Feb 23: Thunderstorms Detected!
The system that brought snow, rain and wind to New Jersey today is on it’s way out to sea. The more powerful low will now track through the Ohio Valley, over the E Great Lakes and into Canada while rapidly intensifying. The associated warm front of the Mid-Atlantic cyclone should push through from the south tomorrow morning. New Jersey will then stay in the warm sector tomorrow into tomorrow evening. During this time, on and off rainfall is expected with a few isolated downpours and rumbles. Tomorrow night, the cold front will push through our region and bring the more severe threat of thunderstorms. Here’s the latest high-resolution NAM simulated precipitation for late tomorrow night:
This shows strong convection moving through EPA and into NJ around midnight. Given that this is simulated precipitation, give or take a few hours. The main idea here is evening thunderstorms in EPA and overnight thunderstorms for NJ. I imagine the energy will weaken as it approaches the coast so WNJ seems more favorable for thunderstorm activity than ENJ. Also, SNJ in general has a better chance than NNJ. So what that boils down to is SEPA/SWNJ having a higher chance for severe thunderstorm criteria being met. Neighboring areas have a lesser chance for such.
With the strength of the low passing to our far W, there is going to be stiff southerly flow to begin with. Add convective dynamics and much higher wind gusts can be brought to the surface from aloft. The National Weather Service will trigger a severe thunderstorm warning if wind gusts exceed 58mph. I only see that possible surrounding the cold frontal passage period tomorrow night. Thursday should feature improving conditions despite gusty westerly winds.
In English: Expect on and off rainfall tomorrow morning through evening with warmer temperatures than today. Thunderstorms are then possible later tomorrow night and into the early AM hours of Thursday. Some could reach severe criteria for high wind gusts but most activity should at least be strong. We’ll have to watch how strong these storms are in EPA tomorrow evening. That should give us an idea what to expect a few hours later. Traditionally such energy weakens as it move to the coast but in this kind of a setup one should not let their guard down. Just to be clear, if you find yourself under one of these convective cells you should expect heavy downpours and gusty winds. Thursday could start out wet with lingering precipitation but we should dry out quickly once the sky clears, especially with gusty W winds. Have a great night and be safe! JC