2nd Named Storm of the 2016 Season Washes Away Beach Day for Many
The official start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season is still a couple of days away, and already we have two named storms on the board. Alex formed in January as a rare out of season storm, and over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Bonnie emerged off the Southeastern coast of the United States as the second storm of the season.
Bonnie became a depression on Friday afternoon some 435 miles to the Southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The emergence came after almost a full work week of speculation that something would emerge in the Western Atlantic. A disturbance spun up in the Bahamas earlier in the week, and the models were indicating that it would eventually come ashore as a tropical cyclone of some kind.
Despite the less than optimal conditions that are commonplace this time of year, the depression battled its way to become Tropical Storm Bonnie within 24 hours on late Saturday afternoon. Within six hours, Bonnie strengthened a bit more to have maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (mph). The storm peaked at that point, and weakened back to a depression just before landfall at 8:45 AM EDT on Sunday morning.
The downgraded system came ashore to the east of Charleston, South Carolina in the Isle of Palms. Winds at that time were 35 mph with gusts up to 40 mph while the barometric pressure rose to 1009 millibars or 29.80 inches of Hg. Although it weakened, the depression still packed a wallop with torrential rains for much of South Carolina, and then it moved up toward the north and spread its rains into North Carolina and Virginia.
As the storm moved northward, it created instability throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic where potent showers and thunderstorms dumped heavy rains on places such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. At Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey, there was 0.82 inches of rain during the overnight hours of Memorial Day. Much of the precipitation from Bonnie still laid to the south of GWC.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie is currently joining forces with a cold front pushing in from the west. Currently the front is producing heavy showers and thunderstorms in portions of Northeastern Pennsylvania and Northwestern New Jersey. Bands of showers lay to the south and east over coastal and Southern New Jersey thanks to the Northeast track of what’s left of Bonnie. All of this created unstable conditions throughout the holiday, and opened the possibility for severe weather here in the Garden State.
Earlier in the day on Monday, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma put portions of the Northeast under a marginal risk for severe weather. The area included a slice of Northwestern New Jersey. Things should clear out for the start of the work week with cooler temperatures after a four day heat wave dominated the holiday weekend in New Jersey.
Four Straight Days of 90 Plus Degree Heat Signals Torrid Summer Ahead
The heat and humidity has returned to the Garden State with a vengeance in 2016. After three years of relatively cooler temperatures during the summer months, New Jersey was treated to a preview of what could be a torrid summer ahead with a heat spell that saw temperatures climb to 90 degrees and above for four consecutive days.
The peak was on Saturday when the Mercury climbed to 93 degrees at GWC in South Plainfield, the second warmest temperature during the month of May in the last five years. The warmest day in May recorded at GWC since 2011 occurred in 2013 when the thermometer rocketed up to 93.5 degrees. The heat started to become a factor last Wednesday, when the high temperature reached 88 degrees at GWC.
Then, on both Thursday and Friday, the mercury hit 91 degrees. Add to that heat indices that we well up into the upper 90s and over 100, and conditions felt much like that on the Fourth of July holiday weekend rather than Memorial Day Weekend. After Saturday’s high of 93 degrees with a heat index of 104, things cooled a bit on Sunday with the high temperature only getting up to 90 at GWC.
With the landfall of Tropical Depression Bonnie along the South Carolina coast Saturday night into early Sunday, and an approaching cold front, the heat wave will be snapped on Monday. Temperatures at GWC have only gotten up into the low 80s with the sun battling clouds all day today. The heat index was as high as 86 during the afternoon while the dew point climbed up to 72. So, although conditions cleared out after the overnight rain, there is still plenty of moisture around.
Speaking of moisture, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has put portions of New Jersey as well as parts of New York and New England under a marginal risk for severe weather today. With moisture from the remnants of Bonnie still to the south and a cold front approaching from the west, the ingredients are still there for some active weather this afternoon. Conditions have been very muggy all day with dew points in the lower 70s, and with the sun coming out in the early afternoon, there’s plenty of fuel being added to the fire.
Overnight, there were some heavy showers and thunderstorms that moved through portions of Central Jersey including Middlesex County. The rain gauge at GWC reported 0.82 inches of rain, which is the highest total for one day of rainfall so far this month. With the overnight rain, GWC has now tallied 3.40 inches of rain, which is the most rainfall since May 2012 when there was 3.56 inches. Three years ago, there was 3.26 inches at GWC. The combination of the recent heatwave, and the significant rainfall this month could be signals of a above normal summer in both temperature and rainfall.
With the decline of the most recent episode of the El Niño and the beginning of a new La Niña, we could be seeing the beginning stages of what could be a very hot summer with a lot of rain. Back in 2011 and 2012, conditions were well above normal in terms of temperature and rainfall here at GWC in South Plainfield, and those years were during La Niña episodes.
Storm Forecast to Dump Over an Inch of Rain on Saturday
Earlier this week, we discussed how recent rains helped slow down the dry weather that had dominated much of the first third of 2016. Since May 1st, Greg’s Weather Center has received 1.84 inches of rain for a year to date total of 11.49 inches. About a third of of May’s monthly rainfall came in one day. On the way though is a storm that will bring a good deal more than that.
A coastal low has been gaining steam over the last 24 to 36 hours, and it is forecast to move through the Mid-Atlantic including the Garden State starting on Saturday afternoon. It is expected to not only cause a big mess at the 2016 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, but also bring between an inch to an inch and a half to the NYC metro area. Heavy rain is expected to produce a very sloppy field for the second leg of the Triple Crown.
At the beginning of the week, the forecast models indicated that the storm was going to move through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The forecast held until Thursday when some of the models showed some doubt by indicating that the low would stay further to the south, and only bring heavy rainfall to South Jersey. Prospects changed on Friday when the models went back to their earlier prognostication, and brought the storm further north through New Jersey, NYC metro, and Long Island.
As of right now (1:49 PM EDT on Saturday afternoon, May 21st), skies are just overcast. No rain has fallen yet. Temperature has been steady for the past couple hours at 63 degrees. Humidity is at 58 percent for a dew point of 47. Barometer has been falling sharply at 30.02 inches of Hg. Winds are light. However, expect those conditions to change as the low pushes toward our region. The NWS Mount Holly office indicates the heaviest rain will fall between 2:00 and 5:00 PM this afternoon. Rainfall amounts during that time could be as high as six tenths of an inch.
The rain could linger around in the form of showers for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as well. The sun may not make a comeback until mid-week with temperatures climbing into the low 80s by Wednesday and Thursday.
Rainfall Over Past Couple Weeks Has Slowed Down Dry Spell
A little over two weeks ago, I posted an article in the GWC and Hurricaneville blog about much needed soaking rains coming to New Jersey and the Mid-Atlantic. While those rains weren’t as significant as originally expected, it began two week period of beneficial rains that have helped to ease the drought concerns in New Jersey.
Since the very beginning of May, there has been 1.83 inches of rainfall here at GWC in South Plainfield. Prior to that, there had only been 0.86 inches of rain for the month of April at GWC, and 9.65 inches for the year. Now, the total rainfall for the year is at 11.48 inches. Although the recent rains were part of a gloomy and chilly weather pattern over the last 14 days, they proved to be very helpful.
A lot of this had to do with the fact that there had been a blocking pattern set up over much of the country. Over the last two weeks of April, there was a lot of nice weather with plenty of sun, and warmer temperatures across the Garden State and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic. Meanwhile, further west in the Plains, there were days and days of torrential rainfall in places such as Houston while further north near Dallas, there was severe weather in the form of tornadoes and hail.
The block shifted east eventually, but the weather wasn’t as severe. A week or so ago, there was nothing but clouds with some occasional light to moderate rainfall. There wasn’t any significant rainfall of over an inch, but one of the days last week, there was a decent rain of approximately two thirds of an inch. Now, these kind of blocking patterns are not unusual for this time of year, which is why Springtime is always a period of a variety of weather.
Some days will either give you a feeling that Spring has finally sprung, or summer is around the corner. Other days will make you ask yourself are we in May, or in the end of March or early April. Spring is a lot like fall in that it is a transitional season. They only difference is that Spring is on the way up from winter to summer while Fall is on the way down from summer to winter. Both seasons always have a great deal of variation in weather.
Here is a timeline of weather conditions at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey over a period of 48 hours as the Mid-Atlantic got a one two punch from cold fronts.
May 13, 2016
8:48 AM–Stepped outside for a moment. Skies are overcast. No rain yet.
9:50 AM–Took a look at some things regarding the weather on Facebook. Joe Cioffi of FIOS1 and PIX11 indicated that there will be two cold fronts coming through the area over the next couple days. The first one is scheduled to come through on Friday afternoon, and originally this front was less likely to produce severe storms, but now the NAM model is indicating that it could be stronger. The second front is supposed to come through on Saturday afternoon after skies are forecasted to be sunny all day. The Weather Channel app indicated that rain is likely be 2:00 PM, and its radar showed a line of showers and storms in Central Pennsylvania. Looking at the latest conditions at GWC in South Plainfield, temperature is up to 64 degrees. Humidity is high at 87 percent. Barometer is falling at 29.86 inches of Hg. Winds are calm. Total rainfall so far this month at GWC is 1.44 inches while for the year, it is 11.09 inches.
12:45 PM–Just returned from my workout at South Amboy’s Waterfront Park. Conditions were mostly overcast with a little bit of fog just off the coast. Sun tried to peak out for a bit, but skies remained mostly cloudy. Slight wind out of the East and Southeast.
1:19 PM–Hazardous Weather Outlook from NWS Mount Holly suggests that there could be a few storms with heavy rain this afternoon…
Hazardous Weather Outlook
HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
325 AM EDT FRI MAY 13 2016
NEW CASTLE-KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-DELAWARE BEACHES-CECIL-KENT MD-
MIDDLESEX-WESTERN MONMOUTH-EASTERN MONMOUTH-MERCER-SALEM-GLOUCESTER-
CAMDEN-NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-OCEAN-CUMBERLAND-ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-
ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY-COASTAL ATLANTIC-COASTAL OCEAN-
PHILADELPHIA-WESTERN CHESTER-EASTERN CHESTER-WESTERN MONTGOMERY-
EASTERN MONTGOMERY-UPPER BUCKS-LOWER BUCKS-
325 AM EDT FRI MAY 13 2016
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR CENTRAL DELAWARE…NORTHERN
DELAWARE…SOUTHERN DELAWARE…NORTHEAST MARYLAND…CENTRAL NEW
JERSEY…NORTHERN NEW JERSEY…NORTHWEST NEW JERSEY…SOUTHERN NEW
JERSEY…EAST CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA AND SOUTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA.
.DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT.
A FEW STORMS WITH HEAVY RAIN WILL BE POSSIBLE THROUGH THIS
AFTERNOON WHICH COULD LEAD TO LOCALIZED FLOODING IN POOR DRAINAGE
.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY.
THE PROBABILITY FOR WIDESPREAD HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS LOW.
.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT…
SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS NOT EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.
1:20 PM–The NWS Mount Holly Short Term Forecast indicates that rain is beginning to overspread the area.
SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
1216 PM EDT FRI MAY 13 2016
NEW CASTLE-KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-DELAWARE BEACHES-CECIL-KENT MD-
SOMERSET-MIDDLESEX-WESTERN MONMOUTH-EASTERN MONMOUTH-MERCER-SALEM-
ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY-COASTAL ATLANTIC-
COASTAL OCEAN-SOUTHEASTERN BURLINGTON-CARBON-MONROE-BERKS-LEHIGH-
NORTHAMPTON-DELAWARE-PHILADELPHIA-WESTERN CHESTER-EASTERN CHESTER-
WESTERN MONTGOMERY-EASTERN MONTGOMERY-UPPER BUCKS-LOWER BUCKS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…WILMINGTON…DOVER…GEORGETOWN…
SOMERVILLE…NEW BRUNSWICK…FREEHOLD…SANDY HOOK…TRENTON…
CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE…OCEAN CITY…ATLANTIC CITY…
LONG BEACH ISLAND…WHARTON STATE FOREST…JIM THORPE…
PHILADELPHIA…HONEY BROOK…OXFORD…WEST CHESTER…
1216 PM EDT FRI MAY 13 2016
AT 1215 PM…RAIN SHOWERS WERE OVERSPREADING THE AREA FROM THE
SOUTH AND WEST. THESE RAIN SHOWERS WILL PERSIST THROUGH THE MID-
AFTERNOON HOURS…PRODUCING GENERALLY UP TO ONE-QUARTER OF AN
INCH OF PRECIPITATION. UP TO ONE-HALF OF AN INCH IS POSSIBLE IN A
FEW HEAVIER DOWNPOURS.
1:30 PM–Rain has begun to fall here at GWC in South Plainfield. Falling at a steady and somewhat light rate.
3:01 PM–Still getting a steady light to moderate rain. So far, there has been 0.06 inches of rain for the day at GWC. Temperature is currently at 66 degrees with 94 percent humidity. Barometer is falling at 29.76 inches and the winds are calm.
4:06 PM–Rain has finally begun to come down more intensely. Could hear the pitter patter of it on the roof for clearly than before. Went outside and shot a video clip of it, and posted it to the GWC Facebook page. So far, about 0.12 inches of rain has fallen here at GWC. Temperature down to 65 degrees with the humidity up to 95 percent. Barometer still falling at 29.75 inches of Hg, and the winds are calm.
5:00 PM–The rain has let up just a little bit, but it is still falling steadily. Total rain so far today is up to 0.24 inches. For the month, we have had 1.69 inches, and for the year, GWC has totaled 11.34 inches of rainfall. Temperature steady at 65 degrees. Humidity up a bit to 96 percent. Barometer still falling at 29.74 inches of Hg. Winds remain calm.
8:35 PM–Rain has stopped. Went outside a while ago to do a time lapse video of the clouds breaking up before sunset. Received a total of 0.34 inches of rain. The total for the month is now up to 1.78 inches. Total for the year is now up to 11.43 inches. Temperature dropped a bit to 64 degrees. Humidity is up to 97 percent. Barometer steady at 29.75 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
11:58 PM–Stepped outside for a brief moment. Plenty of moisture in the air in the form of some fog. Temperature is up to 61 degrees. Humidity is up to 98 percent. Barometer is steady at 29.78 inches of Hg. Got another 0.01 of an inch of rain for 0.35 inches of rain for today.
May 14, 2016
9:30 AM–Just came in from outside. Set up the time lapse video for today. Skies are sunny, mostly clear and blue. Only hint of clouds are some faint high cirrus.
10:50 AM–Just took a look at the NWS Mount Holly and Storm Prediction Center web sites. Mount Holly has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for a line of storms that could produce severe weather including gusty winds this afternoon. SPC still has the Mid-Atlantic and New Jersey under a Marginal Risk for severe weather.
10:53 AM–Took a look at the GWC WX Station data. Temperature is up to 69 degrees. Humidity is at 59 percent for a dew point of only 54. Barometer is falling though at 29.72 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
12:11 PM–At Edison Park behind Middlesex County College. Skies are still sunny, but winds have picked up a bit and more cirrus and some small puffy cumulus clouds have developed.
1:18 PM–Just came home from my workout at Edison Park. Skies are continuing to get more overcast. Cirrus has been overtaken by a lot of cumulus. Not quite cumulus congestus. Still have some blue sky to fill in. Temperature is 74 degrees with a humidity of 53 percent for a dew point of 55. Barometer now falling sharply at 29.67 inches of Hg. Winds are still calm to light at GWC.
3:20 PM–Took another step outside to check the time lapse video and do a backyard weather report for Facebook page, and give another radar update. Outside, there was some sun, but it was shrouded in altostratus clouds giving a milky white effect to the sky. The leading edge of the showers and storms are moving through Eastern Pennsylvania. Rain and storms should be here at GWC in the next two hours or so. Temperature up to 74 degrees. Humidity is down to 49 percent for a dew point of 53. Barometer falling more rapidly at 29.61 inches of Hg. Winds are now picking up a bit to 5 to 10 mph.
4:52 PM–Just was outside. Skies are sunny, but there are clouds around. Checked the local radar, and saw that the line of showers and storms have moved into the western portions of Jersey with some strong cells near Rieglesville, Frenchtown, and Erwinna in Hunterdon County. The line is heading to the east. Temperature outside is up to 76 degrees with humidity down to 44 percent for a dew point of 52. Barometer continues to fall rapidly though at 29.57 inches of Hg. Winds are light around 5 mph.
5:43 PM–Conditions have deteriorated somewhat outside. Winds have picked up quite considerably and the skies have darkened in the last 50 minutes or so. Winds are anywhere between 10 to 20 mph. Temperature has dropped to 68 degrees. Humidity up to 57 percent. Barometer steady at 29.62 inches of Hg. No rain yet.
7:42 PM–Winds have slackened. Temperature down to 58 degrees. Humidity still up there at 90 percent for a dew point of 56. Barometer is now rising at 29.61 inches of Hg. Only had 0.01 inches of rain so far. Skies are still overcast.
11:55 PM–Winds are picking up again as high pressure begins to move in. Not much in the way of rain. Temperature is down to 56 degrees. Humidity down to 67 percent for a dew point of 45. Barometer steady at 29.65 inches of Hg.
Here is a timeline of weather conditions at Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, New Jersey over a period of 48 hours while a storm system that brought much needed soaking rains came through.
April 30, 2016
10:50 AM–Stepped outside to set up the time lapse video. Skies are mostly overcast, but with some patches of blue sky. Feels a bit chilly outside.
1:00 PM–Returned from taking a walk and run. More sunshine and blue sky out than it was earlier.
4:00 PM–Have had a mix of sun and clouds during the course of the day at GWC in South Plainfield. Temperature up to 60 degrees with 51% humidity. Barometer steady at 30.16 inches of Hg. Winds are light. Soaking rain expected tomorrow.
4:45 PM–Checked the weather data for the month and saw that only 0.86 inches of rain has fallen at GWC in South Plainfield. For the year, there has only been 9.65 inches of rain.
5:45 PM–Completed an article for the GWC blog on the soaking rains on the way for GWC and the rest of New Jersey on Sunday. Storm system looks like it will bring much needed rain. NWS office in Mount Holly gives a 20 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday night, and a 90 percent chance on Sunday. There could also be some left over rain on Monday.
5:53 PM–Looking back at the rainfall through the first four months of 2015, there was only 1.63 inches of rain during the month of April, and 10.18 inches from January to April. We’re running below those totals so far this month and this year.
8:42 PM–Went back outside to turn off the time lapse video. A bit chilly outside, but no rain yet.
11:59 PM–Watching the NBA playoffs and working on another site. Temperature is up to 49 degrees. Humidity at 69 percent. Barometer steady at 30.22 inches of Hg. Winds are calm. No rain yet.
May 1, 2016
8:00 AM–Woke up. Skies are cloudy. No rain has fallen yet.
10:00 AM–Rain is now falling. Only 0.04 inches has fallen so far. Went outside and checked the rain gauge outside. Cleared any debris in there. Rain is falling moderately.
11:16 AM–Stepped outside after filling out an application and taking an assessment for a job. Rain falling steadily. Checked latest data at the GWC WX Station. Temperature is 47 degrees. Humidity is at 93 percent. Barometer is steady at 30.17 inches of Hg. Total rainfall thus far is 0.17 inches.
12:22 PM–Took another peek outside and at the GWC Weather Station’s console. Rain still falling steadily. Temperature is 48 degrees. Humidity is at 95 percent. Barometer falling at 30.14 inches of Hg. Total rainfall is up to 0.22 inches.
3:05 PM–Just took a step outside. Rain has stopped, but conditions are still cloudy, damp, and chilly. Temperature outside is 49 degrees. Humidity is at 93 percent. Barometer is falling at 30.11 inches. Winds are light at about 10 mph. Total rainfall is still only 0.22 inches.
4:43 PM–Took another step outside. Remains chilly, cloudy, damp, and dreary. Temperature down slightly to 48 degrees. Humidity steady at 93 percent. Barometer still falling at 30.08 inches. Winds light at about 5 mph. Hasn’t rained since about noon. Total rainfall remains at 0.22 inches.
8:15 PM–Just returned from going outside for a walk. Still chilly and damp outside. No rain falling though.
11:59 PM–Looked outside. Road is a bit damp. However, when I looked at the data from the GWC WX Station, no more measurable rain fell. Temperature is at 46 degrees. Humidity up to 96 percent. Barometer steady at 30.05 inches of Hg. Winds are calm.
May 2, 2016
9:45 AM–Just took a step outside. Skies are overcast with a little bit of fog. Feels a bit chilly out as well. Temperature is up slightly from last night to 48 degrees after a low of 45. Humidity is up a bit as well to 97 percent. Barometer has fallen to 29.97 inches of Hg. Winds are calm. Did receive another 0.01 inches of rain for a total of 0.23 since the storm began. So far this year, GWC has received 9.88 inches of rain.
2:30 PM–Returned home from a workout at Edison Park behind Middlesex County College. There was no rain, but skies were overcast. Towards the end of the workout, the sun appeared to try to peek through. Light winds.
8:45 PM–Checked Accu-Weather, and there appears to be another storm system heading in the direction of the Garden State from the south and west, and is expected to bring some rain overnight into tomorrow.
9:14 PM–Checked the GWC WX Station. Temperature is 54 degrees. Humidity is at 93 percent. Barometer is steady at 29.89 inches of Hg. So far today, there has been 0.01 inches of rain. NWS has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for portions of Virginia. Strong thunderstorm capable of producing hail moving through Washington D.C. Area.
10:47 PM–Watching Accu-Weather again. Large complex of heavy showers and storms moving southwest to northeast towards GWC. Could see severe weather with embedded thunderstorms containing 45 to 50 mph winds around 6:30 AM on Tuesday morning. Temperature steady at 54 degrees. Humidity up slightly to 95 percent. Barometer rising at 29.91 inches of Hg. Winds are calm. No rain yet.
May 3, 2016
12:11 AM–Started to hear something like rain coming down outside. Checked out the window, and rain was indeed falling. GWC WX Station console read that it was “Raining Cats and Dogs.” Temperature still steady at 54 degrees. Humidity up to 97 percent. Barometer steady at 29.91 inches of Hg. WInds are light. Total rainfall is up to 0.19 inches already. Yearly total now above 10 inches at 10.07.
10:51 AM–Finally got myself out of bed. Checked the weather station. Received almost another quarter of an inch here at GWC in South Plainfield. Temperature is at 53 degrees. Humidity at 97 percent. Barometer is steady at 29.82 inches of Hg. WInds are calm. Total rainfall for the day stands at 0.42 inches thus far. For the year, GWC has received 10.52 inches.
10:55 AM–Just stepped outside to take a look at things. Road is damp, and there is a light and steady rain falling.
2:49 PM–Came back from workout and doing some errands. Was a bit misty out when I left for Edison Park before noon. Didn’t get any additional rainfall here. Just overcast now. Temperature up slightly to 54 degrees. Humidity down a tad to 96 percent. Barometer has fallen slightly to 29.79 inches of Hg. Winds are light. Total rainfall for today remains at 0.42 inches. Rain total for the last three days is 0.65 inches. Rainfall for the year is up to 10.52 inches.
11:30 PM–Day coming to an end. No measurable rainfall since the early afternoon. Only 0.42 inches for the day.