Discussion: Remnants of a once Hurricane Elsa will take a pass at New Jersey this Thursday night into Friday morning. Else originally entered the W Caribbean/Lesser Antilles, crossed some of the Caribbean Sea and tucked up into SW Florida. It’s not a historic or even major hurricane. It’s actually weakening quite a bit. Elsa, or her remnants, will now track up the E US coast and find the weakness between a ridge just offshore and an upper-level shortwave to the W of NJ closer to the Great Lakes. The 500mb streamline flow tells me that the storm will take a S/SW to N/NE track over NJ. The upper-level energy to the W of NJ will try to hug it W while the offshore ridge will offer no clear out to sea escape plan. Therefore, Elsa’s remnants are likely coming to NJ Thursday PM-Friday AM.
In general, the rain and wind from Elsa’s remnants will be stuff we’ve seen many times before. No big deal. However at the meso/micro scale level, Elsa’s remnants could cause some problems. Since the low is expected to pass over or just inland, the SENJ/ECNJ coast will likely take the strongest winds to the face. We’re talking strong nor’easter like winds (25-30mph sustained, gusts to 50mph), not catastrophic hurricane strength winds. Again, this is for the widespread and general expectation.
For meso/micro instances, the N and NE quadrants, of even fizzling tropical systems, can cause problems. You will likely have S flow at the surface underneath W/SW flow at the low-mid levels. This can create vertical shear capable of producing EF-0 to EF-2 tornadoes. We saw some of this last year with Isaias.
So I think most people will experience a general nor’easter like system between late-Thursday night and Friday morning (out of here by Friday afternoon). I think some, at the localized level, will experience tornados and coastal flooding, especially SENJ/ECNJ areas. Away from the ocean, especially NW of I-95), the primary threat should be primarily heavy rain. I’ll be tracking this closely in the next few days as Elsa’s remnants approach.
In English: Elsa’s remnants should deliver run-of-mill rain and wind to NJ this Thursday night into Friday morning…FOR MOST. FOR SOME…small tornadoes and localized embedded thunderstorms could produce a more severe outcome. I think SENJ will be the most impacted from this with NWNJ being the least. Let’s see how the data looks tomorrow. Be safe! JC