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Sea fog photo
A fog bank sits just offshore of Sea Girt (Monmouth County) during the afternoon of May 31st. Photo by Captain Jim Freda, Beach Manager for Borough of Sea Girt (@SGLifeguards).

May 2015 was a warm and dry month across New Jersey. As the month ended, drought concerns were looming large, though rainfall in the north during the afternoon and evening of the 31st and continuing into the first days of June resulted in at least a temporary braking of the downward slide. Based on data gathered at long-term National Weather Service Cooperative Observing (COOP) stations, May rainfall averaged 1.08" across NJ. This is 2.92" below the 1981-2010 mean and ranks as the 3rd driest May since records commenced in 1895.

As those who have been reading these monthly narratives for some time now know, precipitation that falls at COOP stations after observation time on the last day of the month gets recorded as falling on the first day of the next month. Most COOP stations observe in the morning, thus the heavy showers that fell across north Jersey on the 31st were not factored into this May average, except for a few stations such as Newark Airport (which registered 3.83" on the 31st alone) that observe at midnight. The last time this situation had a notable impact on monthly rainfall was a daytime heavy rain event on April 30, 2014.

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
Atlantic City (NJDOT), NJ 73
Atlantic City Marina, NJ 72
Harvey Cedars, NJ 71
West Cape May, NJ 70
Sea Bright, NJ 69
City, State Temp
Pequest, NJ 55
Basking Ridge, NJ 55
Kingwood, NJ 56
High Pt. Monument, NJ 57
Hackettstown, NJ 57
most current information as of Jul 2 5:49 AM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

60°F

Wind

N/A

Wind Gust

N/A

Partly Sunny
83 °F
Isolated Thunderstorms
63 °F
Mostly Sunny
79 °F
Chance Showers
64 °F
Chance Showers
78 °F
Mostly Cloudy
64 °F
Mostly Sunny
84 °F
Partly Cloudy
65 °F
Mostly Sunny
86 °F
Partly Cloudy
67 °F
Mostly Sunny
86 °F
Mostly Cloudy
69 °F
Scattered Showers
86 °F

Today

Partly sunny, with a high near 83. Light and variable wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Tonight

Isolated showers and thunderstorms before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 63. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Friday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. Northeast wind 5 to 8 mph becoming east in the afternoon.

Friday Night

A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. Light east wind. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Independence Day

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. East wind 3 to 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Saturday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64.

Sunday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 84.

Sunday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 65.

Monday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 67.

Tuesday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 86.

Tuesday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69.

Wednesday

Scattered showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 86. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

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Drought Invading New Jersey

May 28, 2015 - 11:14am -- Dave Robinson

30-Day Percent of Normal Precipitation

Whether it is a browning lawn, dry garden soil, or pollen that hasn’t washed off your car in weeks, many of us in New Jersey have recognized that the state is in the midst of an extended period of very meager rainfall. Along with the aforementioned impacts, the flow of water in streams and ground water levels as monitored in wells are below, and in some cases, well below seasonal levels. While it is fortunate that surface reservoirs in northern and central NJ are close to seasonal levels (quite full), there is less water than normal flowing into them and early season lawn watering is drawing water out of them at an unseasonable pace.

Advice provided by our office, by those within the National Weather Service and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and by others associated with the weekly US Drought Monitor has led to this week’s Monitor map depicting the northern third of NJ in D1 (defined as moderate drought) and the remainder of the state down to around the Atlantic City Expressway in D0 (abnormally dry). D1 can be expected to occur once every 5-10 years during a particular month, while D0 can be found every 3-5 years. While the type of conditions being experienced in parts of NJ right now are drought like, I am hesitant to call the north in “moderate” drought, and would prefer saying “minor” drought. However, this is the definition of the nomenclature decided upon by a national committee, thus within the Monitor map it is “moderate” in the north.

Spring Arrives and Remains: April 2015 Recap

May 4, 2015 - 8:36pm -- Dave Robinson

Contrails photo

Complaints are often brought to the Office of the State Climatologist that in recent years the weather in New Jersey has quickly transitioned from winter to summer, thus leaving little time for spring weather. Of course perceptions can be deceiving, as transitional months such as April typically have widely varying weather. At least for April 2015 no protests of a missing spring are warranted, as temperatures reached into the 60°s and 70°s for several days in each week of the month, yet minimums were at times in the 20°s and 30°s throughout April. There was only one major rainfall event, but there were occasional showers. A summer-like squall roared through the state late afternoon on the 22nd, followed the next day by daytime snow flurries. Now that is spring weather!

For Second Consecutive Year, Winter is Slow to Relinquish Its Grip: March 2015 Recap

April 6, 2015 - 5:25pm -- Dave Robinson

Snow on March 5

For the second consecutive year, March served as a meteorological exclamation point on an active cold and snowy season. As in 2013/14, this season had below-average November temperatures, milder-than-average December readings, and below-average January, February, and March tallies. The March temperature this year averaged 35.8°, which is 5.3° below normal and ranks as the 14th coldest since 1895.

This was also the snowiest March statewide and in central NJ since 1993. The northern counties averaged 13.6" (which is 7.5" above normal), the central region was at 14.9" (+10.0"), and the southern counties 8.6" (+5.6"). The state as a whole averaged 11.5" (+7.2"), which is the 13th snowiest March on record. For the season through March snowfall statewide has averaged 34.5" (+8.4"), with the north 50.5" (+15.8"), central 41.4" (+14.4"), and south 22.3" (+2.3"). This is the northern division's first back-to-back 50"+ seasons since the winters of 1903/04 and 1904/05.

March rain and melted snow accumulated to a statewide average of 4.95". This is 0.72" above normal and ranks as the 32nd wettest.

Warm Evenings in New Jersey

March 30, 2015 - 7:55pm -- Jack McCarty

Heat wave photo

Daily temperatures naturally fluctuate from week-to week and year-to-year (factoring out the seasonal “march” of temperature). Thus when temperature trends emerge over decades, it sparks a special interest here in the Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist. We are in the midst of a project to examine prolonged heat episodes throughout the state and have found some evidence for recent increases in such events. As impressive winter cold slowly comes to an end in NJ is there a better time to present some of our heat results? Of course not!

Our study involves examining daily maximum and minimum temperatures for seven stations distributed across the state, each with 100-plus years of records. This study began last summer with an evaluation of New Brunswick heat events. We showed that New Brunswick has had an increase of daytime heat events in recent decades and nighttime heat events are becoming more commonplace. In the course of expanding our analysis to seven stations, we have found larger changes in warm nighttime temperatures than in hot daytime temperatures. Excessively warm nighttime temperatures typically get overlooked when discussing potentially dangerous heat episodes, yet they can bring about dangerous health concerns for those unable to escape persistent warmth.

Bitter Cold: February 2015 Recap and Winter 2014-2015 Review

March 7, 2015 - 4:09pm -- Dave Robinson

High Point Monument photo

It will come as no surprise to those reading this report that February 2015 was one of the coldest months on record in the Garden State. The average temperature of 22.0° (11.8° below average) made this month the 3rd coldest February and 6th coldest (tied) of any month since statewide records commenced in 1895. Colder Januaries include 1918 (19.9°), 1977 (20.2°), and 1912 (21.9°), with 1940 equal to this past February.

Statewide, melted snow, ice, freezing rain, and plain rain amounted to 2.34". This was 0.52" below average and ranks as the 32nd driest February. There were five events where snow fell to a depth of 2" or more at one or more locations, however there was no statewide "blockbuster" storm. NJ February snowfall averaged 12.3", which is 4.2" above normal. The northern third of the state averaged 16.3" (+6.2"), central area 12.6" (+3.6"), and southern third 10.1" (+3.5"). The ground remained snow covered throughout the month in northern and central regions, consistently at a depth exceeding 10" in the north and closer to 5" in central areas.

Just How Cold Has It Been?

February 25, 2015 - 4:21pm -- Dave Robinson

Icy Cape May

The answer: remarkably cold! As if anyone living in New Jersey has any doubt. February 2015 is destined to be one of the coldest months since statewide records commenced in 1895. As observations currently stand, along with projections through month’s end, this will likely be the second coldest February and the fourth coldest of any January or February. Table 1 lists the ten coldest Februaries, based on observations gathered from several dozen stations throughout NJ. Looking north and south, it appears as if this will be the second coldest February in the north (Hunterdon, Somerset, and Union counties northward) and third coldest in the south. This is in line with the coldest core being situated over New England and the added chilling effect of the ground being snow covered throughout the month in the north, while only being so over the last two weeks down south. The two colder Januaries were in 1918 (19.9°) and 1977 (20.2°).

The New Jersey Snow Season: A Mid-February Report Card

February 15, 2015 - 5:47pm -- Dave Robinson

Snow plowing photo

As New Jerseyans shiver through a second month of below-average temperatures and a second consecutive colder-than-average winter, it is worth seeing how the state is doing in the snowfall department this season. The brief answer is twofold: first, nowhere is it nearly as snowy as last winter, and second, this year is a tale of a state with a split snow personality.

By this time last winter, folks were talking about challenging the 1995-96 winter for top snowfall honors dating all the way back to 1895. As it turned out, the bulk of winter snow had fallen north of Interstate 195 by mid to late February, while south Jersey experienced a snowy March. Statewide, the 2013-14 winter snowfall averaged 54.3”, which was 28.2” above normal and ranked as the 7th snowiest on record. It was the 4th snowiest on record in northern counties, 6th in central NJ, and 14th in the southern third.

Wooly and a Bit Wild: January 2015 Recap

February 6, 2015 - 4:37pm -- Dave Robinson

Sea smoke photo

The first month of 2015 was a cold one with above-average precipitation. The form of the precipitation varied quite a bit at any particular location as well as across the state over the course of individual events. The statewide average temperature of 27.7° was 3.5° below normal, making it the 32nd coldest January since records commenced in 1895. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) averaged 4.78", which is 1.30" above normal and ranks as the 20th wettest January. Statewide, snowfall averaged 8.6", which is 1.5" above normal and ranks as the 41st snowiest January of the past 121 years. Storms of various intensities arrived every three days throughout the month, and included an impactful freezing rain and flooding event and two moderate snowstorms during the final two weeks. Several bitter cold episodes were punctuated by strong winds and frigid wind chills.

A Dreary Month, and Shades of Years Past: December and 2014 Annual Summary

January 5, 2015 - 9:58pm -- Dave Robinson

Coastal Flooding from Dec 9 Nor'easter

Clouds prevailed in this darkest month of the year, making for some rather persistent dreary conditions. Until the last week of the month there were only two days (the 4th and 7th) where the sun outperformed the clouds across NJ. At least the year ended on a bright note, with lots of sun during five of the last six days. With the clouds came a fair amount of precipitation, and given milder-than-normal conditions, the vast majority was in the form of rain. Statewide precipitation averaged 4.79". This is 0.88" above the 1981–2010 mean and ranks as the 27th wettest December since 1895. The mean temperature of 38.9° was 3.3° above average and ranked as the 15th warmest on record. Snowfall averaged 0.6", some 3.5" below average and ranked as the 19th least snowy December. A strong nor'easter brought strong winds, multiple inches of rain, minor to moderate coastal flooding, and beach erosion on the 9th.

ONJSC's Top 10 NJ Weather and Climate Events of 2014

January 4, 2015 - 12:00pm -- Dave Robinson

Snow removal at Metlife Stadium

Listed below is the Office of the NJ State Climatologist's ranking of the top 10 weather and climate events of 2014. More about each event can be found in the monthly narratives posted on njclimate.org. You might be tempted to rearrange the rankings, particularly as some of the events may have affected you more than others higher on the list. That's the enjoyment (and frustration!) of lists. This was the second consecutive year that was not too eventful for NJ weather and climate (goodness, we remain stunned by 2011 and 2012). Of course there is still plenty to talk about.

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