Tropical Storm Elsa could bring up to 4 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 60 mph to parts of New Jersey, particularly along the Jersey Shore, starting Thursday evening and continuing into Friday morning, prompting a flash flood watch for the entire state.
The tropical storm watch issued by the National Weather Service on Wednesday was upgraded Thursday morning to a tropical storm warning for coastal counties — Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, Ocean and southeastern Burlington, which are expected to see the highest wind gusts.
The latest forecast calls for areas south and east of the I-95 corridor to see 2 to 4 inches of rain, with gusts between 40 and 60 mph, while the rest of the state is expected to get 1 to 2 inches of rain.
“Heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding is our primary concern with this storm,” the weather service said in a statement. “Therefore, a flash flood watch has been issued for the entire (state).”
Some localized rainfall totals could hit 6 inches, the weather service said.
Prior to Elsa’s arrival, New Jersey could get some rain showers and thunderstorms Thursday afternoon because of a trough moving in from the Great Lakes region, unrelated to the tropical storm.
The weather service said New Jersey could be hit with tropical storm-force winds as early Thursday night, followed by heavy rains, dangerous rip currents and seas swelling 6 to 9 feet above normal.
Tropical storm-force winds are possible for coastal New Jersey, portions of the eastern shore of Maryland, southern Delaware, and marine areas to include lower Delaware Bay, the weather service said.
“The greatest threat for tropical storm force winds will be along the coast and marine areas. However, there is a chance these strong winds could reach farther inland,” the weather service said.
Rain from Elsa will continue into Friday as the storm continues its march along the coast and into New England. High temperatures both Thursday and Friday are expected to remain in the 80s, providing some relief from the past few days of high heat.
Some lingering showers are expected into Friday evening as the storm departs.
Elsa made landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday. The storm killed at least one person in Florida on Wednesday when a tree fell and struck two cars, and injured several others when a possible tornado struck a campground at a Navy base in southeast Georgia.
New Jersey has been dealing with high heat and thunderstorms throughout the week with the most serious storms hitting the state Tuesday night into Wednesday. More than 5,000 homes and business remain without power as of 7 a.m. Thursday morning.
After a relatively quiet weather day on Saturday, more unsettled weather is in the forecast for Sunday and the start of next week when high temperatures climb back up to around 90 degrees.
p class=”article__paragraph article__paragraph–left” id=”PO6ULLULENGWLK53SPYYHMK3CE”>The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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