A tropical depression is now forecast to evolve into a tropical storm that will be off the New Jersey by Saturday afternoon.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center on Tropical Depression 11 – which would be named Tropical Storm Joaquin – is forecast to be packing 50 m.p.h. winds and centered off the coast of Cape May County by Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Though the forecast is subject to change between now and the weekend, earlier today forecasters were predicting merely a coastal storm off New Jersey rather than a named system.
Still, confidence in the forecast track remains “low,” according to meteorologists.
“The dynamical guidance indicates some relaxation of the shear in a day or two, so the official forecast shows the cyclone strengthening into a tropical storm later on Tuesday,” the hurricane center said in a forecast discussion document. “Given the large uncertainty in the track forecast, there is also uncertainty as to what kind of environment the cyclone will encounter during the forecast period, which also leads to low confidence in the official intensity forecast.”
A “heavy rainfall threat continues,” said Gary Szatkowski, chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Mount Holly, sharing the updated forecast track on social media.
“Yes, way more interest in our region than I like to see,” Szatkowski posted.