The National Weather Service in Mount Holly has issued a flash flood watch for Central New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania from Thursday morning until Friday morning.
Showers and thunderstorms Thursday into Friday could be slow moving with heavy rainfall. Rain totals could range from one to three inches or higher. While river flooding is not anticipated, small stream and urban flooding is possible in the flood watch area. Flooding on roadways with poor drainage is also possible. The flooding may occur quickly in some areas.
Tropical Storm Arthur, currently located off the north Florida coast, is moving north at 7 miles per hour with wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour. The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center moves Arthur to the North Carolina coast by Thursday evening, then rapidly accelerates it northeastward toward the Canadian Maritime Provinces by Saturday night. Based on this forecast track, Arthur will make its closest approach to the New Jersey and Delaware coasts on Friday, and is expected to be about 200 to 250 miles offshore.
A cold front that has moved into the region today will become nearly stationary over the area into Thursday night. Then as tropical moisture from Arthur moves north along this front, showers and thunderstorms are expected to produce heavy rain Thursday afternoon into early Friday. Showers and thunderstorms should taper off on Friday as Arthur moves away from the area. The rain is expected to end in the New Jersey area no later than 8 p.m. Friday.
Wind and tides are not expected to be major issues with this event. Wind speeds of 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts up to 30 miles per hour along the coast are possible, with lower speeds inland on Thursday and Friday. Rip currents will also be a major threat throughout the July 4th holiday weekend.
“This is not Super Storm Sandy or Irene,” said Larry Nierenberg of the National Weather Service. “No landfall is expected in New Jersey or Delaware.”