Coastal Flooding and Gusty Winds Still a Big Problem for NJ on Sunday
Despite improvements in the forecast, the dramatic effects of a coastal storm system and Hurricane Joaquin will still be felt on Sunday.
This weekend has been a nightmare for many Jersey Shore towns as waves battered beaches, tidal waters inundated streets, and winds howled. The pictures of rough surf, blowing sand, flooded areas, property damage, and beach erosion have been incredible.
Coastal Flood Warning Continues
Fortunately, there is slightly better news in the forecast for today and beyond. The high tide that occurred early this morning was markedly lower than the tidal levels that occurred yesterday. That's a good sign.
Unfortunately, the persistent on-shore wind has prevented much of the water from draining out of the back bays and tributaries, so low tide levels are also still elevated. Widespread moderate to major coastal flooding will continue today, even as the ocean slowly begins to calm down.
A Coastal Flood Warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday for the entire Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Cape May, the Raritan Bay, and the Delaware Bay. That means we have to get through one more really bad high tide cycle before the water recedes significantly.
The worst coastal flooding will continue to occur at the times of high tide. According to Tides4Fishing.com, here are the expected times of high tide through Monday...
Sandy Hook: Sunday 1:46pm... Monday 2:22am... Monday 2:42pm
Long Branch: Sunday 1:20pm... Monday 1:56am... Monday 2:16pm
Seaside Heights: Sunday 1:16pm... Monday 1:52am... Monday 2:12pm
Atlantic City: Sunday 1:27pm... Monday 2:08am... Monday 2:33pm
Cape May: Sunday 2:01pm... Monday 2:42am... Monday 3:07pm
High tide on the back bays and for the Raritan Bay and Delaware Bay generally occurs about an hour later than along the ocean.
According to the NJ Weather & Climate Network, the top wind gusts from the last 24 hours were 47 mph at Harvey Cedars and Sea Girt, and a 43 mph gust at Seaside Heights.
Along the coast, sustained winds will persist at about 20 to 30 mph for much of Sunday, with gusts to 40 to 50 mph.
For inland areas of New Jersey, expect sustained winds of 10 to 20 mph with gusts to about 30 mph.
Sunday will still be a gusty, blustery day. Winds should slowly subside by Sunday night and especially into Monday.
Sunday looks to be a mostly dry day for the Garden State, although a few isolated areas of showers and drizzle are certainly possible. Blowing spray and blowing sand will continue to plague coastal areas.
One more round of showers will be possible Sunday night through Monday morning, as the culprit storm system to our south starts to clear the coast. Rain totals through the end of the weekend should be less than a tenth of an inch.
Hurricane Joaquin continues marching out to sea. After a brief resurgence in strength yesterday, maximum sustained winds have dropped to 120 mph - Category 3. The storm continues to move northeast at a solid clip, 20 mph. The tiny island of Bermuda will be struck by Joaquin by Sunday afternoon.
Clearer Weather Ahead
New Jersey will see noticeable improvements in the surf and sky forecast on Monday, as winds continue to subside. High pressure will build in from the west. This dome of sinking air will help to clear out our skies and calm down those wicked winds.
By Tuesday, the Garden State should once again be able to enjoy plentiful sunshine, calm winds, and seasonable temperatures around 70°. Personally, I can't wait.