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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 3:59 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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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

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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.

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Grass photo

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

Dry Reservior

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

Flooding photo

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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.

Drought? What Drought?: June 2015 Recap

July 4, 2015 - 7:34pm -- Dave Robinson

Roll Cloud photo

Toward the end of May, the threat of a significant drought loomed over the Garden State, as May proved to be the 3rd driest on record. Crops were in bad shape or not growing at all, and reservoir levels were declining at a faster than seasonal rate. However, New Jersey had yet to reach the point where average and timely rainfall could not remedy the situation. Not only was this prescription filled, it was done in abundance. June rainfall averaged 8.21" across NJ. This was 4.19" above the 1981-2010 normal and ranked 4th wettest since 1895 (Table 1). It joined four other Junes in the past 13 years to rank in the top eight over this 121-year period. As explained in last month's report, the rains that fell during the daytime and evening hours of May 31st factored into the June total, much as the localized afternoon and evening rains on June 30th (discussed below) will count toward the July total.

Third Warmest and Driest as Drought Concerns Arise, and a Pronounced Transition: May and Spring 2015 Recap

June 4, 2015 - 8:52pm -- Dave Robinson

Sea fog photo

May 2015 was a warm and dry month across New Jersey. As the month ended, drought concerns were looming large, though rainfall in the north during the afternoon and evening of the 31st and continuing into the first days of June resulted in at least a temporary braking of the downward slide. Based on data gathered at long-term National Weather Service Cooperative Observing (COOP) stations, May rainfall averaged 1.08" across NJ. This is 2.92" below the 1981-2010 mean and ranks as the 3rd driest May since records commenced in 1895.

As those who have been reading these monthly narratives for some time now know, precipitation that falls at COOP stations after observation time on the last day of the month gets recorded as falling on the first day of the next month. Most COOP stations observe in the morning, thus the heavy showers that fell across north Jersey on the 31st were not factored into this May average, except for a few stations such as Newark Airport (which registered 3.83" on the 31st alone) that observe at midnight. The last time this situation had a notable impact on monthly rainfall was a daytime heavy rain event on April 30, 2014.

Drought Invading New Jersey

May 28, 2015 - 11:14am -- Dave Robinson

30-Day Percent of Normal Precipitation

Whether it is a browning lawn, dry garden soil, or pollen that hasn’t washed off your car in weeks, many of us in New Jersey have recognized that the state is in the midst of an extended period of very meager rainfall. Along with the aforementioned impacts, the flow of water in streams and ground water levels as monitored in wells are below, and in some cases, well below seasonal levels. While it is fortunate that surface reservoirs in northern and central NJ are close to seasonal levels (quite full), there is less water than normal flowing into them and early season lawn watering is drawing water out of them at an unseasonable pace.

Advice provided by our office, by those within the National Weather Service and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, and by others associated with the weekly US Drought Monitor has led to this week’s Monitor map depicting the northern third of NJ in D1 (defined as moderate drought) and the remainder of the state down to around the Atlantic City Expressway in D0 (abnormally dry). D1 can be expected to occur once every 5-10 years during a particular month, while D0 can be found every 3-5 years. While the type of conditions being experienced in parts of NJ right now are drought like, I am hesitant to call the north in “moderate” drought, and would prefer saying “minor” drought. However, this is the definition of the nomenclature decided upon by a national committee, thus within the Monitor map it is “moderate” in the north.

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