Tropical Storm Warnings Discontinued for the Garden State
Hermine continued to move further to the east on Sunday and while the surf along New Jersey beaches remained treacherous, the more significant threat of tropical storm force winds and rain diminished. The Tropical Storm Warning for the Jersey Shore was discontinued on Sunday night, but a Coastal Flood Warning remained in effect.
On Sunday afternoon, GWC and Hurricaneville took another trip down to South Amboy’s Waterfront Park along Raritan Bay to check conditions there. We arrived there just after low tide and the easterly fetch wasn’t as significant as it was in the morning or on Saturday. Winds had also eased up somewhat. Skies were sunny with the exception of cirrus clouds overhead and cirrocumulus clouds to the south and east.
During the evening and overnight hours, Post-Tropical Cyclone Hermine strengthened somewhat with shower and thunderstorm activity increasing. The storm also moved a little bit more to the west on radar. These thunderstorms were far away from the Jersey Shore though. Nevertheless, there are more clouds over GWC in South Plainfield on this Labor Day morning.
Cirrus clouds could be seen to the north and west of GWC while altostratus clouds developed to the south and east. The radar imagery courtesy of the Weather Channel showed some clouds spreading over the Garden State while bands of showers and storms are still holding together further to the east over the open waters of the Atlantic and to the north and west to the center of circulation.
Looking at the latest with Hermine, the storm is currently located some 295 miles to the Southeast of the Eastern tip of Long Island. Maximum sustained winds remain at 70 miles per hour with gusts in upwards of 85 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure has dropped slightly to 997 millibars, or about 29.44 inches of Hg (Mercury). Tropical storm force winds extend some 230 miles from the center as Hermine grew in size over the past 24 hours.
Hermine is expected to continue to meander slowly off the Mid-Atlantic coast for the next couple days. The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center indicates that the storm will make its closest approach to the Jersey Shore on Tuesday before turning more northward and northeastward on Wednesday and heading out to the vicinity of the Canadian Maritimes on Thursday and Friday. Hermine will begin to gradually weaken over the next 24 hours, and is forecast to dissipate in five days.
Storm Going Through Fluctuations in Intensity
While we continue to watch two tropical depressions off the coast of the United States, Hurricane Gaston continues to head rapidly to the east in the Central Atlantic. The storm has returned to major hurricane strength, and actually peaked at 120 miles per hour yesterday before weakening slightly to minimal Category Three Strength. Gaston could threaten the Azores later in the week.
Currently, as of the 11:00 AM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Gaston was located some 1,150 miles to the West of Faial Island in the Central Azores, or approximately 1,235 miles to the West of Lajes Air Base in the Azores. Maximum sustained winds are down slightly to 115 miles per hour with gusts up to 140 miles per hour.
Minimum central pressure is 961 millibars, or 28.38 inches of Hg (Mercury). Gaston is a fairly good sized system with hurricane force winds extending some 45 miles from the eye, and tropical storm force winds reaching out some 175 miles from the center of circulation. The storm is beginning to enter an area more hostile towards development with cooler sea surface temperatures.
Looking at the latest forecast track from the NHC, Gaston is heading rapidly to the East-Northeast, and is expected to reach the Western Azores as a tropical storm by mid morning on Friday, and will be through the entire Azores chain by Saturday. The intensity forecast has the hurricane going through a slow weakening phase as it continues to move into gradually cooler water, and also encounters some shear. Gaston will remain at least a Category Two Hurricane over the next 24 hours.
However, once Gaston gets beyond 36 hours, the storm will weaken to a minimal hurricane, and then a tropical storm by 48 hours before becoming post-tropical within four days. Residents of the Azores should closely monitor the progress of this system, and be prepared to take action if the storm does do as forecast, and come this way. This will be the second time that a hurricane or tropical storm will be affecting the Azores.
Back in January, there was a rare Atlantic Hurricane when Alex developed from a subtropical storm into a Hurricane, and approached the Azores with 85 mile per hour winds. Alex kicked off what has been a wild and more active season in 2016 by being the first of four named storms to form by the end of June. So far this season, there have been 9 depressions, 7 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and one major hurricane (Gaston).
TD #8 Emerges on Sunday Morning; Tropical Storm Watch for Outer Banks May Be Issued on Sunday night
While a lot of the focus in the Atlantic Tropics has been on Invest 99L, a couple other disturbances have spun up in the basin over the last 24 hours. One of those new features was Invest 91L, which acquired a weak circulation along with an increase in shower and thunderstorm activity earlier today.
The depression was classified by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida late Sunday morning. Since then, the system hasn’t strengthened much. Much of the shower and thunderstorm activity associated with TD #8 is to the north and west of the center of circulation. As of the 5:00 PM EDT Advisory from the NHC, the depression was located some 355 miles to the Southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
TD #8 is presently moving slowly to the west at 9 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds are currently at 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is still quite high at 1010 millibars, or 29.83 inches of Hg. The depression could strengthen some over the next 48 hours or so, and could become a tropical storm on Monday.
At this time, there are no watches or warnings out for any land areas. However, residents along the Outer Banks of North Carolina should closely monitor developments with this tropical system. A Tropical Storm Watch could be issued later tonight. According to the latest NHC track guidance, the depression is expected to come very close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina by Tuesday before turning to the Northeast and away from land.
Looking at the intensity forecast, the depression is expected to reach minimal tropical storm strength within 24 hours, and maximum sustained winds could increase to 45 miles per hour within 72 hours. The forecast expects TD #8 to dissipate within four days.
Tracking Severe Weather Threat for New Jersey on Sunday
Greg’s Weather Center has put together a journal of weather conditions during the course of the day on August 21st to track severe weather developments as a cold front pushes into New Jersey from the west.
August 21, 2016
7:00 AM–Took a look at the GWC WX Station just before going out for a walk on Sunday morning. Temperature is at 73 degrees and the dew point is at 70.
9:42 AM–Returned from playing some basketball up at Mobus Field by Watchung Lake. Temperature is now up to 81 degrees. Humidity is very high at 75 percent for a dew point of 73 degrees. Heat index now up to 87. Barometer steady at 29.83 inches of Hg. Had some rain earlier this morning. Only about 0.01 inches. Add that to the 0.05 inches from a sun shower on Saturday afternoon, and the rainfall total for the month at GWC is now up to 1.30 inches, and for the year it is 22.60 inches.
1:40 AM–Been outside periodically to check up on the time lapse video that I’m putting together for today’s weather. Have some nice cumulus clouds developing. There is a little bit of a breeze. Still warm and humid. Temperature is now up to 87 degrees with the humidity at 61 percent. Dew point is at 72 degrees for a heat index of 93. Barometer falling sharply at 29.77 inches of Hg.
3:10 PM–Skies getting overcast and dark outside GWC in South Plainfield, NJ. Checked the radar, and the showers and storms that were in Eastern Pennsylvania are now moving into Western New Jersey. The outer bands of those showers and storms are in Somerset County right now. Temperature is down to 86 degrees. Humidity is up to 65 percent. Dew point is at 73 for a heat index of 92. Barometer continues to fall sharply at 29.74 inches of Hg. Winds are picking up.
3:37 PM–Took another step outside to check conditions. Felt a little raindrop on my hand. Temperature is down to 84 degrees. Humidity steady at 65 percent. Dew point is down a little to 72 degrees for a heat index of 90. Barometer still at 29.74 inches of Hg, but falling. Winds are light.
6:43 PM–Rain has been falling since around 5:00 PM. Light to moderate rainfall though. So far, there has been 0.15 inches of rain at GWC in South Plainfield. Temperature is down to 76 degrees. Humidity is up to 94 percent for a dew point of 74. Heat index is 79. Barometer is steady at 29.74 inches of Hg.
10:31 PM–Rain has stopped. Total rainfall for the day is 0.17 inches at GWC in South Plainfield, NJ. Temperature is 75 degrees. Humidity is still up at 96 percent for a dew point of 74 and a heat index of 79. Barometer is rising at 29.77 inches of Hg.
August 22, 2016
6:00 AM–Woke up about an hour ago. About to go out for a morning walk. Cold front has passed through. Checked the GWC WX Station. Temperature is down to 66 degrees. Probably the lowest morning temperature we’ve had in several weeks. Dew point is also down to 63 degrees.
8:09 AM–Came back from doing a morning run and a couple of errands. Temperature is up to 68 degrees with the dew point at 63. It is also a little breezy outside. Barometer is rising rapidly at 29.93 inches of Hg. Total rainfall from Sunday was 0.17 inches. Total for the month is now 1.46. Total rain for the year is now 22.76 inches.
Enhanced Risk of Severe Weather for Southern Jersey; Marginal Risk for Rest of Garden State
After a wet month of May with 3.40 inches of rain for places like GWC in South Plainfield, there has been a bit of a lull at the start of June for much of the Garden State. We are already into the fourth day of the new month, and so far, only 0.03 inches of rain has been received by the GWC rain gauge here in Northern Middlesex County. However, all of that is expected to change when a storm system comes through on Sunday afternoon and evening.
As of this morning, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, portions of the Garden State will be under an enhanced risk for severe weather while others will be under a marginal risk. Usually, portions of New Jersey never get placed under an enhanced risk. It is usually a pretty big deal when the Garden State gets put under a slight risk. So the fact that the SPC is calling for an Enhanced Risk of severe storms for parts of Southern Jersey is a really big deal.
According to the Day Two Outlook from the SPC, the area under the enhanced risk of severe weather include: Eastern Virginia, Northeast North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Southern New Jersey. Meanwhile, areas from Georgia into the Mid-Atlantic including the rest of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are under a slight risk. Conditions that could occur in all of these areas include: Damaging straight line winds, a few tornadoes, and severe hail. There also could be a great deal of rainfall.
The cause of all of this is a negatively titled shortwave that is currently moving through the Ohio Valley and helping to cause trouble in the Appalachians and Ohio River Region, which is presently under an enhanced risk by the SPC for Saturday. The shortwave will push east and help intensify a low pressure system coming out of Eastern Canada and provide a temperature and moisture contrast with the relatively warm and humid air in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic to make things just enough unstable for severe weather in parts of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. Areas further north will get more isolated severe weather.
Looking at a recent forecast discussion and analysis from Garden State Weather, rainfall amounts could range from anywhere from a half inch or so in Atlantic City to close to over an inch and a half in Western Jersey near the Delaware River Valley. The rainfall could be a huge help though since despite the good amount of rain in May, there are many parts of the state that are still well below normal for this time of year. Middlesex County as a whole is averaging about 17.0 inches of rain so far this year, which is about an inch and a half below what it should be.
Other counties are much further below normal such as Monmouth, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Morris, and Sussex, which all range from 2.5 to 4 inches below normal. Many of these places of key reservoirs such as Round Valley and Spruce Run in Hunterdon County or Manasquan Reservoir in Monmouth County. More urban counties such as Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Union and Hudson are also running several inches below normal for this time of year. All of this is in spite of the massive blizzard that took place toward the end of January.
So, try to enjoy the weekend, which could be rough at times, but on Sunday, keep an eye to the sky and watch for changing weather conditions, and stay tuned to local media and your NWS web site and social media pages for further developments with this potentially dangerous situation.