More Severe Weather Possible On Friday
It was a day where a weather tracker like myself have a feeling that something was going to happen. With the increasing heat and humidity over the past day or so, Wednesday was prime for another round of severe weather across the Garden State, and mother nature didn’t disappoint. For the eighth time already this month, there was measurable rainfall in Northwestern Middlesex County.
With the high temperature rising to 88 degrees, and a dew point peaking at 74, the heat or misery index rose to 95 on Wednesday afternoon. By 3:00 PM, the atmosphere started to show signs of thunderstorm development. Cumulus clouds were showing vertical development around South Plainfield and Piscataway. Storms were already developing over Northern New Jersey, and had caused a good deal of damage on Long Island and in Queens and Brooklyn.
Clouds grew darker as dinner time approached. Whether you were at Washington Rock in Green Brook, Columbia Park in Dunellen, or Waterfront Park in South Amboy, the skies were becoming more threatening and menacing with each passing minute. At about 5:30 PM, the first clap of thunder was heard at Waterfront Park. The thunder began rolling and the skies continued to get darker. Down the road at Beachfront Park in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge, a roll cloud developed as more thunder cracked.
No rain had fallen as the GWC storm chasers got back on the road down Route 35 to Keyport Marina and Waterfront Park. By then, rain was falling, but it wasn’t until after leaving there that the rain began falling in earnest. It was a total downpour as you traveled down onto Route 36 South. The rain didn’t let up until we got to the border with Hazlet, and the respite didn’t last for long. As the storm chasers got off Route 36 at the Union Beach exit, the deluge resumed.
Rain continued to fall for about another 20 minutes or so before it let up a bit. Stratocumulus clouds were still lurking around as we traveled down to Bayshore Waterfront Park in Port Monmouth. Winds were a bit gusty at the beach, but the rain held off until we headed back toward Route 36. Nearby creeks were swollen from the large amount of water that had been dumped on the area. Back at GWC, the CoCoRaHS rain gauge read 0.90 inches while the Vantage Pro 2 gauge picked up 0.95, it was the second highest daily rainfall total this month. Both of those had occurred in just the past six days.
The latest storms have given August eight days of measurable rainfall in South Plainfield, and the 16th in the past 31 days. More and more, this August is looking a lot like last August. Halfway through the month, and the rainfall total to date (3.91 inches) is more than any previous month this year. In addition, over the past 31 days, there has been 6.76 inches of rain in Northwestern Middlesex County. So, we have once again recovered from a near drought situation following some 32 days of virtually no rain from mid-June to mid-July (only 0.05 inches).
More rain is possible on Friday. A cold front is approaching from the Midwest, where it produced storms that had two inch diameter hail associated with it in parts of Illinois, and heavy rains and strong storms in the Ohio Valley. The front is forecast to arrive during the afternoon on Friday. Ahead of it will be a southwesterly flow pumping in warmer and more humid air than there was on Thursday. The latest Hazardous Weather Outlook from the National Weather Service in Mount Holly is already indicating that strong storms capable of producing heavy rain are possible on Friday.