Wet, windy start to Thursday yields cooldown, coastal flooding
As rain transitions to sprinkles by late morning Thursday, New Jersey will experience two days of seasonably cool temperatures.
There's a lot going on in New Jersey's weather forecast Thursday. So let's break it down by impacts, so you can see what to expect:
--Rain: It's been a wet overnight, and steady rain continues to push through the Garden State early Thursday morning. Rainfall has been fairly light, with totals at or below a half-inch so far. But it's been enough to make for messy travel conditions. The sloppiness will continue through part of the morning commute. Rain should taper to sprinkles by late morning (about 10 a.m.) at the latest. Sporadic raindrops could continue through Thursday evening, around 6 p.m.
--Wind: Especially along the Jersey Shore, a brisk wind has made the rain even more miserable. Gusts over 30 mph will be possible along coast throughout Thursday, with just "breezy" conditions further inland.
--Temperatures: We're done with the 80s and 70s (temporarily). Thermometers will go nowhere Thursday — we'll hover in the lower 60s through the morning hours, and stay in the lower 60s through the afternoon hours. That is below seasonal normals for mid-October, by about 5 degrees.
--Coastal Flooding: Because of the brisk easterly winds (often called an "on-shore flow"), an extra foot or two of ocean water will surge toward the Jersey coastline. That's enough to cause minor flooding of tidal waters during high tide. Thursday afternoon's high tide cycle will occur between about 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. along the oceanfront, and up to 3 hours later along the Delaware Bay, Delaware River, back bays, and tributaries.
Things will quiet down a bit for Thursday night, although I suspect it will remain breezy and we'll still see some clouds overhead. Most low temperatures should dip into the mid 50s by Friday morning. If skies clear enough, thermometers may dip into the 40s in the coolest spots.
Friday will be seasonably cool too, with afternoon high temperatures in the mid to upper 60s. Skies will stay mostly cloudy, and a stiff breeze will continue too. I can't rule out a shower or sprinkle popping up at any time.
This particular autumn cooldown won't last long, however. Following a shower or thunderstorm chance Saturday morning, the rest of the weekend looks pleasant — and much warmer! As skies clear to partly sunny by the afternoon hours, Saturday's high temperatures should reach the mid to upper 70s.
Sunday goes even warmer, with near-record highs in the lower 80s. (I could even see a few spots reaching 84 or 85 degrees — that's practically hot!) The weekend should end with some solid sunshine, alongside the warmth.
And guess what — the weekend warmup won't last long either! A strong cold front is currently forecast to sweep across New Jersey starting Sunday evening. A few rain showers are possible. More importantly, a fierce northwesterly wind will push temperatures downward once again. Monday will be about 20 degrees cooler than Sunday — from the 80s to the 60s.