The latest on the weekend coastal flood threat

     A NOAA surge projection for early Sunday. Surge levels have dropped to under 4 feet for the southern half of the Jersey Shore, except for a small portion of Cape May County.

    A NOAA surge projection for early Sunday. Surge levels have dropped to under 4 feet for the southern half of the Jersey Shore, except for a small portion of Cape May County.

    While coastal flooding remains a threat, overnight storm surge guidance has trended slightly lower, National Weather Service forecasters say. 

    The highest surge risk remains in Cape May Counties, although not at or immediately near to Hurricane Sandy levels like in recent days, the latest guidance indicates. Further fluctuations are possible.

    To put that in context, the highest Sandy surge occurred in Monmouth and Ocean counties, and the current threat is not close to those levels in northern shore areas. While the projected surge remains slightly higher in particularly Cape May County, the Sandy surge level was lower there, as compared to further north. 

    Nevertheless, coastal flooding remains a serious threat for Saturday into Sunday, as the National Weather Service forecasts the strengthening coastal storm to generate a strong onshore flow that will coincide with the full moon. A surge between 3 and 4 feet remains possible. 

    “Water will likely build along the coast and it may become trapped along the coast and in the back bays and estuaries for three consecutive high tide cycles,” the forecasters write in a morning forecast discussion. 

    Accordingly, widespread moderate coastal flooding is possible, with localized areas of major coastal flooding. Significant beach erosion is also possible.

    In addition, many roadways will flood, and minor to moderate property damage is possible, according to the service. 

    High tide occurs along the oceanfront between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Saturday night, and 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Sunday. High tide on the back bays occurs later than the oceanfront. 

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