NJ weather: Up to 2 inches of rain, damaging winds, flash flooding expected today

The potential storms that forecasters have been watching for much of the week are expected to come to fruition Friday afternoon and evening as 1 to 2 inches of rain, damaging winds and possible flash flooding are likely to disrupt the start of Memorial Day weekend in New Jersey .

After a muggy, overcast day, rain is expected to push into the area from southwest to northeast starting at around 4 pm, the National Weather Service said in its morning forecast discussion.

The heaviest of the storms will stick around until about 10 pm before pushing off-shore, through some rain could continue through the overnight.

Large hail is possible and a small, weak tornado can not be ruled out, according to the weather service.

Winds of 10 to 20 mph will generally gust to 25 to 30 mph, forecasters say. Isolated wind gusts of up to 60 mph are possible, though. High temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 70s to near 80.

Along with high humidity, the afternoon heat could add some fuel to the thunderstorms that form in New Jersey this evening, forecasters said.

NJ flooding threat

A flood watch is in effect in Hunterdon, Mercer and Warren counties in western New Jersey, along with parts of eastern Pennsylvania from 1 pm Friday through late Friday night, May 27, 2022.National Weather Service

A flash flood watch is in effect for Hunterdon and Warren counties until midnight Saturday. In Mercer County, the flash flood watch expires at 10 pm Friday.

“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,” the weather service said.

The Rockaway River in Boonton is the only waterway in the state near flood stage as of Friday morning.

In addition, there is a high risk of rip currents along the Jersey Shore on Friday, though with water temps only in the upper 50s very few swimmers seem likely to venture into the ocean.

NJ weather thunderstorm tornado threat

In most areas of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, there’s a slight risk of severe thunderstorms breaking out on Friday, May 27, 2022, according to forecasters from the National Storm Prediction Center. Some of the storms could produce small hail, flooding downpours and damaging winds, and there’s a small risk of an isolated tornado.Storm Prediction Center

Saturday’s conditions, meanwhile, will start out pretty dreary but are expected to improve as the day moves along.

Showers should linger in the northern half of the state through the early afternoon. In addition, “nuisance-type” scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible elsewhere before drier air pushes in later in the day. Despite the rain chances, the weather service says Saturday will not be a washout. Highs will be in the upper 70s.

AccuWeather Memorial Day weekend

Sunday starts a stretch of sunny, dry weather in New Jersey, according to AccuWeather.com.AccuWeather.com

The rest of the holiday weekend will feel like summer – dry, sunny and warm. Highs on Sunday will be in the low 80s and on Memorial Day temps will climb into the upper 80s. As is generally the case, temps in northwestern New Jersey and along the shore will be several degrees cooler.

Overnight lows through the weekend will be in the 60s.

Warm, dry weather should stick around through at least Wednesday. Tuesday could be a scorcher with early indications of highs in the 90s.

NJ flooding threat

This graphic from the National Weather Service’s New York regional office shows there’s a marginal risk of heavy rain and flash flooding across most of New Jersey and New York City on Friday, May 27, 2022.National Weather Service

NJ flooding threat

This graphic from the National Weather Service explains the different categories of rain and flooding risks.National Weather Service

NJ weather thunderstorm tornado threat

In a small portion of New Jersey, shaded in brown, there’s a 5% chance of an isolated tornado touching down on Friday, May 27, according to the national Storm Prediction Center. The chances are even lower, estimated at 2%, across the rest of the state.Storm Prediction Center

Current weather radar

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NJ Advance Media staff writer Len Melisurgo contributed to this report.

Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com.

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