2nd Named Storm of the 2016 Season Washes Away Beach Day for Many
The official start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season is still a couple of days away, and already we have two named storms on the board. Alex formed in January as a rare out of season storm, and over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Bonnie emerged off the Southeastern coast of the United States as the second storm of the season.
Bonnie became a depression on Friday afternoon some 435 miles to the Southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The emergence came after almost a full work week of speculation that something would emerge in the Western Atlantic. A disturbance spun up in the Bahamas earlier in the week, and the models were indicating that it would eventually come ashore as a tropical cyclone of some kind.
Despite the less than optimal conditions that are commonplace this time of year, the depression battled its way to become Tropical Storm Bonnie within 24 hours on late Saturday afternoon. Within six hours, Bonnie strengthened a bit more to have maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (mph). The storm peaked at that point, and weakened back to a depression just before landfall at 8:45 AM EDT on Sunday morning.
The downgraded system came ashore to the east of Charleston, South Carolina in the Isle of Palms. Winds at that time were 35 mph with gusts up to 40 mph while the barometric pressure rose to 1009 millibars or 29.80 inches of Hg. Although it weakened, the depression still packed a wallop with torrential rains for much of South Carolina, and then it moved up toward the north and spread its rains into North Carolina and Virginia.
As the storm moved northward, it created instability throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic where potent showers and thunderstorms dumped heavy rains on places such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. At Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey, there was 0.82 inches of rain during the overnight hours of Memorial Day. Much of the precipitation from Bonnie still laid to the south of GWC.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie is currently joining forces with a cold front pushing in from the west. Currently the front is producing heavy showers and thunderstorms in portions of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Northwestern New Jersey. Bands of showers lay to the south and east over coastal and Southern New Jersey thanks to the Northeast track of what’s left of Bonnie. All of this created unstable conditions throughout the holiday, and opened the possibility for severe weather here in the Garden State.
Earlier in the day on Monday, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma put portions of the Northeast under a marginal risk for severe weather. The area included a slice of Northwestern New Jersey. Things should clear out for the start of the work week with cooler temperatures after a four day heat wave dominated the holiday weekend in New Jersey.
Four Straight Days of 90 Plus Degree Heat Signals Torrid Summer Ahead
The heat and humidity has returned to the Garden State with a vengeance in 2016. After three years of relatively cooler temperatures during the summer months, New Jersey was treated to a preview of what could be a torrid summer ahead with a heat spell that saw temperatures climb to 90 degrees and above for four consecutive days.
The peak was on Saturday when the Mercury climbed to 93 degrees at GWC in South Plainfield, the second warmest temperature during the month of May in the last five years. The warmest day in May recorded at GWC since 2011 occurred in 2013 when the thermometer rocketed up to 93.5 degrees. The heat started to become a factor last Wednesday, when the high temperature reached 88 degrees at GWC.
Then, on both Thursday and Friday, the mercury hit 91 degrees. Add to that heat indices that we well up into the upper 90s and over 100, and conditions felt much like that on the Fourth of July holiday weekend rather than Memorial Day Weekend. After Saturday’s high of 93 degrees with a heat index of 104, things cooled a bit on Sunday with the high temperature only getting up to 90 at GWC.
With the landfall of Tropical Depression Bonnie along the South Carolina coast Saturday night into early Sunday, and an approaching cold front, the heat wave will be snapped on Monday. Temperatures at GWC have only gotten up into the low 80s with the sun battling clouds all day today. The heat index was as high as 86 during the afternoon while the dew point climbed up to 72. So, although conditions cleared out after the overnight rain, there is still plenty of moisture around.
Speaking of moisture, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has put portions of New Jersey as well as parts of New York and New England under a marginal risk for severe weather today. With moisture from the remnants of Bonnie still to the south and a cold front approaching from the west, the ingredients are still there for some active weather this afternoon. Conditions have been very muggy all day with dew points in the lower 70s, and with the sun coming out in the early afternoon, there’s plenty of fuel being added to the fire.
Overnight, there were some heavy showers and thunderstorms that moved through portions of Central Jersey including Middlesex County. The rain gauge at GWC reported 0.82 inches of rain, which is the highest total for one day of rainfall so far this month. With the overnight rain, GWC has now tallied 3.40 inches of rain, which is the most rainfall since May 2012 when there was 3.56 inches. Three years ago, there was 3.26 inches at GWC. The combination of the recent heatwave, and the significant rainfall this month could be signals of a above normal summer in both temperature and rainfall.
With the decline of the most recent episode of the El Niño and the beginning of a new La Niña, we could be seeing the beginning stages of what could be a very hot summer with a lot of rain. Back in 2011 and 2012, conditions were well above normal in terms of temperature and rainfall here at GWC in South Plainfield, and those years were during La Niña episodes.
Storm Forecast to Dump Over an Inch of Rain on Saturday
Earlier this week, we discussed how recent rains helped slow down the dry weather that had dominated much of the first third of 2016. Since May 1st, Greg’s Weather Center has received 1.84 inches of rain for a year to date total of 11.49 inches. About a third of of May’s monthly rainfall came in one day. On the way though is a storm that will bring a good deal more than that.
A coastal low has been gaining steam over the last 24 to 36 hours, and it is forecast to move through the Mid-Atlantic including the Garden State starting on Saturday afternoon. It is expected to not only cause a big mess at the 2016 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, but also bring between an inch to an inch and a half to the NYC metro area. Heavy rain is expected to produce a very sloppy field for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
At the beginning of the week, the forecast models indicated that the storm was going to move through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The forecast held until Thursday when some of the models showed some doubt by indicating that the low would stay further to the south, and only bring heavy rainfall to South Jersey. Prospects changed on Friday when the models went back to their earlier prognostication, and brought the storm further north through New Jersey, NYC metro, and Long Island.
As of right now (1:49 PM EDT on Saturday afternoon, May 21st), skies are just overcast. No rain has fallen yet. Temperature has been steady for the past couple hours at 63 degrees. Humidity is at 58 percent for a dew point of 47. Barometer has been falling sharply at 30.02 inches of Hg. Winds are light. However, expect those conditions to change as the low pushes toward our region. The NWS Mount Holly office indicates the heaviest rain will fall between 2:00 and 5:00 PM this afternoon. Rainfall amounts during that time could be as high as six tenths of an inch.
The rain could linger around in the form of showers for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as well. The sun may not make a comeback until mid-week with temperatures climbing into the low 80s by Wednesday and Thursday.
Rainfall Over Past Couple Weeks Has Slowed Down Dry Spell
A little over two weeks ago, I posted an article in the GWC and Hurricaneville blog about much needed soaking rains coming to New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic. While those rains weren’t as significant as originally expected, it began two week period of beneficial rains that have helped to ease the drought concerns in New Jersey.
Since the very beginning of May, there has been 1.83 inches of rainfall here at GWC in South Plainfield. Prior to that, there had only been 0.86 inches of rain for the month of April at GWC, and 9.65 inches for the year. Now, the total rainfall for the year is at 11.48 inches. Although the recent rains were part of a gloomy and chilly weather pattern over the last 14 days, they proved to be very helpful.
A lot of this had to do with the fact that there had been a blocking pattern set up over much of the country. Over the last two weeks of April, there was a lot of nice weather with plenty of sun, and warmer temperatures across the Garden State and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic. Meanwhile, further west in the Plains, there were days and days of torrential rainfall in places such as Houston while further north near Dallas, there was severe weather in the form of tornadoes and hail.
The block shifted east eventually, but the weather wasn’t as severe. A week or so ago, there was nothing but clouds with some occasional light to moderate rainfall. There wasn’t any significant rainfall of over an inch, but one of the days last week, there was a decent rain of approximately two thirds of an inch. Now, these kind of blocking patterns are not unusual for this time of year, which is why Springtime is always a period of a variety of weather.
Some days will either give you a feeling that Spring has finally sprung, or summer is around the corner. Other days will make you ask yourself are we in May, or in the end of March or early April. Spring is a lot like fall in that it is a transitional season. They only difference is that Spring is on the way up from winter to summer while Fall is on the way down from summer to winter. Both seasons always have a great deal of variation in weather.
Here is a timeline of weather conditions at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey over a period of 48 hours as the Mid-Atlantic got a one two punch from cold fronts.
May 13, 2016
8:48 AM–Stepped outside for a moment. Skies are overcast. No rain yet.
9:50 AM–Took a look at some things regarding the weather on Facebook. Joe Cioffi of FIOS1 and PIX11 indicated that there will be two cold fronts coming through the area over the next couple days. The first one is scheduled to come through on Friday afternoon, and originally this front was less likely to produce severe storms, but now the NAM model is indicating that it could be stronger. The second front is supposed to come through on Saturday afternoon after skies are forecasted to be sunny all day. The Weather Channel app indicated that rain is likely be 2:00 PM, and its radar showed a line of showers and storms in Central Pennsylvania. Looking at the latest conditions at GWC in South Plainfield, temperature is up to 64 degrees. Humidity is high at 87 percent. Barometer is falling at 29.86 inches of Hg. Winds are calm. Total rainfall so far this month at GWC is 1.44 inches while for the year, it is 11.09 inches.
12:45 PM–Just returned from my workout at South Amboy’s Waterfront Park. Conditions were mostly overcast with a little bit of fog just off the coast. Sun tried to peak out for a bit, but skies remained mostly cloudy. Slight wind out of the East and Southeast.
1:19 PM–Hazardous Weather Outlook from NWS Mount Holly suggests that there could be a few storms with heavy rain this afternoon…
Hazardous Weather Outlook
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
325 AM EDT FRI MAY 13 2016
NEW CASTLE-KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-DELAWARE BEACHES-CECIL-KENT MD-
MIDDLESEX-WESTERN MONMOUTH-EASTERN MONMOUTH-MERCER-SALEM-GLOUCESTER-
CAMDEN-NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-OCEAN-CUMBERLAND-ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-
ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY-COASTAL ATLANTIC-COASTAL OCEAN-
PHILADELPHIA-WESTERN CHESTER-EASTERN CHESTER-WESTERN MONTGOMERY-
EASTERN MONTGOMERY-UPPER BUCKS-LOWER BUCKS-
325 AM EDT FRI MAY 13 2016
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR CENTRAL DELAWARE…NORTHERN
DELAWARE…SOUTHERN DELAWARE…NORTHEAST MARYLAND…CENTRAL NEW
JERSEY…NORTHERN NEW JERSEY…NORTHWEST NEW JERSEY…SOUTHERN NEW
JERSEY…EAST CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA AND SOUTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA.
.DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT.
A FEW STORMS WITH HEAVY RAIN WILL BE POSSIBLE THROUGH THIS
AFTERNOON WHICH COULD LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLOODING IN POOR DRAINAGE
.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY.
THE PROBABILITY FOR WIDESPREAD HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS LOW.
.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT…
SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS NOT EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.
1:20 PM–The NWS Mount Holly Short Term Forecast indicates that rain is beginning to overspread the area.
SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
1216 PM EDT FRI MAY 13 2016
NEW CASTLE-KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-DELAWARE BEACHES-CECIL-KENT MD-
SOMERSET-MIDDLESEX-WESTERN MONMOUTH-EASTERN MONMOUTH-MERCER-SALEM-
ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY-COASTAL ATLANTIC-
COASTAL OCEAN-SOUTHEASTERN BURLINGTON-CARBON-MONROE-BERKS-LEHIGH-
NORTHAMPTON-DELAWARE-PHILADELPHIA-WESTERN CHESTER-EASTERN CHESTER-
WESTERN MONTGOMERY-EASTERN MONTGOMERY-UPPER BUCKS-LOWER BUCKS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…WILMINGTON…DOVER…GEORGETOWN…
SOMERVILLE…NEW BRUNSWICK…FREEHOLD…SANDY HOOK…TRENTON…
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE…OCEAN CITY…ATLANTIC CITY…
LONG BEACH ISLAND…WHARTON STATE FOREST…JIM THORPE…
PHILADELPHIA…HONEY BROOK…OXFORD…WEST CHESTER…
1216 PM EDT FRI MAY 13 2016
AT 1215 PM…RAIN SHOWERS WERE OVERSPREADING THE AREA FROM THE
SOUTH AND WEST. THESE RAIN SHOWERS WILL PERSIST THROUGH THE MID-
AFTERNOON HOURS…PRODUCING GENERALLY UP TO ONE-QUARTER OF AN
INCH OF PRECIPITATION. UP TO ONE-HALF OF AN INCH IS POSSIBLE IN A
FEW HEAVIER DOWNPOURS.
1:30 PM–Rain has begun to fall here at GWC in South Plainfield. Falling at a steady and somewhat light rate.
3:01 PM–Still getting a steady light to moderate rain. So far, there has been 0.06 inches of rain for the day at GWC. Temperature is currently at 66 degrees with 94 percent humidity. Barometer is falling at 29.76 inches and the winds are calm.
4:06 PM–Rain has finally begun to come down more intensely. Could hear the pitter patter of it on the roof for clearly than before. Went outside and shot a video clip of it, and posted it to the GWC Facebook page. So far, about 0.12 inches of rain has fallen here at GWC. Temperature down to 65 degrees with the humidity up to 95 percent. Barometer still falling at 29.75 inches of Hg, and the winds are calm.
5:00 PM–The rain has let up just a little bit, but it is still falling steadily. Total rain so far today is up to 0.24 inches. For the month, we have had 1.69 inches, and for the year, GWC has totaled 11.34 inches of rainfall. Temperature steady at 65 degrees. Humidity up a bit to 96 percent. Barometer still falling at 29.74 inches of Hg. Winds remain calm.
8:35 PM–Rain has stopped. Went outside a while ago to do a time lapse video of the clouds breaking up before sunset. Received a total of 0.34 inches of rain. The total for the month is now up to 1.78 inches. Total for the year is now up to 11.43 inches. Temperature dropped a bit to 64 degrees. Humidity is up to 97 percent. Barometer steady at 29.75 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
11:58 PM–Stepped outside for a brief moment. Plenty of moisture in the air in the form of some fog. Temperature is up to 61 degrees. Humidity is up to 98 percent. Barometer is steady at 29.78 inches of Hg. Got another 0.01 of an inch of rain for 0.35 inches of rain for today.
May 14, 2016
9:30 AM–Just came in from outside. Set up the time lapse video for today. Skies are sunny, mostly clear and blue. Only hint of clouds are some faint high cirrus.
10:50 AM–Just took a look at the NWS Mount Holly and Storm Prediction Center web sites. Mount Holly has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for a line of storms that could produce severe weather including gusty winds this afternoon. SPC still has the Mid-Atlantic and New Jersey under a Marginal Risk for severe weather.
10:53 AM–Took a look at the GWC WX Station data. Temperature is up to 69 degrees. Humidity is at 59 percent for a dew point of only 54. Barometer is falling though at 29.72 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
12:11 PM–At Edison Park behind Middlesex County College. Skies are still sunny, but winds have picked up a bit and more cirrus and some small puffy cumulus clouds have developed.
1:18 PM–Just came home from my workout at Edison Park. Skies are continuing to get more overcast. Cirrus has been overtaken by a lot of cumulus. Not quite cumulus congestus. Still have some blue sky to fill in. Temperature is 74 degrees with a humidity of 53 percent for a dew point of 55. Barometer now falling sharply at 29.67 inches of Hg. Winds are still calm to light at GWC.
3:20 PM–Took another step outside to check the time lapse video and do a backyard weather report for Facebook page, and give another radar update. Outside, there was some sun, but it was shrouded in altostratus clouds giving a milky white effect to the sky. The leading edge of the showers and storms are moving through Eastern Pennsylvania. Rain and storms should be here at GWC in the next two hours or so. Temperature up to 74 degrees. Humidity is down to 49 percent for a dew point of 53. Barometer falling more rapidly at 29.61 inches of Hg. Winds are now picking up a bit to 5 to 10 mph.
4:52 PM–Just was outside. Skies are sunny, but there are clouds around. Checked the local radar, and saw that the line of showers and storms have moved into the western portions of Jersey with some strong cells near Rieglesville, Frenchtown, and Erwinna in Hunterdon County. The line is heading to the east. Temperature outside is up to 76 degrees with humidity down to 44 percent for a dew point of 52. Barometer continues to fall rapidly though at 29.57 inches of Hg. Winds are light around 5 mph.
5:43 PM–Conditions have deteriorated somewhat outside. Winds have picked up quite considerably and the skies have darkened in the last 50 minutes or so. Winds are anywhere between 10 to 20 mph. Temperature has dropped to 68 degrees. Humidity up to 57 percent. Barometer steady at 29.62 inches of Hg. No rain yet.
7:42 PM–Winds have slackened. Temperature down to 58 degrees. Humidity still up there at 90 percent for a dew point of 56. Barometer is now rising at 29.61 inches of Hg. Only had 0.01 inches of rain so far. Skies are still overcast.
11:55 PM–Winds are picking up again as high pressure begins to move in. Not much in the way of rain. Temperature is down to 56 degrees. Humidity down to 67 percent for a dew point of 45. Barometer steady at 29.65 inches of Hg.
Here is a timeline of weather conditions at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey over a period of 48 hours while a storm system that brought much needed soaking rains came through.
April 30, 2016
10:50 AM–Stepped outside to set up the time lapse video. Skies are mostly overcast, but with some patches of blue sky. Feels a bit chilly outside.
1:00 PM–Returned from taking a walk and run. More sunshine and blue sky out than it was earlier.
4:00 PM–Have had a mix of sun and clouds during the course of the day at GWC in South Plainfield. Temperature up to 60 degrees with 51% humidity. Barometer steady at 30.16 inches of Hg. Winds are light. Soaking rain expected tomorrow.
4:45 PM–Checked the weather data for the month and saw that only 0.86 inches of rain has fallen at GWC in South Plainfield. For the year, there has only been 9.65 inches of rain.
5:45 PM–Completed an article for the GWC blog on the soaking rains on the way for GWC and the rest of New Jersey on Sunday. Storm system looks like it will bring much needed rain. NWS office in Mount Holly gives a 20 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday night, and a 90 percent chance on Sunday. There could also be some left over rain on Monday.
5:53 PM–Looking back at the rainfall through the first four months of 2015, there was only 1.63 inches of rain during the month of April, and 10.18 inches from January to April. We’re running below those totals so far this month and this year.
8:42 PM–Went back outside to turn off the time lapse video. A bit chilly outside, but no rain yet.
11:59 PM–Watching the NBA playoffs and working on another site. Temperature is up to 49 degrees. Humidity at 69 percent. Barometer steady at 30.22 inches of Hg. Winds are calm. No rain yet.
May 1, 2016
8:00 AM–Woke up. Skies are cloudy. No rain has fallen yet.
10:00 AM–Rain is now falling. Only 0.04 inches has fallen so far. Went outside and checked the rain gauge outside. Cleared any debris in there. Rain is falling moderately.
11:16 AM–Stepped outside after filling out an application and taking an assessment for a job. Rain falling steadily. Checked latest data at the GWC WX Station. Temperature is 47 degrees. Humidity is at 93 percent. Barometer is steady at 30.17 inches of Hg. Total rainfall thus far is 0.17 inches.
12:22 PM–Took another peek outside and at the GWC Weather Station’s console. Rain still falling steadily. Temperature is 48 degrees. Humidity is at 95 percent. Barometer falling at 30.14 inches of Hg. Total rainfall is up to 0.22 inches.
3:05 PM–Just took a step outside. Rain has stopped, but conditions are still cloudy, damp, and chilly. Temperature outside is 49 degrees. Humidity is at 93 percent. Barometer is falling at 30.11 inches. Winds are light at about 10 mph. Total rainfall is still only 0.22 inches.
4:43 PM–Took another step outside. Remains chilly, cloudy, damp, and dreary. Temperature down slightly to 48 degrees. Humidity steady at 93 percent. Barometer still falling at 30.08 inches. Winds light at about 5 mph. Hasn’t rained since about noon. Total rainfall remains at 0.22 inches.
8:15 PM–Just returned from going outside for a walk. Still chilly and damp outside. No rain falling though.
11:59 PM–Looked outside. Road is a bit damp. However, when I looked at the data from the GWC WX Station, no more measurable rain fell. Temperature is at 46 degrees. Humidity up to 96 percent. Barometer steady at 30.05 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
May 2, 2016
9:45 AM–Just took a step outside. Skies are overcast with a little bit of fog. Feels a bit chilly out as well. Temperature is up slightly from last night to 48 degrees after a low of 45. Humidity is up a bit as well to 97 percent. Barometer has fallen to 29.97 inches of Hg. Winds are calm. Did receive another 0.01 inches of rain for a total of 0.23 since the storm began. So far this year, GWC has received 9.88 inches of rain.
2:30 PM–Returned home from a workout at Edison Park behind Middlesex County College. There was no rain, but skies were overcast. Towards the end of the workout, the sun appeared to try to peek through. Light winds.
8:45 PM–Checked Accu-Weather, and there appears to be another storm system heading in the direction of the Garden State from the south and west, and is expected to bring some rain overnight into tomorrow.
9:14 PM–Checked the GWC WX Station. Temperature is 54 degrees. Humidity is at 93 percent. Barometer is steady at 29.89 inches of Hg. So far today, there has been 0.01 inches of rain. NWS has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for portions of Virginia. Strong thunderstorm capable of producing hail moving through Washington D.C. Area.
10:47 PM–Watching Accu-Weather again. Large complex of heavy showers and storms moving southwest to northeast towards GWC. Could see severe weather with embedded thunderstorms containing 45 to 50 mph winds around 6:30 AM on Tuesday morning. Temperature steady at 54 degrees. Humidity up slightly to 95 percent. Barometer rising at 29.91 inches of Hg. Winds are calm. No rain yet.
May 3, 2016
12:11 AM–Started to hear something like rain coming down outside. Checked out the window, and rain was indeed falling. GWC WX Station console read that it was “Raining Cats and Dogs.” Temperature still steady at 54 degrees. Humidity up to 97 percent. Barometer steady at 29.91 inches of Hg. WInds are light. Total rainfall is up to 0.19 inches already. Yearly total now above 10 inches at 10.07.
10:51 AM–Finally got myself out of bed. Checked the weather station. Received almost another quarter of an inch here at GWC in South Plainfield. Temperature is at 53 degrees. Humidity at 97 percent. Barometer is steady at 29.82 inches of Hg. WInds are calm. Total rainfall for the day stands at 0.42 inches thus far. For the year, GWC has received 10.52 inches.
10:55 AM–Just stepped outside to take a look at things. Road is damp, and there is a light and steady rain falling.
2:49 PM–Came back from workout and doing some errands. Was a bit misty out when I left for Edison Park before noon. Didn’t get any additional rainfall here. Just overcast now. Temperature up slightly to 54 degrees. Humidity down a tad to 96 percent. Barometer has fallen slightly to 29.79 inches of Hg. Winds are light. Total rainfall for today remains at 0.42 inches. Rain total for the last three days is 0.65 inches. Rainfall for the year is up to 10.52 inches.
11:30 PM–Day coming to an end. No measurable rainfall since the early afternoon. Only 0.42 inches for the day.
Rains Will Hopefully Ease the Drought Concerns in the Garden State
After a roller coaster ride of weather over the first two weeks of April that consisted of dramatic swings in temperature, and a variety of conditions from thunderstorms to high winds to snow, the Central Jersey area as well as the rest of the Garden State has enjoyed a good stretch of whether over the last half of April. There have been some hiccups along the way, but overall we’ve had it good.
Almost too good too. So far this April, the weather station at Greg’s Weather Center has also received a total of 0.86 inches of rain. For the year, there has only been about 9.65 inches of precipitation. Much of that occurred during the Blizzard of 2016 over the weekend of January 23rd. New Jersey is not alone either. Much of the Mid-Atlantic has been dry, and is in need of a good soaking rain.
Mother Nature is about to oblige. A storm system in the Midwest is heading east, and will begin to affect Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland late Saturday night. New Jersey and the New York City metro area will begin to see the rain on Sunday morning. The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey indicates a 20 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday night going up to a 90 percent chance on Sunday, and a chance of lingering showers on Monday.
This storm system has had a history of producing some rough weather in the Plains, which has been pummeled by all kinds of severe weather this month. Oklahoma is cleaning up from tornadoes that passed through the area on Friday while Texas had its fair share of severe storms producing vivid lightning and lots of hail. While conditions have been mostly tranquil in the Garden State, they did get a bit interesting on Tuesday afternoon.
With a cold front diving into some relatively warm and humid air for this time of year, thunderstorms developed from Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southeastern New York down to Maryland and Delaware. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9:00 PM. These storms eventually moved southward and eastward into the Garden State causing the NWS office in Mount Holly to issue alerts and Special Weather Statements.
The heaviest weather came through Northern New Jersey, and moved across NYC and Long Island by 5:00 PM. Another strong storm came out of the Trenton and Hamilton area in Mercer County and moved eastward across Southern Middlesex, Monmouth, and Northern Burlington and Ocean County. More clusters of storms blazed a trail across Southern Jersey to near Atlantic City and Long Beach Island. Fortunately, GWC and much of Middlesex County was spared of these storms.
The close call is a harbinger of things to come as we move into the Severe Weather Season in New Jersey. Expect the conditions for severe weather to ramp up through the month of May and into June and July as the weather keeps getting warmer. However, this storm system and a potential nor’easter that the long range models are hinting at for late next week are reminders that it is still early Spring, and weather conditions will still tend to fluctuate back towards winter.
Here is a weather timeline kept at GWC in South Plainfield as severe weather developed during the day on Tuesday.
3:13 AM–Round One. Woke up to the sound of the wind picking up. Then I saw flashes of lightning. The wind was so strong that it blew the back door open, and it was locked. Closed the back door. Rain coming down fairly hard.
3:16 AM–The Weather Channel App indicating that the NWS Office in Mount Holly issued a Special Weather Statement for a Gust Front moving through portions of Middlesex, Monmouth and Mercer counties. Checked the radar, and there was a fairly impressive cluster of thunderstorms that had just passed through.
8:00 AM–Woke up. Checked the conditions outside. Skies are overcast. Only received 0.04 inches of rain from the storm overnight.
9:13 AM–Checked the conditions outside again. Sun is out. Still some overcast though. Temperature is at 59 degrees with the humidity at 84 percent. Winds are calm, but the barometer is falling sharply at 29.67 inches of Hg. The Weather Channel app indicated that there could be severe weather today, and thunderstorms possible around 2:15 PM. Wind gusted to 33 mph overnight.
10:06 AM–Stepped outside for a few moments. Skies becoming more overcast. Checked the radar a while ago, and noticed a strong line of storms moving west to east through Northeastern Pennsylvania and New York. A bit chilly outside. NWS Mount Holly issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for possible strong storms with hail and high winds this afternoon. Temperature is up to 61 degrees. Humidity at 80 percent. WInds are still calm, but the barometer has dropped a bit more to 29.66 inches of Hg.
11:06 AM–Departed Washington Rock in Green Brook where skies were mostly cloudy.
11:30 AM–Just left Watchung Lake, where skies were mostly overcast with some sprinkles.
12:15 PM–Leaving Washington Valley Park in Martinsville where clouds had just moved out and blue skies reappeared.
12:45 PM–Moving out from Colonial Park in Somerset, where skies were mostly sunny, but with some cirrocumulus. TWC radar indicated thunderstorms developing in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
1:45 PM–About to leave Round Valley near Lebanon in Hunterdon County. Things are beginning to get interesting with more cirrocumulus and cumulus cloud build-up with a little bit more of a breeze. Radar now showing storms extending southward in Eastern Pennsylvania near Allentown.
2:14 PM–Leaving Spruce Run in Northern Hunterdon County off Route 31 outside Lebanon. More grey and overcast skies are moving. A bit more breezy too with some sprinkles. Severe Thunderstorm Watch now in effect until 9:00 PM. Wind gusts up to 70 mph and hail up to 1″ in diameter possible.
3:11 PM–Just arrived home. Have a mixture of sun, blue sky, cirrocumulus clouds, and cumulus. Had some light rain fall as I was leaving Spruce Run. Temperature up to 78 with humidity at 48 percent for a few point of 58. Winds are light, but barometer continues to fall at 29.57 inches of Hg.
4:00 PM–Leaving South Plainfield’s Spring Lake Park. Had a lot of cumulus clouds overhead. Skies are looking more threatening, but no rain. TWC reported a lightning strike 19 miles away to the South-Southeast.
4:45 PM–Heading out of South Amboy’s Waterfront Park to get on Route 35 for Keyport. Skies did get quite dark for a while, but then the clouds broke apart and the sun came out. Still a good deal of cumulus to the north. Quite windy with an early fetch off Raritan Bay that made things chilly. No rain.
5:15 PM–Leaving Keyport. Still a Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect until 9:00 PM. Storms from North Jersey have now pushed through New York City. However, conditions in Central Jersey appear to be stabilizing. Skies are clearing although there is a patch of clouds with beams of sunlight over Matawan Creek. No rain.
6:00 PM–Just arrived home. Barometer has been rising at 29.66 inches. Special Weather Statement indicating strong thunderstorm that formed outside of Trenton is now moving through Southern Middlesex and Monmouth counties as well as portions of Ocean and Burlington counties.
8:00 PM–Severe Thunderstorm Watch still in effect for another hour. Temperature down to 57 degrees. Humidity up to 84 percent. Barometer rising at 29.73 inches of Hg. Winds light at 5 to 10 mph. No rain.
Here is a weather timeline kept at GWC in South Plainfield as a cold front approached from the west on Friday.
8:30 AM–Went outside to start a time lapse video in the backyard. Winds are light. Skies are sunny, but with a combination of cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds.
10:00 AM–Checked the NWS Mount Holly office’s web site. Hazardous Weather Outlook for New Jersey indicates thunderstorms with hail and gusty winds are possible this afternoon.
11:09 AM–First check of the GWC Weather Station. After a high of 75 yesterday with humidity levels of only 39 percent, conditions are much warmer and humid this morning with a temperature of 73 degrees and a humidity of 66 percent. Barometer falling at 29.88 inches of Hg. Winds are light at 5 to 10 mph.
1:12 PM–Just came back inside after going out for a walk and run around the neighborhood. Conditions are quite muggy for this time of year. Much warmer and more humid than it has been over the past several days. Clouds are starting to build. Had areas of blue skies, but with an increasing amount of altostratus and cumulus clouds. Sky eventually became more of a milky white glow and then a bit dark. Temperature is currently up to 78 degrees with the humidity still high at 55 percent for a dew point of 60. Barometer is falling at 29.85 inches of Hg. Winds remain light. National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly indicated that isolated thunderstorms accompanied by small hail are gusty winds are possible between 3:00 PM and sunset.
2:14 PM–Just took a step outside. The sky is still evolving into a storm state. There are pockets of blue sky, but cirrus clouds are gather off to the north of GWC. Temperature now up to 79 degrees with the humidity down to only 52 percent. Barometer still falling at 29.82 inches of Hg. Winds still light.
2:25 PM–Just took a look at the latest TWC radar and the latest data from the GWC WX station. Isolated thunderstorm has popped up in Southeastern New York near Stony Point. Temperature at GWC is now up to 80 degrees. Humidity was up to 53 percent, but dropped down slightly to 51. Barometer still falling at 29.82 inches of Hg.
4:49 PM–Just stepped outside. Skies generally overcast. TWC radar indicates isolated thunderstorm near Princeton and Plainsboro along Route 1. Temperature peaked at 81 for a high today to match the high temperature for the entire year before dropping to 78. Humidity still high at 55 percent. Barometer still falling at 29.79 inches of Hg. Peak wind gust was 25 mph so far today. Winds have been relatively light though.
8:22 PM–Just came back in from being outside to finish the time lapse movie. Conditions remain dry so far although there are clouds around. Still a bit warm and humid. Winds are light.
11:33 PM–No rain at all as we head into the final minutes of the day. Skies are still somewhat overcast outside. Temperature is 68 degrees with the humidity up to 72 percent for a heat index of 69 and a dew point of 59. Barometer steady at 29.79 inches.
Here is another timeline of the roller coaster ride that the weather took at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield from Thursday, April 7th to Monday, April 11th.
April 7, 2016
10:00 AM–Heading out to the Dentist for a checkup. Skies are cloudy. No rain yet.
11:30 AM–Leaving the dentist, and heading over to South Amboy’s Waterfront Park. Conditions still overcast with some sprinkles.
11:54 PM–Arrive at Waterfront Park in South Amboy. Skies overcast. Clouds moving very fast overhead. Winds strong at surface and upper levels. Checked the Weather Channel radar, and found that there was a moderate strength storm cell in the area.
1:30 PM–Checked my Weather Channel app on my cell phone. Got a Special Weather Statement message indicated that there was a line of storms moving eastward from the Delaware Valley region of Eastern Pennsylvania and Western Jersey. Heavy rain showers and wind gusts as high as 45 mph expected. South Amboy as well as much of Middlesex County is in a dry slot right now.
1:54 PM–Checked the Weather Channel radar, line is closing in on my location in South Amboy’s Waterfront Park. Had several strong wind gusts blow through. Rain is light to moderate.
2:30 PM–Just arrived home. Have time lapse video, regular footage, and car cam footage of the weather at South Amboy’s Waterfront Park as well as during the ride home via Interstate 287 and Route 440. Skies still overcast at the house although there are some patches of blue sky. Had about 0.14 inches of rain. High temperature was 62 degrees.
8:45 PM–Just came in from a walk outside. Barometer dropped to a low of 29.33 inches earlier in the afternoon. Currently up to 29.43. Temperature down to 41 degrees. Maximum wind gust at GWC was 30 mph.
April 8, 2016
11:30 AM–Woke up about 45 minutes ago. Just went outside and decided to do a time lapse video after seeing the dark and overcast skies.
1:19 PM–Just arrived home from taking a walk and doing a run in Thomas Edison Park behind Middlesex County College. Blustery and cold outside, and the skies are overcast.
2:32 PM–Just returned from buying a sub at Jimmy John’s. Winds are sustained between 15 to 25 mph. Barometer is on the rise 29.63 inches. Temperature is at 46 degrees. Still have overcast skies outside.
3:22 PM–Checked the weather station data again. Temperature is steady at 46 degrees. It did go up to 47 for a brief time. Barometer climbing slightly at 29.65 inches of Hg. Winds are light.
5:30 PM–Stepped outside to check the time lapse video on my iPhone 5s. Skies are still mostly overcast, but there were some breaks of sunshine and blue sky. Temperature is up slightly to 47 degrees while the barometer continues to climb at 29.68 inches of Hg. Winds are light between 5 to 10 mph.
7:34 PM–Just came in from outside. Skies are clear at sunset. Temperature is down to 44 degrees. Humidity at 51%. Barometer is rising at 29.73 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
7:24 AM–Woke up a few minutes ago. No snow yet. Actually, it is sunny out, but there are some dark clouds off to the west.
11:00 AM–Skies are completely overcast, but there is no snow or rain yet.
12:00 PM–About to take a trip to the store. Rain has started to fall here at GWC in Central Jersey.
2:28 PM–Just returned from a walk to the bank, and the store. Temperature is at 37 degrees with the humidity at 91 percent. Winds are light. Barometric pressure is rising at 29.71 inches of Hg. Total precipitation thus far is 0.04 inches of rain.
3:44 PM–Checked the weather station data here at GWC. Temperature up slightly to 38 degrees. Humidity steady at 91 percent. Winds remain light. Barometric pressure is still rising at 29.72 inches of Hg. Total precipitation thus far is 0.06 inches of rain.
5:58 PM–Rain has stopped here at GWC in South Plainfield. Skies still overcast. Chilly. Temperature up slightly to 39 degrees. Humidity down to 88 percent. Barometer continues to rise at 29.77 inches of Hg. Total Precipitation so far is 0.07 inches.
7:15 PM–Just came in from going from another walk and drop off mail at the post office. The sun came out for a while under some milky altostratus clouds. Temperature now up to 40 degrees. Winds are starting to pick up a bit. Now between 15 to 20 mph. Humidity up to 83 degrees. Barometric pressure still rising at 29.81 inches of Hg. No new precipitation.
11:58 PM–Temperature is down to 36 degrees. Humidity is down to 58 percent. Barometer continues to go up at 30.03 inches of Hg. Winds sustained at 10 mph with gusts between 20 and 25 mph.
April 10, 2016
8:00 AM–Woke up a little while ago. Skies are sunny. Winds aren’t really strong.
11:00 AM–About to go for a walk. Checked the weather station data. Skies are still sunny. Temperature up to 40 degrees. Winds between 10 and 15 mph. Humidity down to 46 percent. Barometer rising at 30.32 inches of Hg.
12:26 PM–Just returned from my walk. Great day outside although it is brisk. Not a cloud around. Just blue sky and plenty of sunshine. Low temperature at GWC was 30 degrees this morning. Max wind gust was 30 mph. Right now, the temperature is up to 44 degrees. Humidity is down slightly to 43 percent. Winds are between 5 and 10 mph with gusts up to 15 mph. Barometer down slightly to 30.31 inches of Hg.
6:38 PM–Checked the weather station again at GWC. Temperature is down to 48 degrees after a high of 51 degrees earlier today. Winds are calm. Barometric pressure is steady at 30.25 after dropping from a peak of 30.33 inches of Hg earlier today.
April 11, 2016
2:45 PM–Checked the weather station, and found that the temperature was up to 64 degrees under sunny skies.
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