Tropical Storm Michael: How South Jersey is Impacted

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Well... It's Thursday! Just a couple more days to get through before we can actually ENJOY the weekend. How exciting is that? What's MORE exciting? The fact that we will have COOL weather. Oh joy!! Alright let's get right down to brass tacks and talk about the elephant in the room - Michael. Talk about a DESTRUCTIVE storm. Wow. 155mph at landfall. There are areas of the Panhandle that will take YEARS to rebuild A very sad situation indeed. It's a storm that started out life as a disturbance on Saturday and quickly formed into a hurricane and eventually into a Major hurricane. 

Is that rare? No... not really. It happens. There's no boogieman making the storm stronger, it's natural. Michael was literally in THE best environment possible for rapid intensification. Water in the Gulf was at 84 degrees, it was traveling underneath a dome of high pressure with NO wind shear or dry air to stop it. Of course it was going to get stronger. We KNEW that would happen. Admittedly I underestimated just how strong it would get. I was thinking Cat 3. This thing was 1mph shy of a Cat 5. Incredible. The fastest intensifying hurricane on record is Blanch from 1969, just an FYI. 

Alright so where is Michael now and where is he heading? Unfortunately he is bringing A LOT of rain to areas that certainly do NOT need the rain. Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia. Michael is moving to the northeast at a VERY good clip, over 20mph. There's a cold front to the west that is utilizing some of Michael's rain and allowing it to funnel into our region. The front is also acting as a track for Michael to ride along. He will likely emerge off of southern Delmarva late tonight and find himself parallel to our coast by 80-100 miles early tomorrow morning. 

Michael will be far enough off shore that we don't have to worry about a major impact, but close enough to bring rain and wind our way. You've already seen some rain move through, that's out AHEAD of Michael, by the way. That's moisture running up along the cold front. 

Timing:

It's here. Showers and breezy conditions on and off through the day. The heaviest rain and highest wind gusts arrive later tonight into the overnight period. Storm exists by late tomorrow morning with high wind gusts behind it.

Winds:

Sustained at 15-20 through the day, picking up at the coast tonight. Overnight? Maybe 20-25mph with GUSTS to over 45mph at the beaches. Best winds probably between 2am-6am. Gusts and sustained winds decrease the farther north and west you go.

Rain:

Generally 2-4" southeast of Hammonton, 1-2" west, <1" west of Philly. If Michael ultimately tracks closer to the coast, some of those values may be a bit higher. Models generally going between 2-3", but I have to leave the window open for isolated pockets of higher amounts.

Flooding:

A flash flood watch is in effect. Training of heavy cells possible. Poor drainage flooding? Possible. 

Coastal Flooding:

Outside of MINOR flooding, I don't see much of an issue because there will be no stacking of the back bays. The storm is in and out. 

Power outages: 

Possible, especially at the coast where we will see the most wind and rain. Best chance is overnight. 

 

I think that pretty much sums it all up. Tie down any loose furniture you've got outside so it doesn't get picked up by the wind, wear your rain boots and try to stay dry!