Nor’easter to bring rain, wind over next several days

Sunny, warm and pleasant conditions will become a distant memory during the second half of this work week. A coastal system, or Nor’easter, will develop off the Mid-Atlantic coast today and shift slowly northward. The developing system is actually the weak remnants of Tropical Storm Karen, now a mid level disturbance shifting up the Eastern Seaboard. Although not featuring a very strong center of low pressure, the system will push north with a tight gradient developing between the low pressure area and the high pressure holding firm to the north. The result will be east/northeasterly winds (an onshore flow) for a prolonged period of time, as well as gusty winds and periods of rain.

Gale Warnings and Coastal Flood Statements have been issued by the National Weather Service in advance of the system.

Forecast models have been struggling with the exact positioning of the axis of heaviest rain, but one of the main ideas is that despite where the heaviest rain bands set up, the periods of rain and prolonged east-northeasterly winds will be persistent for a prolonged period of time. This creates concerns for some coastal flooding, beach erosion, and high surf. Farther inland, raw and dreary conditions will be the main story — with cloudy skies, cooler temperatures, and light to moderate rain for the next few days.

NAM model forecasting total rainfall over 3 inches along parts of the New Jersey shore. Notice the sharp cutoff of heavy rain totals to the north.

NAM model forecasting total rainfall over 3 inches along parts of the New Jersey shore. Notice the sharp cutoff of heavy rain totals to the north.

The high pressure to the north will likely create a sharp cutoff in rain totals — with some of the northwestern suburbs seeing minor rainfall totals compared to areas of Southern and Eastern New Jersey. The prolonged period of gusty winds and heavy rain along the shore could create some coastal flooding concerns, as well as minor beach erosion. The unsettled conditions look to continue through at least Friday, before the storm system begins to weaken and shift eastward.
Over the next few days, stay tuned for any additional watches or warnings as well as information on the upcoming system.

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