NJ weather improves Wednesday, but the ocean remains angry
Even as the coastal storm pushes out to sea, dangerous rip currents and beach-battering waves will remain a problem along the Jersey Shore on Wednesday.
Here are your weather headlines for Wednesday, August 30, 2017...
Good Weather, Bad Surf
We've gathered here today to mourn the passage of our coastal storm system. Sure, it caused minor headaches and made for a yucky weather day for New Jersey. But it never even had a name. How can media-rologists over-hype a storm that doesn't have a name!
Ahem, anyway... Tuesday's storm system is indeed pushing farther and farther out to sea and away from the Jersey Shore. As it does, it's actually going to (finally) strengthen, with hurricane-force winds possible over the middle of the Atlantic. In addition, it's still going to churn up the waters of the Atlantic basin for some time to come.
Yet again on Wednesday, a high risk of dangerous rip currents has been posted from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Rough surf will make entering the ocean extremely dangerous, even for strong swimmers. Ocean waves have subsided slightly, but 11 foot breakers will continue to batter the beaches. Red flags will be flying — just stay out of the ocean, please.
Meanwhile, our weather will see dramatic improvements by late morning Wednesday. Last-lick showers and sprinkles will end by 7 a.m. at the latest. Increasing sunshine will help high temperatures into the mid to upper 70s. That's a little bit below the normal high of 82 degrees, but I have no hesitation calling Wednesday a pleasant weather day.
Warm then Cool
Thursday looks good too! Periods of sunshine will accompany pockets of clouds. Temperatures will warm into the lower to mid 80s. That's the first time in a week we'll see widespread 80s across New Jersey!
A cold front — the leading edge of a much cooler and drier air mass — will start pushing from NW to SE across the Garden State around mid-afternoon Thursday. Models show minimal rainfall. You might see a brief shower, and maybe even a thunderstorm. (Yes, it will be warm — but I don't know it will be warm enough to destabilize the atmosphere enough to sustain lightning and thunder.) A brisk wind will probably pick up during and after frontal passage.
Behind the front will come a whoosh of fall-like air. Low temperatures on Friday afternoon will be in the lower to mid 50s for most (maybe even in the 40s in NW NJ). High temperatures on Friday afternoon will only make it to the upper 60s to lower 70s. Skies will be mostly cloudy.
The Skeleton of Harvey
Yes, we have some rain on the way for part of the Labor Day Weekend. No, I don't expect anything major. And no, the holiday weekend won't be a weekend. Far from it, in fact.
Tropical Storm Harvey has finally "unstuck itself" from east Texas, and will make one more landfall Wednesday morning along the Louisiana coast. It will continue moving northeastward, eventually arriving in New Jersey sometime Friday or Saturday.
Let me ease your mind by assuring you that Harvey's remnant low will be just a skeleton of the incredible rainmaker it once was. The storm will be fully "extratropical" or "post-tropical" by the time it gets here. However, my usual mantra lingers in the back of my mind: never underestimate the rainfall potential of a storm of tropical origin.
There is still significant uncertainty among the weather models regarding the arrival time and intensity of any Harvey-related rain. NAM says steady rain arrives by Friday afternoon. GFS says much lighter rain from Friday night through early Saturday. Again, I favor a briefer, lighter period of rain at this time.
That means the holiday weekend looks to start with rain, clouds, and cool temperatures near 70 degrees on Saturday. Following a warm front and the exit of Harvey's remnants, the weekend weather should improve significantly. Skies are expected to go partly sunny on Sunday, with most highs recovering to the lower 80s. Monday looks mostly sunny and very warm, bumping thermometers into the mid 80s. I wouldn't be surprised to see 90s at some point next week.
See Ya Real Soon!
After an absurdly busy (read: wet) summer, this weary weatherman will be taking an extended vacation from Thursday through next week. My family and I will be spending Labor Day Weekend at the Jersey Shore, before we head to Disney World next week!
In my absence, my intrepid, dedicated, many-hatted colleague Patrick Lavery will handle Weather Blog duties while our weather team will have your forecast every 15 minutes on the radio.
See you in September!