Alien Lightning

Lightning strikes over Sunset Lake in Wildwood Crest last July. The area between Vineland and Cape May experiences fewer hours of thunderstorms each year than the rest of South Jersey.

Showers and storms will arrive on Passover Friday as we kick off the Easter weekend. While severe weather will be possible Friday night, the complete weekend will not be a washout.

I will begin by saying it will be a balmy morning in South Jersey. Temperatures have been between 60-65 early on Friday morning, about 20 degrees above average. It will be more of a June morning, than an April one.

Speaking of June, that’s typical when our severe weather season peaks in New Jersey. For the second time in a week, though, we will be on the lookout for severe storms. Let’s start with the daytime.

Many people will be out and about between Passover and Good Friday services. The morning will be dry as temperatures will slowly rise. The winds will continue to be stiff, ranging from 15-25 mph between the southwest and south.

Then, after 2 p.m., we will have the potential to see a shower or a storm. This will continue to be the case for the afternoon and evening. It will be far from a washout, though, and you could carry an umbrella without using it. Highs will range from near 60 at the shore to the upper-70s in a triangle between Woodbine, Upper Deerfield Township and Egg Harbor City.

Winds will continue to remain elevated into Friday night. A round of spotty minor stage coastal flooding will be around, so move your cars and objects if you need to along the bayshore blocks.

Then, we wait for a strong cold front to bring thunderstorms and the potential for severe weather.

Similar to Monday, there’s a “window of opportunity” for storms, between 1 to 6 a.m. However, only 1.5 to 3 hours of this time period will likely rain.

The night timing does reduce the severe risk. In order of likelihood we should watch for: flooded roads, damaging winds and a tornado. A large plume of tropical moisture will likely bring scattered areas of flash flooding into Saturday morning.


In terms of the wind threat, isolated power outages and damage will be in the realm of possibility. Gusts of 50-60 mph will be possible.

Lastly, the tornado threat. We only average two tornadoes a year in the state, so to even see one anywhere in N.J. is uncommon, let alone in South Jersey.

Still, it’s not ruled out. If you have a smartphone, keep your emergency alerts on.

After 6 a.m. there will be pockets of rain into another very mild Saturday morning. Rain then rolls off the coast between 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. A slot of dry air will surge in around the sprawling, potent low-pressure system that will move into the Ohio River Valley. This will bring us afternoon sunshine as winds flip to the southeast. Temperatures will be fairly comfortable. Note that they likely peak in the late morning in the 60s, before slowly falling during the afternoon. 

Expect a buzz in activity at the boardwalks as people come down for the holiday weekend.

Saturday evening looks dry as well as clouds build back up. Temperatures will be pleasant enough to stay outside at night. In fact, as long as it stays above 48 degrees by midnight, we will have the record for the warmest low temperature at Atlantic City International Airport.

Which brings us to Easter Sunday.

I still stand by my forecast in Thursday’s edition: We’ll have a mostly cloudy day.

As the last of our low-pressure system moves away, a few showers will be around. I’d go with isolated showers for the morning and then scattered for the afternoon. My estimate would be 50% to 70% of the day will be dry.

Highs will be seasonable, meaning low 60s on the mainland. The shore will be in the mid-50s, so a light layer over the Easter dresses will do, and suits will be just fine for the guys.

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