09.11.14

GWC Storm Footage–September 8, 2014–Coastal Low Puts On A Show

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos, GWC Severe Weather Report at 12:56 am by gmachos

Here is video footage of the show put on along the Jersey Shore and portions of Northeastern Middlesex and Monmouth counties by a coastal low in the Mid-Atlantic on the second Monday and Tuesday of September 2014.

During the course of the day on Monday, weather conditions became more cloudy, windy, and cooler here in the northern portions of Middlesex County as well as the rest of the Garden State. The dark grey clouds hovering closer to the ground along with some peeks of blue sky and sun made for a dramatic look to the skies over the Raritan Center section of Edison, New Jersey during the mid to late afternoon. Nevertheless, the rain is stayed to the south of our area. The bulk of the precipitation is spinning from North Carolina to Delaware.

Conditions were a lot rougher along the Jersey Shore at Waterfront Park in South Amboy. Winds had to be at least 30 to 40 mph. The combination of the gusty winds and easterly fetch along with the above normal tides thanks to the presence of the full moon, and the seas were rougher with whitecaps and more frequent waves.

Due to the cloud cover and gusty winds, temperatures and dew points have been down. The high temperature at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey only reached 75 after a high of 78 on Sunday. At the time of this report, the thermometer at GWC read 71 degrees. The dew point has been ranging from the mid 50s to mid 60s with the higher dew points in the range occurring in the morning. Winds did increase with sustained winds around 5 mph, and gusts up to 10 mph. They were also much stronger at the coast.

GWC Slideshow–September 8-9, 2014–Coastal Low Puts On A Show

Posted in GWC News, YouTube Videos, GWC Slideshows at 12:49 am by gmachos

Here is a slideshow from photos taken of the show put on along the Jersey Shore and portions of Northeastern Middlesex and Monmouth counties by a coastal low in the Mid-Atlantic on the second Monday and Tuesday of September 2014.

During the course of the day on Monday, weather conditions became more cloudy, windy, and cooler here in the northern portions of Middlesex County as well as the rest of the Garden State. The dark grey clouds hovering closer to the ground along with some peeks of blue sky and sun made for a dramatic look to the skies over the Raritan Center section of Edison, New Jersey during the mid to late afternoon. Nevertheless, the rain is stayed to the south of our area. The bulk of the precipitation is spinning from North Carolina to Delaware.

Conditions were a lot rougher along the Jersey Shore at Waterfront Park in South Amboy. Winds had to be at least 30 to 40 mph. The combination of the gusty winds and easterly fetch along with the above normal tides thanks to the presence of the full moon, and the seas were rougher with whitecaps and more frequent waves.

Due to the cloud cover and gusty winds, temperatures and dew points have been down. The high temperature at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey only reached 75 after a high of 78 on Sunday. At the time of this report, the thermometer at GWC read 71 degrees. The dew point has been ranging from the mid 50s to mid 60s with the higher dew points in the range occurring in the morning. Winds did increase with sustained winds around 5 mph, and gusts up to 10 mph. They were also much stronger at the coast.

GWC Storm Footage–September 6, 2014–Thunderstorms Roll Through Northern Middlesex County

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos, GWC Video Report, GWC Severe Weather Report at 12:32 am by gmachos

Here is video footage of thunderstorms moving through Northern Middlesex County on the first Saturday of September 2014. On this day, the temperature rose to 92 degrees, the hottest since July 2nd. Dew point at GWC climbed to 78 to produce a heat index of 106. Then, several waves of thunderstorms came through ahead of a cold front producing gusty winds, dangerous lightning, and heavy rain.

GWC Time Lapse–September 6, 2014–Thunderstorms Roll Through Raritan Center

Posted in GWC News, YouTube Videos, GWC Time Lapse at 12:22 am by gmachos

Here time lapse video of the thunderstorms that moved through the Raritan Center section of Edison, New Jersey on the first Saturday of September 2014. On this day, the temperature rose to 92 degrees, the hottest since July 2nd. Dew point at GWC climbed to 78 to produce a heat index of 106. Then, several waves of thunderstorms came through ahead of a cold front producing gusty winds, dangerous lightning, and heavy rain.

09.10.14

Two Disturbances Being Watched in the Atlantic

Posted in Storm Preparation, GWC News, Storm Safety, Tracking the Tropics, Model Forecasts at 11:42 am by gmachos

New Disturbance near Bahamas Joins Invest 91L in Eastern Atlantic

Wednesday marks the statistical peak of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Looking at historical data going back to 1851, the most named storms and hurricanes have formed on September 10th in the Atlantic.  However, to date, this hurricane season has been well below average.  There have only been 5 depressions, 4 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and no major hurricanes in the Atlantic.

Things might be changing though.  Despite a vast area of dry stable air and hostile upper level wind shear in the Atlantic, there are now two disturbances being watched by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.  The first disturbance is in the vicinity of the Bahamas, and has a 10 percent chance of development over the next 48 hours, and a 20 percent chance of formation over the next 5 days.  The bigger threat, although much farther away in the Eastern Atlantic is Invest 91L, which has a 20 percent chance of development within the next 48 hours, and a 70 percent chance over the next 5 days.

Looking at analysis provided by Hurricane Consulting, the area of disturbed weather near the Bahamas is part of a surface trough that is interacting with a broad upper level low extending from the Southeastern Gulf of Mexico to the Bahamas.  To the north of this area is a surface low over North Carolina along with a frontal boundary that has been responsible for the cloudiness and shower activity in New Jersey the past couple days as well as stormy conditions in the Mid-Atlantic.  

The disturbance in the Bahamas doesn’t appear to be a threat to develop at this time.  The GFS fails to develop this disturbance, but other models have it becoming an area of low pressure off the Southwest Florida coast by this weekend.  If the projections of the other models hold, the disturbance will be in the Gulf of Mexico, which is an area of very warm water, a key factor in development.

There is another area of disturbed weather being watched in the Central Caribbean.  Viewing the satellite and radar composite of the area, there is a very nice flare up of convection associated with this broad mid to upper level trough, but conditions aren’t favorable for development.  Shifting over to the Eastern Atlantic, there is Invest 91L, which is now moving toward the Central Atlantic waters some 600 miles to the West-Southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.  

The disturbance is now an estimated 1006 millibar low, and it is a vast area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms.  Conditions are expected to become more favorable for development as we move further into the Atlantic, but it is too early to tell whether it will come ashore in the United States. Presently, the GFS model indicates that Invest 91L is expected to move through the Southeastern Bahamas within the next 10 to 12 days, and approach Florida as a strong hurricane before turning out to the east and stalling in the Northern Bahamas.

GWC and Hurricaneville will continue to watch the situation with these two disturbances, and other features that the various forecast models bring up over the next two weeks.  While this September has been fairly quiet to date, it is far from over, and the United States is long overdue for a landfalling major hurricane.  The last time such a storm came ashore in the U.S. was nearly 10 years ago.  There has been a dearth of major hurricanes in the Atlantic overall.  Tomorrow will mark two years since a major hurricane was classified (Michael in 2012).  Keep in mind that even in low activity years, there is still the possibility of a classic storm.  Andrew in 1992, the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, and the Long Island Express of 1938 are powerful examples.

Special thanks to Lew Fincher and Stan Blazyk of Hurricane Consulting for providing their analysis on the current disturbances in the Atlantic.

09.09.14

GWC Slideshow–September 6, 2014–Thunderstorms

Posted in GWC News, YouTube Videos, GWC Slideshows at 7:02 am by gmachos

Here is a slideshow of photos taken of the thunderstorms that moved through Central Jersey on the first Saturday of September 2014. On this day, the temperature rose to 92 degrees, the hottest since July 2nd. Dew point at GWC climbed to 78 to produce a heat index of 106. Then, several waves of thunderstorms came through ahead of a cold front producing gusty winds, dangerous lightning, and heavy rain.

09.08.14

Coastal Low Providing Dramatic Skies Over Jersey

Posted in GWC News, GWC Severe Weather Report at 6:02 pm by gmachos

Storm System in Mid-Atlantic still far enough south to keep rain away from Garden State; Severe Weather Possible on Thursday

During the course of the day on Monday, weather conditions became more cloudy, windy, and cooler here in the northern portions of Middlesex County as well as the rest of the Garden State. The the dark grey clouds hovering closer to the ground along with some peeks of blue sky and sun made for a dramatic look to the skies over the Raritan Center section of Edison, New Jersey during the mid to late afternoon. Nevertheless, the rain is staying to the south of our area. The bulk of the precipitation is spinning from North Carolina to Delaware.

Due to the cloud cover and gusty winds, temperatures and dew points have been down. The high temperature at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey only reached 75 after a high of 78 on Sunday. At the time of this report, the thermometer at GWC read 71 degrees.

The dew point has been ranging from the mid 50s to mid 60s with the higher dew points in the range occurring in the morning. Winds have been on the increase with sustained winds around 5 mph, and gusts up to 10 mph. The forecast from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly had indicated showers for Monday into Tuesday, but now it appears that conditions will stay dry.

The next chance of rain is expected on Thursday when a cold front is expected to push through the Garden State. Prior to the front’s arrival, temperatures are expected to climb into the mid to upper 80s. After the front passes through though, temperatures are expected to drop significantly with highs only reaching the low 70s at best on Friday and Saturday.

The dramatic change had been indicated on the GWC and Hurricaneville Facebook page over the past week or so. With the dramatic shift expected, the chance of severe weather is increasing. Strong to severe storms are possible ahead of the front in Delaware, Southeastern New York, New Jersey, and Eastern Pennsylvania on Thursday.

09.07.14

Stormy End to Hot and Muggy Weather in New Jersey on Saturday

Posted in GWC News, GWC Severe Weather Report at 9:09 am by gmachos

Three Rounds of Storms Usher in Cooler and Drier Air

Prior to mid-Saturday afternoon, the month of September had been off to a blistering start by relative standards. After a month of August that had seen only two days of 90 degree temperatures including one on August 31st, the first week of September brought in as many 90 degree days. The average temperature and heat index for the week were warmer than the three previous months, and Saturday’s high was the second highest temperature at GWC in South Plainfield since June 1st. The high reached 92 degrees in South Plainfield. Combine that with a stifling dew point of 78, and you had a peak heat index of 106, the hottest and muggiest day in Northwest Middlesex County since July 2nd.

The heat and humidity on Saturday was then put to an abrupt end when the first of several rounds of thunderstorms rolled through the Garden State. The first wave hit around 4:00 PM. Followed by another one around 6:00 PM, and then a final one around 11:00 PM. The first round of storms was probably the most severe. Over in the Raritan Center section of Edison, New Jersey, the powerful storms brought a combination of loud thunder, vivid lightning, gusty winds, and heavy rains. The combination helped flicker the lights inside some of the office buildings there. However, they only brought a trickle of rain to South Plainfield. The thrust of the next round of storms hit Southern Middlesex County, Mercer County, and Monmouth County very hard prompting a Severe Thunderstorm Warning from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.

There would be a lull in the action for a few hours around Middlesex County. While skies remained somewhat cloudy with large cumulonimbus clouds to the west of the area, no rain or storms would start to come through until about 10:30 PM. These storms came with some fanfare originally in Eastern Pennsylvania, and then crossed the border into Western New Jersey during the 9:00 PM hour. The storms were accompanied by some hail, winds estimated at 60 miles per hour, vivid lightning and heavy rain. After coming through Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Morris, and Somerset counties, the band of storms began pushing through Northwestern Middlesex, and put on a fairly good lightning display. Winds became a bit gusty with some thunder before rain began falling.

The first round of storms in the late afternoon actually provided some benefit in Northern Middlesex County by stabilizing the atmosphere just enough to prevent more severe weather from occurring.  When it was all said and done though, the three rounds of storms only produced a total of 0.22 inches of rain at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield. Rainfall has been a bit scarce over the past 30 to 45 days. The month of August 2014 was the driest at GWC in the past four years with only 1.87 inches of rain. Yesterday was the first significant rainfall of the month of September here in South Plainfield, and on average Septembers are usually dry in New Jersey. So far this year, there has been 30.60 inches of rain at GWC in South Plainfield, and 14.07 inches of that has fallen since June 1st. This summer has so far been the coolest in the past four years with an average temperature of 73 degrees and an average peak temperature of 92 degrees. The peak heat index was only 110, and that was in July.

The forecast for this week calls for temperatures to cool down into the low 80s on Sunday, and then into the mid to upper 70s on Monday and Tuesday with showers before temperatures moderate into the low 80s again by Thursday and Friday. Models are indicating though that a significant cool down is expected starting next weekend with below normal temperatures across much of the eastern half of the United States starting next weekend.

09.06.14

GWC Slideshow–September 5, 2014–Cumulus Clouds

Posted in GWC News, YouTube Videos, GWC Slideshows at 4:49 am by gmachos

Here is a slideshow from photos taken of the cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds that developed on Friday afternoon in South Plainfield and North Edison. On this day, the high temperature reached 87 degrees at GWC in South Plainfield. Coupled with a dew point peaking at 76, the heat and humidity produced a top heat index of 96 degrees. A quick thundershower developed around 6:00 PM, and brought a trace of rain to the area.

09.05.14

Still Looking at El Niño Developing in Fall and Early Winter

Posted in GWC News, Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, Tracking the Tropics, Model Forecasts at 10:34 am by gmachos

Forecasts Indicate a 65 Percent Chance of Weak Episode Developing

An El Niño event is coming.  Many have wondered when it is coming, but despite the delay, an ENSO episode is on the way.  Although forecasts from earlier this year calling for a strong one have diminished, there is still a very good chance of one occurring by the end of this year, or early next year.  According to NOAA’s El Niño portal, the National Weather Service suggests that there is still a 65 percent chance of an ENSO episode developing in the fall or the early winter.  Expectations of intensity have been reduced though to just a weak episode.

Right now, the ENSO alert status on the Climate Prediction Center web site is at El Niño Watch, which is “issued when conditions are favorable for the development of El Niño conditions within the next six months.”  The El Niño and Southern Oscillation is a global weather pattern shift that occurs when sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific become higher than normal, and gradually migrate across the Pacific Ocean.  The effects of this weather shift is felt all around the globe.  Some of these effects may have positive or negative impacts depending upon where you live.

For example, an El Niño episode could result in increased rainfall in California, which would be a welcome sight.  Currently, California is experiencing one of its worst droughts in history.  So significant rainfall would be very beneficial.  However, with this year’s El Niño forecasted to be weak, there may be a limit to how much rain California would get.  ENSO also has an impact on the Indian Monsoon weather pattern, but it is a bit more complicated.  The Indian Monsoon is not rainfall, but a large scale weather pattern that affects the subcontinent.  It occurs between June and September, and is responsible for the majority of India’s yearly rainfall.  For the most part, El Niño generally suppresses monsoonal rainfall.

Other impacts across the United States includes drier conditions in the Ohio Valley, less than normal rainfall across Hawaii from late fall to early spring, and somewhat drier conditions in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies.  Another key impact is on the tropics.  Warmer sea surface temperatures in the Pacific usually mean more activity in the Eastern, Central, and Western Pacific basins.  So far this year, there has been quite a bit of activity in the EPAC with 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes including 3 Category Four storms and one Category Five system.  The Central Pacific has seen four storms in the area of Hawaii, and the Western Pacific has experienced a number of powerful typhoons.

Meanwhile, activity in the Tropical Atlantic has been lacking.  There have only been 5 tropical depressions, 4 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and no major hurricanes so far in 2014, and we are five days away from the statistical peak of the season.  However, the lack of activity in the Atlantic is not because of ENSO.  Instead, it is because of dry air over a vast portion of the Atlantic Basin.  Normally, when an El Niño occurs, it creates hostile upper level wind conditions in the Atlantic, which prevents tremendous thunderstorms from developing, which is a critical ingredient for tropical storm and hurricane formation.

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