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Flooding photo
Rushing water floods parts of the Princeton Junction rail station on July 30 (photo by Michael Mancuso/NJ.com).

The second half of the 2016 NJ weather and climate year began with plenty to talk about. Maximum temperatures were 90° or higher somewhere in the state on 20 afternoons. This, along with many warm nights, helped boost the mean monthly temperature into the top 10, based on statewide records back to 1895. Yet, remarkably, this was only NJ’s 5th warmest July in the past 11 years. The 77.2° mean was 2.2° above the 1981–2010 average.

On 15 July days an inch or more of rain fell somewhere in NJ. This included eight days with greater than 2” in spots and four days where a few locations exceeded 4”. Statewide, the average rainfall was 6.85”. This was 2.33” above average and ranks as the 14th wettest July since 1895. It was the wettest July since 2004, and the 4th wettest in the past 41 years. The northern half of the state (Mercer/Somerset/Union northward) averaged 7.27” (+2.49”, 14th wettest), while the southern region averaged 6.77” (+2.38”, 12th wettest). This all came in a month where the northern half of the state remained classified as being in moderate drought (D1) on the US Drought Monitor, with about half of south Jersey considered abnormally dry (D0). Also, on July 26th the NJ Department of Environmental Protection placed the northern half of the state in a drought watch. These actions were the result of notable rainfall deficits dating back to the early spring, with the warmth of the month exasperating low soil moisture, stream flow, ground water, and reservoir conditions. Clearly, the late-month heavy rainfall in a good portion of the state warrants a re-evaluation of drought status as NJ heads into August.

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
Sicklerville, NJ 87
Moorestown, NJ 87
Hamilton, NJ 87
Berkeley Twp., NJ 87
Cherry Hill, NJ 87
City, State Temp
High Point Monument, NJ 71
High Point, NJ 74
Wantage, NJ 75
Seaside Heights, NJ 77
West Cape May, NJ 78
most current information as of Aug 31 11:53 AM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

88°F

Wind

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Wind Gust

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Mostly Sunny
91 °F
Heavy Rain
70 °F
Scattered Showers then Isolated Showers
85 °F
Partly Cloudy
62 °F
Sunny
80 °F
Mostly Clear
61 °F
Sunny
80 °F
Mostly Clear
60 °F
Mostly Sunny
80 °F
Mostly Clear
62 °F
Sunny
85 °F
Partly Cloudy
64 °F
Mostly Sunny
89 °F

Today

Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. Southwest wind 3 to 5 mph.

Tonight

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 11pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Thursday

Scattered showers and thunderstorms before noon, then isolated showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming north around 6 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 62. North wind 3 to 6 mph.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 80. North wind 7 to 10 mph.

Friday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 61.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 80.

Saturday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 60.

Sunday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 80.

Sunday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 62.

Labor Day

Sunny, with a high near 85.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 64.

Tuesday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 89.

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Strong thunderstorm winds toppled a helicopter and flipped a small plan at Cape May County Airport (Lower Township) on the afternoon of June 21st. Photo by Twitter user @Villasone.

Despite some damaging storms impacting portions of New Jersey on several days and some localized deluges near month’s end, June rainfall came in well below average. The statewide average of 2.36” was 1.66” below the 1981–2010 average. This ranks as the 20th driest June since 1895. Northern and central counties were generally drier than those to the south. At month’s end, the counties from Hunterdon, Somerset, and northern Middlesex northward were classified as being in “moderate drought,” the D1 category on the US Drought Monitor. The counties to the south, through Ocean and Burlington,...

May 15 graupel photo

May had many weather faces. Cool, damp weeks to start things off, a blustery mid-month day with some frozen precipitation, a week of summer heat, and an early Memorial Day deluge up the New Jersey Turnpike corridor. When all was summed and averaged, the mean monthly statewide temperature came in at 60.0°. This was 0.8° below normal and ranked as the 55th coolest of the past 122 Mays. Precipitation averaged 5.01”, which is 1.01” above average and 23rd wettest. Rain fell on a number of May days across NJ, keeping vegetation green and fire danger down. It was most plentiful in the southern...

Brush fire photo

April continued a dry period that began in March. Monthly rain and melted snow totaled 2.34”. This was 1.72” below the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 20th driest April since 1895. The 4.35” March–April total was 3.94” below average and ranks as the 7th driest such interval. Unlike the abnormal warmth of March, the average April temperature of 50.7° was 0.5° below normal. This ranks as the 48th mildest on record. Statewide snowfall averaged 0.2”, which is 0.7” below the 1981–2010 mean. The southern counties averaged 0.3” (-0.3”), central 0.0” (-0.9”), and the north 0.2” (-1.2”). The...

Latest Blog Posts

Figure 1
The following report was written by Hans Moeller, a Chatham High School Senior, based on research performed during 1-month internship at the Office of the NJ State Climatologist Introduction This past winter, snow covered the ground in northern and central New Jersey from the last week of January through mid-March. This long duration of snow cover was accompanied by colder-than-average conditions...
Storm Chasing Photo 2
From May 28 to June 10, 2014, 15 aspiring meteorologists from Rutgers University headed on a journey to the central US on the hunt for tornadoes. This trip was a Rutgers course designed to teach students how to forecast severe weather, and actually witness severe storms first hand, with the possibility of seeing a tornado. Tornado chasing popularity has been on the rise because of popular TV...

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Rather Dry, but Still Some Storms: June 2016 Recap

July 6, 2016 - 1:58pm -- Dave Robinson

Tipped helicopter

Despite some damaging storms impacting portions of New Jersey on several days and some localized deluges near month’s end, June rainfall came in well below average. The statewide average of 2.36” was 1.66” below the 1981–2010 average. This ranks as the 20th driest June since 1895. Northern and central counties were generally drier than those to the south. At month’s end, the counties from Hunterdon, Somerset, and northern Middlesex northward were classified as being in “moderate drought,” the D1 category on the US Drought Monitor. The counties to the south, through Ocean and Burlington, were in the Monitor’s “abnormally dry” D0 category. June stream flow, ground water, and precipitation levels were all well below average, while reservoir capacities in the north began to dip below average near the end of the month.

Temperatures began on the cool side, but the second half of the month was warm enough to bring the statewide average June temperature to 70.6°, which was 0.5° above average. This ranks as the 30th mildest June on record. There was one minimal heat wave at some inland lower-elevation locations, where temperatures climbed to 90° or higher from the 19th–22nd. However, no location exceeded 93° this month. The dry conditions helped to rid the atmosphere of the previous day’s warmth during the nighttime hours, thus temperatures of 45° or lower were observed in spots on seven mornings.

A Tale of Multiple Seasons Within a Month and an Almost Backward Spring: May and Spring 2016 Recaps

June 7, 2016 - 4:54pm -- Dave Robinson

May 15 graupel photo

May had many weather faces. Cool, damp weeks to start things off, a blustery mid-month day with some frozen precipitation, a week of summer heat, and an early Memorial Day deluge up the New Jersey Turnpike corridor. When all was summed and averaged, the mean monthly statewide temperature came in at 60.0°. This was 0.8° below normal and ranked as the 55th coolest of the past 122 Mays. Precipitation averaged 5.01”, which is 1.01” above average and 23rd wettest.

Rain fell on a number of May days across NJ, keeping vegetation green and fire danger down. It was most plentiful in the southern half of the state, where Mount Laurel Township (Burlington County) totaled 7.74”. This was followed by Mount Ephraim (Camden) with 7.68”, Washington Township (Gloucester) 7.54”, Salem (Salem) 7.41”, Cinnaminson (Burlington) 7.02”, and Estell Manor (Atlantic) and Merchantville (Camden) each with 7.00”. The northwest corner had the least rainfall in May, with just 3.01” in Andover (Sussex) and North Arlington (Bergen), along with Mount Olive (Morris) at 3.04”, Hackettstown (Warren) 3.05”, and Franklin (Sussex) and Wantage (Sussex) each with 3.06”.

Another Dry Spring Month: April 2016 Recap

May 9, 2016 - 11:18am -- Dave Robinson

Brush fire photo

April continued a dry period that began in March. Monthly rain and melted snow totaled 2.34”. This was 1.72” below the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 20th driest April since 1895. The 4.35” March–April total was 3.94” below average and ranks as the 7th driest such interval. Unlike the abnormal warmth of March, the average April temperature of 50.7° was 0.5° below normal. This ranks as the 48th mildest on record.

Statewide snowfall averaged 0.2”, which is 0.7” below the 1981–2010 mean. The southern counties averaged 0.3” (-0.3”), central 0.0” (-0.9”), and the north 0.2” (-1.2”). The 2015–16 snow season ended with a statewide average of 28.0”. This is 4.3” above the 1981–2010 average and 1.8” above the 1895–2016 average. The north was least snowy with 26.5” (-6.5”), the central snowiest at 31.0” (+4.3”), and the south with 27.4” averaged 9.8” above normal. The January blizzard provided the bulk of the snow, well over 75% of the winter total in some locations.

Spring Warmth Arrives Early: March 2016 Recap

April 4, 2016 - 7:53pm -- Dave Robinson

Mild and dry conditions prevailed throughout the Garden State during most of March. This included record-breaking early-season warmth, only one event that dropped more than an inch of rain over multiple locations, and a few minor forest fires. There were also two episodes of measurable snow that focused on coastal counties and 11 days where winds gusted to 40 mph or higher somewhere in the state. The statewide average temperature of 46.7° was 5.6° above the 1981–2010 average. This ranks as the 6th mildest March since 1895. Precipitation averaged 2.09”. This is 2.14” below normal and ranks as the 13th driest March.

March snowfall average 2.4” across the state, which is 1.9” below average. Northern counties saw only 0.8”, which is 5.3” below normal, while the central portion of the state received 1.6” (3.3” below normal). The southern counties were the winners, averaging 0.7” above normal at 3.7”. While snow may fall in April (the morning of April 3rd saw 2.7” at Highland Lakes [Sussex County]), a look at what are likely close to the final seasonal totals includes a statewide average of 27.9”, which is 1.8” above normal. North Jersey took it on the chin, with an average of 26.3”, some 8.4” below average. Central NJ was the winner at 31.0”, 4.0” above normal. Meanwhile the south Jersey total of 27.1” exceeded that of the north, even in an absolute sense, and was 7.1” above normal.

Volatility Reigns: February 2016 and 2015/2016 Winter Recaps

March 7, 2016 - 7:10pm -- Dave Robinson

Fire photo/radar combo graphic

Much like this past January, the second month of 2016 had considerable swings and occasional extremes in temperature and precipitation. This included a brief, exceedingly cold mid-month outbreak with subzero wind chills and a late-month evening with severe thunderstorms bringing strong winds, hail, and flash flooding across NJ. A key indicator of the volatile weather pattern was the wind, which on 13 days gusted to 40 mph or higher somewhere in the state, with five of these days gusting to at least 50 mph. The statewide average temperature was 35.6°, which is 1.8° above the 1981–2010 normal. This ranks as the 19th mildest February since 1895. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) averaged 4.21”. This is 1.35” above normal and ranks as the 24th wettest. Snowfall was below normal, with a statewide average of 5.1”. This is 3.0” below normal and ranks as the 52nd least snowy of the past 122 Februaries. Northern counties tallied only 4.6” (-5.5”), the central region 6.3” (-2.7”), and the south 4.7” (-1.9”).

What Can NJ Expect from El Niño Going into Spring?

March 1, 2016 - 5:13pm -- Ariel Schabes

Spring temperature anomalies during past strong El Niños.

Following a winter of widely-varying conditions, likely in part due to the influence of the major El Niño event that has been underway since last fall, it is useful to look back at past spring weather in years that, like this year, experienced strong El Niños. While certainly not providing a definitive forecast for what we might see over the next several months, this exercise will provide some insights into what might be seen. Here, much as we have done for summer, fall, and winter we will examine the seven strongest El Niño events since 1950.

Looking first at temperature, March was warmer than average in five of the seven years, while for April and May, temperatures tended to be below to well-below average. In fact, only two of the 14 Aprils and Mays averaged more than a half-degree above average, while nine averaged a degree or more below average.

A Winter Sampler: January 2016 Recap

February 8, 2016 - 10:35am -- Dave Robinson

Snow

While average monthly temperature and precipitation (rain and melted snow) did not vary much from their long term averages, January 2016 certainly had enough of a potpourri of atmospheric conditions to satisfy (or displease) most anyone in the Garden State. Temperatures ranged from 67° to -2°, a storm deposited as much as 2.35" of rain, and a blizzard dumped record-breaking snow in several locations and caused moderate to major flooding, especially in south Jersey coastal communities.

The statewide monthly average temperature of 31.1° was 0.1° below the 1981–2010 normal and ranked as the 66th coldest since 1895. The temperature averaged 16.7° colder than the record-shattering December 2015 warmth. This is not a record for a December to January swing in temperature, nor for several other monthly pairs too, however it ranks among the largest. Precipitation averaged 3.65", which is 0.17" above normal and 44th wettest. Statewide snowfall averaged 20.0". This was 12.1" above normal and ranks as the 7th highest since 1895 and the largest since the record 23.1" total in 2011. The north received 20.4", which is 11.1" above normal and ranks 13th largest for January, 23.1" (+15.3") fell in central NJ, ranking 5th greatest for the month, and the south averaged 18.2" (+12.5") tied for the 4th highest January total.

Baked December 2015 and Annual Summary, Including the Top 10 Events of 2015

January 3, 2016 - 8:25pm -- Dave Robinson

Beach fog

New Jersey residents will long remember the last month of 2015 as one where the grass remained green, weeds grew, and a few blossoms were seen on trees and shrubs. In fact, with an average temperature of 47.8°, it was the mildest December on record by a wide margin based on records dating back to 1895. Five of the 6 mildest Decembers have occurred since 2001. The anomaly of +12.2° exceeds the +11.0° value in January 1932 as the largest positive anomaly of any month on record. The 5.6° difference between this December's average and the second mildest in 2006 is by far the largest difference between first and second warmest values of any month. The second largest margin is 2.3° between October 2007 and 1971. With 121 years of records, the difference between one ranking and the next is often a tenth to a few tenths of a degree.

December precipitation averaged 4.91" statewide. This is 1.00" above normal and ranks as 27th wettest on record. Snow and sleet fell on one occasion, with light accumulations reported in the north. The statewide 0.1" snowfall average was 5.4" below normal. While certainly on the light side, this is not too out of the ordinary. Seven Decembers since 1895 have failed to see any snow accumulate, and 12 prior Decembers had a statewide average somewhere between 0.1" to 0.5".

Will the Present Strong El Niño Event Have a Major Impact on New Jersey’s Weather?

December 18, 2015 - 12:24pm -- Ariel Schabes

Roughly every two to seven years, a joint ocean – atmosphere phenomenon known as “El Niño” occurs. Right now happens to be one of those times and this event is showing every indication of being one of the three strongest El Niños of the past 65 years. An El Niño is defined as the prolonged warming of sea surface temperatures (SST) over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific and associated anomalies of atmospheric variables such as winds, clouds, and precipitation. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to be categorized as an El Niño, a 3-month SST anomaly of at least 0.9°F (0.5°C) above average must be observed in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. There are related atmospheric anomalies elsewhere around the globe that are associated with conditions in the tropical Pacific. Do these anomalies extend to New Jersey, especially during a strong event? This article discusses the current El Niño episode as of mid-December and speculates as to whether NJ is already being impacted by this event and may continue to be into spring 2016.

Unseasonably Mild and Dry: November and Fall 2015 Recaps

December 4, 2015 - 4:11pm -- Dave Robinson

Sunset picture

The climatological fall season ended on a mild note, with the statewide November average temperature of 49.3° coming in at 3.7° above normal. This ranks as the 5th mildest November on record, tied with 1948. Observations go back 121 years to 1895, yet five of the nine warmest Novembers have occurred since 2001. The month had an abundance of sunny days, during what is commonly a rather cloudy time of the year. Precipitation averaged 2.33” across NJ, which is 1.31” below normal and ranks as the 41st driest November. Only two significant rain events occurred during the mid-month interval.

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