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A Better Approach to Calculating Daily Mean Temperature

June 16, 2017 - 3:18pm -- Eric Davis

The convention of the weather and climate community has been to calculate the observed daily mean temperature by summing the maximum and minimum instantaneous temperatures during a 24-hour period and dividing by two. However, does this recording method capture and represent the true average temperature over the course of a day? This conventional approach fails to integrate significant behaviors of temperature associated with rapid weather events, frontal passages, sea breezes, and even seasonal temperature variations. It is possible that sampling more frequently and finding a more representative value for daily temperature averages will reveal patterns in which the daily mean temperature skews towards the daily maximum or minimum (i.e., the full-day average temperature is more often closer to the daily maximum or the daily minimum).

Princeton-Area Deluge on July 30 an Extremely Rare Event

August 31, 2016 - 4:57pm -- Mathieu Gerbush

Radar image

The several-hour-long downpour that drenched parts of Mercer and Middlesex County on the afternoon of July 30, 2016, represented an exceptionally rare event for the area. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms dropped 7.23” in West Windsor (Mercer County), with Plainsboro (Mercer) reporting 5.15”, South Brunswick (Middlesex) 5.03,” and North Brunswick (Middlesex) 4.90”. These rainfall totals were measured by volunteer weather observers in the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network, providing vital precipitation data that would otherwise be nonexistent. The bulk of the rainfall occurred during a roughly 3-hour period from 2:45 PM through 5:45 PM, with the most torrential rainfall occurring along and just south of Route 1 from Princeton Junction (West Windsor Twp.) east northeast to Monmouth Junction and Dayton (South Brunswick Twp.).

Exploring a Possible Relationship Between Snow Cover Duration and Air Temperature at the New Brunswick, NJ, Cooperative Weather Observing Station

August 15, 2015 - 10:58pm -- Hans Moeller

Figure 1

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. This got me wondering whether there is a strong relationship between the two variables. We hypothesize that there is an inverse relationship between temperature and number of days of snow cover during New Jersey winters.

I chose to test this hypothesis using daily data from the National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Station in New Brunswick, NJ. Data were retrieved from the SC ACIS 2 website maintained at the Northeast Regional Climate Center and exported into an Excel file for analysis. From daily observations of maximum and minimum temperature, a seasonal mean temperature was computed for December through February each winter from 1914 – 2015. An early-morning observation of snow on the ground is made daily at the station. For this study, the number of days with the depth exceeding 1”, 2”, and 4” were computed for December – February. The number of days with snow above these different thresholds were plotted against temperature to facilitate analysis.

Rutgers Students on the Prowl for Tornadoes

August 25, 2014 - 12:48pm -- Colleen McHugh

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 shows like Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers” and the 1996 movie “Twister.” The media portrays storm chasing as a thrilling adventure, filming scientists and weather enthusiasts that often become overwhelmed by the atmosphere around them. I can personally say that storm chasing can provide an adrenaline rush. However, for meteorologists and students there is also scientific legitimacy behind these chases. Severe thunderstorm and tornado field research is essential in order to gather data to better understand these storms and, ultimately, to save lives. For our class, we were concerned about accurately forecasting, heading out with nothing but a link to radar and a handheld anemometer/thermometer.

Welcome to the new NJ Weather and Climate Network

April 24, 2014 - 4:47pm -- Chad Shmukler

Our now-retired web site that for many years dutifully disseminated valuable New Jersey weather and climate data to citizens, educators, government officials and agencies, emergency managers and more was in need of an update. Today, we're pleased to make our new web site available to the general public for the first time. This latest incarnation of the New Jersey Weather and Climate Network, which can now be found here at www.njweather.org, includes a bevy of new features and usability enhancements.

In the coming weeks and months, we'll delve further into these new features and enhancements via blog posts introducing and detailing how to take advantage of them. For the time being, please explore the list below that briefly summarizes some of the new improvements and additions.

Climatology Opportunities at Rutgers as an Undergrad

April 19, 2014 - 2:32pm -- Colleen McHugh

New Brunswick Weather Station Photo

There are many weather- and climate-related opportunities for undergraduate meteorology majors at Rutgers. One opportunity available to undergraduates is to become a student observer at the Cooperative observing station at the Rutgers Gardens. Each morning, one student heads to the gardens at 7 or 8 AM, a rather ridiculous hour for college students, and takes measurements at the station. These measurements include the high and low temperatures over the past 24 hours, soil temperature at different depths, evaporation rate, precipitation, and snowfall and snow depth, if applicable. After recording these measurements, they are sent in to the National Weather Service and stored by the National Climatic Data Center as a part of the climatological database for New Brunswick. Taking observations is not only important from a meteorological perspective, but also from a climatological one to create averages over a long period of time.

Atypical Snow Pattern during March

April 4, 2014 - 4:23pm -- Colleen McHugh

Snow map from March 16-17, 2014

Depending on where you live in New Jersey, this past month could have been extremely winter-like, or on the other hand, extremely not. March marks the beginning of meteorological spring, however the atmosphere had something different in mind. March bought several winter storms to South Jersey, while North and Central Jersey had close to no snowfall. Living in Central Jersey, the beginning to meteorological spring was less than ideal for snow lovers, with cold temperatures and essentially no snow to go along with it. This being said, the southern part of the state (comprised of Burlington, Ocean, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland, Atlantic, and Cape May counties) had an atypically snowy March with an average of 11.8 inches of snow, while its neighbors in the central and north had 0.4 and 0.1 inches, respectively.

New Jersey Summer 2013 Deluges

September 8, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Tropical Storm Andrea rain totals

Since this past June there have been 13 events that deposited at least 3.00" of rain at one or more locations the Garden State. Six of these events maxed out at greater than 5.00". Including the 13 listed below, there were 27 events from June through September 2 where an inch or more accumulated at one or more NJ locations.

NOAA: Atlantic hurricane season still expected to be above-normal

August 8, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Hurricane Sandy satellite image

With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) releasing its latest outlook expecting an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season and with Sandy and Irene fresh in our memories, NJ residents may wonder what's in store for this tropical season.

These outlooks are quite general, but are based on some legitimate indicators. For example, there are those that correlate to an active season, such as warm sea surface temperatures or a wet west Africa, or the absence of things, such as shearing winds in the Atlantic from an El Nino event or dust in the atmosphere over the formative regions. More "suspect" are predictions of storm severity, though such numbers are just proportionately ramped up or down versus climatology based on the overall prediction. And of course, where the storms may develop and move is not something NOAA attempts to predict, at least not publicly. And with good reason, as the atmospheric steering currents vary from week to week, with no good means of predicting patterns well in advance.

What do climatologists think about during a heat wave?

July 26, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dan Manzo

There are two important things to know about me. The first is I have an intense passion for the climate and weather. The other is that I’m from New Jersey and appreciate everything about it. The combination of these two facts gives me good reason to think about different perspectives of “extreme” in our state. Certainly, New Jersey is not the hottest or coldest place in the world, but The Garden State does have its own “ingredients” to make a heat wave fascinating to track.

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