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Tomatoes
A harvest of "Rutgers 250" tomatoes, named in commemoration of Rutgers' 250th anniversary. Photo by Jay Amberg.

Despite July and August typically being the wettest months of the year in New Jersey, their warmth usually results in evaporation rates exceeding rainfall. Thus, when heat ensues and rain is light for a few weeks—not uncommon in a Jersey summer—lawns, gardens, and fields require considerable irrigation to avoid wilting or browning. Such was not the case this past August and earlier in the summer, as rain was ample and quite timely in most areas and hot temperatures did not prevail for extended periods. More will be reported for the summer as a whole later in this report. For August in particular, the average of 5.06” of rain that fell across NJ was 0.96” above the 1981–2010 average. It ranked as the 41st wettest August since 1895 and the wettest since record wet conditions in 2011.

The average statewide August temperature of 71.7° was 1.3° cooler than the 1981–2010 average (tied with 1926, 1952, and 1985). It was 5.1° cooler than last year’s record warm August. Since 1895, there have been 57 cooler Augusts and 62 that were warmer, which reflects the fact that this year was only 0.2° cooler than the 1895–2017 average. Yes, Augusts have generally warmed in recent decades.

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
Hamilton, NJ 88
Jersey City, NJ 87
Cherry Hill, NJ 87
West Creek, NJ 87
Hawthorne, NJ 87
City, State Temp
High Point Monument, NJ 76
Seaside Heights, NJ 78
Harvey Cedars, NJ 78
Fortescue, NJ 79
West Cape May, NJ 80
most current information as of Sep 23 2:25 PM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

86°F

Wind

10 mph from the NE

Wind Gust

13 mph from the NE

Sunny
88 °F
Clear
63 °F
Sunny
91 °F
Mostly Clear
67 °F
Mostly Sunny
87 °F
Partly Cloudy then Slight Chance Showers
68 °F
Chance Showers
81 °F
Chance Showers
66 °F
Chance Showers
81 °F
Chance Showers
64 °F
Mostly Sunny
79 °F
Partly Cloudy
57 °F
Mostly Sunny
73 °F

This Afternoon

Sunny, with a high near 88. North wind around 8 mph.

Tonight

Clear, with a low around 63. Light north wind.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 91. Light and variable wind becoming northeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Sunday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 67. South wind around 6 mph becoming calm in the evening.

Monday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 87. Northeast wind 3 to 6 mph.

Monday Night

A slight chance of showers after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Tuesday

A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 81. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tuesday Night

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

Wednesday

A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Wednesday Night

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

Thursday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 79.

Thursday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 57.

Friday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 73.

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Radar image
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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".

ONJSC's Top 10 NJ Weather and Climate Events of 2015

January 1, 2016 - 4:33pm -- Dave Robinson

Listed below is the Office of the NJ State Climatologist’s ranking of the top 10 weather and climate events of 2015. 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 down the list may have affected you more than others ranked higher. Or perhaps you best recall one that didn’t make the list. That’s the enjoyment (and frustration!) of lists. While there are a variety of events that made the list, the variable that more often than not took center scene in 2015 was the temperature. Be it warm or cold, the thermometer had stories to tell. Unless stated otherwise, observations are based on an average of several dozen stations. The period of record for monthly and annual departures is 1981–2010; while for extremes and rankings it is from 1895–present.

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.

On Average, Rather Average, Bookended by Stormy Conditions: October 2015 Recap

November 6, 2015 - 4:58pm -- Dave Robinson

Waves picture

There were many sides to New Jersey’s October 2015 weather, however, when temperature and rainfall observations were averaged, conditions were quite close to long-term (1981–2010) means. The statewide average temperature of 54.4° was 0.4° below normal. This ranked as the 53rd coolest since 1895 (121 years). Precipitation averaged 4.17", which is 0.24" above normal and ranks as 44th wettest. October was bookended by events that dumped the vast majority of the month’s precipitation, with an extended period of very dry weather in between. This led to a continuation of moderate drought in the northeast, with nearby areas remaining abnormally dry. The late-month rain, which for the first time in many months was heaviest over the driest areas, staved off the need for any further drought deterioration, at least for the time being. The major weather event of the month extended over the first five days, when incessant onshore winds generated the worst beach erosion and back bay flooding since Sandy three years ago, though not nearly in the same ballpark of what Sandy wrought.

Near Record Warmth and Quite Dry…until the 30th: September 2015 Recap

October 4, 2015 - 3:30pm -- Dave Robinson

Wildfire photo

The ninth month of 2015 served as a bookend of sorts to an extended warm season. The average statewide temperature of 70.7° was 4.5° above the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 3rd warmest on record (since 1895). This ranking is the same as that achieved in May, with the intervening months all above average, though not nearly as much so as these shoulder months. Five of the ten warmest Septembers have occurred since 2002. A look back at the past five months finds that this most recent May through September interval was the third warmest on record. Even more notable than the recent run of warm Septembers, eight of the top ten warm seasons occurred within the last 18 years and four within the last six years.

What had been a rather dry month with drought concerns ended on a damp note on the 30th with a wet episode that extended into early October. Through the 29th, the month ranked as the 14th driest. However, an approximate statewide-average rainfall of 1.50” on the 30th brought the monthly average to 3.44” (-0.63”) and with it the rank of 63rd driest.

New Jersey Smart Lawn Watering Initiative: Conserving Water Starts With You!

September 15, 2015 - 4:49pm -- Jessica Raff

Grass photo

About 70% of the fresh water used around the world is devoted to irrigation, and a similar figure holds true with respect to New Jersey’s water use. Much of this in New Jersey is put towards lawn watering. It is apparent to anyone paying attention to the frequency and timing of when lawns are watered that, just as research suggests, many New Jersey homeowners are over-irrigating their lawns. This wastes precious water that could be conserved wisely by employing more efficient irrigation methods. This article outlines a simple way that you can participate in our New Jersey Smart Lawn Watering Initiative without investing in new sprinkler equipment or devoting large amounts of time to lawn management. By following the instructions discussed below, you can save water and money, while keeping your lawn green and beautiful.

Consistently Warm and a Mixed Distribution of Precipitation: August & Summer 2015 Recaps

September 2, 2015 - 9:58pm -- Dave Robinson

Dry Reservior

This month had quite a variety of weather conditions around the state. This resulted in some areas experiencing flash flooding and others encroaching drought conditions. Damage resulted from the flooding and one storm even produced a nocturnal “heat burst.” Some minor brush fires and declining river, ground water, and reservoir levels accompanied subnormal rain totals. The dry conditions helped produce some wide daily swings from cool nighttime temperatures to consistently warm daytime maximums. Preliminary values show August 2015 to have a statewide average rainfall of 2.18”. This is 2.03” below normal and ranks as the 13th driest since statewide records commenced in 1895 (Table 1). The 74.5° average temperature was 1.1° above the 1981–2010 mean and ranks 21st warmest.

Leaning Warm, Leaning Dry: July 2015 Recap

August 1, 2015 - 8:23pm -- Dave Robinson

Flooding photo

In most respects, July 2015 was a rather common one in the weather department. The statewide average temperature of 75.5° was 0.5° deg above the 1981–2010 mean. This past June had the same positive anomaly. This ranks as the 28th warmest July since 1895. It may seem strange to have such a small departure from normal yet rank in the top quartile for warmth. This can be explained by the fact that New Jersey has gotten warmer since the end of the 19th century. Compared to all Julys since 1895, this past July was 1.3° above average. Again, this might not seem like a large difference, however, given that temperatures do not vary from year to year nearly as much in summer as in winter, this change over the past century is notable.

With an El Niño underway, how much of an impact can we expect it to have on NJ's summer weather?

July 23, 2015 - 2:29pm -- Dave Robinson

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies for July 20, 2015.  NOAA/NESDIS.

Scientists are carefully monitoring sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean for a potential El Niño event. An El Niño occurs when warmer-than-average waters start to form in the eastern Pacific Ocean, specifically near the equatorial latitudes. Easterly winds (blowing from the east) typically move warmer water to the western Pacific (near Indonesia), permitting cooler water to upwell to the surface in the east (near South America). When these winds are weaker, or if they reverse direction, the warm water stays in the eastern Pacific. This difference in sea surface temperatures and winds creates a new dynamic between the ocean and atmosphere, distinctly affecting weather patterns across the world. No two El Niño events are alike; they vary in magnitude and location of the largest temperature anomalies. El Niño events can be classified as Strong, Moderate or Weak.

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