Flood Watch: Umbrellas up, windshield wipers on (lights on too)
Here comes another January storm system! And thanks to an influx of warm and humid air — it's downright balmy outside — this one is going to be another very efficient rain producer. Pockets of heavy rain could cause flooding issues. Rumbles of thunder are possible. A gusty wind could be quite the nuisance. Bottom line: Not the prettiest day.
Here's what to expect:
--RAIN: As I'm writing this (6 a.m. Thursday), steady rain is filling in across the state. That rain will really pick up in intensity through the morning, pouring down through at least early afternoon. Rumbles of thunder are even possible along the way. We'll start to dry out around mid-afternoon, with clearing skies taking over soon after.
--FLOODING: 1 to 2+ inches of total rainfall may cause ponding on roadways and flooding of low-lying areas. A Flash Flood Watch or Flood Watch is in effect for all but Atlantic and Cape May counties, through Thursday afternoon. Never attempt to walk, swim, or drive through flooded areas — it's more dangerous than you might think, and pretty disgusting too.
--WIND: In addition, a gusty wind is expected throughout the day too, southerly in the morning turning to northwesterly in the afternoon. I've seen modeled wind gusts over 50 mph in far South Jersey — that's pretty fierce. Winds may be strong enough to cause driving difficulties and bring down trees and power lines. A Wind Advisory is in effect for the NJ coast from 6 a.m. to Noon.
--TEMPS: It's warm and it's humid, with temperatures mainly in the upper 50s. (The exception is Sussex County, which is still on the cool side in the upper 30s.) Thermometers will hold steady until early afternoon, before colder air returns.
By Thursday evening, skies will rapidly clear, winds will die down, and temperatures will continue falling. Overnight lows will dip into the upper 20s to around 30 degrees — that's actually still a bit above normal for late January.
On Friday, New Jersey flips back to the cool side of the world. It will be a mostly sunny and breezy day, perhaps with a few flurries flying around. High temperatures are forecast to be more seasonable, reaching the upper 30s to around 40 degrees.
The weekend looks pretty quiet. Although Saturday looks pretty cold. Morning lows in the teens. (If there's a breeze, I could see wind chills dipping into the single digits for some.) Afternoon highs in the lower 30s, with a mix of sun and clouds.
And then Sunday will clearly be the milder day of the weekend. Even though clouds will thick up and we could see a shower early or late, highs should rise into the lower to mid 40s. Not bad.
Monday looks even better. Mostly sunny skies and light winds will push thermometers into the mid 40s across the state.
The next storm system worth watching is in the Tuesday-Wednesday time frame. Not a big one, by any stretch of the imagination. But things could get a little messy, with minor wintry impacts possible. Long-range models are in poor agreement so far, struggling to resolve the perennial snow vs. rain question.