Notes From NJWO Meeting–September 29, 2010

Posted in GWC News, Storm Experiences, Storm History at 1:36 pm by gmachos

On Wednesday night, I traveled up to the Bergen County Community Services Building in Paramus for the September Meeting of the North Jersey Weather Observers. There are over 100 members in this organization, which has been in existence for over 20 years. The NJWO has a monthly newsletter that goes out called the Weather Shelter, which contains local observations and reports from the previous month as well as any other weather related news. It also has a weather hotline for observations reported in twice per day during normal weather, and more often during severe weather.

It took me about an hour to get up to Bergen County on the Garden State Parkway. I arrived a bit late to the meeting since it started at 7:30 PM. A discussion was already taking place when I walked in. The topic of discussion was the 1938 Hurricane, better known as the Long Island Express. Part of the meeting was devoted to the statistics concerning the storm. The maximum sustained winds, minimum central pressure, speed that the storm was traveling, and the track it took. There was also some discussion about how such a storm could impact the Tri-State area today, and whether or not residents would be prepared. There was general agreement that this area is not prepared for such a storm.

There were video presentations on the storm that included a track of the storm and its impacts, newsreel footage of the WPA’s response to the storm, and interviews with a couple of survivors from the storm. Handouts of recent articles on the storm were also given. There were a handful of people in attendance, but I did get to meet some of them, and talk about things. Overall, it was a good time, and I’m glad I got myself up there to participate. The next meeting of the NJWO will be on October 9th when members travel up to the third annual Tri-State Weather Conference in Danbury, Connecticut.

A Couple Of Surprisingly Healthy Waves In The Mid-Atlantic

Posted in Storm Facts, Storm Preparation, Storm Track at 12:47 pm by gmachos

While Nicole has dissipated into a remnant low being absorbed by this newly formed coastal low off the Carolina coast. There is still a good deal of activity to monitor in the Atlantic this morning. We have a couple of rather healthy tropical waves in the Central Atlantic. These two waves have come together to form a rather large area of disturbed weather some 800 miles to the East of the Windward Islands.

Showers and thunderstorms associated with this disturbance are not showing signs of organization at the moment. However, sea surface temperatures and upper level wind conditions are somewhat favorable for tropical development with time. At the moment though, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida is only giving about a 30 percent chance of this disturbance to develop into a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours.

It is quite unusual to see a disturbance this far out into the Atlantic so late in September. By this time, the Cape Verde season is shut down as the weather patterns begin to change in the Eastern Atlantic. As October begins, you normally see the Western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico be the focal point for tropical formation since the sea surface temperatures are still very warm, and upper level winds are not as hostile. We have seen this in the past week with the development of Matthew and Nicole. Storms in the Eastern and Central Atlantic such as Tropical Storm Lisa usually recurve, or dissipate.

Deluge Hitting Mid-Atlantic

Posted in GWC News, Storm Facts, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning at 12:26 pm by gmachos

Garden State Has Been Spared The Heaviest Rain So Far While North Carolina And Pennsylvania Getting Clocked

Good afternoon everyone. Well another big storm is moving up the East Coast of the United States. A coastal low is forming off the Carolinas, and is headed this way. A Flood Watch and Wind Advisory are already in effect for the Garden State as well as many other locations in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The low, which is getting energy from an upper level low in the Ohio Valley, and tremendous tropical moisture from the tropics thanks to the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole.

So far in South Plainfield, New Jersey, there has been 1.64 inches of rain, which is higher than some of the monthly rain totals we have seen in recent months. Over an inch and a half of that fell in less than three hours this morning. However, it pales in comparison to the rainfall being experienced over much of Pennsylvania. The Keystone State is just about completely covered with moderate to heavy precipitation. Meanwhile, farther south in Wilmington, North Carolina, the rainfall amounts are reaching record levels. According to information from local television stations there, the city has broken the three day rainfall total of 19.06 inches set between September 15-17, 1999 when Hurricane Floyd paid a visit. The four day total is now over 20 inches, and Wilmington could set a record for the month of September, also set in 1999.

Right now, the skies are cloudy here in Central Jersey as we have a break in the action, but things should pick up again during the course of the afternoon as the low moves up the coast. Radar from the Northeast courtesy of the Weather Channel has much of the precipitation off to our west. However, as the low begins to move up the coast, and eventually turn out to sea, the rain is expected to return along with gusty winds. Winds are expected to be between 25 and 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 45 miles per hour, particularly along the coast.

Winds aloft are expected to mix down to the surface, especially during thunderstorms, and that will create the gusty winds expected. Some areas along the East Coast could experience isolated tornadoes as well. There is already a Tornado Watch in effect for parts of the Mid-Atlantic from Southern New Jersey, through the Delmarva Peninsula, into Eastern Virginia, and North Carolina. This could end up being one memorable storm if things shake out like they are forecast to. Temperatures have held in the mid 70s throughout the morning with 100 percent humidity meaning that the dew points are in the mid 70s. We have some very tropical air in place while behind the storm, we are expected to have the coldest weather of the season yet. So, the ingredients are there. It just needs something to bring it all together.


Nicole’s Remnants To Combine With Trough For Wicked Weather

Posted in GWC News, Storm Facts, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track, Storm Warning at 6:08 pm by gmachos

Short Lasting Tropical Storm’s Remnants To Combine To Create A New Low Capable Of Producing Heavy Rains And Gusty Winds

Good afternoon everyone. I plan to be heading up to North Jersey in a little while to take part in tonight’s festivities in Northern Jersey. The NJWO, the North Jersey Weather Observers is having their monthly meeting tonight. The main portion of the meeting will focus on the survivors of the 1938 Hurricane, better known as the Long Island Express. Two days ago was the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Gloria making its impact on the New York Metro area as well as New England. However, some focus could be on an approaching storm.

Over the past couple of days, there had been some stirring in the tropics. A disturbed area of weather in the Caribbean got better organized, and became the 16th depression of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Despite its struggles to get a closed circulation and moisture to wrap around the center, the depression became Tropical Storm Nicole as of the 11:00 AM EDT Advisory on Wednesday. Although the storm didn’t last for long (the last advisory on Nicole was just issued at 5:00 PM EDT on Wednesday), it will bring its abundant tropical moisture up north riding a dip in the jet stream. The energy and moisture from what’s left of Nicole will combine with an upper level low to create a new low off the Southeastern United States, and will bring flooding rain and gusty winds in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

A Flood Watch had already been issued by the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey. In addition, a Wind Advisory has been issued by the NWS for much of the region. The storm will start late Wednesday night, continue on Thursday, and then end on Friday. Six to ten inches of rain is possible with this system in the Mid-Atlantic. Wilmington, North Carolina has already seen almost 17 inches of rain over the past few days in what could be the worst flooding since Hurricane Floyd. The weather forecast for South Plainfield indicates some where in the range to 3 to 5 inches.

The Wind Advisory is in effect from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Thursday. Sustained winds could range between 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts in upwards of 45 miles per hour. Highest wind gusts will be along the coast. These winds could take down tree limbs, power lines, and in some cases trees themselves after the ground becomes saturated, and the tree roots loosen. This looks to be the first significant coastal storm or nor’easter of the season. You have a front that is draped along the East Coast of the United States, high pressure to the east, which is keeping the front from heading out, strong upper level energy behind the front, and abundant tropical moisture streaming up from the tropics. So, there are a lot of ingredients coming together to make some interesting weather here in the Garden State over the next 36 hours.

Most Of Garden State Dodges Severe Weather On Tuesday

Posted in GWC News at 12:40 pm by gmachos

Yet another round of severe weather threatened New Jersey on Tuesday. However, nothing too serious really materialized. There was a Tornado Watch out for the entire Garden State from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM EDT on Tuesday. This was part of a powerful system that had brought a decent amount of rain to Central Jersey over the past few days. On Sunday, October 27th, a little more than a half an inch of rain fell in South Plainfield. Much of the past several days has been marked by cloudy skies here in Central Jersey.

The skies really darkened yesterday, and the winds did pick up slightly, but nothing as serious as what we have witnessed over the past two weeks developed. Nothing occurred even after the fact that the sun came out for a little bit in the late afternoon. Usually the appearance of the sun under these unstable conditions is a catalyst for severe weather. However, only a couple very narrow lines of severe weather emerged in the Garden State between 3:30 and 4:00 PM on Tuesday. One area affected Western New Jersey while the other affected the Central portion. The tornado watch was eventually cancelled. There were only four reports of severe weather throughout the United States on Tuesday. It has definitely been an active several weeks here in the Garden State.

We have seen three severe weather outbreaks in the past two and a half weeks. We may see even another round of rough weather on Thursday. The frontal system is still hovering over much of the eastern third of the United States. It has produced tremendous rainfall amounts across the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. The Carolinas have seen perhaps the wettest weather since Hurricane Floyd back in 1999, and they are in the bullseye again for more torrential rains on Thursday. New Jersey is in dire need of rain though since it had been quite dry prior to the past several weeks. However, this upcoming round of rain will only last a day or so before clearing starts taking place on Friday. The combination of this frontal system, which has become stationary, and the approach of what’s left of Tropical Depression #16, which should become extratropical by the time it reaches New Jersey, will be responsible for the stormy weather on Thursday.

Right now, a Flood Watch is in effect for the entire Garden State as well as Eastern and Central portions of Pennsylvania, Southeastern New York, and the Delmarva Peninsula. The Flood Watch is in effect from late Wednesday night into Thursday night.


What’s Next For The Atlantic Tropics In The Wake Of Matthew

Posted in Storm History, Storm Preparation, Storm Track at 12:11 am by gmachos

Moving on to the tropics after discussing the local weather for a bit, we finally have some tranquility in the Atlantic as both Matthew and Lisa dissipated to remnant lows. Indications were late last week that Matthew was going to have some sort of impact on the United States. However, the scenario never came to fruition because of Matthew’s continued westward movement into Central America.

The models, however, are still looking for some kind of tropical entity impacting the United States later this week. There are still some clouds, showers, and thunderstorms over the Western Caribbean. While this storminess is still disorganized, there is still a chance that this could materialize into a tropical cyclone. Remember, the Western Caribbean is a prime area for development throughout the Atlantic hurricane season, especially in the beginning and end of the season. Sea surface temperatures and upper level wind patterns are very ideal for tropical formation.

In addition, there is still an opening for a tropical system to make a trek into Florida, the Southeastern United States, and points northward along the East Coast. A significant dip in the jet stream is beginning to take shape over the eastern half of the United States. Significant temperature changes are in store this week with highs expected to drop into the 50s by this weekend. This change is going to bring along a great deal of rain. Between an inch and a half to three inches of rain is expected in Central Jersey on Monday and Tuesday. The trough is going to split the ridge over the Southern United States in half, and provide an opportunity for a depression or storm to impact at least Florida and the Southeastern United States.

We’ll have to see if this comes about. While it would be a good idea to pay close attention to developments in the Western Caribbean, keep in mind that this disturbance may be too far south, and end up like Matthew by becoming a big rainmaker for Central America.


Big Weather Changes Coming This Week Here In Jersey

Posted in GWC News at 11:46 pm by gmachos

After some very warm weather on Friday with the high temperature climbing to 87 degrees, we had some changes start to occur on Saturday into Sunday. Temperatures were still warm on Saturday, but not as much as on Friday. On Sunday, the mercury only climbed into the low 70s. The high in South Plainfield was just under 71 degrees this afternoon while the low was 61.5. The mean temperature was still a bit over 65 so we actually recorded a cooling degree day. Skies were mostly cloudy, especially toward the end of the day.

The clouds are a harbinger of things to come. If you noticed the satellite imagery that is displayed on the home page at Greg’s Weather Center, there is a vast weather system moving into the eastern third of the country. We have a warm front that is just to the south of us, and it is bringing heavy rains to portions of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Rain will begin to move into the Central Jersey area during the overnight hours, and get worse on Monday.

Looking at the latest forecast from the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey, there is a 70 percent chance of rain by Monday morning, and a 100 percent chance of rain during the day on Monday into Monday night. The rain is expected to linger into Tuesday with an 80 percent chance during the day, and a 40 percent chance at night. Over the next 36 to 48 hours, Northwestern Middlesex County is expected to get anywhere between 1.5 inches to 3.0 inches of rain. A Hazardous Weather Outlook has also been issued for the region by the NWS.

There is a chance of some urban and drainage flooding over the next couple of days along with the possibility of the stronger winds aloft mixing down to the lower levels in strong to severe thunderstorms. This could lead to yet another severe weather outbreak here especially if the sun does peek out for a bit to heat up the atmosphere. This weather will be leading a change as the jet stream will be making its first big dip of the season with temperatures getting down into the mid 70s later in the week, and falling further into the 50s in some spots of the Northeast by this weekend. Well, at least that is what the models are indicating right now.

Note On Greg’s Weather Center

Posted in GWC News at 11:20 pm by gmachos

Good evening everyone. Sorry for the delay in getting posts up on the web site, but I was really busy on Friday with my sports web site, I worked Saturday, and then felt right to sleep went I got home. Anyway, you might have noticed that there have been problems with the information on Greg’s Weather Center. I had some problems late last week after upgrading the software on my iMac mini. The upgrade wiped out some data for my weather station, and I had to spend some time fixing that. But things are back up and running albeit a bit different.


Tropics Still Busy In Atlantic With Two More Storms

Posted in Storm Preparation, Storm Track at 8:30 pm by gmachos

Lisa And Matthew Form Over The Past Few Days For Ten Named Storms In Last Month

With the demise of Igor and the dissipation of Julia in the Atlantic, one would think that there would finally be a break in the action. Unfortunately, that is not the case. In a season that had started out so quietly, but has now come on very strong in the past month. Tropical Storm Lisa formed on Monday, and after some struggles in the Eastern Atlantic, it has regained tropical storm status. Closer to home, we have a new threat. Tropical Storm Matthew, which had been a very disorganized tropical wave in the Caribbean, got better organized over the past two days, and became a depression on Thursday afternoon, and grew into the season’s latest named storm several hours later.

We are going to focus mostly on Matthew not only because it is the latest storm and the closest to the United States, but most importantly, there are also indications that this system could impact the Gulf Coast or East Coast of the U.S. sometime next week. As of the 5:00 PM EDT advisory on Thursday, Matthew was still a minimal tropical storm with 40 mile per hour winds, gusts up to 50 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure was still fairly high at 1006 millibars, or 29.71 inches of Hg (Mercury). The storm was located some 435 miles to the East of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and moving to the West at 16 miles per hour. A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect from Puerto Cabezas to Limon in Honduras.

The Weather Channel, which has been watching this storm for several days while it was a disturbance, indicates that Matthew will likely impact somewhere along the U.S. coast. High pressure, which is responsible for the last stand of summer here in the Northeast, is also keeping Matthew to the south. However, over the next several days, a trough will develop in the east, which will split the ridge in two, and leave an opening for this storm to exploit. Remember, tropical storms and hurricanes look for a path of least resistance. As a result, there is a chance that the storm could head north into the Gulf of Mexico by next week.

According to the latest track given by TWC, Matthew will be hugging the coast of the Yucatan at the end of the five day forecast period on Tuesday. Intensity forecasts indicate that Matthew will be a Category One Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. Environmental conditions in this region will be very favorable for development over the next several days. Sea surface temperatures in this area are always very high due to its close proximity to the equator with its high sun angle, and longer periods of daylight. There is also very little upper level wind shear to hinder intensification. The only barrier to development will be the storm’s close proximity to land.

Moving on to Lisa, the storm regained tropical storm status in the 5:00 PM EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Maximum sustained winds with this system were also 40 miles per hour with gusts estimated to be up to 50 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure is 1001 millibars, or 29.56 inches of Hg. Located some 320 miles to the West-Northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, Lisa has not been moving much. As a matter of fact, it is stationary as of the latest advisory. Despite its tenacity, the storm is a very small one with tropical storm force winds only reaching some 35 miles from its center of circulation. The latest discussion also indicates that there’s not a lot of time to strengthen with a gradual weakening trend expected beyond 24 hours.

With the formation of these two systems this week, we’ve seen 15 depressions, 13 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes this season. Ten named storms have formed in the past month.

Get Ready Folks For What Could Be The Last 90 Degree Day For A While

Posted in GWC News at 7:18 pm by gmachos

Hot Humid Weather Looks To Return To Jersey On Friday

Since May 7th, there have been 38 days of temperatures of 90 degrees or higher in South Plainfield. Tomorrow could be another one of those kind of days here in the Garden State. After getting a brief break from the warm, humid weather that gripped the region on Wednesday thanks to the severe weather that hit on Wednesday night, Jersey residents are likely to have one more bout of hot weather on Friday before fall finally begins to kick in over the weekend.

Now, the forecast, which had originally called for temperatures to climb just above 90, has been scaled back just slightly to a high of 89 degrees. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility that there will be temperatures over 90 around the region. There will be some morning fog, which could be dense in some places, but that will burn off. Showers are possible later in the late evening going into early Saturday morning, but the severe weather threat that was expected earlier in the week is not anticipated to materialize.

Looking at the weather on Thursday, temperatures were lower, but still a bit mild. The high was down to 78 degrees, but the low was only 62.5 so the average temperature for the day was still at 70.4 degrees. Consequently, we still had 5.4 cooling degree days for the day. Dewpoints were only down slightly as well. After climbing to 67 degrees on Wednesday, it fell to a still relatively uncomfortable 64 degrees. I had happened to go out for a run in the mid-afternoon, and it was just as hard to get through as it was yesterday. I always say that dew point is a very important factor to watch.

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