Nor’easters are notorious for their unpredictability. Early Tuesday morning, in Monmouth County, it looked like a regular rain event. Roads were mostly clear as motorists appeared to have heeded the many warnings about expected rough weather conditions.
Midmorning in Asbury Park, forecasters had predicted a lot more snow. What they got was rain, wind and some pretty gnarly surf.
Up and down the coast, the wind was whipping up some whitecaps, but you weren’t going to find surfers or even surf watchers as conditions deteriorated throughout the day.
At the Monmouth County 911 Communications Center, extra staff was on hand to handle the higher than normal call volume, mostly motor vehicle crashes and stranded motorists, with just a few power outages.
“So far, so good for Monmouth County, not bad. As you know by the weather forecast, we’re looking at more snow in the western part of the county, and certainly as you go north, the snow totals will be more. We just changed over about a hour ago from rain to snow, so the roads are starting to slush up a little bit. We’re getting reports from our meteorologists that snow will now continue for a few hours, and so we can expect maybe one or two inches per hour, but more so out in the west and northern part of the county,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden.
Midafternoon, just after high tide, on East Main Street and Sims Avenue in Manasquan, the rain and the wind were pretty steady, but not particularly heavy. Residents experienced the beginning of some coastal flooding.
All throughout the neighborhoods around the inlet, the water was creeping in, making its way across the road and right up to homes. If this was snow, it would have been much worse. As it was, conditions were unfit for most humans, and only the heartiest of waterfowl dared to take a dip.
“We have some low-lying areas along our 22 coastal towns. We have 27 miles of coastline, we’re on high tide here around noon time, so we’re looking at minor to moderate flooding right now in Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach and Manasquan,” said Golden. “Those seem to be our areas that are most susceptible, particularly when we have a nor’easter and we have that wind pressure up against the coastline.”
Some of the streets had residual flooding from last week’s nor’easter and beach erosion all up and down the coast, which is sure to be an issue, especially after this double shot of wet winter weather.
This is hopefully the final winter storm of the season, and while certain parts of the state were walloped with significant snow, Monmouth County, at least, was spared the worst of it. On to spring.