The first statewide nor'easter of the season on the 26th-27th provided much needed rainfall and kept the month from becoming one of the driest on record. Storm specifics are found below, confirming that this event accounted for the bulk of the statewide monthly average of 2.83" and at least temporarily staved off worsening drought conditions. This was 0.81" below the 1981-2010 normal and ranked as the 52nd driest of the past 119 years. Temperatures seesawed a fair bit but overall, colder than average conditions prevailed for the second consecutive November. The statewide average of 43.0° was 2.6° below normal and tied with 1906, 1919, 1940 and 1986 as the 36th coolest on record. Rather frequent frontal passages resulted in winds gusting to 40 mph or greater on twelve November days.
The first statewide nor’easter of the season soaked the Garden State on Tuesday and Wednesday the 26th-27th. Heavy rain, some northwest freezing rain, and strong winds contributed to holiday travel woes, though fortunately the worst conditions occurred during the overnight hours of Tuesday into Wednesday. The excellent National Weather Service forecasts had everyone aware of the potential storm days in advance, which helped in planning and preparation.
Following the past two October 29ths, it was wonderful to see sunny skies and seasonable maximum temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 40°s in the northwest to the low to mid 60°s in south this 29th. As a matter of fact, aside from a strong frontal passage blowing through the north on the 7th and a stubborn coastal storm impacting the south from the 9th-12th, conditions were quite tranquil throughout most of October 2013. A summer-like first week was the major contributor to the statewide monthly average temperature of 57.1° coming in 2.3° above normal. This ties with 1950 and 1951 as the 20th mildest October since statewide records commenced in 1895.
The first week of October was nothing but bizarre, or at least to most New Jerseyeans it seemed that way. The period included unseasonably warm weather, heavy rain, strong winds and even a tornado. It was all credited to a stationary front that held in position in Southern New York, which allowed warm air to enter the Garden State. The warm air was later pushed out, when a sharp and potent cold front from the Midwest set off severe storms and heavy rain in parts of the area.
September 2013 was the second consecutive month with the statewide average temperature coming in below normal. The 64.4° average was 1.8° below the 1981-2010 average. This ranks as the 40th coolest September since 1895, tied with 1920 and 1922, and the coolest since 1994.
Statewide precipitation averaged 2.40" in September. This is 1.67" below average and ranks as the 30th driest on record, tied with 1910. This is the first month since this past May with below-average precipitation.
At 3:40 AM this morning, Tuesday September 24, the temperature at the NJ Weather and Climate Network (NJWxNet) SafetyNet station in Walpack (Sussex County) fell to 32°. This marks the first freezing observation of the fall season at a New Jersey location. With dense cold air draining from the surrounding hillsides, this northwest valley location is commonly amongst the coldest locations in the 56-station NJWxNet constellation. The Walpack temperature vacillated between a minimum of 31° and 32° the rest of the night until climbing to 33° at 6:45. Walpack had previously fallen to a summer minimum of 33° this month on September 17th and 18th.
Other chilly locations this morning include Pequest (Warren) 33°, Basking Ridge (Somerset) 35°, and nine other NJWxNet stations between 37°-39°. Meanwhile, coastal stations at Harvey Cedars (Ocean) and West Cape May (Cape May) were the mildest locations at 49°.
After two warm and wet months to start off the summer of 2013, August provided an about face in the temperature department. The 71.6° statewide mean is 1.8° below the 1981-2010 average and ranks as the 41st coolest August since statewide records commenced in 1895. It was only 0.1° warmer than this past June. Precipitation averaged 4.50", which is 0.29" above normal and makes this the 51st wettest of the past 119 Augusts.
What a change from July. There were only four afternoons when the temperature was 90° or higher somewhere in the state, compared with 18 in July. The warmest it got was 93° at Harrison (Hudson County) on the 21st and only nine stations reached 90° at some point during the month, compared to most of the 50 NJWxNet stations reaching that mark in July.
July 2013 marked yet another in a lengthening sequence of hot mid-summer months across New Jersey. Most notable this year was the frequency of unusually warm nighttime temperatures. Accompanying the warmth and often excessive humidity were widely varying rainfall totals, which on a statewide basis averaged above the long-term mean. The statewide average temperature of 78.2° was 3.2° above average. This ranks as the 5th warmest July since records commenced in 1895. Remarkably, the most recent four Julys all are within the top six, with three other Julys from the last 20 years also populating the top 10.
The statewide average temperature of 78.2° was 3.2° above average. This ranks as the 5th warmest July since records commenced in 1895 (Table 1). Remarkably, the most recent four Julys all are within the top six, with three other Julys from the last 20 years also populating the top 10.
Garden State residents suffered through another heat wave last week, and at times it seemed like the unrelenting heat would never subside. A heat wave is unofficially defined as three or more consecutive days with the maximum temperature at or over 90°. This heat wave lasted seven days for many areas and furthermore, very high dew points (a measure of moisture in the air) made the heat index soar above 105°.
The heat wave began for many on Sunday, July 14, with stations in central and northeast Jersey, such as Haworth, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Howell, and Toms River all recording high temperatures in the low 90°s. Hawthorne was the hottest spot with a high temperature of 94°. Other stations recorded high temperatures in the upper 80°s. This combined with widespread dew points above 70° resulted in heat indices at or near 100°.
Mary Borsos walked toward her backdoor the morning of July 1 in Berkeley Heights (Union County) and noticed the rain falling in heavy sheets. “It didn't seem like anything unusual due to all the rain and thunderstorms we’ve had these past couple weeks.”
However, she quickly noticed the wind pick up, and took her three grandchildren a couple steps into the dining room away from windows. Within those couple steps, she heard trees begin to snap and branches pound the house. In what she described as “no more than two minutes”, Borsos’ yard was littered with downed trees, snapped power lines, and scattered outdoor furniture. Little did Borsos and many know, three towns encountered their first ever documented tornado.