Here is footage of the snowfall at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, NJ from a coastal storm that affected the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States during the first full weekend of 2017. The storm brought 3.5 inches of snow to GWC as well as 3 inches to Somerset, 5 inches to New Brunswick, and 6.6 inches to Elizabeth.
Over the last week, I have been watching developments in the Tropical Atlantic with interest as Matthew grew into a threat for the East Coast of the United States although I hadn’t blogged about it until now.
For the second year in a row, and for the third time in five years, we have a hurricane that is menacing the Caribbean, Bahamas, and the East Coast of the United States. Once again, a hurricane spins up amidst a fall like circulation pattern in the Western Atlantic.
Four years ago, it was Hurricane Sandy, which many in New Jersey are still trying to recover from today. Last year, it was Hurricane Joaquin, which combined with another area of low pressure to produce gusty winds and heavy rains as far north as New Jersey.
This year, it is Hurricane Matthew. At one time, Matthew was a Category Five Hurricane with winds near 160 mph. Matthew was the first Category Five Hurricane in the Atlantic in 9 years. The last one was Hurricane Dean, which made landfall in the Mayan Riviera section of Mexico in August 2007. Dean was ranked as a Top Ten Atlantic storm in terms of intensity at the time.
Matthew’s path has so far been a bit eerily similar to Hurricane Sandy. However, Matthew has been much stronger with Sandy only being a Category Three storm with 125 mph winds at peak strength. The hurricane developed much earlier in the season than Sandy did. Matthew also was the first hurricane to make landfall in Haiti since 1963. Nevertheless, both storms impacted portions of Cuba.
Ok. Enough of the history and comparisons. Matthew had been interacting with the rugged mountains of Cuba and Hispaniola, which go as high as 7,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. The interaction tore up Matthew significantly despite the fact that it also produced torrential rains on those islands. Wind speeds dropped from 145 to 115 miles per hour in about 24 hours. Now, the storm is back over water near the Bahamas, where sea surface temperatures run about 86 degrees, and Matthew has already responded to that with some strengthening.
As of 11:00 AM on Wednesday morning, sustained winds with Matthew increased to 120 miles per hour, and it may not be done yet. Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground indicated earlier that the storm is getting better organized. The NHC’s official intensity forecast indicates that Matthew could become a Category Four Hurricane again with 130 mph winds. So, the storm is likely skirt the East Coast of Florida on Friday at major hurricane strength.
The storm will then continue to hug the coast along Georgia and South Carolina, and weaken to a Category Two storm with between 100 and 110 mph winds due to a hostile upper level wind environment. Then, things get crazy. The major forecast models: GFS, European, and UKMET are all indicating that Matthew will turn to the east into the Atlantic, and then turn south and towards the Bahamas and Florida again early next week.
Why is that you ask? First, the trough that was much hyped earlier this week, didn’t pan out since it wasn’t as strong or digged as deep as expected. So, there is nothing to pick up the storm. Hence, Matthew is in a situation much like the cutoff low that affected New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic over the past week. It has nothing to kick it out. There is also a new player in this game: Tropical Storm Nicole.
Nicole is a newly formed tropical system that became a tropical cyclone over the past 24 to 36 hours. The storm is close by in the Western Atlantic, and its circulation is also influencing Matthew’s movement. The combination with the trough that wasn’t and Nicole’s development now brings a bizarre scenario that shows Matthew possibly entering the Florida Straits next week.
This is all good news for now in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, which are now looking at great weather through this weekend. Tropical storms and hurricanes are very fickle though, and things can change so all New Jersey and Mid-Atlantic residents reading this should continue to monitor the progress of this storm.
The tropics are still looking to pick up again in the wake of Hermine in the Atlantic. There are a couple disturbances that bear watching over the next few days. One we have been watching is in the Eastern Atlantic, and has a good deal of promise while another just emerged within the past 24 hours. There is also what’s left of Invest 92L, which has had a tough time getting its act together as expected as it moves through the Caribbean. Let’s take a closer look around:
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf remains the most tranquil region in the entire Atlantic Basin this morning. There are some small areas of clouds dotting the central portion of the region, but nothing organized. No development expected for the next 24 to 48 hours.
The Caribbean has several pockets of shower and thunderstorm activity, particularly in the western portion of the region. There is a cluster of showers and storms to the north of Panama, another one just east of Honduras, and a third that is just south of the Isle of Youth. No signs of organization or development. No development is expected for at least the next 48 hours.
There are a couple trouble spots in this portion of the basin this morning. The first one is a few hundred miles of the Lesser Antilles, and it does have quite a bit of shower and thunderstorm activity. It does have a broad area of low pressure associated with it, but development is expected to be slow. The National Hurricane Center gives this disturbance a 10 percent chance of developing over the next 48 hours, and a 20 percent chance over the next five days.
Meanwhile, we still have our tropical wave in the Eastern Atlantic now located about 500 miles to the Southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. Low pressure associated with the wave has developed, but the possibility of development continues to be slow. Presently, the NHC is giving the disturbance a 10 percent chance of development over the next 48 hours, and a 60 percent chance over the next five days.
We still have a conga line of showers and storms heading across the Sahel region of the continent toward the Atlantic. One just departed into the Atlantic off of Senegal. Meanwhile, there are showers and storms pushing westward through Southern Mali and Burkina Faso.
There has been a lot of talk here in my blog lately about the tropics in terms of the storms that have been spinning up, or those that have the potential to. However, the theme of the Summer of 2016 has been the heat and humidity. GWC in South Plainfield has had at least 25 days of 90 degree plus temperatures. There have also been times where the humidity levels have been downright tropical.
Now that Labor Day has passed and we are now headed toward the fall equinox in a couple of weeks, temperatures usually begin to go down gradually. However, summer is attempting to make one last stand during this latter portion of the week. With Hermine now out of the way, the sun will return with a vengeance. Yesterday was a little glimpse of what to expect over the next several days.
Conditions were downright muggy across the Garden State from Little Falls in Passaic County to South Plainfield. The temperatures weren’t quite there yet, but starting on Thursday, they will. The Mercury is expected to rise up into the lower 90s, and remain there for highs through Saturday. There will be a weak cold front that will attempt to come through sometime late Thursday into Friday, but it won’t do much.
Another front is expected to arrive on Saturday night, and that will bring some relief. However, conditions will stay somewhat dry and warm until the middle of next week. The Weather Channel indicated that thunderstorms are possible on Wednesday with temperatures around 85, but then on next Thursday and Friday, a significant cool down with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s.
Atlantic Goes Into a Brief Lull With Demise of Hermine
The Tropical Atlantic has gone into a brief lull on this Wednesday morning. The last advisory was issued by the National Hurricane Center on Tuesday afternoon for Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine just off the coast of Long Island, and the tropical disturbance, Invest 92L is not a threat to develop at this time. However, we are still monitoring, Invest 93L in the Far Eastern Atlantic, which could become a depression by the weekend. Let’s take a closer look around.
Let’s take a closer look around the tropics this morning:
Gulf of Mexico
Checking the latest satellite imagery courtesy of NOAA, skies are mostly clear in the Gulf. There are some areas of clouds dotted around the region, but they are scattered at not organized at the moment. No threats here. No development expected for the next 24 to 48 hours.
There are a couple clusters of showers and storms in the Southwestern Caribbean near Nicaragua and Honduras and well as some south of Jamaica. There is also another cluster to the north of Panama. We also have some disorganized clouds and showers associated with Invest 92L, which is currently moving through Hispaniola and the Southeastern Bahamas. Hostile upper level winds as well as the rugged terrain of Hispaniola will make things difficult for Invest 92L to develop over the next several days. No development is expected for at least the next 48 hours.
Although the National Hurricane Center has a issued its last advisory on Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine on Tuesday afternoon, there is still a nice swirl of clouds from the decaying system off the Mid-Atlantic coast some several hundred miles due east of say Island Beach State Park in Ocean County, New Jersey.
Some of those clouds have spread over inland portions of New Jersey including Greg’s Weather Center and as far north as Little Falls in Passaic County. Hermine’s remains are expected to meander around the Mid-Atlantic for part of the day today, and then begin to head northeast again. It is also expected to dissipate.
Meanwhile, in the Far Eastern Atlantic, we continue to monitor Invest 93L, which is located near the Cabo Verde Islands. Right now, the tropical wave has disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity associated with it, and no further development is forecast for the next couple of days.
However, low pressure is anticipated to form with this wave, and atmospheric conditions are anticipated to become more favorable for slow development later in the week. We could see a depression form by this weekend. Presently, the NHC is giving Invest 93L a 20 percent chance of development over the next 48 hours, and a 70 percent chance over the next five days.
The conga line of tropical waves heading for the Atlantic from the African continent continues. There is a cluster of showers and thunderstorms over Senegal this morning, and that appears to be the next tropical wave to enter the Eastern Atlantic. behind it, there are more clusters of showers and storms covering Southern Niger, Southeastern Burkina Faso, and much of Nigeria.
The long odyssey is over for New Jersey residents as well as others living in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. As of 2:00 PM EDT this afternoon, the last advisory on Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine was issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. All Tropical Storm and Coastal Warnings were discontinued.
Hermine still has some remnants stirring up some clouds, breezy conditions, and a little rain. I had just stepped outside about a half an hour ago to go for a walk around the neighborhood. I would say it was breezier tonight than it even was on Saturday when Hermine’s outer fringes were moving into New Jersey.
The barometric pressure dropped to 29.91 inches of Hg earlier today. So, over the last 36 hours or so, the barometer had dropped 0.30 inches, or about 10 millibars. The humidity has also continued to rise with it climbing to 68 percent for a dew point of 67 degrees. Winds actually gusted to 35 miles per hour today.
There are some bands of rain around the region. Rain is currently falling at Yankee Stadium as the Yanks are playing the Blue Jays. There is another band of showers developing over Central and Southern New Jersey from about New Brunswick to Ocean County. There is a 20 percent chance of rain on Wednesday morning.
As of this afternoon, Hermine was located some 120 miles south of the Eastern tip of Long Island, and moving to the West at 7 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds were at 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 miles per hour. Barometer was back up to 999 millibars, or 29.50 inches of Hg. Tropical storm force winds extended some 115 miles from the center.
What is left of Hermine is expected to turn to the Northeast on Wednesday, and gradually weaken. The storm is expected to drop below tropical storm strength over the next couple days. Hermine will be remembered though as the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in 11 years.
This is a weather journal put together by Greg’s Weather Center to track the developments with Tropical Storm Hermine as it approaches and impacts the Mid-Atlantic including New Jersey over the Labor Day Weekend of 2016.
September 3, 2016
6:55 AM–Just woke up. Took a look outside and found that skies are partly cloudy. Some clouds including some cirrus and perhaps some altostratus coming in from the south. Possibly from Hermine. Light winds right now.
7:45 AM–Skies are now mostly overcast with altostratus clouds. Still have light winds. Temperature is 66 degrees. Humidity is 85 percent for a dew point of 61. Fairly comfortable outside. Light winds. Believe it or not , the barometric pressure is actually rising at 30.13 inches of Hg (Mercury).
9:44 AM–Just returned from going for a morning walk. Already seeing high cirrus clouds and some altostratus clouds that give the sky a milky gray look. There is still some sunshine. Nice breeze going outside as well. Joe Cioffi mentioned that the storm has taken on more of a look of an extra tropical system with the classic comma shaped signature on the satellite imagery. Seeing some rain bands coming further north than expected on the radar. Currently at GWC, the temperature is 70 degrees with the humidity at 81 percent for a dew point of 64. Heat index is 71 while the barometer is now steady at 30.13 inches of Hg.
1:22 PM–Just returned from going to the bank, grocery store, South Amboy’s Waterfront Park, and the gas station. Clouds continue to build in from the south. At South Amboy’s Waterfront Park, there was a good northeasterly to easterly fetch off of Raritan Bay. Had some altostratus clouds and some stratocumulus clouds building in. Back here at GWC in South Plainfield, there are some patches of blue sky around along with the occasional sun coming out. Do see altostratus and stratocumulus here as well. Temperature at GWC is now up to 73 degrees with the humidity at 63 percent for a dew point of 60. Barometer remains steady at 30.14 inches of Hg (Mercury). Light breeze continues.
2:25 PM–National Hurricane Center has now issued a Tropical Storm Warning for all of the Jersey Shore, New York City, Long Island, Long Island Sound including Southern Connecticut, and Rhode Island from Watch Hill westward. Taking a look outside, the sun is out, and it looks like things have cleared up somewhat. There are still some cirrus clouds and some cumulus clouds out, but there is quite a bit of blue sky, especially to the north. However, clouds remain to the south. I started a time lapse video at about 12:45 PM, which will go until about sunset. Temperature at GWC is at 75 degrees with the humidity at 59 percent for a dew point of 60 degrees and a heat index of 76. Barometer is starting to fall at 30.13 inches of Hg (Mercury).
3:34 PM–Took another look outside. Skies are blue with plenty of sun. Almost like an early fall day. However, there are some cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds overhead at GWC with some cumulus to the north. Off to the south, skies are more overcast. Temperature is still at 75 degrees. Humidity at 53 percent for a dew point of 57 for a heat index of 76. Barometer is still falling a little at 30.12 inches of Hg.
6:10 PM–Took another look outside. Skies are mostly clear. There are some cirrocumulus and cumulus clouds about, but there is a good deal of blue sky and some setting sun. Still have a little bit of a breeze out of the WNW. Temperature is down to 73 degrees. Humidity at 58 percent for a dew point of 57 degrees. Barometer steady at 30.10 inches of Hg (Mercury).
September 4, 2016
3:24 AM–Woke up about an hour ago after sleeping for around 6 hours. Stepped outside for a bit. Conditions are calm. Skies are mostly clear. Could see the stars. Not even much of a breeze like there was during the day on Saturday. Temperature at GWC is at 60 degrees with 92 percent humidity for a dew point of 58. Winds are calm. Barometer steady at 30.14 inches of Hg. Pressure actually rose 0.04 inches in the last 7 hours.
5:03 AM–Checked the GWC WX Station. Temperature is up to 62 degrees with the humidity at 84 percent for a dew point of 58. Winds are calm. Pressure up a couple more hundredths of an inch to 30.16 inches of Hg (Mercury).
7:05 AM–Just stepped outside for a little bit. Sun has come up, and the skies are mostly clear with the exception of some cirrocumulus clouds. Winds are calm. Temperature is at 61 degrees. Humidity is at 84 percent for a dew point of 57 degrees. Barometric pressure continues to rise at 30.19 inches of Hg.
8:30 AM–At Waterfront Park along Raritan Bay in South Amboy. Much more tranquil here than yesterday. Winds not as strong. Still have an easterly fetch, but water levels not as high.
9:50 AM–Leaving Keyport’s Waterfront Park and the winds are stronger now than earlier. Water levels have risen a little too.
10:22 AM–Leaving Fireman’s Park in Union Beach. Winds continue to pick up and the wave action here is much more significant. Was told by a lady from this area that one of the creeks is about to go over. Spray is coming over the top and there is some overwash on the walkway.
11:05 AM–About to depart Bayshore Waterfront Park in Port Monmouth. Still have some cirrocumulus clouds with slightly stronger winds. Waves and water levels higher here. Waves were coming up pretty high on the fishing pier.
11:46 AM–About to leave Sandy Hook. Winds were lighter here, but the wave action and surf were more significant. More cirrocumulus and small cumulus clouds to south and east. Larger waves with shorter periods. Very heavy surf. Nobody in the water. Swimming not allowed today.
1:18 PM–Just returned from my trip down the Northern Jersey Shore. Have a little bit more of a breeze outside in the yard. Could see cirrocumulus clouds off to the south. Temperature at GWC is at 77 degrees. Humidity is low at 45 percent for a dew point of 54. Barometric pressure is up to 30.21 inches of Hg, but steady.
4:03 PM–Went out into the yard to checkup on the time lapse video running. Not too much to worry about. Very light wind. Some cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds off to the south. Temperature is up to 80 degrees. Humidity has dropped to 40 percent for a dew point of 53. Barometer is falling though to 30.17 inches of Hg.
5:57 PM–Leaving South Amboy’s Waterfront Park after taking a trip there following a workout at Edison Park behind Middlesex County College. Conditions at Edison Park was sunny with cirrocumulus clouds off to the south and east. It also was quite breezy. At South Amboy, I had just arrived after low tide so the wave action wasn’t bad at all. Winds had also slackened. Had some cirrus clouds overhead and cirrocumulus clouds to the south and east.
8:16 PM–Checked the data on the GWC WX Station. Temperature is at 69 degrees with the humidity at 73 percent for a dew point of 61 degrees. Barometer is rising at 30.19 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
September 5, 2016
2:40 AM–Just took a look at the radar courtesy of the Weather Channel. Shower and thunderstorm activity has picked up with Hermine. Coastal Flood Warning in effect now. Tropical Storm Warning is cancelled.
8:12 AM–Took a step outside. Skies are mostly overcast, especially to the south of GWC. Winds are calm. Temperature is 61 degrees with the humidity at 90 percent for a dew point of 58. Barometer is still high at 30.21 inches of Hg, but steady.
9:10 AM–Went outside into the backyard. Saw some cirrus clouds off to the north and altostratus clouds to the south and east. Temperature is at 65 degrees with the humidity down to 75 percent for a dew point of 57. Barometer is now rising at 30.20 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
10:51 AM–Leaving South Amboy’s Waterfront Park. High tide approaching, but the water was more tranquil than it was on Saturday despite the increase in clouds. Still have a northeasterly fetch, but it is not as strong.
11:33 AM– Returned home. Skies are more overcast. Light winds. Temperature up to 72 degrees. Humidity at 64 percent for a dew point of 59. Barometer falling at 30.17 inches.
4:27 PM–Just took a step outside. Skies are mostly sunny, but there are some cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds around. Has also become quite breezy out. Temperature up to 83, but the moisture is on the increase and the barometer is falling. Humidity at 48 percent for a dew point of 61 while the barometric pressure is down to 30.01 inches of Hg, and falling sharply.
6:23 PM–Stepped outside briefly. Went into the backyard. Cirrus clouds overhead. A little more humid. Temperature actually went up to 84 degrees. Humidity up to 50 percent for a dew point of 62. Winds are light. Barometer still falling at 29.99 inches of Hg.
7:40 PM–Just returned from going for a walk outside. Definitely feeling more humid. A lot more cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds, especially off to the south and east. Not as much of a breeze now. Temperature at GWC in South Plainfield, NJ is down to 80 degrees. Humidity up to 58 percent for a dew point of 64 now. Winds are calm, but the barometer continues to fall at 29.98 inches of Hg (Mercury).
September 6, 2016
7:05 AM–Heading to work. Skies are mostly cloudy. Still feeling some of the effects from Hermine. Temperature is 72 degrees.
10:30 AM–Taking my first break at work. Took a walk around the building. A little humid and breezy with some blue sky, cirrocumulus, altostratus, and stratocumulus clouds.
7:00 PM–Leaving work. A bit muggy outside. Lots of clouds. Stratus and stratocumulus clouds.
9:08 PM–Arrived home about an hour ago. No rain has fallen although I heard on the radio that we could be getting some rain from the remnants of Hermine. Temperature is 78 degrees. Humidity is at 68 percent. Dew point is at 67 degrees. Winds are calm. Barometer is steady at 29.95 inches of Hg. No rain is falling yet.
9:56 PM–Just returned from an evening walk. Quite breezy outside. I would say that it is more breezy tonight than it was on Saturday morning when Hermine was heading up the coast. Felt a couple of rain drops, but no significant rain falling yet. NHC issued last advisory on Hermine earlier this evening.
Odds for Formation in Five Days Now Up to 60 Percent
As Hermine begins to wind down, and Invest 92L shows no signs of development for the rest of this week, focus turns to our tropical wave in the Eastern Atlantic. Invest 93L, or a tropical wave located near the West Coast of Africa presently has an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms.
However, according to the latest Tropical Weather Outlook from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, low pressure is expected to form in association with this wave over the next 48 hours as it moves to the West-Northwest some several hundred miles to the West-Southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.
Currently, sea surface temperatures and upper level winds appear favorable for development in the area of Invest 93L. Although the NHC is giving only 10 percent odds for tropical development with this disturbance over the next 48 hours, the chances for formation get better over the next five days. Odds for development are up to 60 percent by five days.
Conditions Will Be Unfavorable for Development This Week
Greg’s Weather Center and Hurricaneville are still watching the progress of Invest 92L as it treks westward through the Caribbean. Clouds, showers, and thunderstorms associated with the disturbance remain disorganized. Upper level winds are also unfavorable for development.
These conditions along with dry air will make it difficult for the disturbance to develop during the course of this week. Nevertheless, the disturbance has the potential to produce periods of heavy rainfall and gusty winds as it passes by Hispaniola and Jamaica on Tuesday and Eastern Cuba on Wednesday.
Currently, the chances of formation and development with Invest 92L is near nil over the next 48 hours, and only 10 percent over the next five days. Chances will improve when the disturbance moves into the Western Caribbean near the Yucatan later in the week.
During the course of the past 24 hours, especially the last 6 to 12 hours, the barometer at GWC has been falling. Humidity has also been on the rise, and there has been some breezy conditions at times here in South Plainfield, NJ. Believe it or not, all of this is due to Hermine, which has been finally making that anticipated westward move during the day on Monday.
Prior to taking a trip out to Waterfront Park in South Amboy this morning, the barometric pressure at GWC was at 30.21 inches (8:21 AM EDT). Since then, the barometer has dropped 0.23 inches to 29.98 inches of Hg. Pressure is still quite high. Weak Tropical Depressions usually have minimum central pressures of 29.80 or 29.83 inches of Hg.
Meanwhile, the humidity on Sunday had dropped significantly as the storm pulled further and further to the east. On Sunday afternoon, the humidity dipped to 40 percent for a dew point of 53. Since that time, the moisture has been on the rise, climbing to 58 percent for a dew point of 64. Temperature reached a high of 84 degrees late Monday afternoon.
Over the past few hours, the satellite imagery has shown Hermine making a more westward move. In addition, the more thicker band of clouds are pinwheeling westward across Long Island toward New York City and the Jersey Shore. More cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds have developed overhead of GWC during the course of the afternoon. Nevertheless, skies remained sunny at sunset.
The Coastal Flood Warning that existed along the Jersey Shore on Monday has been discontinued, but there are still areas in coastal Monmouth and Ocean counties that are dealing with heavy surf and rip currents. Tropical Storm Warnings remain in effect for the coastal waters offshore. Currently, Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine is inching closer to the Eastern tip of Long Island.
Located some 150 miles Southeast of the Eastern tip of Long Island, Hermine has also picked up some forward speed as it moves to the West-Northwest at 9 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds remain at 70 miles per hour with gusts up to 85 miles per hour. Barometric pressure remains steady at 997 millibars, or 29.44 inches of Hg. Tropical storm force winds continue to extend some 230 miles from the center. Weakening is forecast to begin tonight.
Although sea surface temperatures off the Jersey Shore and Long Island have been above normal this summer, they remain in the mid to upper 70s, which is still below the threshold for supporting tropical development. Water temperatures need to be at least 80 degrees or higher to support tropical storm or hurricane formation and growth. Furthermore, since Hermine has been basically sitting in the same general location for the past several days, upwelling has taken place, which brings cooler water to the surface.
The National Hurricane Center’s intensity forecast calls for Hermine to start gradually weakening over the next 12 hours, and fall below tropical storm strength between 48 and 72 hours before dissipating in four days. The NHC’s forecast track is calling for Hermine to continue its westward jog for the next 36 hours or so before turning to the Northeast and accelerating on Wednesday.