This has been a rather interesting afternoon along the New Jersey coast if you were at the beaches. Rip currents and rough ocean seas continue and this is not a surprise. A weak low pressure area has developed off the mid Atlantic coast. You can see it on the visible satellite picture above. It is small but it is doing a number on the ocean as it whips things up. This might be some sort of semi tropical low pressure system that might be trying to form there.
Take a look at this surface map for late this afternoon off the mid Atlantic coast. If you look at the wind barbs there appears to a weak low off coastal North Carolina Winds offshore are from the north while winds off the coast from Delmarva northward are northeast or east. That weak low is interacting with high pressure to the north producing a tighter than normal gradient. Winds aren’t all that strong but there are some 20 knot plus winds in there and that is enough to produce some rougher than normal seas northward to New Jersey. These small systems are very interesting in that they usually get missed by models.
The 4km NAM which has a tight grid pics up on the weak low pressure system on the latest 18z model run. Chances are it is going to lose it. Some of the thunderstorms and showers with this are moving west northwestward for now. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this as high pressure to the north continues to shift southward. Every once in awhile you can get something like this where a little bit of pressure falls and a slightly tighter gradient and you suddenly have a small area of 20 to 30 knot winds offshore. In the meantime if you are headed to the beaches this evening or on Sunday in New Jersey and even on Long Island Small Craft Advisories are up for the ocean waters. You can check the latest winds on the marine forecast page.
Take a look a the latest buoy report off the Delaware Coast. And then there is this one with 35 knot winds off the Virginia/North Carolina coast.