Hottest Temperatures of the Year to Date on the Way for Sunday and Monday
True summer has finally arrived in New Jersey. Prior to Sunday, the warmest temperature of the year at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield had only topped out at just under 90 degrees (89.8 degrees back in June). June 2015 was the coolest June in five years at GWC with an average temperature of 69.62 degrees. So far in July, the average has been higher than it was last year, but the maximum has been four degrees cooler than that of July 2014. All of this is expected to change over the next couple of days.
Late Friday night, a warm front passed through the region, and ushered in warmer and more humid air on Saturday. Cloud cover in the earlier part of the day prevented temperatures from skyrocketing, and suppressed the oppressive heat and humidity until the late afternoon and early evening. Some parts of the Central Jersey area was hit with some heavy showers and thunderstorms on Saturday morning, and another round passed through Northwestern New Jersey during the early evening before fizzling out thanks to the decreased sunlight.
However, the heat and humidity have stayed behind, and they will both continue to linger at least through Monday night. A Heat Advisory is already in effect for much of the Garden State for heat indices between 100 and 104 degrees from now until 8:00 PM on Monday. Meanwhile, an Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for Southwestern New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania including the Philadelphia Metro Area until 8:00 PM on Monday. Heat index values in those regions are expected to climb to between 102 and 107 degrees.
Right now at GWC in South Plainfield, located in the Northwestern corner of Middlesex County, the temperature is already up to 79 degrees (actually 78.8). The dew point has topped out at 74 degrees and the tandem of temperature and humidity have combined to produce a peak heat index of 84. Expect those numbers to go much higher as we have more heating of the day and get into the peak sunlight hours. The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey is forecasting the temperature to climb up into the mid 90s this afternoon with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms this evening.
On Monday, more of the same is expected with a forecasted high of 95 at GWC in South Plainfield along with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms during the day and evening. Things get a little bit cooler on Tuesday, but still hot at 92 degrees with another 20 percent chance of storms. The middle and latter portions of the week look much better with sunny skies and temperatures dropping into relatively more comfortable mid to upper 80s. So, for the next 48 to 72 hours, drink plenty of fluids, stay out of the sun as much as possible, wear loose and light colored clothing, and if you have to go outside, take plenty of breaks.
Over Another Inch of Rain Falls at GWC in South Plainfield
After a relatively dry April and most of May, the rain has come back with a vengeance here in New Jersey. On Saturday, another storm system barreled in from the west and brought another soaking rain to New Jersey. At GWC in South Plainfield, approximately 1.06 inches of rain fell. Further south, there was even more. The storm system also brought gusty winds that prompted gale warnings to be issued along the Jersey Shore. Severe thunderstorms also developed further to the south and west in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, where even tornado watches were issued.
Brick Township was the winner according to data provided by CoCoRaHS with 4.71 inches. Nearby in Toms River, about 4.5 inches of rain fell according to news reports on Saturday night. Little Egg Harbor, which is in extreme southern Ocean County near Mystic Island, received 3.73 inches of rain. Pine Beach received 3.7 inches. The top rain getter in Atlantic County was Hammonton with 3.49 inches. River Vale had the most rainfall in Bergen County at 1.3 inches. Medford Township received the most rain in Burlington County with 2.6 inches. Winslow Township had the most rain in Camden County with 2.86 inches of rain. Ocean City was the top rain getter in Cape May County with 1.53 inches.
In Middlesex County, South Brunswick had the most rain with 1.72 inches followed by East Brunswick with 1.62 inches. Next door in Somerset County, a rain collection station Montgomery Township had the most with 1.66 inches. Heading south again, Howell had the most rain in Monmouth County with 2.94 inches. Moving back up north, Chatham and Washington Township tied for the most rain in Morris County with 1.34 inches. Hawthorne had the most rain in Passaic County with 1.31 inches while Pittsgrove topped all towns in Salem County down in South Jersey with 2.12 inches. It has been quite a wet month of June at GWC.
So far this month, there has been 4.59 inches of rain at GWC in South Plainfield. Couple that with the 1.13 inches that fell on May 31st, and there has been 5.72 inches over the last 28 days in Northwestern Middlesex County, New Jersey. So far, this is the third wettest June since 2011 at GWC. More rain is possible on Tuesday to wrap up the month, and the stormy pattern is expected to continue for a while into July. Models have indicated that another storm system could bring severe weather on July 1st and in the July 5-6 time frame. Returning to Saturday’s weather, this was a vast storm system with the bulk of the precipitation coming through the Mid-Atlantic States while severe thunderstorms were off to the south and west pinwheeling around the low that was still spinning over Ohio.
Checking out the severe weather reports throughout the United States on Saturday, there were 147 total reports including 105 for wind, 23 due to hail, and 19 for tornadoes. One of those twisters was spawned in Ashland, Virginia while one report of hail was in Martinsville, Virginia. Twenty-two reports of wind damage came from Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. After receiving storm damage in the northern and southern portions of the state on Tuesday, New Jersey was spared of any severe weather on Saturday.
Here is a time lapse video of weather conditions at GWC in South Plainfield on Friday, June 19th. On this day, conditions became more muggy with temperatures climbing into the mid 80s and dew points soaring into the lower 70s. The high at GWC was 85 with the dew point peaking at 73. As a result, atmospheric conditions became a bit more unstable and fed the development of cumulus clouds.
Storm’s Remnants Provide Another Downpour for Northern Middlesex County
There was much anticipation and some trepidation about the track of what was Tropical Storm Bill. After dumping plenty of rain over Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri earlier in the week, Bill’s remains pushed eastward on Saturday moving through the Ohio Valley and taking aim on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States. With its circulation still holding together, Bill was still classified as a tropical depression by the National Weather Service on Saturday as it brought heavy rains to places such as Kentucky.
Further to the east, several Severe Thunderstorm Watches were issued by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma for portions of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. Bill’s remains did sock some places in those states. For example, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the storm’s remnants produced a peak rainfall rate of 7.87 inches per hour while leaving behind a total of 0.91 inches. A bit further to the north in Enola, Pennsylvania, just outside of the state capital of Harrisburg, the remnant low produced 3.68 inches of rain. Over to the south and east in Delaware, several locations had over an inch and three quarters of rain. In Seaford, Delaware, there were three such locations that had approximately 1.94, 1.88, and 1.7 inches of rain respectively while off to the north and east in Ellendale, there was 1.78 inches.
Moving on to the Garden State, much of the heaviest rain was confined to the southern portion of New Jersey. According to data provided by CoCoRaHS, Ocean City, located in Cape May county to the southwest of Atlantic City, was the top rain getter in Jersey with 2.01 inches of rain. A bit further to the south, Upper Township received 1.66 inches while over to the west in Woodbine, there was 1.36 inches. Lindenwold, in Camden County to the southeast of Philadelphia, received 1.30 inches of rain. Areas in Western and Northwestern New Jersey also saw a good deal of rain. Montague, located in Sussex County just outside High Point State Park, tallied 1.22 inches of rain. To the southeast in Wantage, there was 0.92 inches.
Closer to home in Middlesex County, the rainfall amounts were much less. Here at GWC in South Plainfield, there was a peak rainfall rate of 6.86 inches per hour at one point, but only 0.38 inches of rain. Several other weather stations nearby in town had similar amounts ranging from 0.3 to 0.4 inches. Edison received 0.25 inches of rain. New Brunswick had 0.37 inches of rain. Two locations in Woodbridge had 0.27 and 0.30 inches. Old Bridge received 0.3 inches while South River received 0.33 inches. The winner in Middlesex County was Cranbury Township in the extreme southern portion of the county heading toward Mercer County, which received 0.64 inches. All the rain came during the overnight hours. By daybreak, the storm had pretty much moved out of the area.
Bill’s remains did manage to leave an imprint on the neighborhood outside GWC. Right in front of the house where GWC is located in South Plainfield, a large tree branch fell in the middle of the street. The branch just missed hitting a car. There was no damage. With temperatures forecasted to top out into the upper 80s to near 90 on Sunday afternoon, conditions could be still unstable enough to have some storms develop in the afternoon.
Tropical Storm’s Remains to Ride the Ring of Fire Weather Pattern into Garden State
Earlier this week, Tropical Storm Bill, the second named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, came ashore in Matagorda Island, Texas. Strengthening a bit just before landfall, the storm peaked with 60 mile per hour winds. However, the real story has been the rain. Heavy rains from the tropical system walloped much of the eastern half of Texas including major cities such as Houston and Dallas. Rains also spread into portions of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri.
It has been several days since Bill made landfall in the Lone Star State, but its overall circulation has been holding together quite well. Looking on satellite and radar maps, you can see that what’s left of Bill is still clearly defined. These remnants are pushing east now. Much of them are in Missouri right now, but over the next several days, they will be headed on a trajectory that will take them into New Jersey by Saturday night and Sunday. Bill’s remnants are expected to combine with a warm front to produce rainfall amounts anywhere from 1 to 2 inches from Philadelphia to New York City according to WPIX 11 and FIOS1 Meteorologist Joe Cioffi.
During the course of the week, a Ring of Fire weather pattern has developed over the eastern half of the United States. High pressure, centered over the Southeastern U.S. has produced sweltering temperatures in places such as Jacksonville, Florida, where the temperature was 92 degrees with a heat index of 103 late Thursday morning. On Wednesday, it was even hotter with a high of 104 and a heat index of 118. Bill’s remaining convection as well as other showers and storms downstream, are riding around the periphery of that strong dome of high pressure.
Since Sunday night, the weather here in Central New Jersey has been unsettled. Clouds have dominated much of the week including on Thursday, where temperatures struggled to get into the upper 60s. These readings were after the mercury barely eclipsed the 80 degree mark on Wednesday at GWC in South Plainfield. On Friday though, the sun and a bit of heat has returned. The temperature climbed up to 84 degrees with the dew point peaking at 73 for a top heat index of 89. Skies have been sunny, but there have been quite a few cumulus clouds developing.
Taking a look at the model forecasts, both the GFS and ECMWF models have shifted a bit more to the south putting the heaviest rain right over Central and Southern Jersey. The NAM is still showing more of a northerly track with the heaviest rains occurring over Northwestern New Jersey as well as well Southeastern New York just to the north of New York City. The brunt of the weather is expected to be around breakfast time on Sunday morning with the remnant low situated right over Central Jersey. By the middle of Sunday afternoon, much of the convection, if not all of it, will have left the Garden State and pushed into Connecticut and Long Island.
Depending on the track of Bill’s remnants, there is a possibility that we could see some severe weather. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has put New Jersey as well as much of the Tri-State area under a marginal risk for severe weather. Currently, there is a Flash Flood Watch in effect for much of the Garden State from Saturday night at 8:00 PM to Sunday evening at 8:00 PM. The National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey is calling for anywhere from 2 to 3 inches with some places receiving as much as 4 inches of rainfall from Bill’s remnant low. After a mostly dry April and May, rainfall has picked up again at GWC in South Plainfield. Since May 31st, there has been 4.37 inches of rain at GWC.
Here is car cam footage of a drive taken after work through Middlesex and Monmouth counties along Routes 9, 35, and 36 South during some heavy rain on the evening of June 16th. On this day, there were several rounds of rain. During the late afternoon, skies grew threatening again as a wave of storms moved in from Northeastern Pennsylvania and Northwestern Jersey. The high temperature was only 83 degrees, but the dew point peaked at 77, which created a very tropical environment for heavy rains to develop. The bulk of the heavy rains stayed away as GWC in South Plainfield only received 0.12 inches of rain. However, further south and east along the Route 35 and 36 corridors, there were torrential downpours.
Here is footage of the threatening skies over the Raritan Center section of Edison, New Jersey as showers and storms approached from the northwest on the afternoon and evening of June 16th. On this day, there were several rounds of rain. During the late afternoon, skies grew threatening again as a wave of storms moved in from Northeastern Pennsylvania and Northwestern Jersey. The high temperature was only 83 degrees, but the dew point peaked at 77, which created a very tropical environment for heavy rains to develop. The bulk of the heavy rains stayed away as GWC in South Plainfield only received 0.12 inches of rain. However, further south and east along the Route 35 and 36 corridors, there were torrential downpours.
Here is car cam footage of a drive through a sun shower in Metuchen and Edison, New Jersey on the afternoon of June 16th. On this day, the high temperature was only 83 degrees, but the air was very tropical with a peak dew point of 77 degrees. The result was several rounds of rain during the day including this late afternoon sun shower over Northern Middlesex County.
Here is a time lapse video of weather conditions at Union Beach, New Jersey on the evening of June 15, 2015. On this day, skies were mostly cloudy after some more rain fell during the course of the day. High temperature topped out at 87 degrees at GWC with a peak dew point of 77 degrees. Total rainfall was a little more than a tenth of an inch.
Second Storm of Atlantic Season Picks Up Some Strength as it Closes in on Lone Star State
Since last week, models had been indicating that a tropical system was going to form in the Gulf. Within the past 36 hours, that forecast has become reality as Tropical Storm Bill, the second named storm of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season has developed. Currently, the storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour after Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated the storm earlier on Tuesday morning. Bill emerged from Invest 91L, which was classified over the weekend as it dumped heavy rains on Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula.
As of the 7:00 AM CDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Bill was centered about 30 miles to the East-Southeast of Port O’Connor Texas. Minimum central pressure is at 997 millibars or 29.44 inches of Hg. Tropical Storm force winds extend some 150 miles from the center of circulation. Reports out of Matagorda Bay have wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour. With the storm moving in over the mid-Texas coast, much of the brunt of this storm will be felt in the Galveston and Houston areas, which are in Bill’s northeast quadrant. Those areas are expected to receive 8 to 12 inches of rain along with winds near 60 miles per hour.
Currently, there is a Tropical Storm Warning out for the Texas Coast from Baffin Bay to High Island, Texas. The storm is expected to spread 4 to 8 inches of rain across Eastern Texas and Eastern Oklahoma with some isolated areas receiving 12 inches while portions of Western Arkansas and Southern Missouri are expected to receive anywhere from 2 to 4 inches. Storm surge of 2 to 4 feet is anticipated along the Texas Coast while the Western Louisiana coast is expected to get 1 to 2 feet of surge. As with many landfalling tropical systems, tornadoes are also a threat.
The big story with Bill will be the rain. While there will be some wind, heavy surf, and some surge, it won’t be as bad as the rain. Keep in mind, Texas is still recovering from month long rains in May. The storm is bringing in tremendous amounts of moisture, and as the system comes ashore, this abundant moisture is expected to push to the north and east. So, much of the eastern half of the country will be seeing a good deal of rainfall from what is left of Bill. Here in New Jersey, where there has already been some heavy rain on Sunday and Monday, showers and storms are also expected on Tuesday, Wednesday night into Thursday and possibly this weekend as Bill’s remnants move closer. Portions of the Garden State could end up with between 2 to 4 inches of rain before the week is out.