Hurricane Ian, which is now Tropical Storm Ian, could impact New Jersey by Friday, bringing waves of rain into next week. Parts of Toms River are expected to be hit with two inches of rain.
Overall, the storm could bring 1-4 inches of rain in New Jersey, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters expect the heaviest rain to fall south and east of the Interstate 95 corridor.
Periods of rain will continue throughout the weekend, with the strongest winds along the coast Sunday, according to weather officials. Wind gusts could reach 40-45 mph, the National Weather Service says.
“The prolonged strong east winds will allow for piling of waters along the coast,” said the agency’s Mount Holly office. “Combined with heavy rain, minor coastal flooding is possible around the times of high tide starting on Saturday, but the peak will occur on Sunday.”
Forecasters expect Ian to diminish into a tropical depression Friday night, with the remnant low finally leaving the region Wednesday. But much will depend on the storm’s path in the coming days.
The National Weather Service projects the state’s greatest rainfall this weekend on the southern Jersey Shore, with 2-3 inches of precipitation. Parts of North Jersey may only get a fraction of an inch through Sunday.
Rain remains a need across most of New Jersey. Monmouth County is nearly 8 inches below its normal rainfall for the last 90 days and most of the state is experiencing some level of drought, according to the US Drought Monitor.
Current projections say Ian could bring 3 to 4 inches of rain to the driest areas of Monmouth, southern Middlesex and northern Ocean counties.
Hurricane Ian is not likely to cause widespread damage to New Jersey the way the remnants of Hurricane Ida did last year. That storm landed in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane before bringing torrential downpours, tornadoes and flooding to New Jersey, killing 30 people in the state.