Here is a time lapse video of weather conditions over Lake Hopatcong on the border of Sussex and Morris County in mid-May 2013. You couldn’t have asked for a better day weather wise at the largest freshwater lake in New Jersey. Plenty of sun, warm, but comfortable temperatures, slight breeze, and lots of blue sky with periodic cirrus clouds drifting overhead.
Here is a time lapse video of the sun setting at Raritan Center in Edison, New Jersey in early December 2012. It was a very nice late fall day in Northern Middlesex County with sunny skies and balmy temperatures for this time of year. Video taken with my new Hero 3 camera.
Here is a short time lapse video of the sun setting over South Plainfield on November 29th. It was a relatively uneventful day weather wise as the sun was out to try and warm up what was a chilly one in Central Jersey. Took this video with my new Hero 3 camera.
Here is video footage of the first snowfall of the 2012-13 winter season. The storm began to pick up in intensity during the mid-afternoon, and it continued into the evening. The powerful nor’easter came up the Mid-Atlantic coast and brought significant snow, wind, and coastal flooding to a region still reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The storm stayed a bit further offshore than forecast, which brought snowfall totals down to interior sections of New Jersey while bringing them up near the coast. In South Plainfield, there was only 1.5 inches of snow with winds up to 39 miles per hour, and a barometric pressure that fell to only 29.74 inches, or 1007 millibars. Over in Monmouth County, North Howell received 10 inches of the white stuff. Other areas in Monmouth and Ocean County received about a foot.
Here is video footage of the first snowfall of the 2012-13 winter season. A powerful nor’easter came up the Mid-Atlantic coast and brought anywhere from one inch to nearly a foot of the white stuff to a region already reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The storm stayed a bit further offshore than forecast, which brought snowfall totals down to interior sections of New Jersey while bringing them up near the coast. In South Plainfield, there was only 1.5 inches of snow with winds up to 39 miles per hour, and a barometric pressure that fell to only 29.74 inches, or 1007 millibars.
Strong Storm Causes Power Outages In Middlesex County
Another strong storm strikes a crippling blow to the Garden State. On Wednesday, a little more than a week after Hurricane Sandy devastated many parts of New Jersey, a powerful Nor’easter developed and brought the first significant snow of the season along with sleet, rain, gusty winds, and more coastal flooding.
As of the 8:00 PM hour on Wednesday in Northwestern Middlesex County, anywhere from a coating to an inch of snow fell. Barometric pressure has dropped to 29.82 inches of Hg, and winds have been between 20 and 30 miles per hour. Although the storm stayed a bit further offshore than the models had anticipated up until yesterday, it has delivered some salt to the wounds for a region still struggling in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
Prior to Wednesday evening, there had been about 180,000 customers of PSE&G still without power since storm. However, starting late this afternoon, and carrying over into this evening, another 60,000 customers were left in the dark again. These customers included residents in South Plainfield, North Edison, Edison, East Brunswick, Metuchen, New Brunswick, and North Brunswick. Many of these residents called local radio station, WCTC to complain about the power situation.
The flurries had been flying all across Northwestern Middlesex County since this morning, but the snowfall actually picked up in intensity along with the wind at about 3:00 PM this afternoon. The snow is covering power lines, and with the amount of stress that the power system has already taken from last week’s storm, any strong wind could disrupt power. The rough weather conditions are expected to last through this evening into Thursday.
There is some good news though. Very nice weather is expected for Friday into Sunday. After only a high in the low to mid 40s on Thursday, the mercury is expected to climb into the mid 50s by Friday, lower 60s by Saturday, and believe it or not, the upper 60s by Sunday.
Timing Couldn’t Be Worse For Garden State Residents Trying To Recover From Sandy
Hurricane Sandy couldn’t have struck at a more worse time for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The monster storm, which put a devastating hit on the Jersey Shore as well as Staten Island, Long Island, and Coastal Connecticut hit late in the hurricane season, and just as the winter season is beginning to wind up. Nor’easters are becoming more commonplace now including one that is taking shape to give Jersey and its neighbors a good pounding starting Wednesday and lasting into Thursday.
Forecast model guidance in the late afternoon on Monday hinted at not only a storm that would bring two inches of rain, 60 to 70 mile per hour winds along the coast, and coastal flooding, but also the first significant snowfall of the season according to Tri-State Weather. As much as 8 inches of snow was forecast for parts of the area with the heaviest snowfall occurring at around rush hour. Inland areas were going to get winds between 40 and 50 miles per hour, which is still not good for dangling power lines, weakened trees and telephone poles. Thankfully the late night and early morning model runs have the storm a little bit farther to the east, and not giving as big a blow as earlier.
There is still concern though. Forecasters are closely watching how this storm develops, and everything rides upon how the upper level low and the surface low come together. A vort max over the eastern part of the country has not dug far enough south, which is putting the storm on a forecast track further east. If the surface low can catch up to the upper low, then we could have a track more toward the coast, which would be insult to injury. If they do not come together, then the storm moves further to the east. Some towns along the Jersey Shore are not taking any chances.
In Brick Township, located in Ocean County, a mandatory evacuation has been issued in advance of the storm. Expect more of these to start rolling out as the day progresses on Tuesday. With much of the Garden State coastline in shambles, and another storm on the way, municipalities and the state government will take extra measures to ensure people’s safety. Hurricane Sandy and this approaching nor’easter could be the opening salvo in what could be a brutal winter. A few months ago, seasonal forecasts came out for the winter season in the Northeast, and there were indications that it would be a very bad winter in this region. Not the type of news residents along the Jersey Shore and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic need to hear right now while they try to pick up the pieces.
Possible Nor’easter Could Be In Store Next Week To Hamper Recovery
The timing of Superstorm Sandy couldn’t be worse. Coming in the last week of October, this hurricane/hybrid storm couldn’t have devastated the Jersey Shore, Southeastern New York, and coastal Connecticut at a worse time. The reason for that is the transition from summer to winter brings the development of nor’easters, especially as we get into late October and November. On top of that, there have already been forecasts out indicating that this coming winter could be a real bad one. Having more coastal storms will hamper recovery efforts.
Case in point, the Weather Channel indicated on Friday morning that another storm could be on the horizon for early next week. TWC points to computer models hinting at a Nor’easter that won’t be as strong as Sandy was, but still a nuisance with windy conditions accompanied by a cold rain. The American GFS model is indicating the storm will have a track just off the Mid-Atlantic coast while the European Model (ECMWF) is showing a more inland track that includes New Jersey. While the power is slowly coming back on for many Jersey residents (down to 1.5 million from 2.7 million at the storm’s peak), there are still many along the Jersey Shore without power, and already enduring cold nights over the past few days.
Temperatures aren’t expected to warm up anytime soon. Highs are going to be in the low 50s with morning lows in the mid to upper 30s through the weekend with temps dropping into the upper 40s by the middle of next week. Prior to Sandy, the weather had been quite mild this fall. Once the powerful storm came through though, it pulled down a lot of cold air from Canada, and conditions have become more normal for this time of year.
Remnants Of Monster Storm Still Lingers Over Portions Of Canada
While much of the eastern half of the United States is trying to recover from Superstorm Sandy, the remnant low from the memorable storm is still spinning over parts of Canada. After coming ashore near Atlantic City, the storm system traveled slowly to the west through Pennsylvania before making a turn to the north and east. Now a remnant low, what was Sandy is still churning away over portions of Quebec and Ontario.
The storm has caused a good deal of damage in Canada while leaving two people dead there so far. Since forming ten days ago, Sandy and her remains have impacted Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, 17 states in the United States, and Canada. In the United States, the storm had an impact on approximately 60 million people, or one in every six Americans. It has left some 159 people state from the Caribbean to Canada, and early damage estimates are up to $50 billion dollars for the storm.
While There Are Glimmers Of Normalcy, There Is Still A Good Deal Of Struggle
Thursday was the third day of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy around the Tri-State area. It was a day of some progress. Commercial trains began to run through my hometown of South Plainfield as well as the local 7-11 re-opening, and South Clinton Avenue opening to traffic after being closed for the past two days. More traffic was on the road around Northwestern Middlesex County. More businesses were re-opening again. Beneath these signs of normalcy, there were still signs of struggle and frustration.
Starting with nearby towns in Northwestern Middlesex County, there remained open wounds from the devastation wrought by Sandy three days earlier. A long walk through the towns of South Plainfield, Piscataway, Dunellen, and Middlesex revealed that to me. There was still a good deal of tree and telephone pole damage along with dangling power lines, especially in the town of Dunellen. One of the smallest municipalities in Middlesex County, the Railroad Town was hit harder than many bigger towns in the county. The stretch of road from the New Market section of Piscataway into Dunellen had a number of trees uprooted and telephone poles either severely leaned over to one side, or down, which caused wires to hang dangerously close to the ground. It was probably the most treacherous part of my walk today.
Middlesex and Piscataway had some tree and telephone pole damage with the home of the Blue Jays experiencing the most significant damage with a good portion of Warrenville Road closed to traffic since there are several trees and telephone poles down in concert there. The cascade of these poles and trees have large power lines hanging close to the ground. The sight in Middlesex and Piscataway that drew my attention was the long lines of car traffic, and people with gas cans waiting to get gas. Some people were literally pushing their car up Route 28 to a gas station near the restaurant Tim Kerwin’s that happened to have power and gas. In P-Way, there were lines at the Getty on Stelton Road near Columbus Park. Another long line stretched from Hamilton Boulevard in South Plainfield around to Stelton Road past the Stop and Shop on that road.
South Plainfield appeared to be the town in the best shape. However, I didn’t go through a great deal of Piscataway outside of the New Market Ave section, and neighborhoods along New Brunswick Ave bordering with South Plainfield. Tigertown still has some problems though. Trees were uprooted at a PSEG Customer Facility on Century Road in town so things like that will make it difficult for the utility to get the power back on for the rest of us. During my journey, I took many photos, which I’ve added to the Hurricane Sandy album in the GWC Photo Gallery. Conditions are improving in quite a few places including Hoboken, which has FEMA boots on the ground, and is now nearly clear of the flooding that has plagued it for the previous two days. New York City is starting to resume some train and bus service thanks to the efforts of Mayor Mike Bloomberg and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is talking tough to the utilities such as Con Edison and LIPA so that they can get power back running for residents. The lights came back up on Broadway as theaters reopened. In addition, people seemed to show more patience and courtesy when driving through the traffic filled streets of NYC.
Power is also starting to come back up for many in New Jersey. The number of people without power across the Garden State is down to 1.7 million from a high of 2.7 million at the peak of the storm. Governor Christie has attacked this monumental problem head on by demanding results from the three major power utilities in the state: JCP & L, PSE & G, and Atlantic City Electric. While Christie understands that this is a very challenging situation for them, he still has the expectation that the job gets done. He also shut off the natural gas system that runs from Mantoloking to Seaside Heights in an effort to stop the fires that have broken out in the wake of the terrible damage from the surge along that stretch of Garden State shoreline. He also is getting electrical workers from all over the country as well as Canada to get the power back up and running. Arrangements have been made to shelter and feed those workers at Fort Monmouth.
There are signs of frustration though. Much of Staten Island and Queens is still in the dark and flooded. In addition, residents in Staten Island are living in fear because of looting. Residents in both boroughs expressed their anger and demanded that something significant be done to help them begin to make progress like all the other parts of New York City. Some residents pointed to the fact that many on Staten Island and Queens are working class, or the little people, and more priorities are being spent on those in Manhattan that are better off. To make matters worse, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the New York Marath0n, scheduled for this coming Sunday, is going on as scheduled although it will be run as a different route. Some critics charge that resources needed for dealing with the storm’s aftermath are being misplaced while others feel that this is insensitive to those still struggling to get power and rid themselves of the flood waters.
Further north in Westchester County, Mount Vernon is still struggling with significant damage from Sandy including downed trees, telephone poles, and power lines while the mayor in the town was out of the area for a reunion in North Carolina, and nobody else took charge to get the town prepared for the storm and its aftermath. On top of that, the death toll is climbing around the New York City area as well as New Jersey. In NYC, there are now 40 deaths including 20 from Staten Island alone. Approximately 159 people have died including 88 in the United States, two in Canada, and another 69 in the Caribbean. The key to this whole situation is the restoration of power. Once power is restored, people can return to their homes, flood waters can get pumped out, chainsaws can cut downed trees, polluted waters can be treated, and gas stations can get back online and to fueling customers again.
This report used information compiled from news reports from NJTV, WNBC4, CNN, and the New York Daily News.