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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
West Deptford, NJ 92
Upper Deerfield, NJ 91
Berkeley Twp., NJ 91
Vineland, NJ 91
Pennsauken, NJ 91
City, State Temp
High Point Monument, NJ 78
Stewartsville, NJ 78
West Cape May, NJ 81
Charlotteburg, NJ 81
High Point, NJ 81
most current information as of Aug 21 3:58 PM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

88°F

Wind

6 mph from the SSW

Wind Gust

10 mph from the SSW

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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Rather Dry, but Still Some Storms: June 2016 Recap

July 6, 2016 - 1:58pm -- Dave Robinson

Tipped helicopter

Despite some damaging storms impacting portions of New Jersey on several days and some localized deluges near month’s end, June rainfall came in well below average. The statewide average of 2.36” was 1.66” below the 1981–2010 average. This ranks as the 20th driest June since 1895. Northern and central counties were generally drier than those to the south. At month’s end, the counties from Hunterdon, Somerset, and northern Middlesex northward were classified as being in “moderate drought,” the D1 category on the US Drought Monitor. The counties to the south, through Ocean and Burlington, were in the Monitor’s “abnormally dry” D0 category. June stream flow, ground water, and precipitation levels were all well below average, while reservoir capacities in the north began to dip below average near the end of the month.

Temperatures began on the cool side, but the second half of the month was warm enough to bring the statewide average June temperature to 70.6°, which was 0.5° above average. This ranks as the 30th mildest June on record. There was one minimal heat wave at some inland lower-elevation locations, where temperatures climbed to 90° or higher from the 19th–22nd. However, no location exceeded 93° this month. The dry conditions helped to rid the atmosphere of the previous day’s warmth during the nighttime hours, thus temperatures of 45° or lower were observed in spots on seven mornings.

A Tale of Multiple Seasons Within a Month and an Almost Backward Spring: May and Spring 2016 Recaps

June 7, 2016 - 4:54pm -- Dave Robinson

May 15 graupel photo

May had many weather faces. Cool, damp weeks to start things off, a blustery mid-month day with some frozen precipitation, a week of summer heat, and an early Memorial Day deluge up the New Jersey Turnpike corridor. When all was summed and averaged, the mean monthly statewide temperature came in at 60.0°. This was 0.8° below normal and ranked as the 55th coolest of the past 122 Mays. Precipitation averaged 5.01”, which is 1.01” above average and 23rd wettest.

Rain fell on a number of May days across NJ, keeping vegetation green and fire danger down. It was most plentiful in the southern half of the state, where Mount Laurel Township (Burlington County) totaled 7.74”. This was followed by Mount Ephraim (Camden) with 7.68”, Washington Township (Gloucester) 7.54”, Salem (Salem) 7.41”, Cinnaminson (Burlington) 7.02”, and Estell Manor (Atlantic) and Merchantville (Camden) each with 7.00”. The northwest corner had the least rainfall in May, with just 3.01” in Andover (Sussex) and North Arlington (Bergen), along with Mount Olive (Morris) at 3.04”, Hackettstown (Warren) 3.05”, and Franklin (Sussex) and Wantage (Sussex) each with 3.06”.

Another Dry Spring Month: April 2016 Recap

May 9, 2016 - 11:18am -- Dave Robinson

Brush fire photo

April continued a dry period that began in March. Monthly rain and melted snow totaled 2.34”. This was 1.72” below the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 20th driest April since 1895. The 4.35” March–April total was 3.94” below average and ranks as the 7th driest such interval. Unlike the abnormal warmth of March, the average April temperature of 50.7° was 0.5° below normal. This ranks as the 48th mildest on record.

Statewide snowfall averaged 0.2”, which is 0.7” below the 1981–2010 mean. The southern counties averaged 0.3” (-0.3”), central 0.0” (-0.9”), and the north 0.2” (-1.2”). The 2015–16 snow season ended with a statewide average of 28.0”. This is 4.3” above the 1981–2010 average and 1.8” above the 1895–2016 average. The north was least snowy with 26.5” (-6.5”), the central snowiest at 31.0” (+4.3”), and the south with 27.4” averaged 9.8” above normal. The January blizzard provided the bulk of the snow, well over 75% of the winter total in some locations.

Spring Warmth Arrives Early: March 2016 Recap

April 4, 2016 - 7:53pm -- Dave Robinson

Mild and dry conditions prevailed throughout the Garden State during most of March. This included record-breaking early-season warmth, only one event that dropped more than an inch of rain over multiple locations, and a few minor forest fires. There were also two episodes of measurable snow that focused on coastal counties and 11 days where winds gusted to 40 mph or higher somewhere in the state. The statewide average temperature of 46.7° was 5.6° above the 1981–2010 average. This ranks as the 6th mildest March since 1895. Precipitation averaged 2.09”. This is 2.14” below normal and ranks as the 13th driest March.

March snowfall average 2.4” across the state, which is 1.9” below average. Northern counties saw only 0.8”, which is 5.3” below normal, while the central portion of the state received 1.6” (3.3” below normal). The southern counties were the winners, averaging 0.7” above normal at 3.7”. While snow may fall in April (the morning of April 3rd saw 2.7” at Highland Lakes [Sussex County]), a look at what are likely close to the final seasonal totals includes a statewide average of 27.9”, which is 1.8” above normal. North Jersey took it on the chin, with an average of 26.3”, some 8.4” below average. Central NJ was the winner at 31.0”, 4.0” above normal. Meanwhile the south Jersey total of 27.1” exceeded that of the north, even in an absolute sense, and was 7.1” above normal.

Volatility Reigns: February 2016 and 2015/2016 Winter Recaps

March 7, 2016 - 7:10pm -- Dave Robinson

Fire photo/radar combo graphic

Much like this past January, the second month of 2016 had considerable swings and occasional extremes in temperature and precipitation. This included a brief, exceedingly cold mid-month outbreak with subzero wind chills and a late-month evening with severe thunderstorms bringing strong winds, hail, and flash flooding across NJ. A key indicator of the volatile weather pattern was the wind, which on 13 days gusted to 40 mph or higher somewhere in the state, with five of these days gusting to at least 50 mph. The statewide average temperature was 35.6°, which is 1.8° above the 1981–2010 normal. This ranks as the 19th mildest February since 1895. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) averaged 4.21”. This is 1.35” above normal and ranks as the 24th wettest. Snowfall was below normal, with a statewide average of 5.1”. This is 3.0” below normal and ranks as the 52nd least snowy of the past 122 Februaries. Northern counties tallied only 4.6” (-5.5”), the central region 6.3” (-2.7”), and the south 4.7” (-1.9”).

What Can NJ Expect from El Niño Going into Spring?

March 1, 2016 - 5:13pm -- Ariel Schabes

Spring temperature anomalies during past strong El Niños.

Following a winter of widely-varying conditions, likely in part due to the influence of the major El Niño event that has been underway since last fall, it is useful to look back at past spring weather in years that, like this year, experienced strong El Niños. While certainly not providing a definitive forecast for what we might see over the next several months, this exercise will provide some insights into what might be seen. Here, much as we have done for summer, fall, and winter we will examine the seven strongest El Niño events since 1950.

Looking first at temperature, March was warmer than average in five of the seven years, while for April and May, temperatures tended to be below to well-below average. In fact, only two of the 14 Aprils and Mays averaged more than a half-degree above average, while nine averaged a degree or more below average.

A Winter Sampler: January 2016 Recap

February 8, 2016 - 10:35am -- Dave Robinson

Snow

While average monthly temperature and precipitation (rain and melted snow) did not vary much from their long term averages, January 2016 certainly had enough of a potpourri of atmospheric conditions to satisfy (or displease) most anyone in the Garden State. Temperatures ranged from 67° to -2°, a storm deposited as much as 2.35" of rain, and a blizzard dumped record-breaking snow in several locations and caused moderate to major flooding, especially in south Jersey coastal communities.

The statewide monthly average temperature of 31.1° was 0.1° below the 1981–2010 normal and ranked as the 66th coldest since 1895. The temperature averaged 16.7° colder than the record-shattering December 2015 warmth. This is not a record for a December to January swing in temperature, nor for several other monthly pairs too, however it ranks among the largest. Precipitation averaged 3.65", which is 0.17" above normal and 44th wettest. Statewide snowfall averaged 20.0". This was 12.1" above normal and ranks as the 7th highest since 1895 and the largest since the record 23.1" total in 2011. The north received 20.4", which is 11.1" above normal and ranks 13th largest for January, 23.1" (+15.3") fell in central NJ, ranking 5th greatest for the month, and the south averaged 18.2" (+12.5") tied for the 4th highest January total.

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.

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