Scattered rain returns to NJ Tuesday, severe flooding unlikely
I can not describe the feelings of helplessness and heartache I felt yesterday as the flooding situation unfolded in Ocean and Monmouth counties. For the second time in 3 days, part of New Jersey saw over a month's worth of rain in just a few hours. (Top totals were in the 5 to 8 inch range.) No "Flash Flood Warning" and no weathercast could properly elucidate how serious the situation got, and how quickly. My heart and my thoughts are with the victims of these and Saturday's flash flooding.
Now, let's talk about some good news. While pockets of heavy rain are possible again Tuesday afternoon and evening, I have several reasons to believe the severe flooding threat will be mitigated this time around:
1.) We have fallen out of the deep plume of tropical moisture. Dew points are actually in the 60s over a good part of New Jersey, suggesting our air and atmosphere have dried out slightly.
2.) Instability should be held at bay Tuesday, limiting convection and storm strength.
3.) This last batch of showers and thunderstorms should be widely scattered
Truthfully, it's still a precarious situation given the saturated ground, swollen waterways, and persistent flooding conditions. It won't take much heavy rain to spark a big problem in the most vulnerable spots. So it's certainly a good idea to remain extra alert and vigilant as rain returns. But, fingers crossed, I'm optimistic it will not be a repeat performance of a half-foot of rain.
We're starting off Tuesday dry, but with some patchy dense fog. The fog hasn't formed everywhere, but it is incredibly thick in spots. Visibility is limited to a quarter-mile or less, especially through the middle part of the state. (I had quite the "white-knuckle" early morning commute with near-whiteout conditions in the Edison area.)
Any fog should burn off by about 10 a.m. as temperatures rise. The rest of Tuesday morning and midday should feature partly sunny skies, pushing thermometers into the lower to mid 80s for most. Northwestern New Jersey and the Jersey Shore might get stuck in the upper 70s. We could enjoy a few hours of pleasant weather.
Don't be fooled though — the same storm system that has brought daily rain to the Garden State since late last week is still in the neighborhood. As that low pressure system unhinges and escapes out-to-sea, we'll have one more batch of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Northern and central NJ will see the first raindrops, with South Jersey potentially staying dry through Tuesday evening. As I mentioned above, pockets of heavy rain are possible. However, widespread severe flooding is unlikely.
Showers will exit the Jersey coast by Midnight at the very latest. Skies will start to clear quickly thereafter, and it should be fairly comfortable overnight. Low temps should fall into the upper 60s across most of the state.
Finally on Wednesday, we'll get a break from the latest onslaught of persistent soggy, unsettled weather. Skies will be sunny for most of the day, with dry weather expected all day. It's going to be pretty hot, as high temps peak around 90 degrees.
Thursday looks good too. While the NAM model continues to paint isolated showers in North Jersey, I'm going to maintain a dry and partly sunny forecast. It does look even hotter and more humid, with most high temps between 90 and 95 degrees.
Rain returns to the forecast on Friday, with a few showers in the morning and more widespread storms later on. Clouds will increase, holding high temperatures to the upper 80s to around 90 degrees.
Typical of the summer so far, the early preview at the weekend reveals mixed weather news. Most of Saturday looks fine, with sun and clouds and highs near 90. A round of showers and thunderstorms is forecast from Saturday night through the first half of Sunday. So, as it stands now, it's not a washout of a weekend. As it stands now.