04.04.16

Wild Weather Day In Garden State on Sunday

Posted in GWC News at 12:21 am by gmachos

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.

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