Quick Hitting Heavy Rain, Wind & Tidal FloodingLast Edited:
I sure hope you're enjoying today's sunshine, it will be in very limited supply, if not non-existent, going forward into tomorrow and Friday. No surprises here. We've been talking about this coming storm for 5 days now. While it certainly won't be the worst storm we've seen, it WILL bring some pretty big impacts to our region. We've been lucky over the past month with the lack of Coastal Flooding (or significant coastal flooding I should say) but it seems like our luck in that department is going to run out. We're looking at 1-3" of rain, winds gusting to over 45mph, possible power outages and a round of moderate tidal flooding on Friday morning. Oh joy. Let's break it down and go line by line on what we can expect. Ready? Let's get going...
First... this is NOT a Nor'easter. Impact will be similar with the conditions, but the winds will NOT be out of the northeast. That's actually good news as we prevent "stacking" of the back bays. This low actually misses us to the west. Winds will be out of the SOUTHEAST, so I guess, in a sense, we could call it a "Sou'Easter"? Oh, there I go making up silly terms like the national media... Here's a look at the low level jet at 850mb (5000 feet). It's RIPPING overhead. This is why I think we've got potential for damaging wind gusts. If some of that energy mixes down to the surface, we could easily be talking gusts over 45mph even for the mainland. See those values at 90+mph? Don't worry, those aren't SURFACE winds, but they ARE winds right overhead nonetheless.
Rain looks to move in by tomorrow afternoon. Scattered showers at first with heavy rain developing by tomorrow night. Heaviest rain looks to be overnight into early Friday morning with scattered showers through Friday afternoon. the storm should depart and get out of our hair by Friday mid to late day.
Southeast sustained 15-25mph with gusts to 45 on the mainland and potentially near 60 at the coast. The gradient will be very tight on Friday morning with the low just to our west. The worst winds with this thing are clearly on the east side of the storm. My official forecast? 55mph + gusts from LBI to Cape May, 40-45mph gusts for EHT to Hammonton and 35-40mph gusts west of Hammonton. Margin between 50mph gusts and 60mph gusts will be razor thin.
Much like the event that came through this past weekend, I think a solid 1-2" is likely region-wide. There may be areas that pick up a little more. At any rate, it's going to be a WET system. Again, most will be overnight into early Friday morning. That creates flooding issues both tidal and flash/poor drainage/street etc. The ground water levels are VERY high. It doesn't take much to get flooding at this point. There's nowhere for the water to absorb into so it pools.
I'm sticking with the idea that moderate flooding is very likely with this storm, especially throughout Cape May county. We've got the full moon, we've got a strong-onshore flow, we've got the low riding very close to us, so water will likely rise a little bit more than what's modeled due to drop in pressure and we've got 1-2" of water to exacerbate the situation. Southeast winds help bring in water to the back bays but also along the Delaware Bay. If you live along coastal Salem and Cumberland, I would definitely be on the lookout. The highest tide will be Friday morning. Tide heights will probably exceed 6.5' feet in Ocean City, neat 7.5' in Cape May, a little lower in Atlantic City. I think there's potential for 1.5' to 2.0' of water in the streets. The point I'm trying to make here? If you live in these areas impacted by flooding, MOVE YOUR CARS TO HIGHER GROUND.