The alert comes as the Garden State recovers from the damage caused by the Ida storm just last week.
The NWS said the flash flood watch will occur from Wednesday afternoon into the early morning hours of Thursday, with the potential to bring up to two inches of rain to Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Somerset, Sussex Union, Passaic, and Warren counties. The warning goes until 4 a.m. for northeast counties and 2 a.m. for the remaining counties.
The ground is particularly vulnerable to floods because it’s saturated with water from last week’s storm, according to the NWS. Counties in low-laying areas are also at risk.
The weather service also said that the storm may bring strong winds and tornadoes, which have the potential to upend trees and power lines. The strong winds are expected to strike north of Interstate 195 and west of Interstate 95, which is in central New Jersey.
Beyond the flood watch and potential tornadoes, rip currents are expected to hit the Jersey Shore on Thursday and Friday.
These warnings come a week after Storm Ida pummelled the northeast.
Homes were flooded, cars were thrashed and 27 people died in New Jersey, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.
Ida is tied for the fifth-strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in what’s shaping up to be a highly active Atlantic hurricane season.
The climate crisis is creating conditions that are driving more powerful, destructive storms like Ida.
The latest United Nations climate report – the most authoritative, global assessment on climate science – reported last month that storms with sustained higher wind speeds, in the Category 3-5 range, have likely increased in the past 40 years.
And as the planet heats up, more moisture is held in the atmosphere which means storms also bring the potential of a lot more rainfall.