Partly Sunny Clouds

Sunny, crisp weather is on a roll for the rest of the week, as we continue to gain more insight into the weekend coastal storm.

It will be a cool morning out there. Temperatures will be 5 degrees below average, so put the jacket on. High pressure will be moving toward us throughout the day, which will weaken the pressure gradient, along with the winds.

Thursday will be similar to Wednesday. The sunshine will be plentiful with highs in the mid 50s. The only difference will be the lack of winds. It will be good for most outdoor fall activities.

As we go into Thursday night, the high pressure sits nearly overhead. The combination of the calm wind and crystal-clear sky will promote quick cooling on the mainland.

Low temperatures will flirt with 32 degrees west of the Garden State Parkway. Meanwhile, those to the east will be in the mid to upper 30s with mid 40s at the coast. Protect your plants if you need to.

Friday will then be our transition day. The storm looks to move in a little quicker. Therefore, morning sun will quickly be filled in by thickening clouds. Highs will reach the mid 50s as winds flip to the southeast. This will start to pile water along the shore. Rain should hold off for most of the day. I believe rain starts Friday evening, likely around dark.

The rain will become heavy, and the winds pick up as well. Rain will likely be at its strongest late Friday night into Saturday morning.

The rest of Saturday will see that low-pressure system hug our coastline before striking New England and moving into Atlantic Canada. However, the speed at which it does will make the difference between a mostly dry afternoon or one with scattered showers. A high-pressure system, the same one that will bring our bright weather Thursday, will act as a buffer against the low pressure moving away.

Expect Saturday afternoon to have at least a couple of showers, especially north of the White Horse Pike. Highs Saturday will be in the low 60s. If you have all-day outdoor plans, cancel them. If you only need a few hours, and can handle a soggy ground, then you may be good holding off until late in the day.

Saturday night will be mostly if not completely dry. In the upper levels of the atmosphere, a large trough (area of low pressure) will engulf the Northeast. Expect more clouds than sun, but I do believe we wind up mostly dry. Outdoor plans could be a go, just know the ground will be soggy.

In terms of what to expect Friday night into Saturday, marine hazards, coastal flooding, wind and rain will be the impacts, in order of severity.

Offshore, an easterly gale will be expected Friday night into Saturday night. If you were planning on taking the boat out, postpone it to Sunday.

With the coastal storm comes the flooding, which may begin as early as the Friday evening high tide. However, the Saturday a.m. to Sunday a.m. high tides will be impacted. Minor to moderate flood stage will be likely, with the highest waters anticipated Saturday morning.

The potential for strong winds onshore will be a concern. For now, anticipate 40-60 mph gusts at the shore, with 35-50 mph gusts inland. This will be enough to sway large limbs and bring isolated power outages. Of lesser importance would be flying garbage cans and lawn furniture. Small branches may break off the trees, too.

Finally, heavy rain will be expected. However, it should not be long-lasting — 1 to 2 inches is anticipated, with most falling Friday night. Spotty roadway, stream and creek flooding may occur, but that would be it. Be careful driving at night.

And this might not be the only coastal storm in the seven-day forecast.

That large upper-level low may spin one off Monday into Tuesday. However, this will be weaker than the Saturday storm.

Meteorologist

This is my first newspaper but not my first forecast for NJ. I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology from Rutgers. Two TV internships gave me a taste for the newsroom. Then, after nearly 4 years in private NJ weather, I'm forecasting South Jersey for you.

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