The remnants of Hurricane Ida will slam into New Jersey on Wednesday with a dual threat of severe thunderstorms that could spin up tornadoes in the southern half of the state and torrential downpours with rainfall totals up to 6 inches in the already waterlogged northern half of the state, where flash flooding could be widespread.
Parts of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties are under an “enhanced” risk for severe weather, meaning numerous severe thunderstorms are possible with an increased risk of tornadoes. The National Weather Service pushed the tornado risk area north in its last briefing before the storm Wednesday morning.
Keep close track of the weather later Wednesday for possible severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings, which indicate storms are imminent.
The latest updates from the National Weather Service on Wednesday morning expressed some uncertainty about where the heaviest rain will fall, though even in areas that see lower totals, the rainfall could come in bursts of 1 to 2 inches per hour causing flash flooding.
A flash flood watch is in effect through 8 a.m. Thursday for most of the state, though it extends to 2 p.m. Thursday for Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Union and Passaic counties. Flash flood warnings are likely as the storms arrive with bands of rain already hitting parts of the state this morning. The first severe thunderstorm warning of the day was issued in Burlington and Ocean counties and expires at 8:45 a.m.
A gale warning has also been issued along the Jersey Shore.
Severe thunderstorms are expected to begin in the afternoon, lasting through the evening and into Thursday morning, the National Weather Service said in its latest briefing.
“A serious situation develops today with the remnants of Ida moving through the region,” the weather service said in an early morning statement.
Total rainfall of 3 to 6 inches is expected across New Jersey, with some areas seeing higher amounts.
The heavy rains will likely lead to flash flooding along the coast during high tide, in urban areas with poor drainage and along rivers, creeks and streams.
“The risk of flash flooding remains quite elevated because of the rainfall rates,” and due to “abnormally wet conditions so far this summer,” the weather service said.
All thunderstorms carry the risk of lightning and flooding, the weather service said.
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