Moderate tidal flooding is expected Wednesday afternoon and Thursday due to a coastal storm that is expected to form off North Carolina.
The weather service also is calling for up to two inches of snow across South Jersey, with lighter amounts along the coast.
A coastal flood watch now is in effect for Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties for the potential of water levels reaching the moderate tidal flooding threshold, according to the National Weather Service.
Beach erosion from high waves is likely as are high winds and periods of heavy rain and wet snow, the weather service said. As of noon, the weather service warns that wind gusts of between 50 mph and 60 mph are possible for a time Wednesday evening.
The storm could cause water levels in Atlantic City to near 7 feet and, in Cape May, to near 7.5 feet, according to weather service forecasts.
In Atlantic City, the threshold for moderate tidal flooding is 7 feet and in Cape May the threshold is 7.7 feet. Moderate tidal flooding means many low-lying roads across the area will have water on them, but property damage is unlikely.
For comparison, Hurricane Sandy’s total water level was 8.8 feet at the reference gauge at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, with water levels up to 1.5 feet higher on the back bays.
Rain is expected to begin sometime late Tuesday and last throughout the day Wednesday, though intensity will depend on the storm track, the weather service said. A period of heavy wet snow also is possible at times during the storm, the weather service said. Winds also are expected to be strong, particularly near the coast, with peak forecasts calling for speeds up to 45 mph, the weather service said.
Forecasters warned that any flooding that occurs could be exacerbated by flood controls, such as dunes and bulkheads, still damaged from Hurricane Sandy.
The weather service is expected to begin issuing watches later this afternoon. Check back later for more details.