Tropical Storm Nestor, which made landfall in Florida Saturday morning will hurry to move offshore the Carolinas and provide for a soggy Sunday. Damaging winds and coastal flooding will not be ruled out.
We should be able to start off the morning dry. Temperatures will be sitting around 50 degrees at sunrise. Tropical Storm Nestor will be a remnant system by the time the rain starts Sunday. While the strong winds associated with the storm will be confined close to the center, which will pass about 200-300 miles to our southeast, the rain shield will be in South Jersey.
That means it is looking like a washout for more people. Rain will begin between 8 to 10 a.m., from south to north. From there, expect periods of rain throughout the day. I still believe those of you out in Stafford or Hammonton or Bridgeton will have lulls in the activity. However, for the rest of us, we'll soak.
Pockets of roadway flooding will be possible throughout the day. Additionally, there will be spotty areas of minor stage coastal flooding during the midday high tide. Move your cars a block if you will be in the most vulnerable locations.
Press Meteorologist Joe Martucci will be the featured guest at the New Jersey Coastal Coalition‘s weekly Tidal Flooding Talk broadcast at 7 p.m. Sunday.
In terms of winds, it'll turn breezy during the afternoon. Expect northeast to north winds of 15-20 mph. Gusts will be 25-30 on the mainland, with the shore being in the 30s.
Overall, it'll be a dreary day for many, with highs in the low 60s. Rain will end between 7 to 9 p.m. The saving grace for those of you sun lovers is that at least we need this rain. Everywhere south of about the Atlantic City Expressway is in a moderate drought. Rainfall totals will be between 0.25 to 0.50 inches in western Atlantic, southern Ocean and western Cumberland counties. Everywhere to the southeast of that will be 0.50 to 1.00 inch. So, it will be a good soaking.
Once the rain ends, we'll clear out pretty quickly. Winds will stay elevated throughout the night, giving us a mild night. Lows will be around 50 on the mainland and the mid-50s at the shore. You can leave the windows open.
High pressure then squeezes in from the north for a dry Monday. Plentiful sunshine will kick off the week. Seasonable, late October (can you believe it's late October?) weather will take hold, meaning highs in the mid to upper 60s.
Monday evening will be a comfortable one for a campfire or stroll. Temperatures will fall through the 60s. Another system will be on the way Tuesday, though.
I don't foresee Tuesday to be a washout. Some sprinkles will be possible during the morning, which actually will be pulling in moisture from Sunday's Nestor remnants. During the afternoon, a cold front will sweep through, bringing a 2 to perhaps 5 at most hours of rain. Brief, heavy rain will be possible. Highs will reach the mid-60s on a south wind with potential top 70 if the rain holds out until late in the day.
Parts of South Jersey are in a moderate drought
For the first time since April of 2017, some of the Garden State is hurting for water. Salem County, as well as a small part of Gloucester County, were placed in moderate drought stage by the United States Drought Monitor on Thursday.
Only 2.75% of the state is in drought while 66.97% of the state are in "Abnormally Dry" conditions. This pre-drought condition includes essentially everywhere south of the White Horse Pike. This is in an increase from 47.92% on Sept. 19.
Drought conditions range from abnormally dry, classified as D0, all the way to Exceptional Drought, D4. Here are the threat levels, along with their meaning.
Abnormally Dry - D0
This stage either means the region will go into drought if rain does not come, or will come out of drought.
According to the United States Drought Monitor, Abnormally Dry conditions bring:
Delayed planting and stunted crop growth
An elevated fire danger
Lawns that brown early, along with wilted gardens
A decline in surface water levels
Abnormally Dry conditions can reasonably be expected at least once a year in New Jersey.
Moderate Drought - D1
This is the first official drought category. During this time:
Irrigation use increases
Hay and grain yields are lower than normal
Honey production declines
Wildfires and ground fires increase
Trees and landscaping are stressed; fish are stressed
Voluntary water conservation is requested; reservoir and lake levels are below normal capacity
Severe Drought - D2
Severe drought is when day to day impacts are felt by the general population. This includes:
Outdoor water restrictions are implemented
Warnings are issued on outdoor burns
Water quality is poor
Golf courses conserve water
Crops are impacted in both yield and fruit size
Producers begin feeding cattle
Poor air quality
Trees are brittle and susceptible to insects
Fish kills occur
Extreme Drought - D3
Extreme drought brings increased strain on resources in the area, including:
Crop loss is widespread
Christmas tree farms are stressed
Wells are running dry
Well drillers and bulk water haulers see increased business
Water recreation and hunting are modified
Wildlife disease outbreak is observed
Extremely reduced flow to ceased flow of water is observed
River temperatures are warm
Extreme drought is rare in New Jersey and occurs perhaps once a decade.
Exceptional Drought - D4
Exceptional Drought stage is extremely rare in New Jersey. The only time once has occurred since 2000 was between Aug. 20-26, 2002. Even still, the only counties in this category were Salem and a very small part of Cumberland County (Stow Creek and Greenwich).
During this stage, crop less is widespread. Water emergencies go into place as well. In 2002, the Great Egg Harbor River, as other small streams in South Jersey, were at a then all-time low. The former Seaview Mariott Resort in Galloway had to reduce their water usage. Landscapers cut their works because they couldn't cut lawns.