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Photo of Pittstown NJWxNet station
Figure 2. View of Pittstown NJWxNet station in Hunterdon County

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.

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
Upper Deerfield, NJ 92
South Harrison, NJ 91
Berkeley Twp., NJ 91
Logan Twp., NJ 91
Vineland, NJ 91
City, State Temp
High Point Monument, NJ 78
Stewartsville, NJ 80
West Cape May, NJ 81
Ramsey, NJ 81
Charlotteburg, NJ 81
most current information as of Aug 21 3:55 PM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

88°F

Wind

7 mph from the S

Wind Gust

9 mph from the SSE

Heavy Rain
72 °F
Heavy Rain and Patchy Fog
91 °F
Chance T-storms
67 °F
Chance T-storms then Chance Showers
91 °F
Chance Showers then Chance T-storms
61 °F
Chance T-storms
80 °F
Sunny
62 °F
Partly Cloudy
82 °F
Mostly Sunny
61 °F
Partly Cloudy then Chance Showers
78 °F
Chance Showers
64 °F
Chance Showers
78 °F
Chance Showers then Chance T-storms
66 °F
Chance T-storms then Chance Showers
80 °F
Chance Showers then Chance T-storms
°F

This Afternoon

Showers and thunderstorms likely. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. Partly sunny, with a high near 91. Heat index values as high as 100. South wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tonight

Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 2am. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. Patchy fog after 5am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. Southwest wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. West wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday Night

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 67. North wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. North wind 5 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Friday Night

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 8pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 61. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 82.

Saturday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 62.

Sunday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 78.

Sunday Night

A chance of showers after 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 61. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Monday

A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 78. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Monday Night

A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 64. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tuesday

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tuesday Night

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Wednesday

A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 82.

Search by zipcode or city/state for the latest conditions, forecasts, graphs, maps and more nearest to you.

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Growing Season Is Over for the Entire State

November 12, 2018 - 12:40pm -- Dave Robinson

Frost photo

With today’s (11/12) minimum temperature at West Cape May (Cape May County) and Lower Alloways Creek Township (Salem) falling to 30° and 32°, respectively, the growing season has ended across the Garden State. The growing season is considered to be the count of days between the last freeze of the spring and the first freeze of the fall (counting neither of those freezing days). This made for a 214 day growing season at West Cape May, while the Lower Alloways Creek Township weather station was just installed in July, thus a seasonal number is unavailable. These first freezes were preceded by a day at the Atlantic City Mariana (Atlantic) and Harvey Cedars (Ocean), which fell to 32° and 31°, respectively, on the 11th. Based on observations from these Rutgers NJ Weather Network stations (the 62 stations upon which the growing season is determined), these two locations had NJ’s longest growing seasons. The Marina saw its last spring freeze on March 22nd, giving it a 233 day season. Harvey Cedars last froze on April 2nd, thus ended with a 222 day season.

Rapid Transition: October 2018 Recap

November 5, 2018 - 7:37pm -- Dave Robinson

Coastal flood photo

October was a tale of two half-months. Summer-like weather prevailed through the 11th, quickly transitioning to fall-like conditions on the 12th. Passage of the first strong cold front of the season was responsible for the change. Moderate to heavy rain accompanied the front in northwest NJ during the daytime hours of the 11th. That evening, and into the morning of the 12th, moisture from the remnants of once major Hurricane Michael ran up against the front and brought heavy rain to south Jersey. This one-two punch was followed on the 17th by the first freezing temperatures of the season at a few locations and a more widespread freeze on the 19th. Generally cool conditions prevailed the remainder of the month. The remnants of yet another major hurricane, Willa, provided energy and moisture to a quick-hitting nor’easter on the morning of the 27th that brought some of the worst coastal flooding since Sandy in 2012. Michael was an Atlantic storm that made landfall in the Florida panhandle, while Willa was an eastern Pacific storm that came ashore on the west coast of Mexico.

First Widespread Freeze of the Season

October 19, 2018 - 10:51am -- Dave Robinson

Oct 19 minimum temperature map

This morning was a frosty one, with many NJWxNet locations across the state seeing their first freezing temperatures of the season. The accompanying map shows that most every location away from coastal and urban environs dipped to the freezing point or lower. Walpack (Sussex County), the traditional cold spot in NJ on calm clear nights, was the coldest spot at 24°. Atlantic City Marina (Atlantic) and Lower Alloways Creek, along the Delaware Bay coast in Salem County, were mildest, with lows of 46°. All other NJWxNet sites were no milder than 42°. One of the more interesting cold readings was the 32° minimum at Jersey City (Hudson). This station is located in Liberty State Park, demonstrating that even parkland within urban regions can get awfully chilly on calm, clear nights. However, it is a bit surprising to see this low, given that the station is quite close to the waters of NY Harbor.

Once Again, Summer is Slow to Depart: September 2018 Recap

October 7, 2018 - 8:18pm -- Dave Robinson

Coastal flood photo

For the fourth consecutive year, summer weather stubbornly hung on well into September across the Garden State. The statewide average temperature of 70.4° was 4.6° above the 1981–2010 mean, and ranks as the third warmest since records commenced in 1895. September 2017, now ranking 11th, sat in the top 10 for just one year before being bumped out by 2018. This September was the fifth consecutive month of above-average temperatures. The past 12 months have seen the 2nd warmest October, 4th warmest May, 1st warmest August (tied with 2016 based on updated figures), and now the 3rd warmest September. The June through September period this year averaged 73.3° (+2.5°), making it the 4th warmest on record. The top 10 such intervals have all occurred since 2005. The August–September average of 73.7° (+4.3°) was the warmest on record, followed by 2005, 2016, 2015, and 2010.

Perhaps what was most interesting about temperatures this past month was the disparity between average maximum and minimum temperature anomalies. The average maximum of 77.7° was 1.4° above average and ranked 27th warmest. However, the average minimum of 63.2° was 7.9° above average and is a whopping 2.2° milder than the previous highest September average minimum. This came about due to the excessive cloud cover and humidity throughout most of the month, which kept the days from getting too warm and, come nighttime, “trapped” much of the heat gained during the day within the lower atmosphere. Thus, unlike the past three warm Septembers (as well as 2013 and 2014), each of which had below-average precipitation, this year was anything but dry. There were frequent rainy episodes, which at times produced localized deluges and resultant flash flooding. The statewide average rainfall of 7.60” is 3.55” above the 1981–2010 average, and is tied with 1960 as the sixth wettest September since 1895. The wettest September on record remains 1999, which averaged 9.50 inches, in no small part due to Tropical Storm Floyd’s rains. Aside from 1999, you have to go back to 1975 to find a September with more rain than this year.

Green Warmth: August and Summer 2018 Recaps

September 5, 2018 - 8:18pm -- Dave Robinson

Flash flood photo

The summer of 2018 concluded on a warm, wet note across the majority of what was a persistently green Garden State throughout the season. The warmth dated back to late June, with frequent humid conditions and abundant showers from mid-July onward. There will be more on the entire summer at the end of this report. First a look at August, with a statewide average temperature of 76.8° coming in 3.8° above the 1981–2010 average. This was the second warmest August since 1895, falling just behind 2016 by 0.1°. Nine of the 13 warmest Augusts during that 124-year interval have occurred since 2001.

Statewide, August precipitation averaged 5.63”. This was 1.53” above the 1981–2010 average and ranked as the 32nd wettest since 1895. It was the wettest August since the record wettest month in 2011. As is often seen in the summer, the majority of the precipitation fell in scattered showers and thunderstorms. This resulted in a wide range of monthly totals around the state, with some serious flash flooding occurring in several locations when moisture-ladened storms parked themselves over an area for multiple hours. Where storms missed time and time again, rainfall totals were below average. The northern NJ climate division (Hunterdon, Somerset, and Union counties northward) saw their 10th wettest August on record, with an average of 8.28” falling. This is 4.17” above average. Since 1990, only August 2011 was wetter in this division.

Summer Personified: July 2018 Recap

August 3, 2018 - 11:45pm -- Dave Robinson

Flash flood photo

July 2018 had a classic variety of summer weather. There was: 1) an ongoing heatwave to begin the month; 2) dry conditions for the most part in the first half of the month; 3) some warm, exceedingly humid conditions with widespread, at times heavy, showers the second half of the month (courtesy of the subtropics); and 4) some “top 10” sunny dry days following several cold front passages (thank you Canada).

The average statewide July temperature was 76.4°. This is 1.8° above the 1981–2010 average and ranks as the 13th warmest July in 124 years of records (2.6° above the full period of record average). Eleven of the 18 warmest Julys since 1895 have occurred in the past 20 years (since 1999). The average daily maximum temperature across the state was 87.2°, which is 2.2° above average and ranks as the 15th warmest on record. The 65.6° average minimum was 1.4° above the 1981–2010 average and comes in as the 17th warmest.

Statewide, August precipitation averaged 5.63”. This was 1.53” above the 1981–2010 average and ranked as the 32nd wettest since 1895. It was the wettest August since the record wettest month in 2011. As is often seen in the summer, the majority of the precipitation fell in scattered showers and thunderstorms. This resulted in a wide range of monthly totals around the state, with some serious flash flooding occurring in several locations when moisture ladened storms parked themselves over an area for multiple hours. Where storms missed time and time again, rainfall totals were below average. The northern NJ climate division (Hunterdon, Somerset, and Union counties northward) saw their 10th wettest August on record, with an average of 8.28” falling. This is 4.17” above average. Since 1990, only August 2011 was wetter in this division.

Rather Typical: June 2018 Recap

July 5, 2018 - 4:08pm -- Dave Robinson

Sandy Hook from plane

After an ample share of ups and downs throughout the past spring, the weather in June became rather typical for the start of summer. It was drier than average in the north and wetter than usual in the south, with the temperature close to the long-term mean. Fortunately, New Jersey entered the heart of summer with reservoirs full. However, with the onset of an apparent extended period of heat late in the month, it is certainly prudent to conserve water wisely.

The June average statewide temperature of 69.8° equaled the 1981–2010 mean, but is 1.0° above the 1895–present average. This tied with 1906 and 1967 as the 42nd mildest June on record. Precipitation averaged 3.43” across NJ, which is 0.58” below the 1981–2010 mean. This ranks as the 57th driest June, tied with 2011.

Warm and Wet May, and an Action Packed Spring: May 2018 Summary and Spring Recap

June 5, 2018 - 5:16pm -- Dave Robinson

Tree on house

After April timidly transitioned into milder weather, May was plenty bold in the thermal department, on multiple occasions behaving more like summer than late spring. Most NJ residents did not seem to mind the warmth; rather, from the second week onward, it was the frequent episodes of rain, often targeting weekends, which raised the level of crankiness among many! Statewide, this was the 5th warmest May since records commenced in 1895. The 65.0° average was 4.5° above the 1981–2010 mean. Five of the ten warmest Mays have occurred since 2004. In most locations, rain fell on at least half of the days of the month. The 5.96” average across NJ was 1.97” above the 1981–2010 mean. This ranks as the 13th wettest May on record, but 0.55” below last year’s average.

A Slow Green Up: April 2018 Summary

May 4, 2018 - 2:17pm -- Dave Robinson

Flash flooding photo

If you think it has been a long time since New Jersey experienced as chilly an April as this past one, you are correct. With snow accumulating in a storm on the 2nd to snow showers on the 30th, one was hard pressed to find many days when pleasant spring conditions could be found. Toss in two mid-month days when temperatures soared into the middle 80°s and another with strong thunderstorms delivering flash flood-producing rains, and weather-oriented heads kept spinning. However, overall, it was the persistent chill that captured the most attention, with the green up of lawns and foliage, accompanied by the blossoming of spring flowers, delayed from normal by upwards of two weeks.

Statewide, the April average temperature of 47.7° was 3.2° below the 1981–2010 mean (2.0° below the 1895–2017 mean). This ranks as the 28th coolest April since 1895 and the chilliest since 1982 (also 47.7°). The highest temperature observed in NJ was 87° at Stewartsville (Warren County) on the 14th and the coldest 16° at Walpack (Sussex) on the 11th.

April precipitation across NJ averaged 4.20”. This was 0.21” above the 1981–2010 mean (0.48” above the period-of-record mean). This was the 38th wettest April on record. Plentiful precipitation since February has eliminated drought concerns as we enter the summer water consumption season. Reservoirs and ground water levels are in good shape. However, this never means we should let our guard down and not use water in a responsible manner.

The Lion Roared All Month Long: March 2018 Summary

April 7, 2018 - 3:04pm -- Dave Robinson

While the first and last few days of the month came in disguised as a lamb, March 2018 was a roaring lion on many occasions. Three nor’easters pounded New Jersey, with a fourth grazing the state, turning more of its wrath on southeastern New England. In true nor’easter fashion, the storms brought minor to moderate coastal flooding, significant beach erosion, powerful winds, heavy rain, and record- to near-record-breaking snowfall. This led to two of the larger power outages since Sandy in 2012, numerous traffic accidents, significant tree damage, frequent school closings, and even someone being injured by lightning during a snowstorm.

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