Wet and windy, not the worst case scenario

The latest news on Hurricane Henri

Storm trajectory predicted by Henri, starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday. New Jersey will end up on the wet and windy west side of Henri’s traffic. (NOAA / NHC)

—Henri is still a hurricane (minimum category) from 5 p.m. Maximum sustained winds stable at 75 mph.

—The last forecast track and the model’s advice pushed Henri east, away from the NJ. Most likely landing at the eastern end of Long Island (Suffolk County).

—New Jersey forecast tends towards an intermediate path and an intermediate scenario (not quite the worst case, not quite the best case). Inclement, if not mean sometimes. Maybe dangerous at the height of the storm, north and east.

—New Jersey’s Biggest Impact Hurricane Henri will likely be heavy rains and potential flooding. The threat of wind and minor storm surges, however, cannot be ignored.

– It’s already raining in the south of Jersey, already at the northwestern edge of Henri. (The traffic center is approximately 260 miles southeast of Cape May, NJ)

Opinion

—Tropical storm warning … Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth and Eastern Union Counties … Tropical Cyclone Advisories have no expiration date traditional – they will be canceled when the threat of dangerous winds is gone.

– Flood monitoring … the 21 counties of New Jersey … Until Monday morning … Heavy rains can cause flash floods and floods.

—Coastal flood warning … Cape May, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties … Until Sunday morning … The storm surge can cause tidal streams to rise and flood the surrounding lowlands.

Chronology

-Saturday night… At the time of this writing (5 p.m.), the outermost band of Hurricane Henri is already colliding with the south coast of NJ. Pockets of moderate rain will continue to expand to the west and north.

– From Saturday evening to early Sunday morning … As Henri’s center makes its closest pass to New Jersey, the rain will become more regular and more widespread between around midnight and sunrise on Sunday.

—Sunday in the middle of the morning or at the end of the morning … The rain continues. Probably the period of the strongest winds.

-Sunday afternoon… The models really go all out on a swath of heavy rain that circulates around Henri’s traffic from lunchtime. Mainly affecting the north and the coast of NJ.

-Sunday night… It is still raining, especially in the north. But also calm down. Especially in terms of the wind. And especially the drying out in the southern half of the state (which can be done with the storm at this point).

-Monday morning… Moderate to heavy rain bands remain possible for northern Jersey.

– From Monday noon to the afternoon … Eventually, Henry will be carried to the northeast, ending the rain and returning to calm, hot, humid, summery weather.

One more thing…

Let me quote from several updates from Fred and Henri earlier in the week:

Never underestimate the rainfall potential of tropical humidity.

In my blog post on Henri weather on Saturday morning, I also said:

What does it mean you need to do to prepare [for Henri]? Probably very little.

At first glance, these statements seem to contradict each other. But they don’t, really. What would you do differently to prepare for a storm if you thought you would have 10 inches of rain instead of just one? Probably nothing. What would you do differently if you knew 60mph winds were coming, instead of 30mph? Same thing.

I want to add an important asterisk to the forecast information I’m about to enter. While we have now composed a fairly confident track forecast, far from being a “worst case” for NJ, the storm is still prone to “stir” back and forth. Even a 25 mile swing could have a spectacular effect on what falls / blows from the sky.

In addition, precipitation totals will be strongly influenced by the exact location, orientation and speed of the tropical rain bands that will form. (I hesitate to mention that there is an outlier model pouring 14 inch localized rain over New Jersey, a flash flood disaster. Again, outlier.)

This is what you will find below of the more prevalent “+” signs attached to my precipitation forecast. I have tried to give you the best “most likely” estimate of the expected conditions. But I also think it’s important to realize that there is still a chance that things will happen. off the rails and we finally lean towards a heavier, more impactful and more serious worst-case scenario.

The warning zone

(East of Bergen, East of Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, East of the Union)

-Rain… 2 to 4+ inches

-Wind… Sustained tropical storm force 40 mph possible, gusts 40-60 mph

—Surge / Surf (Middlesex and Monmouth counties): About a foot of storm surge. The high tide cycles of Saturday evening, Sunday morning and possibly Sunday evening could cause widespread minor coastal flooding. As the strongest winds will blow from the north-northeast, the shore and inner bay areas of Raritan Bay will be the most prone to rising sea levels. A high risk of dangerous reverse currents will continue along the waterfront, accompanying waves of 5 to 8 feet.

—Surge / Surf (Hudson County) … A water rise of about a foot is possible along the Hudson River at high tide, which could result in flooding of streets or other low areas.

The rest of North Jersey

(West Bergen, West Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Western Union, Warren)

-Rain… 2 to 3+ inches

-Wind… Gusts of 25 to 40 mph (lowest in the west, highest in the east)

—Surge / Surf … This one is easy. Zero!

The rest of the shore

(Atlantic, Cape May, Ocean)

-Rain… 2+ inches

-Wind… Gusts could reach 40 mph, but sustained winds are expected to remain below the strength of tropical storms

—Surge / Surf … About a foot of storm surge. The high tide cycles of Saturday evening, Sunday morning and possibly Sunday evening could cause widespread minor coastal flooding. Mainly further north along the coast. As the strongest winds will blow from the north-northeast, the inner bay areas will be the most prone to rising sea levels. A high risk of dangerous reverse currents will continue along the waterfront, accompanying waves of 5 to 8 feet.

South and West

(Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Salem)

-Rain… 1 to 2+ inches (mainly at the beginning)

-Wind… Breezy at best. The best gusts can be 20 to 30 mph.

—Surge / Surf … The tide guidance shows a half-foot water surge along the Delaware River and Delaware Bay, but I don’t think that’s enough to cause widespread flooding issues. In fact, since the strongest winds will blow from the north-northeast, we would be more likely to experience low levels than high levels.

Action measures

—Secure loose items outside that can become projectiles, including garbage cans, garden furniture, etc.

– Keep your cell phone charged in case of power failure or emergency.

– Plan to stay at home during most of Henri’s wind and rain, if possible, from Saturday night until much of Sunday.

– Expect travel disruption during and after the storm, due to downed trees, power outages and flooding.

– Turn around, don’t drown: Never attempt to drive, walk or swim in flooded areas.

—No need for a “bread and milk” racebecause it is not a long term event. It will all be over on Monday.

NJ WEATHER CENTER: your forecasts over 5 days and more

Dan Zarrow is chief meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest real-time weather forecasts and updates.

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