BCG Weather Report – September 22, 2023

Newly Formed Tropical Storm Ophelia to Provide Stormy Weather for Week 4

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – After a week of mostly pleasant weather, Central Jersey will have to deal with a lot of rain and wind this weekend.  Newly formed Tropical Storm Ophelia will provide stormy weather for the last half of the Week 4 Big Central Conference football schedule.

The storm was still in the process of getting its act together on Thursday when Big Central Gridiron learned that the annual rivalry game between Spotswood and South River had been moved up.  Originally slated for 1:00 PM on Saturday at Denny Stadium, the game between the No. 10 Chargers and the Rams was rescheduled to 9:00 AM on Saturday morning.  

Other games outside of the BCC have also been moved up to Friday afternoon.  For example, the contest between Weequahic and Newark Central scheduled for Saturday afternoon was moved up to 4:00 PM on Friday afternoon.  Willingboro’s football game against St. Joseph’s of Hammonton has also been moved up to 5:30 PM on Friday, and will be played at Cinnaminson High School’s field.

Two other Big Central Conference games have been scheduled for Saturday.  Bridgewater-Raritan is slated to travel up to Tozier Field in Warren to take on Watchung Hills.  Montgomery also has a non-conference game with Hamilton West of the West Jersey Football League.  Both games are scheduled for 2:00 PM.

The worst of the storm will be on Saturday.  However, forecasts are indicating that the storm could stall and linger until at least Monday.  Rainfall amounts for much of the Garden State will be between 2 and 4 inches.  Higher amounts could be expected along coastal areas.  Dangerous rip currents, dangerous surf, and high waves are expected along with gale to storm-force winds.

A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect for coastal communities in Middlesex and Monmouth counties as well as in Salem and Cumberland counties in South Jersey.  A Coastal Flood Warning is in effect from Ocean to Atlantic and Cape May counties.  Coastal waters off the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Cape May are under a Gale Warning until 6:00 AM on Saturday and a Storm Warning from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturday.

The latest satellite and radar show that the outer bands of Ophelia are already reaching South Jersey.  The storm is forecast to strengthen a bit more and have 65-mile-per-hour winds by the time it makes landfall along the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  The storm will still have 60 mph winds by this time on Saturday even though it will be inland according to the latest discussion from the National Hurricane Center.

Rainfall is likely to begin in the area of South Plainfield in Northern Middlesex County by around 4:00 AM on Saturday morning according to the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.  Rain could be heavy at times.  Anywhere from three-quarters of an inch to an inch is possible on Saturday afternoon.   Winds will be around 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 30 miles per hour.