07.01.18

The Blast Furnace Fires Up for Pre-July 4th Weekend in New Jersey

Posted in General, GWC News, GWC Severe Weather Report at 4:10 pm by gmachos

Peak of Prolonged Heatwave Has Begun and to Last Thru Monday

Summer has begun in earnest around the Garden State. The graduations are over. Fourth of July is just days away, and the first major heat wave of the season is underway with a ferocity that has not been seen for a few years.

Early last week, conditions were mostly dry, breezy, and pleasant around New Jersey, but by midweek, showers and thunderstorms ushered in a ridge of high pressure and a southwesterly flow of air that has pushed the thermometer upward, and will keep it there at least through this week

Starting on Thursday, temperatures began to creep into the 90s, and by early Sunday afternoon, the mercury was pushing hard toward the century mark. The National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey had issued an Excessive Heat Watch on Friday, which it upgraded to a warning on Saturday.

The warning came into effect at 8:00 AM Sunday morning, and is expected to continue until 8:00 PM on Monday evening. Temperatures during this period arre expected to reach well into the upper 90s and perhaps 100 while heat indices will probably range between 105 and 110 with some isolated areas going even higher than that.

This torrid weather stretch is reminiscent of the heat and humidity experienced during the early summers of 2011 and 2012. Those two years were part of an extraordinary period of extreme weather in New Jersey that began with a series of severe storms in September 2010, continued with the Holiday Blizzard of December 2010 and Hurricane Irene in August 2011, and finished with Superstorm Sandy in late October 2012.

Both the early summers of 2011 and 2012 were remarkable for their tremendous heat and humidity. In July 2011, the Weather Station at Greg’s Weather Center recorded a maximum heat index of just under 121 degrees. The following year, in July 2012, the heat index peaked at 117 degrees. July 2013 even had some similar heat with a top heat index of 117 also that month. During the July 2011 heat wave, the mercury peaked at just under 104 degrees at GWC. The following year, in July 2012, the temperature peaked at a little over 102 degrees.

While the heat index and temperature are not nearly as close to where they were during those two years, the mercury is still forecasted to reach about 100 degrees. Currently at GWC in South Plainfield, the temperature is 98 degrees, and it feels as hot as 106 outside. Dew point is quite high at 69 degrees while there is only a light wind out of the Southwest at about 5 miles per hour.

If you are looking for any relief, there might not be any at least until the latter portion of the week here in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. High on Monday is expected to be about the same while Tuesday will be only a bit cooler at 94 degrees. The July 4th holiday may have some fireworks courtesy of Mother Nature with a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms with a high of 91. Thursday and Friday’s forecast shows an increased chance of rain and thunderstorms with temperatures dropping into the upper 80s.

However, that forecast may be just a bit more optimistic. Larry Cosgrove of WeatherAmerica indicated that the cold front that is forecast to come in around the period of July 6th to July 8th, may not bring the relief that the East Coast will be looking for. Areas further to the north such as those above Interstate 70, but it will not bring the kind of relief we will be looking for. Temperature are also expected to rebound back into the lower 90s by July 10th and 11th according to long term forecasts provided by The Weather Channel.

On a personal note, I went out for a walk twice yesterday as well as a couple on Friday. While conditions were getting uncomfortable then, both days were more pleasant than what is being experienced outside GWC on Sunday. I walked for just under an hour around my neighborhood and several other neighborhoods nearby. It was brutal outside. True, I went out for a walk around 11:30 on Sunday morning, but I went out at around the same times on Friday and Saturday, and it was more comfortable, or bearable depending how you would like to look at it.

I believe that this heatwave could be part of another prolonged period of extreme weather in New Jersey similar to that from September 2010 to November 2012. This new period had its origins back in the latter stages of this past winter with the four strong Nor’easters that rocked the Garden State throughout March and early April. Then, there was the period of 9 weeks from mid-April to a couple weeks ago, where there were rainy conditions during all or part of the weekend. There was also an outbreak of severe weather in New Jersey on Tuesday, May 15th that brought high winds and heavy rains.

Conditions have also noticeably gone from Winter to Summer without much of a Spring here in New Jersey. Whether or not these severe events become part of an actual prolonged period of rough weather for the Garden State true remains to be seen. The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is only a month old, but by this time last year, the region had already seen at least three named storms come and go while this year there has only been one. Nevertheless, we are still very far from the climatological peak of the hurricane season, which usually occurs in early to mid-September with the statistical peak falling on September 10th.

One thing is for sure, and that is this week’s heat could be the most severe New Jersey has seen in about 5 years.

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