By John Cifelli
NJTV News Meteorologist
– Storm’s Highest Hide Tides Expected Tomorrow for Northern Coast
– Rain Squalls and Gusty Winds Likely for Beaches
– Major Beach Erosion Continues
Hermine is currently located about 400 miles east of Atlantic City. After days of sliding east-northeast, the low pressure center has made an abrupt change of direction, now slowly drifting west-northwest. Over the next 24 hours, Hermine will make its closest approach to New Jersey. She’s now a different beast compared to the last time she was in the vicinity, on Thursday as she slid north of the Outer Banks. Hermine has a different structure, is approaching from a different direction, has much less moisture and overall her impacts will remain confined to the coast. It is remarkable nonetheless to watch a large, powerful system retrograde east to west and move from the ocean toward New Jersey.
As she does so, we will have to continue to carefully watch the motion and intensity of the system. Every mile further west before her gradual weakening and exit to the northeast — maybe not until Thursday — will mean heavier surf, stronger winds and increased threat of rainfall. Although Hermine will never be for New Jersey what we all feared and projected on Thursday and Friday, her influence will be felt along the coast for the next 24 to 36 hours.
Tonight and tomorrow morning’s high tides, particularly for the Raritan Bay down to Long Beach Island will run as high or higher than today’s and yesterday. A storm surge of one to two feet will bring water level to near moderate stage. Any further westward progression of the storm on Tuesday could increase the flooding threat for Tuesday evening as well. Because Hermine is essentially due east of New Jersey, the counterclockwise flow around the storm means winds along the coast are from the north (and even northwest) rather than the east. This allows for more water drainage back to the ocean during low tides, partly the reason that the flood risk has diminished over the last couple of days.
The current forecast path brings Hermine just south of Montauk on Long Island by tomorrow afternoon. Heavy surf will continue and the beaches will continue to take a beating. For now, the low pressure center should slowly stall and turn back east early Wednesday, finally ending its impact to our shoreline by Thursday. There is some model guidance that brings Hermine further west and even south, closer to New Jersey Tuesday night and Wednesday. Even if this were to verify, the weakening system should not have much stronger of an impact. It would just remain stormy for coastal New Jersey for a longer period of time.
For the rest of the state, a heat wave cometh. Temperatures will approach or exceed 90 degrees Wednesday through Saturday. Isn’t summer supposed to be over after Labor Day?