Tropical Storm’s Remains to Ride the Ring of Fire Weather Pattern into Garden State

Earlier this week, Tropical Storm Bill, the second named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, came ashore in Matagorda Island, Texas. Strengthening a bit just before landfall, the storm peaked with 60 mile per hour winds. However, the real story has been the rain. Heavy rains from the tropical system walloped much of the eastern half of Texas including major cities such as Houston and Dallas. Rains also spread into portions of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri.

It has been several days since Bill made landfall in the Lone Star State, but its overall circulation has been holding together quite well. Looking on satellite and radar maps, you can see that what’s left of Bill is still clearly defined. These remnants are pushing east now. Much of them are in Missouri right now, but over the next several days, they will be headed on a trajectory that will take them into New Jersey by Saturday night and Sunday. Bill’s remnants are expected to combine with a warm front to produce rainfall amounts anywhere from 1 to 2 inches from Philadelphia to New York City according to WPIX 11 and FIOS1 Meteorologist Joe Cioffi.

During the course of the week, a Ring of Fire weather pattern has developed over the eastern half of the United States. High pressure, centered over the Southeastern U.S. has produced sweltering temperatures in places such as Jacksonville, Florida, where the temperature was 92 degrees with a heat index of 103 late Thursday morning. On Wednesday, it was even hotter with a high of 104 and a heat index of 118. Bill’s remaining convection as well as other showers and storms downstream, are riding around the periphery of that strong dome of high pressure.

Since Sunday night, the weather here in Central New Jersey has been unsettled. Clouds have dominated much of the week including on Thursday, where temperatures struggled to get into the upper 60s. These readings were after the mercury barely eclipsed the 80 degree mark on Wednesday at GWC in South Plainfield. On Friday though, the sun and a bit of heat has returned. The temperature climbed up to 84 degrees with the dew point peaking at 73 for a top heat index of 89. Skies have been sunny, but there have been quite a few cumulus clouds developing.

Taking a look at the model forecasts, both the GFS and ECMWF models have shifted a bit more to the south putting the heaviest rain right over Central and Southern Jersey. The NAM is still showing more of a northerly track with the heaviest rains occurring over Northwestern New Jersey as well as well Southeastern New York just to the north of New York City. The brunt of the weather is expected to be around breakfast time on Sunday morning with the remnant low situated right over Central Jersey. By the middle of Sunday afternoon, much of the convection, if not all of it, will have left the Garden State and pushed into Connecticut and Long Island.

Depending on the track of Bill’s remnants, there is a possibility that we could see some severe weather. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has put New Jersey as well as much of the Tri-State area under a marginal risk for severe weather. Currently, there is a Flash Flood Watch in effect for much of the Garden State from Saturday night at 8:00 PM to Sunday evening at 8:00 PM. The National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey is calling for anywhere from 2 to 3 inches with some places receiving as much as 4 inches of rainfall from Bill’s remnant low. After a mostly dry April and May, rainfall has picked up again at GWC in South Plainfield. Since May 31st, there has been 4.37 inches of rain at GWC.