GWC Timelapse Video–June 18, 2008–Thunderstorms Bring Drenching Rains

Posted in YouTube Videos at 4:54 pm by gmachos

Good afternoon once again. Trying to make up for lost time, I’ve put together another timelapse photography video for you all to view. This one was a couple days after the previous one I posted today on June 18, 2008. That’s not the only difference either. This line of storms brought drenching rains rather than gusty winds. Enjoy.

GWC Timelapse Video–June 16, 2008–Thunderstorms Bring Gusty Winds

Posted in YouTube Videos at 4:49 pm by gmachos

Good afternoon everyone. It has been a while since I’ve posted anything on the web site, let alone anything in the blog. I’ve been very busy with my new job and my basketball web site. As a matter of fact, I’m scheduled to work overtime at my job on Friday, which is a day where I can usually get some things done. Well, anyway, I have a timelapse video of a recent severe weather outbreak. This video from June 16, 2008 has a line of thunderstorms passing through Central Jersey that brought with it some gusty winds. Enjoy.


First Major Heat Wave Of Season Bearing Down On Central Jersey

Posted in General, GWC News at 12:16 pm by gmachos

Good morning. I know that it has been a few days since I last posted anything to the web site. Unfortunately, I’ve been busy with basketball and my new job. It also didn’t help that on Saturday morning, I had some dizzy spells. Too much Pepperoni Pizza on Friday night I guess. The weather has definitely picked up in terms of temperature over the course of the early part of this month. Ever since Memorial Day, the mercury has been steadily climbing to levels that are more appropriate for this time of year.

After some stormy and wet weather came through Central Jersey last week, the sun returned with a vengeance as the first major heat wave of the season is now upon us. Looking at the latest data from the Greg’s WX Center Weather Station here in South Plainfield, the temperature climbed to almost 94 on Saturday and then a bit more than 93 on Sunday. I happened to be out playing basketball and walking on Sunday, and it was a doozy out there. Very hot. Thank goodness I brought my water along for the ride. In spite of that, I was able to put in a very good workout of playing basketball for a little more than a half an hour, and walk for about another 45 minutes. Then, I wrapped things up by doing some jumping jacks, squats, and toe raises. I’m really starting to get into the whole Nikeplus.com thing with my iPod Nano and it’s Nike+iPod sensor.

On Sunday night, severe weather rolled through the Central Jersey area with Thunderstorms producing warnings in several counties in New Jersey including: Morris, Sussex, and Warren up until 10:00 PM last night. Those storms came through Northwestern Middlesex County later on in the evening, and created some loud rumbles of thunder along with a heavy downpour for a bit before moving southeastward into Northern Monmouth County. During the 11:30 PM newscasts, you could see how the radar over Monmouth County, Raritan Bay, and even Staten Island was lit up like a Christmas tree. In spite of all that, there was only 0.03 inches of rain that fell here in South Plainfield. Speaking of rain, there has been only three days of measurable rain this month including 0.92 inches of rainfall on June 4th.

Looking at the data for the year so far, this past May moved into first place for the wettest month of the year so far with 4.65 inches. The previous monthly high was 4.61 inches for the month of February. You can definitely tell that the mercury is picking up when you see the number of cooling degree days drastically jump to 62.3 so far here in June after only 16.0 in May. There had been only 17.7 for the year prior to this month. Now there is a total of 80 for the year. The mean temperature so far this month is 71.9 with the average max being 81.4 while the average min is 62.4. There is a heat advisory in effect for the region again today, and we should expect the same for tomorrow as today’s high is expected to reach 99 with a heat index of 102 while tomorrow’s high is expected to climb to 97 before thunderstorms roll in. Some are anticipated to be severe.


Tropical Storm Arthur Gives A Jump Start To Atlantic Season

Posted in Storm Track at 1:36 am by gmachos

On Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the start of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season, mother nature decided to start on her own time as the first tropical cyclone emerged in the Atlantic Basin. During the course of the week, while Tropical Storm Alma formed in the tropical waters off the west coast of Costa Rica, there was another area of disturbed weather on the other side of Central America in the Western Caribbean. Over the next several days, this area became better organized, and developed into the first named storm of the Atlantic season at 1:00 PM EDT near the coast of Belize, formerly known as British Honduras.

The storm, which was named Arthur, eventually came ashore in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula in the areas of Chetumal, Mexico and Ciudad del Carmen. The storm, which was moving very slowly due to the lack of steering winds at the upper levels of the atmosphere, dragged itself along the plateau of the southern Yucatan for the next 24 hours or so, and brought with it, a tremendous amount of rain. While the rainfall amounts were not as high as those of its Eastern Pacific counterpart, Arthur’s torrential rains did produce between 5 to 10 inches of rainfall with some areas seeing 15 inches. By comparison, Arthur was a much weaker storm than Alma with maximum sustained winds only reaching tropical storm force of 40 miles per hour, and a minimum barometric pressure dropping to only 1005 millibars, or 29.68 inches of Hg (Mercury).

The storm is still chugging along, but as a Tropical Depression some 80 miles to the Southeast of Ciudad del Carmen in the southern Yucatan as of the 5:00 PM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. The forecast indicates that the depression is likely to weaken over the next 24 hours, and become a remnant low by the next advisory.

Tropical Storm Alma Starts 2008 EPAC Season

Posted in Eastern Pacific at 1:06 am by gmachos

During the course of this past week, the Eastern Pacific had its first storm of 2008. Tropical Storm Alma emerged in the warm waters off the shores of Costa Rica in Central America. Like its Atlantic season starting brethren, Arthur, Alma was a storm that produced a lot of rain, especially over the more mountainous interior of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Alma nearly reached minimal hurricane status with sustained winds peaking at 65 miles per hour before making landfall. The barometric pressure associated with Alma bottomed out at 29.35 inches of Hg (Mercury), or 994 millibars.

Forming approximately 105 miles to the West-Northwest of Cabo Blanco in Costa Rica, or about 130 miles directly to the south of the capital city of Managua in Nicaragua on May 28th at 5:00 PM EDT, what was to become Alma gradually churned to the north at around 5 mph before it eventually came ashore over Southern Honduras some 24 hours later. Rainfall amounts for the most part ranged between 10 to 15 inches while some locales received up to 20 inches. Not surprising since this region is very mountainous, which tends to lift the air, and produce tremendous amounts of condensation with the ample amounts of moisture. Eventually, the storm dissipated on Friday morning, May 30th over the high terrain of the border region between Honduras and Guatemala.


2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins Today

Posted in Storm Preparation at 11:59 pm by gmachos

Good evening everyone. Sorry that I didn’t have anything posted to the web site anytime sooner, but I have been busy staying away from the computer for the past couple days. In addition, when I’ve been on the computer, I’ve been busy trying to keep up with basketball around the area for my high school b-ball site, GMC Hoops. Anyways, the day has finally come. The first day of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season got underway today, and pretty much on cue, the first tropical storm of the season developed in the Atlantic.

On Saturday, Tropical Storm Arthur emerged in the warm waters of the Western Caribbean and the extreme Southern Gulf of Mexico before coming ashore near Belize. The storm developed on Saturday afternoon around the time of 1:00 PM EDT according to the archive of bulletins maintained at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. The storm system then moved over the Yucatan Peninsula, and slowly dragged over the region with its drenching rains. Arthur only had winds of 40 miles per hour, but the slow pace of the storm’s track as well as the elevated plateau of the Yucatan, and the rugged terrain of Belize, Guatemala, and Eastern Mexico provided the necessary ingredients for orographic lifting and torrential rains.

As a result, rainfall amounts were between 5 to 10 inches in most areas while some locales experienced as much as 15 inches. This heavy rainfall had the potential to produce significant flooding and dangerous mudslides. More on this storm a bit later in the blog. Last month, forecasters from NOAA came out with projections that this will be an above average season in the Atlantic with anywhere between 12 to 15 named storms, 6 to 9 hurricanes, and as many as 5 being major hurricanes of Category Three Strength or better on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially runs from June 1st to November 30th, but as we’ve already seen here with Arthur, that is not always the case. In addition to Arthur forming yesterday, there was a Subtropical Storm Andrea that formed back in May 2007. There have also been a number of storms that have formed within the first week of the Atlantic season, especially in recent years such as Hurricane Allison back in 1995. The season has also gone into overtime with storms emerging sometimes well into December such as in the monumental 2005 season. The peak of the hurricane season does not coincide with the astronomical start of summer. Since there is a lag time between the maximum radiation produced by the perpendicular ray of the sun when it moves over the Tropic of Cancer.

As a result, the peak doesn’t come until September. More specifically, the statistical maximum occurs around September 10th. The reason for that is that the oceans take a while to warm up since they encompass so much mass and volume. It requires a relatively large amount of heat energy to bring about a small amount of temperature change in water. It’s specific heat is 1.0 Calorie per gram times degrees C. Land, on the other hand, doesn’t take as long to warm up. It’s (Granite) specific heat is 0.19. The peak portion of the season can span several months though from August to October. On average, the Atlantic sees about 10 named storms per year, 6 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes according to the 50 year average. Maximum number of storms in a season was in 2005 with 28 (the previous mark was held in 1933–21). The maximum number of hurricanes in a season was 15 also in 2005 (the previous mark was in 1969–12), and the maximum number of major hurricanes in a season was 8 in 1950.