Rains Will Hopefully Ease the Drought Concerns in the Garden State
After a roller coaster ride of weather over the first two weeks of April that consisted of dramatic swings in temperature, and a variety of conditions from thunderstorms to high winds to snow, the Central Jersey area as well as the rest of the Garden State has enjoyed a good stretch of whether over the last half of April. There have been some hiccups along the way, but overall we’ve had it good.
Almost too good too. So far this April, the weather station at Greg’s Weather Center has also received a total of 0.86 inches of rain. For the year, there has only been about 9.65 inches of precipitation. Much of that occurred during the Blizzard of 2016 over the weekend of January 23rd. New Jersey is not alone either. Much of the Mid-Atlantic has been dry, and is in need of a good soaking rain.
Mother Nature is about to oblige. A storm system in the Midwest is heading east, and will begin to affect Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland late Saturday night. New Jersey and the New York City metro area will begin to see the rain on Sunday morning. The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, New Jersey indicates a 20 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday night going up to a 90 percent chance on Sunday, and a chance of lingering showers on Monday.
This storm system has had a history of producing some rough weather in the Plains, which has been pummeled by all kinds of severe weather this month. Oklahoma is cleaning up from tornadoes that passed through the area on Friday while Texas had its fair share of severe storms producing vivid lightning and lots of hail. While conditions have been mostly tranquil in the Garden State, they did get a bit interesting on Tuesday afternoon.
With a cold front diving into some relatively warm and humid air for this time of year, thunderstorms developed from Northeastern Pennsylvania and Southeastern New York down to Maryland and Delaware. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 9:00 PM. These storms eventually moved southward and eastward into the Garden State causing the NWS office in Mount Holly to issue alerts and Special Weather Statements.
The heaviest weather came through Northern New Jersey, and moved across NYC and Long Island by 5:00 PM. Another strong storm came out of the Trenton and Hamilton area in Mercer County and moved eastward across Southern Middlesex, Monmouth, and Northern Burlington and Ocean County. More clusters of storms blazed a trail across Southern Jersey to near Atlantic City and Long Beach Island. Fortunately, GWC and much of Middlesex County was spared of these storms.
The close call is a harbinger of things to come as we move into the Severe Weather Season in New Jersey. Expect the conditions for severe weather to ramp up through the month of May and into June and July as the weather keeps getting warmer. However, this storm system and a potential nor’easter that the long range models are hinting at for late next week are reminders that it is still early Spring, and weather conditions will still tend to fluctuate back towards winter.
Here is a weather timeline kept at GWC in South Plainfield as severe weather developed during the day on Tuesday.
3:13 AM–Round One. Woke up to the sound of the wind picking up. Then I saw flashes of lightning. The wind was so strong that it blew the back door open, and it was locked. Closed the back door. Rain coming down fairly hard.
3:16 AM–The Weather Channel App indicating that the NWS Office in Mount Holly issued a Special Weather Statement for a Gust Front moving through portions of Middlesex, Monmouth and Mercer counties. Checked the radar, and there was a fairly impressive cluster of thunderstorms that had just passed through.
8:00 AM–Woke up. Checked the conditions outside. Skies are overcast. Only received 0.04 inches of rain from the storm overnight.
9:13 AM–Checked the conditions outside again. Sun is out. Still some overcast though. Temperature is at 59 degrees with the humidity at 84 percent. Winds are calm, but the barometer is falling sharply at 29.67 inches of Hg. The Weather Channel app indicated that there could be severe weather today, and thunderstorms possible around 2:15 PM. Wind gusted to 33 mph overnight.
10:06 AM–Stepped outside for a few moments. Skies becoming more overcast. Checked the radar a while ago, and noticed a strong line of storms moving west to east through Northeastern Pennsylvania and New York. A bit chilly outside. NWS Mount Holly issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for possible strong storms with hail and high winds this afternoon. Temperature is up to 61 degrees. Humidity at 80 percent. WInds are still calm, but the barometer has dropped a bit more to 29.66 inches of Hg.
11:06 AM–Departed Washington Rock in Green Brook where skies were mostly cloudy.
11:30 AM–Just left Watchung Lake, where skies were mostly overcast with some sprinkles.
12:15 PM–Leaving Washington Valley Park in Martinsville where clouds had just moved out and blue skies reappeared.
12:45 PM–Moving out from Colonial Park in Somerset, where skies were mostly sunny, but with some cirrocumulus. TWC radar indicated thunderstorms developing in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
1:45 PM–About to leave Round Valley near Lebanon in Hunterdon County. Things are beginning to get interesting with more cirrocumulus and cumulus cloud build-up with a little bit more of a breeze. Radar now showing storms extending southward in Eastern Pennsylvania near Allentown.
2:14 PM–Leaving Spruce Run in Northern Hunterdon County off Route 31 outside Lebanon. More grey and overcast skies are moving. A bit more breezy too with some sprinkles. Severe Thunderstorm Watch now in effect until 9:00 PM. Wind gusts up to 70 mph and hail up to 1″ in diameter possible.
3:11 PM–Just arrived home. Have a mixture of sun, blue sky, cirrocumulus clouds, and cumulus. Had some light rain fall as I was leaving Spruce Run. Temperature up to 78 with humidity at 48 percent for a few point of 58. Winds are light, but barometer continues to fall at 29.57 inches of Hg.
4:00 PM–Leaving South Plainfield’s Spring Lake Park. Had a lot of cumulus clouds overhead. Skies are looking more threatening, but no rain. TWC reported a lightning strike 19 miles away to the South-Southeast.
4:45 PM–Heading out of South Amboy’s Waterfront Park to get on Route 35 for Keyport. Skies did get quite dark for a while, but then the clouds broke apart and the sun came out. Still a good deal of cumulus to the north. Quite windy with an early fetch off Raritan Bay that made things chilly. No rain.
5:15 PM–Leaving Keyport. Still a Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect until 9:00 PM. Storms from North Jersey have now pushed through New York City. However, conditions in Central Jersey appear to be stabilizing. Skies are clearing although there is a patch of clouds with beams of sunlight over Matawan Creek. No rain.
6:00 PM–Just arrived home. Barometer has been rising at 29.66 inches. Special Weather Statement indicating strong thunderstorm that formed outside of Trenton is now moving through Southern Middlesex and Monmouth counties as well as portions of Ocean and Burlington counties.
8:00 PM–Severe Thunderstorm Watch still in effect for another hour. Temperature down to 57 degrees. Humidity up to 84 percent. Barometer rising at 29.73 inches of Hg. Winds light at 5 to 10 mph. No rain.
Here is a weather timeline kept at GWC in South Plainfield as a cold front approached from the west on Friday.
8:30 AM–Went outside to start a time lapse video in the backyard. Winds are light. Skies are sunny, but with a combination of cirrus and cirrocumulus clouds.
10:00 AM–Checked the NWS Mount Holly office’s web site. Hazardous Weather Outlook for New Jersey indicates thunderstorms with hail and gusty winds are possible this afternoon.
11:09 AM–First check of the GWC Weather Station. After a high of 75 yesterday with humidity levels of only 39 percent, conditions are much warmer and humid this morning with a temperature of 73 degrees and a humidity of 66 percent. Barometer falling at 29.88 inches of Hg. Winds are light at 5 to 10 mph.
1:12 PM–Just came back inside after going out for a walk and run around the neighborhood. Conditions are quite muggy for this time of year. Much warmer and more humid than it has been over the past several days. Clouds are starting to build. Had areas of blue skies, but with an increasing amount of altostratus and cumulus clouds. Sky eventually became more of a milky white glow and then a bit dark. Temperature is currently up to 78 degrees with the humidity still high at 55 percent for a dew point of 60. Barometer is falling at 29.85 inches of Hg. Winds remain light. National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly indicated that isolated thunderstorms accompanied by small hail are gusty winds are possible between 3:00 PM and sunset.
2:14 PM–Just took a step outside. The sky is still evolving into a storm state. There are pockets of blue sky, but cirrus clouds are gather off to the north of GWC. Temperature now up to 79 degrees with the humidity down to only 52 percent. Barometer still falling at 29.82 inches of Hg. Winds still light.
2:25 PM–Just took a look at the latest TWC radar and the latest data from the GWC WX station. Isolated thunderstorm has popped up in Southeastern New York near Stony Point. Temperature at GWC is now up to 80 degrees. Humidity was up to 53 percent, but dropped down slightly to 51. Barometer still falling at 29.82 inches of Hg.
4:49 PM–Just stepped outside. Skies generally overcast. TWC radar indicates isolated thunderstorm near Princeton and Plainsboro along Route 1. Temperature peaked at 81 for a high today to match the high temperature for the entire year before dropping to 78. Humidity still high at 55 percent. Barometer still falling at 29.79 inches of Hg. Peak wind gust was 25 mph so far today. Winds have been relatively light though.
8:22 PM–Just came back in from being outside to finish the time lapse movie. Conditions remain dry so far although there are clouds around. Still a bit warm and humid. Winds are light.
11:33 PM–No rain at all as we head into the final minutes of the day. Skies are still somewhat overcast outside. Temperature is 68 degrees with the humidity up to 72 percent for a heat index of 69 and a dew point of 59. Barometer steady at 29.79 inches.
Here is another timeline of the roller coaster ride that the weather took at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield from Thursday, April 7th to Monday, April 11th.
April 7, 2016
10:00 AM–Heading out to the Dentist for a checkup. Skies are cloudy. No rain yet.
11:30 AM–Leaving the dentist, and heading over to South Amboy’s Waterfront Park. Conditions still overcast with some sprinkles.
11:54 PM–Arrive at Waterfront Park in South Amboy. Skies overcast. Clouds moving very fast overhead. Winds strong at surface and upper levels. Checked the Weather Channel radar, and found that there was a moderate strength storm cell in the area.
1:30 PM–Checked my Weather Channel app on my cell phone. Got a Special Weather Statement message indicated that there was a line of storms moving eastward from the Delaware Valley region of Eastern Pennsylvania and Western Jersey. Heavy rain showers and wind gusts as high as 45 mph expected. South Amboy as well as much of Middlesex County is in a dry slot right now.
1:54 PM–Checked the Weather Channel radar, line is closing in on my location in South Amboy’s Waterfront Park. Had several strong wind gusts blow through. Rain is light to moderate.
2:30 PM–Just arrived home. Have time lapse video, regular footage, and car cam footage of the weather at South Amboy’s Waterfront Park as well as during the ride home via Interstate 287 and Route 440. Skies still overcast at the house although there are some patches of blue sky. Had about 0.14 inches of rain. High temperature was 62 degrees.
8:45 PM–Just came in from a walk outside. Barometer dropped to a low of 29.33 inches earlier in the afternoon. Currently up to 29.43. Temperature down to 41 degrees. Maximum wind gust at GWC was 30 mph.
April 8, 2016
11:30 AM–Woke up about 45 minutes ago. Just went outside and decided to do a time lapse video after seeing the dark and overcast skies.
1:19 PM–Just arrived home from taking a walk and doing a run in Thomas Edison Park behind Middlesex County College. Blustery and cold outside, and the skies are overcast.
2:32 PM–Just returned from buying a sub at Jimmy John’s. Winds are sustained between 15 to 25 mph. Barometer is on the rise 29.63 inches. Temperature is at 46 degrees. Still have overcast skies outside.
3:22 PM–Checked the weather station data again. Temperature is steady at 46 degrees. It did go up to 47 for a brief time. Barometer climbing slightly at 29.65 inches of Hg. Winds are light.
5:30 PM–Stepped outside to check the time lapse video on my iPhone 5s. Skies are still mostly overcast, but there were some breaks of sunshine and blue sky. Temperature is up slightly to 47 degrees while the barometer continues to climb at 29.68 inches of Hg. Winds are light between 5 to 10 mph.
7:34 PM–Just came in from outside. Skies are clear at sunset. Temperature is down to 44 degrees. Humidity at 51%. Barometer is rising at 29.73 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
7:24 AM–Woke up a few minutes ago. No snow yet. Actually, it is sunny out, but there are some dark clouds off to the west.
11:00 AM–Skies are completely overcast, but there is no snow or rain yet.
12:00 PM–About to take a trip to the store. Rain has started to fall here at GWC in Central Jersey.
2:28 PM–Just returned from a walk to the bank, and the store. Temperature is at 37 degrees with the humidity at 91 percent. Winds are light. Barometric pressure is rising at 29.71 inches of Hg. Total precipitation thus far is 0.04 inches of rain.
3:44 PM–Checked the weather station data here at GWC. Temperature up slightly to 38 degrees. Humidity steady at 91 percent. Winds remain light. Barometric pressure is still rising at 29.72 inches of Hg. Total precipitation thus far is 0.06 inches of rain.
5:58 PM–Rain has stopped here at GWC in South Plainfield. Skies still overcast. Chilly. Temperature up slightly to 39 degrees. Humidity down to 88 percent. Barometer continues to rise at 29.77 inches of Hg. Total Precipitation so far is 0.07 inches.
7:15 PM–Just came in from going from another walk and drop off mail at the post office. The sun came out for a while under some milky altostratus clouds. Temperature now up to 40 degrees. Winds are starting to pick up a bit. Now between 15 to 20 mph. Humidity up to 83 degrees. Barometric pressure still rising at 29.81 inches of Hg. No new precipitation.
11:58 PM–Temperature is down to 36 degrees. Humidity is down to 58 percent. Barometer continues to go up at 30.03 inches of Hg. Winds sustained at 10 mph with gusts between 20 and 25 mph.
April 10, 2016
8:00 AM–Woke up a little while ago. Skies are sunny. Winds aren’t really strong.
11:00 AM–About to go for a walk. Checked the weather station data. Skies are still sunny. Temperature up to 40 degrees. Winds between 10 and 15 mph. Humidity down to 46 percent. Barometer rising at 30.32 inches of Hg.
12:26 PM–Just returned from my walk. Great day outside although it is brisk. Not a cloud around. Just blue sky and plenty of sunshine. Low temperature at GWC was 30 degrees this morning. Max wind gust was 30 mph. Right now, the temperature is up to 44 degrees. Humidity is down slightly to 43 percent. Winds are between 5 and 10 mph with gusts up to 15 mph. Barometer down slightly to 30.31 inches of Hg.
6:38 PM–Checked the weather station again at GWC. Temperature is down to 48 degrees after a high of 51 degrees earlier today. Winds are calm. Barometric pressure is steady at 30.25 after dropping from a peak of 30.33 inches of Hg earlier today.
April 11, 2016
2:45 PM–Checked the weather station, and found that the temperature was up to 64 degrees under sunny skies.
Here is a weather timeline put together by Greg Machos of Greg’s Weather Center to track the roller coaster weather ride that took place from March 31st to April 5th, 2016.
March 31, 2016
4:00 PM–Checked the weather station for the temperature. Temperature is at the high for the today at 73 degrees. Skies have been variable all day, but getting more cloudy. High temperature for the month was 80 degrees.
8:44 PM–Went outside to turn off the webcam, and create the time lapse video. Skies continue to get more overcast. Forecast is calling for rain to develop overnight and continue in the morning.
April 1, 2016
10:30 AM–Turned on the webcam to create a new time lapse video. Had some rain earlier. Ground is still wet. Skies are overcast.
12:00 PM–Sun comes out. Skies clearing. Front still off to the west. The Weather Channel is calling for thunderstorms later in the afternoon around 5:00 PM.
2:00 PM–Getting puffy clouds overhead. Line of storms still off to the west in Eastern Pennsylvania stretching from just west of Scranton-Wilkes Barre southward to west of Allentown and Reading. High wind watch in effect for GWC area starting Saturday night and going into Sunday.
3:54 PM–Getting more cirrus clouds overhead outside. Checked the temperature. At the high for the day at 78 degrees after a low of only 64 degrees in the morning. Forecast now calling for thunderstorms around 6:00 PM.
4:15 PM–Checked the weather station again, and the barometer is falling sharply at 29.43 inches of Hg. Temperature up to 79 degrees. More cirrus passing overhead.
5:09 PM–Checked conditions outside. Blue skies overhead, but clouds off to the north. Looked at the radar, and saw line of storms that moved into New Jersey in Warren County now progressing eastward on Interstate 80. Also detected another potent thunderstorm cell moving just to the south of Allentown, Pennsylvania. This cell is moving east, and could come close to GWC. Temperature is down to 78 degrees with the barometer holding steady at 29.43 inches of Hg. Little bit of a breeze outside.
7:05 PM–Thunderstorms moving through, but the bulk of the heavier action is to the north towards Interstate 78 and to the south towards New Brunswick. Some light rain and drizzle with some flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder. Temperature has dropped to 68 degrees while the barometer has risen to 29.52 inches of Hg.
11:56 PM–Just came inside after going for a late night walk. Conditions are calm. Winds are relatively light. Skies are partly cloudy. Still quite warm for this time of day and year.
April 2, 2016
1:28 AM–Just checked the weather station out. Temperature is still warm at 61 degrees. Barometer is steady at 29.60 inches of Hg. Winds are light.
10:24 AM–Just took a look at the weather station data. No measurable rainfall yet. Checked the rain gauge outside, and it is not clogged. Barometer is rising at 29.60 inches. Temperature has fallen to 49 degrees. Winds are light. Light rain or drizzle is falling. Skies have been variably cloudy this morning.
1:25 PM–Checked conditions outside, and the latest data at the GWC WX Station. Still a bit damp outside, but no rain is falling. Skies are overcast. Temperature is 53 degrees with light winds. Barometer is falling sharply at 29.44 inches.
3:25 PM–Took a look outside. Skies are still overcast. Temperature rose to 56 degrees before dropping off to 55. Barometer continues to fall at 29.37 inches of Hg. Winds remain light.
5:00 PM–Another check of the weather outside. Skies still overcast despite some peaks of sun during the afternoon. Temperature at GWC is 55 degrees while the barometer continues to fall at 29.35 inches of Hg. Lights remain light.
6:16 PM–Sunshine is out with plenty of blue sky. Temperature holding steady at 55 degrees. Barometer has fallen a bit more to 29.33 inches of Hg. Winds remain light.
8:08 PM–Just came in from taking a late afternoon/early evening walk. Winds are still rather light if not calm. A bit chilly outside, but comfortable. Temperature right now at GWC is down to 51 degrees while the barometer has dropped a bit more to 29.32 inches of Hg.
10:45 PM–Watching the NCAA Final Four. Checked Joe Cioffi’s PIX videocast, and he indicated that the worst weather on Sunday could be between 3:00 and 8:00 AM in the morning with heavy snowfall, wind gusts up to 65 mph or even higher, and low visibility. Temperature right now is down to 50 degrees with very little in the way of winds, and the barometer continuing to fall at 29.31 inches of Hg.
11:30 PM–Barometer has now dropped to 29.27 inches of Hg.
April 3, 2016
12:42 AM–Was just outside taking some video of the thunder and lightning around GWC. Temperature has dropped to 44 degrees. Winds remain light to calm. Barometer is up slightly to 29.29 inches of Hg.
5:26 AM–Just woke up and the winds are roaring outside. Temperature is down to 37 degrees. Winds sustained at 30 mph. Barometer up to 29.41 and rising.
7:59 AM–Just finished recording some video of the windy conditions outside with the GoPro Hero 4 camera. Winds have gusted to 52 miles per hour so far today. Currently, the winds are between 25 and 45 mph. Temperature is down to 35 degrees while the barometer is rising at 29.63 inches of Hg. Skies are sunny and blue with some stray clouds.
9:30 AM–Winds continue to whip outside at GWC in South Plainfield, NJ. Just had a wind gust of 48 mph. Barometer is still rising at 29.72 inches of Hg. Temperature holding steady at 35 degrees under bright sunny skies. There is debris on the front porch, in the street in front of the house, and in the backyard.
1:24 PM–Winds are still roaring outside. Temperature up to 39 degrees under sunny skies. Barometer is rising at 29.83 inches of Hg. Winds still sustained between 20 and 30 mph.
2:12 PM–Quite a beautiful day outside if you take away the wind and chillier temperatures. Not a cloud in the sky. Only plenty of sun and deep blue sky. Had a wind gust here of 36 mph within the past 45 minutes or so. Still sustained between 20 and 25 mph. Temperature inched up to 40 degrees while the barometer is still rising at 29.84 inches of Hg.
3:43 PM–Winds starting to slacken off. Sustained between 15 and 25 mph. Barometer has risen a bit more to 29.86 inches of Hg. Temperature has risen to 42 degrees. Skies still sunny and blue. Had only 0.01 inches of measurable rainfall here at GWC in the last 24 hours.
4:45 PM–Winds continue to slacken off. Sustained between 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph. Barometric pressure continues to gradually rise at 29.88 inches of Hg. Temperature steady at 42 degrees.
6:41 PM–Winds have become light at about 5 to 10 mph with higher gusts. Temperature has dropped down to 41 degrees. Pressure is now at 29.93 inches of Hg and rising. Peak wind gust today was 52 mph.
9:55 PM–Skies are clear. Winds are finally calm. Temperature dropped to 37 degrees. Barometer is still rising at 30.00 inches of Hg.
11:47 PM–Did a check of the GWC WX Station. Temperature is up to 38 degrees. Winds are calm, and the barometer is steady at 30.00 inches of Hg.
April 4, 2016
10:30 AM–Just woke up. Took a look outside. Have nimbostratus clouds overhead. Street is damp. Have some drizzle. Forecast calling for rain on and off all day.
11:35 AM–Took a look at the GWC WX station. Winds are calm. Temperature up to 44 degrees. Barometer falling at 29.80 inches of Hg. Freeze warning in effect.
1:42 PM–Just stepped outside for a second. Light to moderate rain falling at GWC in South Plainfield. Only 0.03 inches of rain so far. Temperature is up to 45 degrees. Barometer has dropped to 29.77 inches of Hg. Winds are light.
4:53 PM–Checked outside. Still gloomy, chilly, and damp. So far, there has been 0.20 inches of rain here at GWC in South Plainfield, NJ. Temperature is up to 46 degrees. Barometer is steady at 29.77 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
8:45 PM–Just came back inside after going for a walk. Rain has stopped, but the winds have picked up. Winds sustained between 15 and 20 mph.
10:23 PM–Total rainfall for today was 0.23 inches. Temperature down to 33 degrees. Winds still up between 15 to 20 mph. Barometer rising at 30.01 inches of Hg.
April 5, 2016
9:15 AM–Just got out of bed this morning. Took a look outside. Skies are clear and blue with plenty of sunshine. A bit windy and chilly though.
11:30 AM–Just took a walk at Edison Park behind Middlesex County College. Quite windy and brisk outside. Not as windy as Sunday, but colder. Not a cloud in the sky though.
12:46 PM–Arrived at North Edison Library. Checked the Weather Channel app for the latest conditions. Temperature is 42 degrees outside, but the wind chill makes it feel like 28 degrees. Skies are sunny though. Freeze Warning in effect from 10:00 PM tonight until 9:00 AM on Wednesday morning.
7:00 PM–Just came home. Checked the Weather Station data, and found that the low this morning was 24 degrees.
From Midnight to Late Afternoon, There Were Wild Swings in the Weather Pendulum
As noted last night, the Central Jersey area as well as much of the New York City Metropolitan area is in the grips of a wild weather roller coaster ride for the next week to 10 days. A microcosm of that meteorological craziness took place on Sunday from midnight to late in the afternoon as the Garden State went from one weather extreme to another.
From Maplewood in Essex County to Seaside Park in Ocean County, there were a wide array of weather effects. During the midnight hour, strong to severe thunderstorms had gathered in a squall line that stretched north to south throughout much of New Jersey. These storms brought a good deal of lightning, gusty winds, and even hail in places such as Maplewood. There was a lot more lightning activity with this group of storms than those that struck the area on Friday evening.
Then, there was the snow. There was some heavy snowfall during the overnight hours in portions of Northern Jersey. Combined with the high winds that had developed by morning, there were whiteout conditions. Further to the north and east of the Garden State, thunder snow was reported in parts of Connecticut including West Hartford as seen on video provided by WeatherNation. There was very little in the way of any accumulation of rain or snow at GWC in South Plainfield. There was only about 0.01 inches of moisture produced by all this weather chaos.
However, the major effect of this dynamic weather event was the wind. Winds around the area were sustained between 30 and 40 miles per hour, but there were some gusts in excess of 50 miles per hour. Pomona, which is just outside of Atlantic City in South Jersey, reported a gust of up to 52 mph while here at GWC, there was a gust of up to 52 mph as well. The winds here in South Plainfield took down tree branches, blew around signs, and poorly secured objects in a number of homes nearby GWC. There were gusts of up to 53 mph at Newark Airport. Wildwood also had a gust to 48 while Millville gusted to 45 mph.
The reason for the latest weather drama was the combination of a powerful upper level low, and advancing cold front, and a departing storm system that all combined to produce a sharp pressure gradient. According to the weather log being kept on this recent weather at GWC, the pressure has gone from 29.43 inches at 5:09 PM late Friday afternoon to 29.60 inches at 1:25 AM Saturday morning, down to 29.25 inches of Hg (991 mb) early Sunday morning and back up to 30.00 inches just before this report was put together prior to midnight Sunday. So, just in the past 24 hours, there has been a change in pressure of 0.75 inches, or about 25 millibars. Talk about pressure gradients.
The strong winds also ushered in much colder weather. Temperatures have dropped from 79 degrees late Friday afternoon to only a high of 42 late Sunday afternoon. A 37 degree drop in the high temperature in less than 48 hours. The roller coaster ride is expected to continue. The high on Monday is only expected to get into the mid 50s for Monday with a chilly rain. Areas well to the north past I-84 could receive the largest snowfall all season with anywhere from 2 to 6 inches possible. The clipper system expected to bring this next round of snow and rain, will reinforce the colder air already in place, and produce a rain/snow mix along with possible freeze conditions overnight Monday into Tuesday. Presently, a Freeze Watch is in effect.
Long range models are calling for this weather to stick around for a while. The period of colder than normal temperatures could be with us for the next week to 10 days. According to the latest long range forecast by the Weather Channel, High temperatures are expected to just reach 60 on Thursday, and not get a bit further into the 60s until next Monday with some sun. This April is coming in like a lion, but keep in mind that it is spring time, which means crazy things can happen as we transition from winter to summer here in the Northern Hemisphere.
After Temperatures Near 80 on Friday, the Thermometer Plummets While Winds Pick Up
After a March that came in like a lamb, April appears to be coming in like a lion. On Friday, the temperature peaked at 79 degrees at GWC in South Plainfield. The May like temperatures along with a southerly flow created a potent atmosphere in the late afternoon and early evening that resulted in strong thunderstorms.
Friday evening’s weather was just the appetizer. It was the opening salvo in what will be a wicked roller-coaster ride of weather with sharp twists and turns that will have you hanging by a thread. The second act begins in just a little while from now when a strong upper level low spinning its way eastward into Pennsylvania will move through the area during the overnight hours, and be offshore by breakfast time on Sunday.
Currently, the barometer is sitting at 29.30 inches of Hg. Once the cold air and this upper level low push through, high pressure will begin to move in. The result will be a tight pressure gradient that will produce dangerous high winds. Sustained winds are expected to be between 35 and 40 mph with gusts in upwards of 60 to 65 mph. Those gusts could reach hurricane force offshore.
Anticipating this as early as Thursday, the National Weather Service issued a High Wind Watch, which is now a High Wind Warning. There are Storm Warnings for ships offshore. Accompanying the upper level low will be some showers and perhaps some thunderstorms early on late Saturday night, but then there will be a changeover to snow as the temperatures fall to near freezing by Sunday morning. The combination of snow, which could be falling heavily on Sunday morning, and the high winds, could create blizzard like conditions with low visibility.
The most dangerous time weather wise around the New York City metro area will likely be between 3:00 and 8:00 AM on Sunday morning according to PIX 11’s and FIOS1’s Joe Cioffi. The snow accumulations around the region will be low, but the intensity of the snow, and the blowing and drifting will make things treacherous. There could be more snow on Monday morning, and the cold weather will persist for the rest of the week with temperatures getting as low as below 20 degrees in some areas on Wednesday morning.
The mostly pleasant weather in March 2016 has frankly spoiled us. People forget that spring is a time of transition. There will be days like Friday with temperatures up near 80 degrees, and then days like what we could see on Wednesday with lows bottoming out around 20 before limping to just 40 in the afternoon. The precipitation could vary from thunderstorms like we saw in some places on Friday evening to snow like what we could see on Sunday and Monday morning. April is known for its showers because it does have its share of storms. It is also known to be chilly at times too.