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Brilliant fall foliage looking up towards High Point Monument (Sussex County) on October 22nd. Photo courtesy of Chris Stachelski.
Brilliant fall foliage looking up towards High Point Monument (Sussex County) on October 22nd. Photo courtesy of Chris Stachelski.

There are years when many say that New Jersey didn’t experience “classic” fall weather. This October is not one of those years, as the month included rain, wind, and coastal flooding from the persistent remnants of a hurricane, many locations received their first frost and freezing temperatures to end the growing season, and there were days with a cloud-free deep-blue sky. October certainly showed its true fall colors.

October temperatures averaged 54.1° across NJ. This is 1.3° below the 1991–2020 normal and was the coolest October since 2009. It was the 57th coolest (tied with 4 other years) of the 128 since 1895. The average high was 64.5° which is 1.3° below normal and is the 48th coolest (tied with 3 years). The average low of 43.6° is 1.3° below normal and ranks 65th coolest (tied with 4 years). Northern NJ averaged 52.1° (-1.2°, 59th coolest [tied with 2 years]), southern 55.1° (-1.4°, 56th coolest [tied with 3 years]), and coastal 56.6° (-1.0°, 70th coolest [tied with 1 year]).

Rainfall was abundant, averaging 6.45” statewide. This is 2.26” above normal and ranks 10th wettest on record. It was the wettest since the record October 2005. Ten different decades are found in the top 15 years. The north averaged 5.88” (+1.43”, 21st wettest), south 6.75” (+2.72”, 6th wettest), and coast 7.53” (+3.44”, 3rd wettest). Coastal Monmouth, Ocean, and Atlantic counties were wettest, coming in at two to three times normal totals. While coming in close to normal, the driest areas were in the north central, far southern, and southwest regions.

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
West Cape May, NJ 45
Atlantic City Marina, NJ 44
Harvey Cedars, NJ 41
Little Egg Harbor Twp., NJ 41
Seaside Heights, NJ 41
City, State Temp
Basking Ridge, NJ 26
Hopewell Twp., NJ 26
Pequest, NJ 27
Berkeley Twp., NJ 27
Walpack, NJ 28
most current information as of Nov 29 10:05 PM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

31°F

Wind

1 mph from the N

Wind Gust

1 mph from the ENE

Mostly Cloudy
31 °F
Showers and Breezy
59 °F
Showers Likely and Breezy then Clear
30 °F
Sunny
44 °F
Mostly Clear
25 °F
Sunny
47 °F
Partly Cloudy
33 °F
Chance Showers and Breezy
58 °F
Chance Showers then Partly Cloudy
35 °F
Sunny
48 °F
Partly Cloudy then Chance Snow Showers
30 °F
Chance Rain/Snow
51 °F
Chance Showers
41 °F
Chance Showers
58 °F

Tonight

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. Southeast wind around 5 mph.

Wednesday

Showers, mainly after 10am. High near 59. Breezy, with a southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Wednesday Night

Showers likely, mainly before 7pm. Mostly cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around 30. Breezy, with a west wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Thursday

Sunny, with a high near 44. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.

Thursday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 25. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light after midnight.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 47.

Friday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 33.

Saturday

A chance of showers after 8am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Breezy. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Saturday Night

A chance of showers before 8pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 35. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 48.

Sunday Night

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

Monday

A chance of rain and snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 51. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Monday Night

A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Tuesday

A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

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Low-lying radiation fog crossing the road in Sparta on the morning of September 24th.

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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.

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.

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