Tropical Storm Arthur to have generally minor, indirect impacts on NJ
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1st each year. But Mother Nature isn't watching the calendar, as usual. We have our first named tropical system of 2020, and its name is Tropical Storm Arthur. Currently spinning off the coast of the Carolinas, with 45 mph sustained winds, Arthur is forecast to make a hard-right turn out to sea. Therefore, it's safe to say that NJ will not feel a "direct" hit from Tropical Storm Arthur.
By the way, I'll remind you that it snowed in New Jersey just 10 days ago!
It is important to note that Arthur is only one of three meteorological entities affecting our weather this week. An area of "blocking" high pressure is drifting to our northeast, while a low pressure system (storm) system is slowly meandering to our southwest. That combination presents the chance for generally cloudy and cool weather, along with a shower, wind, and coastal flooding threat from the tropical storm.
Remember how Sunday turned cloudy and cool and not very springlike? That is pretty much our forecast for the first half of the week. Skies will be especially grey and conditions especially breezy along the Jersey Shore Monday, with highs only reaching about 60 degrees. Farther inland, thermometers will push toward 70 degrees with pops of sunshine possible.
The outermost band of Arthur may lick New Jersey's southern coast Monday afternoon, so I've presented a chance of showers and sprinkles in the forecast, just in case. Raindrops will be limited.
Arthur's closest pass to New Jersey will come Monday evening, with the center passing about 250 miles to our south-southeast. Tropical storm force winds only extend about 110 miles from the center, according to the latest forecast advisory from the National Hurricane Center. So we will almost certainly miss out on the worst wind and rain, from this weak and compact storm system.
With a continuing chance of a shower to the south and east Monday night, the wind will start to kick up across New Jersey too (again, especially to the south and east). Top gusts early Tuesday will reach about 30 to 40 mph. Overnight low temperatures to dip to around 50 degrees, with lots of clouds overhead.
Overall, Tuesday will be a windy, partly sunny, and probably dry day. High temperatures will be limited to the lower to mid 60s for most of the state. Expect mid to upper 50s along the coast.
That strong easterly wind will push some ocean water toward the Jersey Shore too. So we do face a threat for coastal flooding, in the minor to moderate category, thanks to 1 to 2 feet of storm surge. (That is on top of a high astronomical tide due to the upcoming New Moon.) The most precarious high tide cycle looks to be Tuesday evening.
Looking for information on high tide times and surf conditions? I highly recommend you check out our Jersey Shore Report, now being compiled and posted every morning through September.
Wednesday looks to be our coolest day of the week, with high temps only in the upper 50s to lower 60s. It will be cloudy, and probably showery or drizzly for a time.
I'm hopeful we'll bounce back a bit on Thursday, with breaks of sun and a southeasterly (rather than straight easterly) wind. Highs should bump into the lower to mid 60s.
At the top of this article, I outlined three weather systems, including a "slowly meandering" storm system to our south. That batch of inclement weather will finally unhinge itself on Friday, pushing a round of scattered rain through New Jersey. Total washout? Probably not. I'll even push high temperatures into the upper 60s.
I've had many New Jerseyans ask me about the Memorial Day Weekend forecast already. And I don't have much to tell you yet. As I have illustrated, this week's forecast is very complicated and quite dynamic — there are literally changes every time I look at the models. At the moment, I'd call for a warm and mainly dry Saturday, followed by a cooler and wetter Sunday. So, we'll call it "mixed news" for now. Obviously, we'll be watching the holiday weekend forecast closely, and I expect to have a more confident outlook around Wednesday-Thursday.