01.08.17

GWC Storm Footage–January 7, 2017–Coastal Storm Brings Some Snow

Posted in Storm Footage, YouTube Videos at 9:44 pm by gmachos

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.

08.28.16

Looking Back on Hurricane Irene Five Years Ago

Posted in Storm Track, Storm Experiences, Storm History, Storm Facts, Storm Aftermath, Storm Footage, Storm Stories, Tracking the Tropics at 7:15 pm by gmachos

Anniversary of Irene’s Impact on New Jersey This Weekend

The past two days here in New Jersey were filled with plenty of sun along with heat and humidity. Five years ago this weekend, there was a lot of humidity as well with the approach of what eventually became Tropical Storm Irene here in the Garden State. While the storm had lost much of its punch, it still brought plenty of rain, which many locations in New Jersey didn’t need.

Prior to Hurricane Irene, the Garden State experienced perhaps the wettest August on record. Many locations had over a foot of water thanks to torrential downpours occurring numerous times over the course of the month. Here at GWC in South Plainfield, located in the Northwest corner of Middlesex County, there had been 10 inches of rain.

Then came Irene, which brought to GWC approximately 5.34 inches. Winds gusted to near 70 miles per hour while the barometric pressure bottomed out at 970 millibars, or 28.64 inches of Hg (Mercury), the lowest level ever at GWC at that time. It would be surpassed some 14 months later when Hurricane Sandy came along and shattered it.

Despite the tremendous flooding across the Garden State including the worst flooding in the 45 years that I’ve lived in my neighborhood in South Plainfield, NJ (View the video of the flooding from Irene outside of GWC). Places in Monmouth County such as Howell received much more rain (up to 10 inches). Irene also churned up the surf along the Jersey Shore including Raritan Bay at South Amboy’s Waterfront Park (View video of the rising tides at Raritan Bay from Irene).

Driving home from South Amboy was also very treacherous since portions of I-287 and Route 440 had overwash and flooding. The storm produced winds near 70 miles per hour at GWC. Central Jersey as well as other parts of the state were hit with power outages. A tornado was spawned in Lewes, Delaware which is a ferry service away from Cape May on the southern tip of the Garden State. The combination of losing power combined with the rising flood waters in my neighborhood forced my family to evacuate to a hotel in a nearby town. We stayed at the hotel for several days.

All of the chaos from the storm as well as the evacuation to the hotel put a lot of stress on our cat, Socko. Unknown to us, Socko had already been suffering health wise from a cancerous growth that had developed in his chest a few years before. However, the stress of going to an unfamiliar location caused him to suffer panic attacks. He eventually adjusted, but then was brought back to the house, where the air was stifling and had an odor that seemed toxic.

Socko died a week later on the Sunday morning before Labor Day. Our family hasn’t gotten a cat or dog since. To my amazement, the historic flooding in my neighborhood didn’t last long. Within a day, the flood waters had receded, which allowed my family to return home by Thursday of that week. Power and gas came on that day. One great thing that came out of all of this was the fact that the new GWC Wx Station, installed in June, kept running throughout, and I was able to retrieve the historic data.

The storm did damage further north as well. Irene brought storm surge between 3 and 6 feet in New York City and Long Island. It also produced torrential rainfall in New England, especially Vermont, which experienced some of the worst flooding since 1927. Many covered bridges, which dot the landscape throughout Vermont, were destroyed by the raging waters that developed as a result of the heavy rains from Irene there.

Despite all the tremendous damage from Irene, I must say that New Jersey, New York, and New England were very fortunate. Irene could have been much worse. After the storm had ravaged the Bahamas with Category Three strength winds of 120 miles per hour, it had strengthened to 125 miles per hour, but dry air was able to get into the system, and gradually sapped Irene of her strength and fury. The storm became a jogger struggling to get to the finish line. It had simply run out of gas.

By the time, Hurricane Irene had made landfall along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the storm had winds of minimal hurricane strength, but more importantly, the core structure of the system had turned into Swiss cheese from the dry air intrusion. Originally, Irene had reached Cape May, and Brigantine Island as a Category One Hurricane with 75 mph winds, but it was later revised to be a tropical storm with 70 mph winds.

Irene was more typical of tropical systems that affect the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast although it took a more coastal track through the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and eventually up into New Jersey. Sandy was much different in that it was a tropical system that formed in the final days of October, where the upper level winds and jet stream are starting to become more winter like. In addition, blocking high pressure formed to the north of Sandy, which forced it to make its move toward the Jersey Shore.

It was a memorable week or two in New Jersey, but the experience with Irene, which was more of a rainmaker, would pale in comparison to the onslaught brought by Sandy some 14 months later. Irene and Sandy did serve as a reminder that New Jersey is a coastal state and despite the protection from the Carolinas to the south, it is still vulnerable to tropical storms and hurricanes.

08.26.16

Invest 99L Takes a Hit on Thursday

Posted in Storm Track, Storm Preparation, Storm Footage, Storm Warning, Model Forecasts at 8:29 am by gmachos

Disturbance Takes a Turn for the Worse; Still Expected to Bring Heavy Rains and Gusty Winds to Hispaniola, Cuba, and South Florida

There was not only some good news for residents along the Gulf Coast and South Florida on Thursday, but also a lesson to all of us about trusting the computer models when it comes to forecasting the intensity and track of a developing system. Invest 99L lost a good deal of its punch as it neared the Bahamas on Thursday.

Thunderstorm activity associated with the disturbance that has been attracting a lot of attention during the week decreased significantly. As of 8:00 AM EDT on Friday morning, the weak area of low pressure that extends from Eastern Cuba northward into the Central Bahamas continues to have disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity according to the National Hurricane Center.

In addition to the weak convection, the disturbance also has to deal with unfavorable atmospheric conditions, particularly hostile upper level winds. The upper level wind shear is expected to persist for the next couple of days. Hurricane Hunter aircraft was supposed to fly into the area of disturbed weather on Friday morning, but the mission has been cancelled. The disturbance is moving to the West-Northwest at 10 miles per hour.

As of Friday morning, the chances of formation with the disturbance, Invest 99L, is at 10 percent over the next 48 hours, and over the next five days. So, the damage done to Invest 99L on Thursday has crippled it significantly for the time being. However, conditions could become more favorable for development at the start of next week when Invest 99L enters the Eastern Gulf of Mexico where sea surface temperature usually run high, and upper level winds are more accommodating.

Regardless of what happens with Invest 99L, residents in Eastern and Central Cuba, Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and South Florida and the Florida Keys should expect heavy rains and gusty winds starting with Eastern and Central Cuba and Hispaniola on Friday and spreading into the Bahamas, South Florida, and the Florida Keys during the course of the weekend. Heavy rains are a significant concern in Cuba and Hispaniola where the terrain is more mountainous and can produce flash floods and mudslides.

Looking at the model performance to date with Invest 99L, Bryan Norcross of The Weather Channel said it best when he said that both the Euro and GFS “suck” when it comes to forecasting developing or fledgling systems such as Invest 99L. They are much better at predicting storms that are more mature such as a major hurricane. This could be due to the fact that developing storms are more fragile when it comes to dealing with environmental conditions such as wind shear, dry air, and mountainous terrain. The models don’t quite grasp that concept.

We still need to keep an eye on Invest 99L. In the past, there have been storms such as Hurricane Frederick in 1979 or Hurricane Andrew in 1992 that were basically given up for dead, and experienced a dramatic resurgence to become a memorable, destructive, and even deadly storm. Residents along the Gulf Coast should continue to monitor the progress of this still developing situation.

01.28.16

GWC Storm Footage–Blizzard of 2016–Highlights

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos, GWC Web Cam at 12:51 pm by gmachos

Here are video highlights from footage taken of the Blizzard of 2016 from the evening of January 22nd to the afternoon of January 23rd. The storm was the 6th strongest snowstorm to affect the Northeast since 1900. It produced 24.8 inches of snow at GWC in South Plainfield. It also produced historic snowfalls in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Martinsburg, West Virginia.

GWC Storm Footage–January 23, 2016–Blizzard of 2016–Side of House View

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos, GWC Web Cam at 12:48 pm by gmachos

Here is video footage taken of the Blizzard of 2016 from the side of the house at Greg’s Weather Center. The storm became the 6th biggest snowstorm ever in the Northeast since 1900. It produced 24.8 inches here at GWC in South Plainfield along with winds that gusted to 55 mph. Barometric pressure dropped to 29.58 inches while the temperature hovered between 23 and 27 degrees during the course of the day.

GWC Storm Footage–January 23, 2016–Blizzard of 2016–Rooftop View

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos, GWC Web Cam at 12:46 pm by gmachos

Here is video footage taken of the Blizzard of 2016 from the roof at Greg’s Weather Center. The storm became the 6th biggest snowstorm ever in the Northeast since 1900. It produced 24.8 inches here at GWC in South Plainfield along with winds that gusted to 55 mph. Barometric pressure dropped to 29.58 inches while the temperature hovered between 23 and 27 degrees during the course of the day.

GWC Storm Footage–January 23, 2016–Blizzard of 2016–Front Porch View

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos, GWC Web Cam at 12:43 pm by gmachos

Here is video footage taken of the Blizzard of 2016 from the front porch at Greg’s Weather Center. The storm became the 6th biggest snowstorm ever in the Northeast since 1900. It produced 24.8 inches here at GWC in South Plainfield along with winds that gusted to 55 mph. Barometric pressure dropped to 29.58 inches while the temperature hovered between 23 and 27 degrees during the course of the day.

GWC Storm Footage–January 23, 2016–Blizzard of 2016–Driveway View

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos, GWC Web Cam at 12:40 pm by gmachos

Here is video footage taken of the Blizzard of 2016 from the driveway at Greg’s Weather Center. The storm became the 6th biggest snowstorm ever in the Northeast since 1900. It produced 24.8 inches here at GWC in South Plainfield along with winds that gusted to 55 mph. Barometric pressure dropped to 29.58 inches while the temperature hovered between 23 and 27 degrees during the course of the day.

GWC Storm Footage–January 23, 2016–Blizzard of 2016–Backyard View

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos at 12:37 pm by gmachos

Here is video footage taken of the Blizzard of 2016 from the backyard at Greg’s Weather Center. The storm became the 6th biggest snowstorm ever in the Northeast since 1900. It produced 24.8 inches here at GWC in South Plainfield along with winds that gusted to 55 mph. Barometric pressure dropped to 29.58 inches while the temperature hovered between 23 and 27 degrees during the course of the day.

01.25.16

GWC Slideshow–January 22-23, 2016–Blizzard of 2016

Posted in GWC News, Storm Footage, YouTube Videos, GWC Slideshows at 4:17 pm by gmachos

Here is a slideshow of photos from the onslaught brought on by the Blizzard of 2016 here in South Plainfield, NJ over the weekend of January 22-23. The storm dumped 24.8 inches of snow here at GWC in South Plainfield. Winds gusted to between 50 and 55 miles per hour while the pressure dropped to 29.58 inches of Hg. Temperatures ranged between 23 and 27 degrees throughout much of the snowstorm.

« Previous entries ·