Soggy Saturday storm update: Can we salvage any piece of the weekend?
Overnight, the rain poured and the wind howled. The first round of this Memorial Day Weekend storm system got pretty nasty across the entire state. And we’re just getting started, with another 36 hours of potential nastiness yet to come.
Not much has changed with the forecast. I just wanted to throw together a quick rundown of 8 bullet points to discuss what to expect through the rest of the weekend.
The Storm So Far
Top wind gusts along the Jersey Shore were over 40 mph early Saturday morning. Top rainfall totals have already exceeded 2 inches, in several places across Central Jersey. (That’s where the first shower and first heavy rain band set up on Friday.)
Where We Stand Now
The heaviest rain and wind of the weekend is likely behind us now. We had a bit of a lull in the rainfall action around daybreak Saturday. But radar is now filling in again. Additional bands of moderate to heavy rain are expected throughout Saturday. And Sunday too. Regular wind gusts over 30 mph will continue.
Pretty much. There may be some pockets of dry air at times Saturday. But don’t count on conditions improving much at all. Even if the rain stops falling, it’s still going to feel damp, windy, cloudy, and cold.
Given the driving rain, thick clouds, and strong on-shore wind, temperatures just won’t have an opportunity to rise. We’ll be stuck within a few degrees of 50 through Monday morning. Probably smashing some “lowest high temperature” records here - this is about 25 degrees below normal for Memorial Day Weekend!
There is a chance that NJ’s southern coast taps into some slightly warmer air Sunday, rising closer to 60. But that’s still well below normal for late May.
The King Tide
Not that it’s a “beach day” anyway, but we’ve got 5 to 10 foot ocean waves crashing along the Jersey Shore, and a high risk of rip currents posted Saturday.
In addition, one of the highest astronomical tides of the year will combine with an on-shore breeze to produce a surprisingly big high tide Saturday night. Widespread moderate flooding looks likely. And water levels may even poke above “major” flood stage along Atlantic and Cape May counties (coastlines with more of a southeast exposure).
There will be water inundation issues Saturday night - plan your car parking, boat parking, and travel plans accordingly.
Any Improvement Sunday?
Not much. All models continue to paint a very wet picture through Saturday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon. Sure, there may be breaks in the rain shield in between waves. But they won’t be substantial - again, damp, breezy, cloudy, cool.
The wind will start to quiet down Sunday afternoon. And we will start to see a drying trend as Sunday evening approaches.
We will see marked improvements to weather conditions Sunday night, as the precipitation and clouds start to break apart. Having said that, there could still be a few showers around through daybreak Monday morning.
Magnificent Memorial Day Monday
I’m happy to report nothing has changed with this part of the forecast either. Partly sunny skies, dry weather, light winds, and highs in the 70s? Fantastic! A perfect opportunity for Memorial Day parades, ceremonies, and all those outdoor activities that were missed through the rest of this wet and windy weekend.
As always, please be smart and stay safe out there! Oh, and try to stay dry and warm too!
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.