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Waves lash the sea wall in North Wildwood (Cape May County) on the morning of October 11th. Photo by North Wildwood Recreation and Tourism.

As the 10th month of 2019 commenced, attention was on the continuing flash drought conditions across the Garden State. Lawns had gone brown and shallow rooted trees were losing their dull-colored leaves early. By the second week of the month, the US Drought Monitor showed all of NJ to be in either abnormally dry (D0) or moderate drought (D1) status (full disclosure: my recommendations are taken under consideration by the national author of each week’s map). Several rain episodes in the first half of the month, particularly in the north, began to stall any worsening of conditions. However, it wasn’t until the last half that five events deposited an inch or more, three of them with two inches or more, at a number of locations around the state. Thus by month’s end, only portions of southwest, southeast, and central NJ were rated D0, and the remainder, as we like to say, in “D nada.” This turn to storminess didn’t come without consequences. This included localized flash and small stream flooding on occasion, several episodes of strong winds, and some minor to moderate coastal flooding. More on all of this below, but first to further summarize the month. In the precipitation department, the statewide average was 5.79”. This is 1.90” above the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 15th wettest dating back to 1895. North Jersey came in with an average of 6.72”, some 2.41” above normal and ranking 10th wettest. In the south, the 5.28” average was 1.65” above normal and ranks as the 20th wettest.

As if the wet month was not newsworthy enough, the statewide monthly temperature of 58.0° tied with two other years as the 9th warmest back to 1895. This is 3.5° above normal, with northern and southern portions coming in at 3.2° and 3.8° above, respectively. The 2nd was arguably the hottest October day on record, thus also the warmest for so late in the season. Meanwhile, several locations experienced the first freeze of the season on the 4th or 5th, with a more widespread frost and freeze on the 19th. Still, the month ended with only 18 of the 63 NJWxNet stations having fallen to the freezing mark.

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
Sicklerville, NJ 48
Wall Twp., NJ 47
Point Pleasant, NJ 47
Vineland, NJ 46
Hammonton, NJ 45
City, State Temp
Stewartsville, NJ 33
High Point Monument, NJ 33
Kingwood, NJ 34
Pittstown, NJ 35
Hackettstown, NJ 36
most current information as of Nov 15 9:43 AM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

41°F

Wind

6 mph from the S

Wind Gust

7 mph from the SW

Sunny
51 °F
Partly Cloudy
26 °F
Sunny
38 °F
Partly Cloudy
27 °F
Slight Chance Rain/Snow then Slight Chance Rain
42 °F
Chance Rain
35 °F
Chance Rain
46 °F
Chance Showers
34 °F
Mostly Cloudy
50 °F
Mostly Cloudy
35 °F
Mostly Cloudy
51 °F
Partly Cloudy
34 °F
Sunny
52 °F

Today

Sunny, with a high near 51. West wind 3 to 7 mph.

Tonight

Partly cloudy, with a low around 26. Northwest wind 6 to 14 mph becoming northeast after midnight.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 38. Northeast wind 13 to 17 mph.

Saturday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 27. Northeast wind 10 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Sunday

A slight chance of snow before 10am, then a slight chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Northeast wind 13 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Sunday Night

A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a low around 35. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Monday

A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 46. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Monday Night

A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 34. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tuesday

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50.

Tuesday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35.

Wednesday

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 51.

Wednesday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 34.

Thursday

Sunny, with a high near 52.

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Flash flood photo

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Off Goes the Faucet: September 2019 Recap

October 7, 2019 - 5:26pm -- Mathieu Gerbush

Drought photo

No months prior to this past September have been drier across New Jersey since February 2009, a testament to how precipitation has leaned toward the wet side since the last major drought impacted the state in 2002. The 1.21” received this September was 2.84” below the 1981–2010 average. This ranked as the 7th driest September since records commenced in 1895. February 2009 saw only 0.66”, but since February is on average the driest month of the year (2.80”), the last time a monthly deficit was larger than this September was the 3.06” departure in September 2007. Since 2000, only six other months early in the century have been drier (February 2002: 0.75”, October 2000: 0.77”, March 2006: 0.82”, October 2001: 0.93”, November 2001: 1.00”, and September 2005: 1.19”).

Conditions were driest in the north, averaging 1.06”, which is 3.41” below normal and ranks as the 4th driest September on record. Southern NJ ranked 12th driest with 1.30”, which is 2.52” below normal. This “flash drought” depleted soil moisture, resulting in brown lawns and shallow-rooted trees losing leaves early. Fire danger also increased, resulting in a ban on open fires. At month’s end, the US Drought Monitor had most of NJ in the D0 (abnormally dry) category, with Salem County experiencing moderate drought (D1) conditions. Thanks to above-average precipitation earlier this year, northern NJ reservoir levels remained above early-fall averages. Certainly, a watchful eye will be kept on all water resources should this dry spell continue.

Above-average temperatures helped to dry things out in September. The 69.1° statewide average was 3.3° above the 1981–2010 mean. This ranks as the 8th warmest September over the past 125 years (tied with 1921; Table 2). Southern areas were warmest, at 3.5° above normal, while the north was 2.8° above.

Leaning Warm and a Bit Dry, and Once Again, Top-Ten Warmth: August and Summer 2019 Recaps

September 6, 2019 - 2:03pm -- Dave Robinson

Flash flood photo

The summer of 2019 concluded on a warm and a bit dry note when averaged across the Garden State. The warmth was a common theme throughout June to August, while the earlier summer months were on the wet side. The average August temperature of 74.4° was 1.4° above the 1981–2010 mean and is tied with 1983 and 1973 as the 14th warmest since 1895. On 12 days, the temperature topped out at 90° or hotter at one or more Rutgers NJ Weather Network station, but never exceeded 96°. The heat was somewhat tempered by seven mornings with lows in the 40°s at some northwestern NJWxNet locations.

August precipitation averaged 3.75” across NJ. This was 0.35” below normal and ranks as the 52nd driest of the past 125 Augusts. As expected during a summer month that is dominated by hit and miss showers, rainfall totals varied quite a bit, even on a local scale. The driest location in the state was Lambertville in Hunterdon County where 1.48” fell, while the wettest was Lebanon, also in Hunterdon County, with 7.99”. When and where the storms struck, they were, at times, intense. This included small tornadoes and more widespread strong winds, dangerous lightning, and flash flooding.

Exploring NJWxNet Soil Temperature and Water Content Observations

August 13, 2019 - 4:46pm -- Rohan Jain

Photo of Pittstown NJWxNet station

Observations of soil temperature and water content are among the many variables gathered at stations within the Rutgers NJ Weather Network (NJWxNet). While observations at 5 and 10 centimeter (cm) depths for water content have been taken at about a dozen NJWxNet stations as far back as 2003, only since 2013 have soil temperature and water content observations been taken at 5 cm, 10 cm, 20 cm, and 50 cm at currently nine stations across New Jersey. The soil and atmospheric observations at these sites provide an understanding of soil–atmosphere interactions, such as how soil conditions respond to atmospheric forcings. Soil temperature and water content also influence atmospheric conditions; however, this is exceedingly difficult if not impossible to demonstrate at individual locations. Prior to the advent of the NJWxNet, soil temperature and water content observations were almost completely lacking across NJ. This was the rule across the United States and beyond until recently when mesonets, such as the NJWxNet, began providing vital data that will continue to lead to improved short- and long-term weather and climate forecasts.

The objective of this report is to introduce the soil data being gathered at NJWxNet stations and to demonstrate the potential value of these observations to agricultural, hydrological, meteorological, engineering, and other communities. For instance, for the agricultural community, the difference between a bountiful harvest and a subpar one is quite dependent on soil conditions, not solely on what is occuring in the atmosphere. Understanding present soil conditions and analyzing past trends of soil water content and temperature can help a farmer determine when to plant, what crops to plant and, once growth commences, when to irrigate.

Mother Nature Picking on Two NJ Communities!: July 2019 Recap

August 4, 2019 - 2:30pm -- Dave Robinson

Thunderstorm wind damage in Holmdel

With 565 incorporated communities in New Jersey, one would think that the odds of multiple significant weather events specific to any one of them within a month would be exceedingly rare. Yet July 2019 brought such a duel scenario to not one but two NJ townships. Mt. Laurel (Burlington County) was visited by two tornadoes, while one rain gauge in Stafford Township (Ocean) caught 5.00” in two separate 24 hour periods. More specifics are provided later in this report. The good news is that, despite damage occurring in each of the four events, there were no fatalities nor reported injuries.

The month as a whole was a wet one, averaging 6.15” across the state. This is 1.58” above the 1981–2010 mean and ranks as the 20th wettest since 1895. Northern counties were wettest, averaging 7.20” or some 2.45” above normal and ranking 16th wettest. The south averaged 5.61”, which is 1.12” above normal and ranks 29th wettest.

Ten of the past 12 months and 15 of the past 18 months have received above-average precipitation across the state. While the 12 months ending in January this year ranks as wettest (66.61”) of 1484 such intervals dating back to 1895, the past 12 month period ending in July comes in second place with 65.74”, just ahead of the 12 months ending in June (65.50”).

Plenty Green: June 2019 Recap

July 8, 2019 - 5:04pm -- Dave Robinson

Flash flood photo

The moist and mild pattern of late spring and early summer has left the Garden State quite green. There is nothing new to this pattern, as the first six months of 2019 totaled 27.22” of rain and melted snowfall, some 4.92” above the 1981–2010 mean, and a 49.0° average temperature, which is 1.3° above average. Each of these ranks 13th highest of the past 125 years.

Even more impressive, the past 12 months have seen 10 wetter than average and 10 warmer than average. The two drier-than-average months (March and April) were closer to their 30-year mean than any of the wetter ones. The precipitation total for the past 12 months is 65.28”. This is the second wettest 12-month period on record out of all 1483 12-month periods dating back to 1895. The wettest was 66.62” for the period ending this past January. The majority of the top 20 such periods have occurred this decade. They have included the two wettest calendar years on record (2018 and 2011) and appear to have lasted longer than earlier wet intervals. Meanwhile, the warmth of the past 12 months (54.5°) would rank as the 9th warmest calendar year but not within the top 20 for any 12-month period.

Frequently Wet: May and Spring 2019 Recaps

June 5, 2019 - 11:08pm -- Dave Robinson

Stanhope tornado damage

As was seen earlier this spring, rainfall was quite persistent during a good portion of May. However, unlike April, it was not just a matter of frequency but ultimately, quantity that made for soggy conditions in the fifth month of 2019. The statewide average precipitation was 6.70”, which is 2.71” above the 1981–2010 mean. This made for the 9th wettest May since records commenced in 1895. The northern half of NJ was wettest, averaging 8.69” (+4.35”), making it the 3rd wettest on record. Only May 1989 (10.13”) and 1984 (9.79”) saw more rain. The south averaged 5.52” (+1.72”), ranking 17th wettest.

Based on observations from 62 NJWxNet stations, there were only two calendar days (22nd and 25th) without measurable (0.01”) rainfall at any location. Three days saw a maximum of 0.01”–0.10” at one or more stations, nine with a maximum between 0.11”–0.25”, and eleven topping out from 0.26”–0.99”, while on six days one or more station received an inch or greater.

The wet conditions were accompanied by above average temperatures. The 62.7° statewide average was 2.1° above the 1981–2010 mean. This ranked as the 19th mildest May on record (tied with 1985). However, it is only the 8th warmest May since 2004. Ten of the past 12 months have been above average.

NJ Warming Knows All Seasons

May 24, 2019 - 2:28pm -- Dave Robinson

Monthly Temperature Departures, Jan 2018-Apr 2019

So often over the past roughly year and a half, I have been writing about statewide monthly temperatures being among the warmest on record. In fact, February, May, August, and September 2018, as well as April 2019, have ranked as 2nd, 4th, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th warmest, respectively, since statewide averages began being generated in 1895. Throughout this century, this has so often been the case that, seemingly, it is almost expected each month. Not necessarily a top 5 ranking, but often in the top 20.

This got me wondering whether I was exaggerating the warmth since 2000. Thus an evaluation of rankings was performed for each month and for the year as a whole. This included generating counts of the warmest top 10 and top 20 warmest months since 1895 that have occurred from January 2000 through April 2019.

A Real Spring: April 2019 Summary

May 6, 2019 - 2:34pm -- Dave Robinson

In recent years, complaints have been voiced that New Jersey “never” has a real spring anymore. Now just what is meant by that comes into question, as some think spring should most often have sunny 70° days with a few April showers included now and again! However, the main point has been that in recent years NJ has seemingly gone right from winter to summer. Whether it was a cold March and record mild April in 2017 or a snowy March and chilly April 2018 followed by the 4th warmest May, the transition has been rapid. This year, despite April being quite mild, conditions did include a mix of chilly and warm spells, sunny and dreary days, and even some nasty spring thunderstorms and gusty winds. Vegetation greened up a week or so ahead of schedule, and with it there was far more pollen dispersed than many appreciated. However, the green up was not so early that there was a great threat from a late-season freeze. Though on the 29th, the blueberry crop closely escaped damage from a light frost and freeze during a vulnerable growth period.

Statewide, it was the 4th mildest April since records commenced in 1895. The 54.7° average was 3.8° above the 1981–2010 mean and ranked 4th mildest. Six of the top ten and nine of the top 20 mildest Aprils have occurred since 2002. The average daily minimum temperature ranked 3rd highest and average maximum 10th.

Precipitation was about as average as can be. The statewide average of 3.95” was 0.04” below the 1981–2010 average and 0.22” wetter than the 1895–present average. It was the 43rd wettest April of the past 125 years, once again demonstrating how monthly precipitation totals tend to be skewed below the mean.

Lambs and Lions: March 2019 Summary

April 5, 2019 - 5:07pm -- Dave Robinson

Snow photo

Much like last month, March 2019 had a wide variety of weather conditions across the Garden State. The month came in like a lion, with a week of wintry weather, which was particularly snowy in northern and central regions. More snow fell than in any other month this season and the temperature fell below zero in one location and down to single digits at a number of others. The remainder of the month was often lamb-like, including four days with high temperatures exceeding 70° at many locations and six in the 60°s. Several inch-plus rain events occurred, along with the first lightning-filled squall line of the year, which, in some locations, included hail and strong winds.

The statewide monthly temperature averaged 39.7°. This is 1.1° below the 1981–2010 average and is the 58th mildest (66th coolest) since 1895. The statewide average rain and melted snow totaled 3.91”. This is 0.20” below the 1981–2010 average. It was the 61st wettest (65th driest) March since 1895.

Statewide snowfall averaged 6.3”. This was 1.9” above average. Northern counties averaged 13.0” (6.7” above average), the central region 8.6” (+3.5”), and south 1.6” (-1.5”). As a preview of the seasonal snow summary in next month’s report, statewide snowfall through March is 20.5”, 5.0” below average. Barring the unlikely case of April snowfall exceeding any other month of the season, this will mark the first time since records began in 1895 that March was NJ’s snowiest month of the season for three consecutive snow seasons (October–April).

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That: February and Winter 2019 Recaps

March 5, 2019 - 8:23pm -- Dave Robinson

Tree felled by wind

The second month of 2019 across New Jersey was not one that will leave an indelible mark in the memory bank. Unlike some of the wild conditions that afflicted many other parts of the nation, NJ precipitation events were only minor to moderate, and there was nothing in the way of stream and river flooding. On several occasions, cold and warmth came and went rather quickly. There were no coastal storms, thus no significant tidal flooding or beach erosion. While there was one notable wind event, overall, rather calm conditions prevailed.

The statewide average precipitation (rain and melted snow) was 3.27”. This is 0.47” above the 1981–2010 average and ranks as the 47th wettest February since 1895. The statewide average temperature of 34.8° was 1.3° above average, and ranks as the 26th mildest February of the past 125 years.

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