Tropical Storm Isaias arrives with rain, winds and flooding

  • Conditions worsen through Tuesday morning across New Jersey
  • Flooding rains for western New Jersey, strong winds along the coast
  • Thunderstorms, tornadoes possible mid to late morning

Tropical Storm Isaias continues to race northeast over the mid-Atlantic coastal plain Tuesday morning. As of 9 a.m., the storm was west of the Delmarva peninsula, with the bulk of its weather impacts spreading north across New Jersey. Already it is clear that the impacts will be greatly varied from west to east, with the state bisected by Isaias’s northerly track right across the state. Western areas have already seen heavy rainfall, with 1 to 3 inches in parts of Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset, Gloucester, and Salem Counties. Meanwhile, little to nothing has fallen in coastal counties. Here, the winds will be the bigger impact later Tuesday morning and into the afternoon as Isaias races through the region.

Mesoscale modeling show a band of thunderstorms entering southern New Jersey mid-morning and pressing northward into the early afternoon. This band will include cells capable of producing tornadoes, which could happen anywhere in the state. NOAA has issued a statewide tornado watch through 4 p.m. Tuesday. The thunderstorms closest to the core of Isaias have produced over a dozen tornadoes already in several states, including nearby in Delaware and Pennsylvania. New Jersey residents should have their eyes on the radar this morning as this band pushes across the state.

Expect 2 to 5 inches of total rainfall, which will cause flash flooding and flooding for western counties. If you’re within 25 to 30 miles within the Delaware River, you’ll see the worst of the rains. Those along the coast will be spared the rain but must contend with sustained winds exceeding tropical storm force, and gusts approaching hurricane force. Elsewhere across the interior of the state, gusts exceeding tropical storm force is possible, and likely within bands of thunderstorms. Power outages from downed limbs and debris is possible. Minor and moderate coastal flooding remains a concern as well, particularly south facing inlets and bays.

Isaias’s motion, north northeast at 33 mph, means the storm is over quickly, later Tuesday afternoon. Residents could see the sunset break through the clouds by the end of the day.