Heat and Humidity Return for Start of School in New Jersey

Third Time in the Past Four Days Temperatures Get Above 90 Degrees at GWC

Compared to the past two summers at GWC in South Plainfield, temperatures have been much warmer.  The latest example are the 90 degree temperatures that have popped up over the past four days around the New York City Metro Area.  Here are GWC, the mercury has climbed to just at or above 90 in three of those past four days.  After 90 degree temps on Sunday and Monday, the mercury dipped to only 88 on Tuesday at GWC, but the thermometer went back up to 91 for a high on Wednesday.

To make matters worse, humidity levels have been on the rise over the past 36 to 48 hours.  Winds shifted during the afternoon on Tuesday causing the dew points to rise and conditions to become more muggy and uncomfortable.  For instance, the peak dew point on Wednesday at GWC was 73 degrees making the temperature feel like 97 degrees (top heat index).   While it is still only the second day of September, today’s high was still 0.6 degrees short of equaling the high temperature for the month of September 2014.  The heat and humidity is expected to linger for another 24 hours before a cold front moves through with some thunderstorms on Thursday night and Friday morning.

Looking at the GWC climate data for the summer of 2015, the maximum high for the month of June was just under 90 degrees at 89.8.  Then, the maximum highs for July and August were 96 and 95 respectively, which were above those for the same time in 2014.  The max high for August 2015 was actually the highest recorded for the month of August since the new weather station at GWC was installed in mid-June 2011.   The warmest summer on record at the new GWC WX station remains for the year of 2012 with max highs of  97 in June, 102 in July, 92 in August, and 90 in September that year.  In addition, max highs in April and May of 2012 were 90 and 92 respectively. 

Taking a closer look at the temperatures for the Summer of 2015 at GWC in South Plainfield, you will find some pretty impressive numbers.  After a cooler summer in 2014, the heat was back this year with 16 days of at or above 90 degree temperatures.  Another story has been the humidity.  From June 1st to this afternoon, the dew point has peaked at or above 70 degrees 44 times.  Despite the abundance of moisture at times here at GWC, there has not been a lot of rain, especially lately.  So far this year, there has been a total of 19.54 inches of rain that has fallen at GWC, and only 10.99 of that has fallen since April 1st.  The bulk of the rain from April 1st to today came during the latter portion of May and about the first 20 days of June.  Since June 20th, there has been only 2.46 inches of rain in South Plainfield.

The lack of rain has prompted some counties in New Jersey to put into effect drought restrictions such as watering lawns and washing cars outside while also advising people to take showers instead of baths to conserve water.  The heat and humidity wasn’t met with a lot of enthusiasm by the youngsters around the Garden State either.  Many children in New Jersey had their first day of school, and the weather made them yearn to be at the beach instead.  In most years, the school year in New Jersey begins two days after Labor Day, but this year, the schedule for school systems such as South Plainfield and Piscataway began today with classes going until the end of this week before a four day weekend kicks in capped off by Labor Day on Monday.