- Tropical Storm Fay will spread heavy rain across New Jersey Friday
- Up to 4 inches of rain in a 12 hour period
- Tropical storm force winds limited to coastal counties
Tropical Storm Fay formed off the coast of North Carolina Thursday afternoon, and will slide northward just off the eastern seaboard of the United States Friday. Fueled by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, Fay will slowly strengthen into a tropical storm of moderate strength as it scrapes the coast of New Jersey during the day Friday. As it does so, heavy rains and embedded thunderstorms will be the main impact for most of the state, while the immediate coastline will experience wind gusts and possible sustained winds meeting tropical storm force criteria.
As of Thursday evening, Fay was centered just east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The storm circulation is feeling the impacts of moderate westerly wind sheer, hampering its ability to strengthen and confining the deepest convection to the storm’s north and east. Fay’s circulation is riding along the warm Gulf Stream waters, which are 2 to 4 degrees above normal right now, giving the storm some opportunity for marginal strengthening.
Already Fay’s cloud deck is spreading across far southern New Jersey. Showers will begin across Cape May, Cumberland, and Atlantic Counties around dawn. They will increase in intensity and spread northward through the morning. Fay’s center will either slide just off the coast, or make landfall in Southern New Jersey shortly after noon. Whether it makes landfall or not will have little noticeable different in realized weather for the state, as it will be the rainfall, and not the wind speeds that are the biggest impact. Rain will continue through the afternoon before waning to scattered showers by the end of daylight. Expect 2 to 4 inches of rain across the state, with the heaviest axis mirroring Fay’s exact path. Wind impacts will be minor to moderate and limited mainly to the coastal counties.
The National Weather Service has Flash Flood Watches posted for every county statewide, and Tropical Storm Warnings in place for New Jersey’s ocean waters, and all coastal counties other than those along the Delaware Bay. Fay will be off into New England by Saturday, as New Jersey’s weather returns to the regularly scheduled programming of hot and muggy with the chance for afternoon thunderstorms both Saturday and Sunday.