While the Tropical Storm Joaquin forecast remains highly uncertain, forecasters have much higher confidence that the Jersey Shore will see several inches of rain by the end of the week.
According to a forecast briefing issued by the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, N.J. this afternoon, rainfall amounts of four to six inches are possible over the next week, with some locations experiencing locally higher amounts.
The briefing notes that heavy rain will full during two periods: tonight into early Wednesday associated with a cold front and later this workweek into the weekend.
Forecasters are carefully monitoring the development and potential track of Tropical Storm Joaquin, which is currently situated about 400 miles east-northeast of the northwestern Bahamas with maximum sustained winds at 45 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The current National Hurricane Center forecast track places Tropical Storm Joaquin well off the North Carolina coast by 2 a.m. Sunday as a strong tropical storm. The track and intensity, of course, are subject to change.
Regardless of the ultimate track and intensity — which remain highly uncertain, according to the National Weather Service — forecasters expect gulf moisture to pump in from the south and tropical moisture from Joaquin to stream onshore later this week, providing a significant moisture source.
In addition to heavy rainfall, the National Weather Service bulletin advises of a strong onshore flow later this week, increasing the threat of moderate tidal flooding, heavy surf, wind gusts of 40 miles per hour in coastal areas, and significant beach erosion.
Flash flooding and significant inland river and stream flooding are also possible.