusts... Occasional gusts to 50 to 60 mph inland, 60 to 70 mph along the coast. 70+ mph is not impossible.
—Timing... Bottom line, it's going to be ferociously windy all day Monday. Peak gusts will likely occur from late morning through early afternoon — lunchtime, give or take.
—Impacts... Power outages are likely, along with downed trees and branches. Garbage cans and patio furniture may become projectiles.
—High Wind Warning... In effect for most of the state from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. calling for damaging wind gusts of 60+ mph. Orange on the map below.
—Wind Advisory... Issued for northwestern New Jersey, where the winds are expected to stay below warning criteria. Tan on the map below

The high-resolution NAM forecast at the time of peak wind, around 1 p.m. 50+ mph gusts are likely statewide, possibly even stronger along the Jersey Shore. (College of DuPage Meteorology)


—Top rainfall totals... Depending on the placement and duration of the heaviest downpours, 1 to 3+ inches of rain will be possible. Highest totals to the northwest, lowest totals to the southeast.
—Timing... The steadiest, driving rain will fall around late morning through midday Monday. The secondary line of strong thunderstorms (keep reading) will also produce a (briefer) period of downpours.
—Impacts... Flooding and ponding along roadways and other low-lying areas could make travel difficult during downpours. Rivers, streams, and creeks will likely run high and fast.

GFS model total precipitation forecast for Monday. Most of New Jersey will see an inch or more, with a swath of 2-3+ inches possible away from the coast.

Severe Thunderstorms

—Worst-case scenario... The grand finale of this storm system will drag a strong cold front from west to east. Scattered strong to severe thunderstorms will form, fueled by a very juicy atmosphere.
—Timing... Monday mid-afternoon through early evening, let's say 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
—Impacts... The strongest wind gusts of the day may occur as a result of these storms. In addition, frequent lightning, hail, and even a tornado are possible.
—No advisories yet... A watch and subsequent warnings are almost a certainty later on.

The Storm Prediction Center's severe weather outlook for Monday puts most of New Jersey solidly in a "Slight Risk" for dangerous thunderstorms. That is the 2nd of 5 risk categories, representing an elevated risk for damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes. (NOAA / SPC)

What's Next?

—Drying out and clearing out... After 5 p.m. we'll see sudden, significant improvements to our weather. As rain comes to an end, skies will start to clear.
—Calming down... Winds will also calm down rapidly Monday evening. It will remain breezy through about mid-morning Tuesday, with occasional gusts still exceeding 20 mph.
—Cooling down... We enjoyed 60s on Sunday. And, despite the rain and wind, Monday will remain mild too, near 70. However, behind Monday afternoon's cold front, temps will return to below-normal levels for the duration. I'm seeing morning lows near 40 and afternoon highs in the 50s (at best) for Tuesday through about Saturday.
—Next weathermaker... Tuesday will be quiet and reasonably pleasant. But another storm system will pass through New Jersey starting early Wednesday morning. Not a big, bad, powerful wind and rain machine. But believe it or not, model guidance is pointing to potential snow! Keep in mind, the ground is warm, the sun angle is high, and air temperatures aren't forecast to be quite cold enough for sustained snow accumulation. Still, this one could keep the interesting weather going this week.

The GFS model for Wednesday morning shows our next storm system bringing some light rain (green) and snow (blue) to New Jersey. (College of DuPage Meteorology)

As I've mentioned previously, Monday's weather impacts will be similar to that from a tropical storm. (Just to be clear, this storm system is not tropical in origin.) 60+ mph wind gusts, 1+ inch of rain, and strong to severe thunderstorms. Power outages, flooding and ponding, and the potential for damage and injury. The only thing missing is the threat for coastal flooding, which is not expected to be an issue here.

As if the coronavirus didn't provide enough excuse to just stay home, this nasty and downright dangerous should be even more reason to remain in a sturdy building for the day. Please take the wind threat seriously — the worst-case scenario forecast is pretty scary.

Stay smart, stay safe, and stay healthy.

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