Wind Advisories Flood Watches Up Rain Later Thursday Into Friday Before Cold Arrives
Flash Freeze Possible Friday Afternoon & Evening
Flood Watches are now up for the counties of Western and Northwestern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Wind Advisories are now posted for parts of Northern New Jersey east to NYC as well as parts of the Lower Hudson Valley, Long Island & Connecticut. As a major storm develops over the Great Lakes, rain now gathering in the Southeast US will head northward and overspread the area during the afternoon and continue into Friday morning. Some of the rain will be heavy and there could be a few thunderstorms in the mix as well. Rainfall amounts could be on the order of 1.5 to 2.5 inches and this could create local flooding issues in the Flood Watch area.
The other issue Thursday night into Friday morning will be the wind as the gradient tightens up sharply and we could see wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph or higher in the advisory area and just below that in areas that are not under wind advisories (at least for now). South to southeast winds could ease somewhat Friday morning until a cold front swings through around midday.
Before we get there we have no weather issues today or tonight as we are seeing clear skies over the Northeast for now. Clouds are building however both in the Southeast US as well as to the west. Rain is developing in the Carolinas and this area of rain wlll be heading north late tonight and Thursday.
The first round of rain will exit from west to east Friday morning around daybreak and there will be a short break before a cold front moves rapidly through the region around midday with showers and a few downpours. The story for Friday will be the shifting winds from the south to the west and, after a short break, they will pick up again at speeds of 30 to 40 mph with higher gusts Friday afternoon into Saturday morning.
30 degree temperature spreads from low to high don't happen much this time of year. The average change from low to high is about 15 degrees on most days. In this case we will see 25 to 30 degree temperature drops in about 6 hours or less. Temperatures in most of Eastern Pennsylvania to Southern New England will drop from the 50s to the 20s and by midnight everyone will be in the teens!
As the cold air rushes in a brief burst of snow is possible but more importantly, fast falling temperatures could cause rain soaked areas to freeze on surfaces Friday afternoon and evening. This is a very tricky proposition since the wind can most times help to dry surfaces minimizes any icing but we will be on alert for the possibility of some icing especially inland. This happens on a very big travel day for the Christmas holiday weekend.
Coastal flooding is a big concern for parts of the South Shore of Long Island, the south facing shores of Connecticut, Westchester Counties, NY Harbor, as well as coastal Monmouth and North Ocean counties in New Jersey. Moderate coastal flooding is forecast at high tide Friday and some areas could experience major coastal flooding. We have a new moon and this is going to add to coastal flooding issues. After Friday morning with the wind shift to the northwest, coastal flooding will no longer be an issue. The weekend will be windy and very cold especially Saturday with winds gusting over 30 mph and ineffective sunshine. Highs will be just into the 20s. Sunday Christmas day should see less wind but still breezy with sunshine and highs again only in the 20s.
Please note that with regards to any severe weather, tropical storms, or hurricanes, should a storm be threatening, please consult your local National Weather Service office or your local government officials about what action you should be taking to protect life and property.