Friday and Saturday’s storm could hit the Jersey Shore and Delaware Beaches especially hard – possibly winding up as one of the Top-5 coastal flooding events.
It was too soon midday Wednesday – with the storm out in the mountain west– to determine with certainty what the weekend storm will bring but the National Weather Service was confident the storm will occur but less confident in the details.
More than 48 hours before the winter storm was expected to strike, the weather service already warned of a “a high probability for moderate to major coastal flooding for the morning high tide cycles that include Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Coasts of New Jersey and Delaware.”
The storm could pack 60-mph wind gusts along the coast Saturday morning and the potential for rain, sleet and snow throughout the duration of the snow, said the weather service.
“Whenever we have a nor'easter, the chance of coastal flooding goes up,” said NBC10 First Alert Weather producer David Parkinson. “With this storm, we have not only a very strong nor'easter, but also a full moon, which means high tide will already be higher than usual.”
East facing beaches along the Jersey Shore and Delaware Bay facing areas in Kent and Sussex counties in Delaware should expect the potential for significant flooding, said the weather team. There could be a 3-foot storm surge along the Delaware Bay, said the weather service. Gusty winds could also produce snow drifts.
It was still too soon Wednesday to be certain about what will happen down the shore but the weather service said that planning should be put into place now for what could be a Top 5 coastal flood event dating back to the 1940s when the agency began keeping records.