Saturday starts soggy for NJ: Morning rain, midday wind, afternoon sun
Good Saturday morning, New Jersey. And what a soggy morning it is, as a coastal storm system has been pushing through bands of moderate to heavy rain for several hours now. While the weekend is starting off with sloppy and active weather, this storm system is moving very quickly. So we'll transition to clearer skies — and colder temperatures — by Saturday afternoon.
Not much has changed in the forecast here, as our storm system has behaved pretty well so far. Let's rundown what to expect.
As of this writing (7 a.m.), the backside of the rain is already in view on radar. The heaviest rain will exit the state by about 11 a.m. Saturday, with raindrops then tapering from west to east. There's a chance some showers linger along the eastern edge of New Jersey through 2 or 3 p.m., but I expect most of the rain to leave us alone much earlier. Rainfall totals will end up just over a inch across most of the state. There is still a risk of localized flash flooding where/when it's really pouring.
In terms of the snow potential, I still won't be surprised to see a few flakes flying around Saturday afternoon at the tail-end of this thing. However, the threat for accumulation and/or travel impacts in New Jersey will be nil. (Central Massachusetts, meanwhile, is forecast to get a foot of snow!)
The threat for coastal flooding is also very low. All tidal gauges along the Jersey Shore are forecast to stay below flood stage. Good news.
Meanwhile, as the center of this potent storm system approaches, we will feel an uptick in wind between about 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday. Most of the state will experience top gusts around 35 mph. Along the coast, the wind will be a bit stronger, maxing out near 45 mph. A Wind Advisory has been issued for coastal Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic, and Cape May counties from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Christmas decorations and garbage cans will be blown around. Driving and walking may be difficult in the biggest gusts. And there could be sporadic power outages too, as trees and branches are blown down.
Given that overall timeline, we're going to see improving weather all around by mid-afternoon. As the puddles dry up and the wind calms down, we should see some good sunshine. (Before it sets at 4:30 p.m. that is.)
Then our big weather story becomes colder temperatures — it is December, after all. The next three nights will fall below freezing across most of New Jersey. And for the next three days (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday), thermometers will struggle to hit 40 degrees. Our next substantial storm system isn't modeled to arrive until next weekend.
Be safe in the slop Saturday, and enjoy your weekend!