Let’s talk about the coastal flooding situation for the weekend first. Minor stage tidal flooding is likely Saturday and Monday with the midday and early afternoon high tides, respectively.
The National Weather Service breaks down tide levels into multiple sections: normal, near flood, minor, moderate and major.
Minor flood stage rarely brings property damage but does leave water on roads and in yards.
Major roads, like the Black Horse Pike and White Horse Pike, will likely have one lane closed. The Dorset Avenue bridge in Ventnor may close for a period of time. You can find the coastal flooding on any street you’d like by watching this video here.
Sunday’s noon to 1 p.m. high tide will teeter on moderate flood stage, bringing water into unraised buildings near the bays. Blocks of road flooding will be expected. If a street has some water in it at a minor flood stage, a moderate stage will mean up to a foot of water will be likely.
For example, in Ocean City, most blocks between the bay and West Avenue have water on them at this level. You may not be able to travel the Black Horse and White Horse pikes between Atlantic City and the mainland near high tide. Similar road closures are possible across the area.
This coastal flooding will be caused by a sharp change in air pressure over a relatively small distance, a pressure gradient. This gradient will be due to high pressure in New England, with an approaching coastal storm to the south.
Ultimately, the storm will never fully make it our way, getting kicked farther out to sea by a ridge of high pressure aloft in the Deep South. However, east to northeast winds will blow in from hundreds of miles away, battering our shores.
Winds will be sustained 15 to 25 mph both days, slightly higher Sunday than Saturday. Gusts will be in the 30s. If you’re having a yard sale this weekend, you’ll want to tie down the costume jewelry and picture frames.
In terms of rain, we’re still looking at drizzle at times Saturday but actual rain showers will be unlikely. Highs will be in the low 70s, right around average. With the damp feel, it’ll actually feel like summer.
Rain showers will develop between 8 and 11 p.m. Saturday. You’ll want the umbrella heading out. if you’re staying in, you might want the air conditioner on if you’re sleeping. Temperatures will only be in the mid- to upper 60s for lows Sunday morning.
Hit-or-miss showers will be around for most of the day Sunday. The exact timing of the showers is hard to come by, given the scattered nature of them. However, I will say the following:
First, it will be more dry than not during the day. I’d say about 70% of your Sunday will be rain free. There will be a cloudy sky throughout the day, with that wind.
Second, after 5 p.m., I believe we will likely be dry, as the low pressure pivots out to sea.
Despite the gloomy look to the sky, it will still be on the warmer side, staying just above 70.
Monday, we’ll begin to clear. So if you need a completely dry day for outdoor events, this will be the day for it. Highs will be in the 70s again.
Coastal flood warning for property threatening in effect until Monday
Joe's 7-Day Forecast
Coastal flood warning in effect through Monday, here's what to know
How much coastal flooding is expected and when is high tide?
Saltwater will come to normally dry ground around 9:30 a.m. and last until roughly 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Delaware Bayshore will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. as high tide occurs later here.
While most of this time will be in minor flood stage, the hour surrounding the roughly 11 a.m. to noon high tide will be in moderate flood stage. One to two feet of water will be likely on a few roads, with many roads around the bays seeing inches of water. Find your tide times using the link below.
The Sunday night high tide, cresting roughly around midnight, will see spotty nuisance coastal flooding. Expect it to be similar to Saturday. While that could lead to some problems, the flooding will mostly be a nuisance, but will not destroy property.
The Monday afternoon high tide, peaking at roughly noon to 1 p.m., will teeter on the edge of minor coastal flood stage and moderate coastal flood stage. Expect flooding between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the Delaware Bayshore doing so an hour later.
What does minor flood stage mean?
The National Weather Service breaks down tide levels into multiple sections: Normal, near flood, minor, moderate and major.
Minor flood stage rarely brings property damage but does bring water on the roadways and into yards.
Below is a section of Ocean City in minor flood stage. The area is blue are streets that will have water on them. Note that most roads are passable.
Major roads, like the Black Horse Pike and White Horse Pike will likely have one lane closed. The Dorset Avenue Bridge in Ventnor may close for a period of time. You can find the coastal flooding on any street you'd like by watching this video here.
Minor flood stage occurs roughly two dozen times a year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a roughly six time annual increase compared to the 1950s and 1960.
What does moderate flood stage mean?
Moderate stage occurs roughly twice a year. Moderate flood stage will bring water into unraised buildings near the bays. Blocks of roadway flooding will be expected. If a street has some water in it at a minor flood stage, a moderate stage will mean up to a foot of water will be likely.
In Ocean City, most blocks between the bay and West Avenue have water on them at this level. You may not be able to travel the Black Horse Pike and White Horse Pike between Atlantic City and the mainland near high tide. Similar road closures are possible across the area.
You can find the coastal flooding on any street you'd like by watching this video here.
Why is all of this happening?
Wind direction, which is a major influence on coastal flooding, has largely been between southeasterly and northeasterly since Tuesday. That will continue and only strengthen into the weekend.
New Jersey is in a pattern where the high pressure system is located to the north and low pressure is located to the south. Between the two weather systems is a tight air pressure gradient, with onshore winds. The tighter the gradient, the stronger the wind.
For most of the week, high pressure has been in New England, with low pressure in the Deep South. However, that low pressure system will move up the coast, as high pressure stays near New Jersey. That is creating a drastic difference in air pressure with distance, known as the pressure gradient.
Furthermore the length of distance at which the winds are onshore will be large. On Sunday and Monday, onshore winds will be coming out past Bermuda, allowing more water to pile up on land.
WATCH NOW: What are the five factors that bring coastal flooding?
According to ClimateCentral, high tide coastal flooding has doubled in frequency between 2000 and 2020 and may triple by 2050. Meteorologist Joe Martucci breaks down the five factors that go into coastal flooding which, contrary to popular belief, does not include rain.
Will there be rain? If so, when?
At times, yes, though it is important to know that rain does not bring coastal flooding. It will only aggravate what coastal flooding is already happening.
Sunday will be the wetter day of the weekend, though it will not be a washout. Rather expect spotty light showers and drizzle all day long. In fact, this will continue through Monday. Rainfall totals between the two days, though, will only add up to between 0.10 to 0.25 inches.
Winds will be out of the east to northeast at 15 to 25 mph sustained.
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