UPDATE, 12:45 p.m. Sunday:
A state of emergency remains in effect for Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties in New Jersey, but Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday that now that Hermine is remaining further offshore than initially predicted, the state of emergency is more of a precaution.
Christie, speaking at a news conference Sunday afternoon, said he declared the state of emergency when record-level flooding was expected earlier as previous models agreed that Hermine would veer toward the coast and strengthen.
The state of emergency makes resources available should the state need them to deal with flooding. Authorities said moderate flooding concerns remain, but major flooding, as earlier predicted, seems unlikely.
Christie urged people to stay safe and avoid going in the choppy water off of New Jersey's beaches. Hermine is creating high storm swells, rip currents and rough waves.
The governor said he is not ordering evacuations from any parts of the Shore at this point. He said updates will be provided if anything changes.
NOTE: Below is an earlier version of this story, when Christie first declared the state of emergency. See update at top.
Hermine continues to crawl up the East Coast, as its wind and precipitation that eventually arrive could cause record-level flooding for the coast south of Atlantic City.
Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency at 1:30 p.m. for Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties. In a statement, the governor's office warned that travel issues and power outages could "make it difficult or impossible for residents to obtain the necessities of life."
"This situation may become too large in scope to be handled by the normal county and municipal operating services in Ocean County, Atlantic County and Cape May County, and this situation may spread to other parts of the State," the statement said.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell also issued a limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, Delaware set to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday.
“Tropical Storm Hermine is a powerful storm that will bring significant rainfall and localized flooding, especially in coastal and Delaware Bay communities in Sussex County,” said Governor Markell. “I encourage Delawareans and visitors to our state to take precautions and stay tuned to weather forecasts and transportation updates throughout the weekend.”
Hermine's northern front of rain began falling in Cape May by late Saturday morning.
The track of the storm continues to show a big coastal flooding concern with two to four inches of rain possible for parts of South Jersey along the shore and Delaware beaches.
"Major" flooding is now part of the NWS forecast for parts of New Jersey and Delaware.
Dangerous Tropical Storm conditions will be present and those who are still considering making a trek down the shore should re-consider, NBC10 First Alert Weather chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz warned Saturday morning. In fact, Hermine could become a hurricane again once it hits open ocean late Sunday into Monday.
Winds could reach 60 miles per hour along the Jersey shore, NBC10 is forecasting.
"This is a potentially life-threatening situation," Hurricane said. "There should be a voluntary evacuation by today, Saturday, from coastal areas."
Hurricane said Hermine's path is "very unusual."
Just before 5 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Ocean and Salem counties in New Jersey as well as Kent and New Castle Counties in Delaware that will last until Monday.
"Stay home if you’re already inland. If you must go to the shore, plan on coming back Saturday night at the latest. And tell your friends and relatives the same thing," Hurricane said. "If you live at the shore, be prepared to 'hunker down' for a few days-perhaps without power, and perhaps cut off by flooded roads. And take everything off balconies, porches, and lawns and bring it inside," he warns.
Hurricane also said the models suggest there will be a "huge contrast" between the shore and areas inland.
In addition to the storm's path, the speed of Hermine remains in question. If the storm stalls off the Jersey and Delaware coasts, the potential for heavy rain and flooding increases both at the shore and inland as far as Philadelphia and the suburbs.
Ahead of Hermine's arrival, rip currents will be a risk for swimmers. The storm could create wave heights of 6 feet or higher Saturday into Sunday and hazardous seas and rip currents could last into the middle of next week, said the weather team.
Inland, rain will move from south to north later in the day Saturday and last throughout Sunday. The Lehigh Valley, Poconos and Berks county will see the least amount of rain and lightest winds.
Hermine could nearly stall offshore early next week, and could strengthen again, causing further problems at the shore.
On Friday evening, Mayor Don Guardian of Atlantic City announced the cancellation of two concerts on the beach scheduled for Saturday and Monday. "Due to the significance of the approaching Tropical Storm Hermine, and out of an abundance of caution for concert goers, staff, the bands, and everyone else involved, we have decided to cancel this weekend's beach concerts," Mayor Guardian said in a statement.
Stick with the NBC10 First Alert Weather Team throughout the weekend as the storm’s track could change.