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October 29-30 2017 rainfall total map

The tenth month of 2017 was marked by the slow arrival of October-like conditions, including the first freezes of the season, the close-to-two week delay in the fall leaf season, and the absence of much precipitation until two late-month storms made up for lost time. Amidst all of this, October proved to be the second warmest across New Jersey since the onset of records in 1895. The 60.7° average was 6.2° above the 1981–2010 normal, trailing the 2007 record by 1.4°, but 0.9° above the now third mildest October in 1971. The month ended with a large portion of the state yet to be visited by the first freeze of the season.

Rainfall was rather limited throughout the first three weeks of the month, leading to an expansion of D0 “abnormally dry” conditions across the northern half of the state in the US Drought Monitor. It was anticipated that a portion of the north would move to a D1 “moderate drought” designation and the remainder of NJ to D0 come the October 31st weekly map (as mentioned in previous reports, the state climate office plays a significant role in making such designations). However, some welcome rain fell on the 24th, and on the 29th the largest statewide rain event since April 30, 2014, brought close to, and in some areas more than, a month’s worth of liquid in a major storm. This arrived on the 5th anniversary of Sandy and 6th anniversary of a historic early season snowstorm. When all was said and done, statewide October precipitation averaged 4.96”. This is 1.07” above average and ranks as the 25th wettest of the past 123 years.

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
Atlantic City Marina, NJ 56
Mullica Twp., NJ 56
Woodstown, NJ 55
West Creek, NJ 55
Seaside Heights, NJ 54
City, State Temp
High Point Monument, NJ 38
Wantage, NJ 42
Netcong, NJ 43
Walpack, NJ 44
Kingwood, NJ 45
most current information as of Nov 22 1:23 PM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

51°F

Wind

8 mph from the WNW

Wind Gust

17 mph from the WNW

Decreasing Clouds
52 °F
Clear
26 °F
Sunny
45 °F
Partly Cloudy
28 °F
Sunny
51 °F
Mostly Clear
36 °F
Mostly Sunny
56 °F
Partly Cloudy
35 °F
Mostly Sunny
45 °F
Partly Cloudy
27 °F
Sunny
46 °F
Mostly Clear
30 °F
Mostly Sunny
54 °F

This Afternoon

Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 52. Northwest wind 11 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

Tonight

Clear, with a low around 26. Northwest wind 6 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

Thanksgiving Day

Sunny, with a high near 45. Northwest wind 5 to 8 mph.

Thursday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 28. West wind around 6 mph.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 51. Northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming light and variable.

Friday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 36.

Saturday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 56.

Saturday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 35.

Sunday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 45.

Sunday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 27.

Monday

Sunny, with a high near 46.

Monday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 30.

Tuesday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 54.

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Comfort Reigns: August and Summer of 2014 Recaps

September 3, 2014 - 5:50pm -- Dave Robinson

Surf photo

A month ago, many NJ residents felt July was quite cool, while in fact it was just 0.4° below the 1981-2010 mean. Such was not the case in August, which truly was on the cool side. The statewide average temperature of 71.0° was 2.4° below average. It ranks as the 32nd coolest since 1895. Even when compared to the 1895-present mean, the month was 1.5° below average. Days with a maximum temperature of 90° or greater were hard to find, certainly a characteristic of the summer of 2014, which will be discussed later in this narrative.

Precipitation varied widely across the Garden State in August, rather typical of a summer month in these parts. Individual station totals ranged from 12.33” in Lacey Township (Ocean County) to 1.01” in Hillsborough (Somerset). When monthly totals from several dozen long-term stations were averaged together, the statewide precipitation was 4.39”. This is 0.18” above the 1981-2010 mean (0.26” below the 1895-present mean) and ranks as the 53rd wettest of the past 120 Augusts. It must be noted that the heavy rain that fell after 8 AM on the 31st is not accounted for in most August station totals. For the monthly state average, only several stations that observe at midnight have their full August 31st totals included, while monthly totals at most other National Weather Service Cooperative stations only run through the morning of the 31st. For more on this observing practice, see the April 2014 report.

New Jersey Hurricane Hunting: A brief recap of a small state’s big hurricane history

August 21, 2014 - 1:35pm -- Tom Karmel

Doria flooding photo

With more than a third of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season behind us, many may assume this season has been quiet. However, the two hurricanes already named mark the first time since 1992 when the first two named storms have reached hurricane strength and the first time there have been two hurricanes by this date since 2008. With the peak of the tropical season yet to come, the question is whether the heart of the season will be active or quiet. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center recently updated their seasonal forecast, projecting only a 5% chance of an active season and 70% chance of a less than normal one. Still, it only takes one storm to seriously impact NJ, so we can never let our guard down. With this in mind, here is a brief history of memorable tropical cyclones affecting New Jersey and a summary of the frequency of storms through the hurricane season.

Mid-Atlantic Deluge

August 13, 2014 - 5:40pm -- Dave Robinson

Rainfall estimate map

Extremely heavy rain drenched portions of the Mid-Atlantic during the daytime hours on August 12 until after sunrise on the 13th. Starting off in the Washington-Baltimore area and moving up into central Long Island, a narrow ribbon of rainfall exceeding 5”, and over 10” in a few locales, resulted in flash flooding that resulted in water rescues and many damaged roads and vehicles. Excessively heavy rains, occasionally accompanied by lightning, traveled up a frontal boundary that was associated with an unusually strong August low-pressure system situated over the Great Lakes. The atmospheric impulses riding up this front joined forces with abundant atmospheric moisture (in the top 1% for the region) to bring multiple inches per hour rainfall rates…for multiple hours.

The heaviest rain was situated within less than a 10-mile wide path. Within 20 miles on either side, totals fell off to a mere inch or two, or even less. Such is the nature of these events, where despite the abundant atmospheric moisture, there is a finite amount of water available. The dynamics concentrated the atmospheric lifting, thus the condensation of the majority of the moisture and resultant rainfall, while adjacent areas balanced out the lifted air with subsiding air that greatly limited rainfall totals.

A Rather Average July, Believe It or Not: July 2014 Summary

August 4, 2014 - 6:26pm -- Dave Robinson

Thunderstorm photo

Despite a general feeling amongst NJ residents that July 2014 was a cold summer month, in actuality, compared to long-term records, it was rather average. The statewide average temperature of 74.5° was 0.5° below the 1981-2010 mean. However, it was 0.3° above the 1895-present mean and ranked as the 45th warmest July of the past 119 years. Even the number of afternoons with temperatures of 90° or higher was close to normal. So why the common misperception? Some armchair psychology brings me to four possibilities:

1) The first half of the month was above average, while the more recent weeks were on the cool side. Our perceptions are biased toward the most recent.

2) People have yet to “recover" from the cold start of 2014. The dubious media ramblings of the “polar vortex" returning to the eastern US in mid-July fueled these thoughts.

3) The most recent four NJ Julys all rank in the top six for warmth over the past 119 years. This was an amazing run of hot Julys.

4) Those sticking their toes in the Jersey surf in early July were shocked by water temperatures in the 50°s and may have equated this to the cool July atmosphere. The cold surf was actually indicative of persistent southerly winds that brought atmospheric warmth. This wind flow led to coastal upwelling that pushed warmer surface waters offshore and introduced cool deeper waters to the surf zone.

So this is how a normal July feels...

July 27, 2014 - 8:45pm -- Dave Robinson

Beach sunset photo

Another comfortable mid-summer air mass is destined to invade the Garden State this week. This arrives on the heels of several other mild, dry air masses that have contributed to making this a rather average July in the temperature department. While many may think that this has been an exceptionally cool summer, it has not. However, given that the most recent four Julys all ranked within the top six for heat dating all the way back to 1895, all are forgiven for any misperception!

The overall pattern that has led to temperatures more often being on the cool than than warm side of the ledger since last fall is one of pronounced waviness in the jet stream, with a resultant tendency for a ridge (northward swing) in western North America and a trough (dip in the jet) in the east. This allows cool and dry air to infiltrate our region, with warm and humid air kept at bay to the south. It has also kept the west in severe drought and plenty warm.

Soaking rains keep much of the Garden State green

July 17, 2014 - 10:59pm -- Dave Robinson

Heavy rain photo

The past week has seen localized soaking rains across much of NJ, though not everywhere has gotten clobbered. The map below shows rainfall totals from Sunday morning the 13th through the morning of the 16th. Over this roughly 72 hour interval as much as 8.52” fell in Howell Township (Monmouth County), followed by Belmar (Monmouth) with 7.42”, Wall Township (Ocean) 7.22”, Millstone Township (Monmouth) 5.98”, and Raritan (Somerset) 5.42”. To demonstrate the local variability of the precipitation, four Bridgewater (Somerset) locations received 5.09”, 4.55”, 4.41” and 3.88”. Differences were even more pronounced over distances of several tens of miles. For instance, only 20 miles from Howell, rainfall totaled just 0.89” at Seaside Heights (Ocean) to the south and 2.42” in Rumson (Monmouth) to the north.

On the Mild and Dry Side: June 2014 Summary and Mid-Year Recap

July 4, 2014 - 5:17pm -- Dave Robinson

Flood photo in Stewartsville

Statewide, the first six months of 2014 averaged 45.8°. This is 2.2° below normal and ranks as the 31st coolest since 1895. It was the coolest start since 2003, which was 45.0° and ranked 15th. Before then you have to go back to 1982 (45.3°), which ranked 20th. The chilliest was 1907 at 43.2°.

Precipitation (rain and melted snow) averaged 24.76" across NJ from January through June. This total is 2.11" above normal and is 26th wettest. Since 2003, four January-June intervals have been wetter, including last year. 2011 ranked one notch drier at 27th. The wettest first half of the year was 1983 at 32.51".

Heat, Rain, and Tropical Storms: Your Fourth of July Forecast

July 2, 2014 - 2:35pm -- Tom Karmel

Will this 4th of July holiday bring stormy or sunny skies?  (Photo credit: Dan Zarrow, ONJSC, 3/6/13)

The Fourth of July embodies the meaning of summer. Whether on a serene beach in Barnegat Light or in a crowded suburban backyard, New Jerseyans (and all Americans) come together for the day to celebrate our nation through excessive eating, relaxation, fireworks, and sporting the red, white, and blue. We welcome the chance to barbeque with family and friends, and just like any gathering, there is a family member you avoid... Maybe it's the uncle that eats all the food... Or the aunt who chews your ear off with anecdotes... This year, however, you'll have to keep an eye on Mother Nature.

This Friday forecast looms ahead of us with a chance of showers, which is nothing unusual. These storms look as though they should pass around noon, as a cold front advances through our region. However the impending impact of separate tropical system is far from the usual, as Tropical Storm Arthur was officially confirmed Tuesday morning.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Arthur is sitting just off the east coast of Florida and is predicted to accelerate north along the coast reaching Nova Scotia by Saturday. There is a possibility for landfall in North Carolina’s Outer Banks as a hurricane on early Friday morning before turning northeast during the day due to aforementioned front pushing it off the coast. With a bulk of the storm activity on the east side of the circulation, it will most likely not impact our area with rain as it turns away from the coast.

Rutgers in the Big Ten: a tradition of athletics, academics, and WEATHER

June 30, 2014 - 9:53am -- Dan Zarrow

Rutgers University Football Stadium
High Point Solutions Stadium at Rutgers University. (Photo: Wikipedia)

On July 1, Rutgers University officially becomes a member of the Big Ten Conference. In doing so, the Scarlet Knights join thirteen other schools in the Big Ten, bringing with it "new opportunities for academic collaboration and athletic competition."

In addition to a long-standing tradition of outstanding athletics and academics, 10 of the 14 universities in the Big Ten are home to their respective state's climate office. Each state climatologist serves as a focal point for all activities pertaining to the weather and climate of their state. The Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist at Rutgers University is proud to be among some great climatological company in the Big Ten.

In the spirit of that friendly, scholastic competition, we are putting the 14 Big Ten schools head-to-head in a weather and climatology showdown! Which school in which city and which state is the hottest? The coldest? The wettest? The snowiest? Click to find out!

Snow and more snow: 2013-2014 snow season recap

June 19, 2014 - 4:48pm -- Dave Robinson

Snow in Echo Lake Park

The record book on the winter of 2013-2014 officially closes on June 30. Given the recent streak of hot weather, and the summer solstice this Saturday, we're confident it's safe to run the calculations on seasonal snow totals a few days early. Indeed it will be hard for many New Jersey residents to forget this very active, cold, and snowy winter.

From first flake to last, this past season ranked 7th snowiest of the past 120 years. The statewide average snowfall was 54.3”, which is 28.4” (or 210%) above average. The most snow fell up north but ranked lowest of the three regions (14th) due to its normally higher seasonal average. The south had the least snow but ranked 9th highest. This was the third season on record that each of the three divisions recorded over 50"; the other two occurred in 1898-99 and 1957-58. All regions shared the snow load similarly through January. Snow was more plentiful in northern and central areas in February. The situation was reversed, exceedingly so, in March, when three accumulating events impacted the south but missed the other two regions.

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