Unsettled Conditions (May 18-22)

Unsettled Conditions (May 18-22)

Written on 05/17/2020
Jonathan Carr

Discussion: Rough ocean conditions should have the headline this week despite much better conditions inland and away from water. The upper jet should stay way to the N of NJ this week. Normally this would produce a heat wave sea of ridging however we have a closed-off upper-level low and tropical cyclone to deal with so it is cooler and more complicated. The first tropical system of the season, Tropical Storm Arthur, has formed off the SE US coast and should now track up the east coast between now (Sunday evening) and Tuesday. Upper-level SW flow, from the approaching/developing upper-level low, should steer Arthur away from the coast once he reaches OBX latitude. This is concurrent with the Gulf Stream that runs from OBX to the E/NE. Therefore, I am not concerned about a direct hit for NJ or anyone in the Mid-Atlantic. Also Arthur will likely lose tropical cyclone characteristics once he enters colder sea temperatures, again at or N of OBX latitude. You might see Arthur become classified as subtropical or extra-tropical. NJ however, especially SENJ coastal regions, could see a graze of Arthur’s NW quadrant (whatever state he is in) Monday into Tuesday, which would mean fine, possibly fine-drenching, rain, wind and coastal flooding/beach erosion/rip tide issues for immediate SENJ coastal areas. Arthur then moves away and out to sea by Wednesday and the upper-level low approaches. The upper-level low should keep the entire region slightly unsettled from Wednesday through Saturday. This doesn’t mean washout conditions only possible periods of showers with SENJ more favored than NWNJ. Most of NJ will likely be saying “what rain?” with instead sun, clouds and breeze in the 60s and 70s. SENJ coastal areas however are more prone to impacts primarily coastal flooding, beach erosion and onshore winds and secondary some rainy periods off the ocean. Therefore, most of NJ looks pretty good this week but immediate SENJ could be an entirely different planet given the fringe impacts from Arthur and onshore flow from the weak upper-level low. Sunday and Monday looks like the best days of Memorial Day Weekend. Friday and Saturday look slightly unsettled with the departing upper-level low but again, not that bad overall.

Note: Unless specifically mentioned by location (Example: NNJ elevations, SENJ immediate coast, Interior CNJ/SNJ, etc.) assume the following forecasts are statewide for New Jersey.

Monday (May 18) high temperatures should range from near-70 to near-60 NNJ to SNJ. Areas of NJ away from the ocean should see rather pleasant conditions (a mix of sun, clouds and breeze). Immediate coastal/SENJ areas are subject to more cloud cover, rain showers and gustier winds out of the E/NE. Coastal flooding is possible. Overnight lows should fall to the low-to-mid 50s for most areas as unsettled conditions continue. especially for SENJ.

Tuesday (May 19) high temperatures should reach into the 60s for most areas but coastal areas could hang in the 50s from marine influence. Skies should be partly-to-mostly cloudy with improving conditions, cloudier for SENJ with annoying drizzle possible. Winds should be breezy-to-gusty, especially along the coast, out of the E/NE. Marine problems like coastal flooding, beach erosion and strong rip currents should continue. Overnight lows should range from mid-40s to near-50 NNJ to SNJ.

Wednesday (May 20) high temperatures should reach into the 60s for most areas but coastal areas could again hang in the 50s from marine influence. Skies should be mixed with sun and clouds, cloudier for SNJ/SENJ. Winds should be lighter away from the ocean but remain breezy-to-gusty out of the E for coastal regions. Coastal flooding issues could persist. Overnight lows should range from near-40 to near-50 NNJ to SNJ.

Thursday (May 21) high temperatures should reach the mid-to-upper 60s for most areas away from the ocean. Coastal regions could hang closer to 60. Skies should be mixed with sun and clouds with SENJ likely cloudier. Winds should be light out of the SE for most but breezier for SENJ coastal areas. Coastal flooding problems should begin to subside. Overnight lows should drop to near-50.

Friday (May 22) high temperatures should reach into the 70s for most areas. Skies should be partly sunny to mostly cloudy with showers possible NNJ to SNJ. Winds should be light out of the SW. Overnight lows should fall into the mid-to-upper 50s with more rain possible overnight (for all of NJ).  

An early look at Memorial Day Weekend indicates mild temperatures (at least 70) and generally good conditions. Passing spring showers however cannot be ruled out given the slightly unsettled pattern, especially for extreme ECNJ/SENJ and especially Friday into Saturday. Sunday and Monday look great statewide as of now. Let’s see how it looks in a few days. Everyone have a great week and please be safe! JC

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