April 19: Thunderstorms Approaching

Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr April 19, 2019 14:22

April 19: Thunderstorms Approaching

Discussion: We continue to evolve towards a two-prong hit of rain and thunderstorms. The first will be pre-frontal activity in the warm sector this evening and the second will be the main expected storm period early Saturday morning.

The front is approaching from the W as well as the development of the upper-level low. There are some funky dynamics involved with the upper-level low influence and the progressing front. I don’t think this is going to be as bad as the other night with 7 confirmed tornado touchdowns. I also don’t think this will be nothing at all. Somewhere in the middle is the most realistic expectation…a stormy Friday PM into Saturday AM.

Periods of heavy rainfall are confident and likely. Flash flooding is possible for any areas that get stuck under training cell support. The other night was a quick frontal passage. Tonight will be a slower moving front and therefore longer periods of heavy rainfall. There’s also a near-full moon which could have minor tidal flooding impacts for any coastal areas exposed to the S. This includes both SENJ and SWNJ.

Gusty winds are confident and likely. While I believe there will be less chance for tornadoes tonight we cannot completely take the chance of them off the table. Please be mindful of any tornado warnings from the NWS. Listen to them if they happen! Otherwise I expect most wind damage reports to be from straight-line winds not from tornadoes.

Lightning intensity and frequency is a bit less certain. I would guess WNJ has a better chance of frequent lightning than ENJ due to marine influence/fizzle effect. Just don’t let your guard down should then make it to the coast. Once the main storm/rain line moves offshore by tomorrow morning there will be improvement for the rest of the weekend despite the uncertain conditions produced by the upper-level low passing through.

In English: Expect a stormy Friday evening and Saturday morning. Two stormy waves seem most likely. First this evening from about 4pm to 10pm. Then from about 2am to 10am. Expect heavy rainfall, gusty winds, possible frequent lightning, small hail and maybe an isolated tornado touchdown. I’m much more sold on straight-line winds than a tornado. Conditions should improve for Saturday and Sunday but still with the chance of random rain showers at any time. Here’s to hoping for minimal shower activity but you never know with an upper-level low moving through. Have a great night and please be safe! JC

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Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr April 19, 2019 14:22