Severe Weather Possible Across New Jersey on Friday

Flash Flood Watch in Effect; High Winds, Hail, and Even Tornadoes Possible

Over the past few days, the heat and humidity has been on the increase across New Jersey. Skies have been overcast and conditions have been muggy throughout the morning and early afternoon at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, NJ after some showers and storms came through earlier on Friday.

The atmosphere over New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic is just taking a brief respite at the moment. Things will be changing again as we get into the mid to late afternoon and evening. Showers and storms are already organizing in Central Pennsylvania and they are moving to the east. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, has already put most if not all of New Jersey under a slight risk of severe weather on Friday.

In addition, the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the Garden State from 2:00 PM this afternoon until midnight on Saturday. Many of the big cities in the Mid-Atlantic are also under the slight risk for severe weather including: New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.

Over the past couple days, the temperature has ratcheted up a bit toward 90 degrees while the dew point has pushed up into the low to mid 70s at GWC in South Plainfield, NJ. The high on Wednesday at GWC was 86 degrees, and on Thursday, it went up to 88 degrees. Right now, the temperature at GWC is 80 degrees, but the dew point is very high at 76 for a heat index of 85 degrees even under cloudy skies.

On top of the Flash Flood Watch, the NWS office in Mount Holly, NJ has also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, which indicates that some thunderstorms could become strong this afternoon and evening with damaging wind gusts. CNN reported this morning that the severe weather possible this afternoon and evening in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic could also produce hail and isolated tornadoes.

Reviewing some of the technical lingo from the Storm Prediction Center, the Mid-Atlantic area currently has daytime heating of a very moist boundary layer east of the Appalachian Mountains. This daytime heating and some sunlight could be a catalyst for severe storms during the afternoon and evening. There is also a very solid west-southwest flow across the region in addition to a very good flow aloft to the north of the most instability. Moderate CAPE values are expected to develop during the afternoon.

Looking at the local NWS forecast for GWC and South Plainfield, there is a 30 percent chance of severe thunderstorms this afternoon increasing to 70 percent early this evening before falling off. Some of these storms could produce damaging winds, heavy rain, and frequent lightning. Rainfall amounts could range between 0.75 and 1.25 inches. There is also a chance of patchy fog during the early morning hours on Saturday. Friday’s severe weather should help clear things out for this weekend and the solar eclipse on Monday afternoon.