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An aerial view of a wildfire in Lakewood on March 14th
An aerial view of a wildfire in Lakewood (Ocean County) on March 14th. Photo from the New Jersey Forest Fire Service Facebook page.

With March being a transitional weather and climate month, there are often pronounced differences in conditions from one day or week to the next. The third month of 2021 did not disappoint in several such respects. Swings in barometric pressure as storms and high pressure systems swung through the Northeast led to 16 days with one or more Rutgers NJ Weather Network stations gusting to 40 mph or higher, with 11 of those days exceeding 50 mph. Maximum temperatures exceeded 65°on 12 days (two days had record highs in some locations), while minimum temperatures fell below 19° on 13 days. Walpack, situated in a Sussex County valley, recorded the state’s lowest (21°) and highest (67°) temperatures on a single day (22nd) and just missed this again on the 30th. There was a two-week interval with virtually no precipitation, culminating in several wildfires on the 14th, yet five events occurred where rain accumulated to 0.98” in one or more locations. Finally, a record of sorts was tied as the statewide average snowfall totaled 0.0”, something observed eight other Marches in the past 127 years. The past two Marches are the only ones with back-to-back zero totals.

Statewide precipitation averaged 4.03”, which is 0.18” below the 1991–2020 average*. This made for the 58th wettest (70th driest) since 1895. Northern NJ was driest, coming in at 3.28” (-0.73, 48th driest), the south averaged 4.47” (+0.15”, 42nd wettest), and the coast 4.68” (+0.26”, 38th wettest). The southeast saw the most rain and northeast and central regions the least (Figure 1).

March temperature average 43.9°, which is 2.9° above the 1991–2020 average and the 14th mildest on record. The average high was 54.7° (+3.8°, 13th mildest) and average low was 33.0° (+1.8°, 19th mildest). The north averaged 41.2° (+2.4°, 19th mildest), south 45.6° (+3.2°, 13th mildest), and the coast 45.1° (+2.9°, 13th mildest).

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
Lyndhurst, NJ 57
Stewartsville, NJ 55
Sea Girt, NJ 55
East Brunswick, NJ 55
Oceanport, NJ 55
City, State Temp
Walpack, NJ 46
High Point Monument, NJ 48
Kingwood, NJ 48
High Point, NJ 49
Wantage, NJ 49
most current information as of Apr 15 3:20 AM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

55°F

Wind

1 mph from the SSW

Wind Gust

4 mph from the SSE

Cloudy
38 °F
Heavy Rain and Patchy Fog
49 °F
Heavy Rain and Breezy
33 °F
Breezy. Rain/Snow then Chance Rain/Snow
41 °F
Mostly Clear
27 °F
Sunny
50 °F
Mostly Clear
30 °F
Sunny
56 °F
Mostly Clear
33 °F
Sunny
56 °F
Mostly Clear
36 °F
Sunny
60 °F
Partly Cloudy
40 °F
Mostly Cloudy
59 °F

Tonight

Cloudy, with a low around 38. Calm wind.

Thursday

Rain, mainly after 9am. The rain could be heavy at times. Patchy fog between 7am and 8am. High near 49. Light east wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Thursday Night

Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 33. Breezy, with a north wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Friday

Rain, possibly mixed with snow before 1pm, then a chance of rain. High near 41. Breezy, with a north wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Friday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 27. North wind 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 50.

Saturday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 30.

Sunday

Sunny, with a high near 56.

Sunday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 33.

Monday

Sunny, with a high near 56.

Monday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 36.

Tuesday

Sunny, with a high near 60.

Tuesday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 40.

Wednesday

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59.

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A Dreary Month, and Shades of Years Past: December and 2014 Annual Summary

January 5, 2015 - 9:58pm -- Dave Robinson

Coastal Flooding from Dec 9 Nor'easter

Clouds prevailed in this darkest month of the year, making for some rather persistent dreary conditions. Until the last week of the month there were only two days (the 4th and 7th) where the sun outperformed the clouds across NJ. At least the year ended on a bright note, with lots of sun during five of the last six days. With the clouds came a fair amount of precipitation, and given milder-than-normal conditions, the vast majority was in the form of rain. Statewide precipitation averaged 4.79". This is 0.88" above the 1981–2010 mean and ranks as the 27th wettest December since 1895. The mean temperature of 38.9° was 3.3° above average and ranked as the 15th warmest on record. Snowfall averaged 0.6", some 3.5" below average and ranked as the 19th least snowy December. A strong nor'easter brought strong winds, multiple inches of rain, minor to moderate coastal flooding, and beach erosion on the 9th.

ONJSC's Top 10 NJ Weather and Climate Events of 2014

January 4, 2015 - 12:00pm -- Dave Robinson

Snow removal at Metlife Stadium

Listed below is the Office of the NJ State Climatologist's ranking of the top 10 weather and climate events of 2014. 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 may have affected you more than others higher on the list. That's the enjoyment (and frustration!) of lists. This was the second consecutive year that was not too eventful for NJ weather and climate (goodness, we remain stunned by 2011 and 2012). Of course there is still plenty to talk about.

Winter Weather Trends: El Niño in New Jersey

December 19, 2014 - 4:41pm -- Jack McCarty

Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

As we have mentioned in our past evaluations of the El Niño’s significance in the summer and fall, we are back again to analyze the wintertime impacts of a developing El Niño on New Jersey weather. An El Niño occurs when warmer-than-average waters exist in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean, specifically near the equatorial latitudes. This warming is due to a weakening of winds moving to the west, which typically transport warmer waters to the western Pacific, permitting cooler water to upwell to the surface in the east. When these winds are weaker or if they reverse direction, warm water stays in the east. The warmer sea surface temperatures in the east and the altered atmospheric flow pattern create a new dynamic between the ocean and atmosphere. The newly formed interaction sets up distinct and repetitive weather patterns across the world. No two El Niño events are alike; they vary depending on the magnitude and location of where the largest temperature anomalies are found. However, each one tends to alter weather patterns outside the overall norm.

A Cool Damp Month, and All Things Considered, a Rather Average Season: November and Fall 2014 Recap

December 7, 2014 - 7:32pm -- Dave Robinson

Wantage snow Nov 27

While cooler conditions took some time to arrive in New Jersey this fall, once here they locked in for the most part, as the November average temperature of 41.9° was 3.7° below the 1981-2010 average. This ranks as the 24th coolest November of the past 120 years. November precipitation (rain and melted snow) averaged 4.58" across the state. This is 0.94" above average and ranks as 31st wettest. On two occasions measurable snow was reported in northern and central areas, with these regions, respectively, picking up 4.6" and 1.9" on average for the month, with over a foot accumulating at higher elevations. Despite no snow accumulating in the south, the statewide average was 1.7", which is 1.3" above average. It is only the second November to average above an inch since 1995, the other in 2012. A Thanksgiving eve storm delivered a white Thanksgiving to central and northern counties.

Mild With Some Beneficial Rain: October 2014 Recap

November 3, 2014 - 4:57pm -- Dave Robinson

Waterspout photo

The tenth month of 2014 bucked the recent tendency toward dry conditions in northern New Jersey and proved to be the warmest month compared to normal since October 2013. Statewide, the October average temperature of 57.0° was 2.2° above the 1981-2010 average. This ranks as the 23rd warmest (tied with 1955) in 120 years (since records began in 1895). The average precipitation across NJ was 3.78". This is 0.15" below the mean and ranks as the 51st wettest October. Rainfall was above average in what have been some of the driest northern counties since mid summer. Still, from Mercer and Middlesex counties northward, precipitation has only been 50-75% of normal the past three months. Thus this area is still considered "abnormally dry" on the US Drought Monitor map.

El Niño Potential: Fall Impacts

October 15, 2014 - 10:12pm -- Jack McCarty

Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

Early this past summer, we reported on the potential impacts of a developing El Niño event in the tropical Pacific on summertime weather in New Jersey. While El Niños can impact the weather worldwide, we found that New Jersey's weather doesn't fluctuate with an El Niño event. This year's summer (June-August) proved to be rather comfortable, with the statewide average temperature 0.8° below the 1981-2010 average , and precipitation 0.26” above the 1981-2010 average. These mild conditions replicated what we expect out of an El Niño summer. Now we’re back to tell you the story for the fall.

Increasingly Dry in the North: September 2014 Recap

October 6, 2014 - 3:04pm -- Dave Robinson

Dry grass

Combined with below-average precipitation in August, the northern half of New Jersey has become quite dry. Conversely, rainfall has been more common in the south, thus despite a drier-than-average September, the two-month total is slightly above average. Looking first at September, statewide precipitation averaged 2.82". This is 1.25" below the 1981-2010 average and ranks as the 46th driest September since 1895. From Hunterdon, Somerset, and Union counties northward, only 1.49" fell, which is 3.00" below average and ranks as 7th driest. The southern counties averaged 3.47", which is 0.40" below average and ranks as 56th wettest.

Heat Events in New Brunswick: A Climatological Analysis

September 16, 2014 - 1:27pm -- Jack McCarty

Heat wave photo

The summertime in New Jersey is characterized by warm temperatures that give some relief from cold and dreary wintertime conditions. However, amongst pleasant summer days, the atmosphere can align in a way that makes the heat on other days rather unbearable — something that we commonly refer to as a heat wave. Heat waves have a large impact on public health, utilities, infrastructure and more, which is why we often hear the media discussing heat waves across the nation. While heat waves may call for a day at the beach, they're also a cause for public concern.

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.

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