South Jersey Weather Blog

A Few Discussions...

By: wxgeek723, 1:08 AM GMT on January 25, 2009

Good evening everyone! The winter is just so busy lately, I haven't had time to blog. But now I have a bit and I have a little I'd like to talk about. I'll do a quick diagnosis but no full forecast, and a little talk about building on barrier islands and ice pack on the Delaware River.

So it would seem a low pressure would form near Tallahassee, FL and turn into a possible snow threat. NAM is still "iffy" on whether or not NJ will even get precip. The only forecasting episode where NJ gets possible P-Type problems is the 60hr forecast. Even then, a small stretch of South Jersey gets it, at this approximate line I equated:

A. Bridgeport (Gloucester County)
B. Pitman (Gloucester County)
C. Hammonton (Atlantic County)
D. Tuckerton (Ocean County)

A frontal boundary will drop down from up north, and another mA air mass will harrass us after somewhat seasonal temperatures have arrived. A series of low pressures along with the boundary will drop down. If it gets to a certain severity I'll do the usual storm setup. I'm planning on adding more cities to it (such as Bayonne and East Orange) although I might not be happy with the extra work, LOL.

So, with all the winter cold, snow (I wish), rain, and certainly coastal storms and nor'easters, you can bet the Jersey Shore doesn't do too well during the winter. The southern part is a bit desolate, excluding Atlantic City, and stays like that until near Toms River. A lot of New Jersey's beautiful resort cities are located on a barrier island. The resorts Wildwood, Sea Isle City, Ocean City, Atlantic City, Absecon, Ship Bottom, and Seaside Heights are all on barrier islands.

I went to a garvey race in Tuckerton, NJ (near Toms River and Seaside Heights) back in June and many of the houses were standing on some support beams or had been highered. Why? The area tends to get storm surge from powerful nor'easters. It does have a lot of bays and inlets. It is also very low to the ground. While Tuckerton is on the mainland, it would make more sense to live there than say Seaside Heights. That is beacause when ever nor'easters stop by the Jersey Shore, they frequently take a chunk of beach, and it ends up sliding all the way down to the barrier island of Wildwood.

Wildwood doesn't have this problem because the sand from other islands has to go somewhere. No wonder the beaches there are so beautiful. Thankfully NJ is very, very, very rarely struck by hurricanes (knock on wood!). The part it hit would suffer some pretty bad damage. We only need to look back on Hurricane Gloria in 1985. Then, it was thought to be bound to strike Atlantic City but ended up curving and hitting Long Island, sparing us the worst. But Gloria's surge did leave a mark, esecially in Cape May County, where several communities suffered extensive damage. The name 'Gloria' was retired in the Spring of 1986, and was replaced with 'Grace'. Coincientially, that list is the list of hurricane season this year.

US Coast Guard plane zooms over Cape May, NJ, flooded in the wake of Hurricane Gloria in September 1985.

I recall Jim Cantore covering Hurricane Dolly landfalling in Texas back on July 23 (My birthday!), mentioning that "barier islands are ment to move". He was in South Padre Island, TX, a famous by-the-sea resort on a barrier island. It suffered some severe beach erosion in the wake of Dolly. North Carolina had some issues in the 2007 season, where Andrea in May and Gabrielle in September ate its beaches away.

Something recent that reminded me to write this happened just last week in Sea Isle City, New Jersey. The water had eaten away at the small pier near a condominium. You see, barrier islands are ment to protect the real resorts, not be resorts themselves. Personally, I do not think we should build on them.

This 82nd street home in Sea Isle City, NJ will have to be comdemned due to its deck falling into the bay.

One last, quick topic. In the news earlier this week I was shocked to hear pack on the Delaware? Yes, my local news station interviewed a woman who lives right by the river in Delanco, NJ. She says the ice pack wasn't as bad as 2003. Here's a picture of that shocking ice pack on this date 6 years ago. (More irony; January 24, 2003)

Have a great week everybody!


Arctic Blast Update

By: wxgeek723, 12:53 AM GMT on January 10, 2009

Good evening all! So I've decided to give these more powerful systems the "full treatment". Normally I'd just write a little weather setup and 5-day forecast and leave it there. And I am going to continue to do that for an average day and weaker systems, but storms like this upcoming one deserve and updated blog. I have made a new arrangement which I will put up whenever seemingly-significant winter systems show up. I'm going to put it up prior to the storm so I can update it as the storm goes along whenever I can. The sections covering prior and after the storm are the only ones not to be updated. The new special segments are:

Before the Storm: Weather conditions before the storm and possible forecasts

Storm Synopsis: Summary of meteorological conditions as the storm moves through

Model Data: Analysis of the model's forecast

NJ Cities Forecast: Current conditions and the forecast for 10 NJ cities (in ABC order: Atlantic City, Camden, Cape May, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Toms River, Trenton, Vineland; Toms River is technically a township but...)

Travel Conditions: Possible traffic issues and airport delays

Sea Conditions: Forecast for boaters through the storm on the main Jersey Shore counties (plus Cumberland)

Watches/Warnings/Advisories: NJ alerts from Mount Holly and Upton

Storm Aftermath: Possible damage following the storm.

There will also be an Update History archiving previous updates. Alright, well let's get started with this storm.

Before the Storm-1.10.09 12 PM EST
It looks like we're getting more of a clipper low-pressure system centered over Indiana. Precipitation from this possible beast has already moved into parts of northern New Jersey. The Winter Storm Warning has moved up and is only in effect for 3 counties. And my area is no longer under a Winter Weather Advisory, meaning no significant winter conditions at all expected. Though we may still get some. But that does not satisfy my thirst for an actual snowstorm! Freezing Rain is also possible from near Trenton to the Paterson metro. Again that sea breeze interferes with our chance for snow!

The famous sea resorts Cape May, Sea Isle City, Ocean City, Wildwood, Ship Bottom, and Atlantic City may see a bit of snow but the onshore flow will keep temperatures at about 40F; making this another one of those depressing storms. We may see a bit more snow near Seaside Heights or maybe Island Heights in Ocean County. Ironically, the center of this low pressure system is forecast to pass directly over the Philadelphia metro area. The low will move into Pennsylvania soon, gaining a little strength as it does so.

Our friends further south are going to have a rude awakening when the jet stream drops south and arcitic highs begin to invade. North of Hammonton some snow is still expected so no change will be made to the forecast map.

Storm Synopsis
Updated: 1/9/09-7PM
*To be written when the storm reaches our area.*

Model Data
Updated: 1/9/09-7PM
Six hours from now the NAM isn't forecast a big system with a small strand of precipitation over Iowa stretching into Chicago and Detroit. Twelve hours from now a seemingly-impressive storm has formed that stretches from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. GFS forecasts something very similar, except for a small strand of precipitation reaching just into my area. Hopefully snow considering the current temperatures and jet stream position. We can only hope for the best.

NJ Cities Forecast
Updated: 1/10/09-12PM

Atlantic City-Rain today with a high in near 40. A southwest wind of 10-20 mph will create breezy conditions at the coastline. 100% chance of precipitation. Expected rainfall amounts 0.25-0.50" possible. Possible chance of mixed wintry precipitation tonight. No snow accumulation expected.

Camden-Possible snow prior to 3PM, then changing over to rain as that onshore flow from the Atlantic reaches us. Snow accumulations of 0.50-0.75" possible before perhaps being washed away. Highs expected around 36 in the area. Tonight the winds increase from 5 mph to 10-15 mph. The temperature will also stay above freezing. Rain continues; new rainfall amounts of 0.50-0.75" possible.

Cape May-Rain with a high near 44. The ocean breeze will induce 15-20 mph winds on the area as the rain goes on. 100% chance of precip. 0.10-0.25" of rain espected. Similar conditions tonight expected.

Jersey City-Snow after 3 PM with a high near 32. An eastern wind of 5-10 mph will be present. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Snow continues that night until after 1 AM where it changes to more of a wintry mix. Snow accumulation of 3-5 inches possible.

Newark- Snow after 3 PM with a high near 31. A wind of 5-10 mph will be present. Chance of precip approx. 85-100%. Icing is possible along with freezing rain overnight. Snow accumulation of 3-5 inches possible.

Paterson- Snow after 3 PM with a high near 29. Winds of 1-5 mph expected. Chance of precip 80%, increasing to 100% that night. New snow accumulation of 4-6 inches possible.

Perth Amboy- Snow today which may changeover to rain tonight. Winds of 5-10 mph expected. Chance of precip 90%. Precip will change to rain over night with 0.50" expected.

Toms River- Rain with a high near 37. Winds of 5-10 mph probable. An inch of rain is possible with this system.

Trenton- Snow with a high near 35. Winds of 5-10 mph expected. An inch possible during daytime accumulation. Precipitation changing to rain that night with 0.25-0.50" expected.

Vineland- Rain with a high near 40. Winds of 5-15 mph expected. Chance of precip 95-100%. An inch of rain is possible.

Precipitation Map:

Mix Line:
A. Pennsville (Salem Co.)
B. Woodstown (Salem Co.)
C. Elmer (Salem Co.)
D. Williamstown (Gloucester Co.)
E. Hammonton (Atlantic Co.)
F. Chatsworth (Burlington Co.)
G. Silverton (Ocean Co.)

1-3" Line:
A. Ewing (Mercer Co.)
B. Princeton Junction (Mercer Co.)
C. Jamesburg (Middlesex Co.)
D. Robertsville (Monmouth Co.)
E. South Amboy (Middlesex Co.)

4-6" Line:
A. Branchville (Sussex Co.)
B. Sussex (Sussex Co.)

Travel Conditions
Updated: 1/9/09-7PM
To be written when storm arrives

Sea Conditions
Updated: 1/9/09-7PM

Cumberland County:

Cape May County:

Atlantic County:

Ocean County:

Monmouth County:

Updated: 1/9/09-7PM

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the following counties:

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the following countes:

Eastern Region Alerts:

Storm Aftermath
Updated 1/9/09-8PM
*To be written after the storm passes through our area*

Update History

*12-1 PM EST Sat. 1/10/09: Wrote the Before the Storm outlook, Model Data, first update to 10 cities forecast, and fixed the alerts.

I don't have much time so I'll just present the forecast temperatures for today.

20F Line:
A. Greenwich (Cumberland Co.)
B. Millville (Cumberland Co.)
C. Mays Landing (Atlantic Co.)
D. Mullica Township (Atlantic Co.)
E. Manahawkin (Ocean Co.)

10F Line:
A. Washington (Warren Co.)
B. Chester (Morris Co.)
C. Dover (Morris Co.)
D. Clifton (Passaic Co.)
E. Teaneck (Bergen Co.)

Updated: 1:06 PM GMT on January 15, 2009


Snowy start to '09?

By: wxgeek723, 12:32 AM GMT on January 02, 2009

Present Weather Setup
Updated: 1/1/09
Happy New Year everybody! It is finally 2009, and I'm exciting to see what the weather will bring this year. Already a week into 2008 we had that Midwest severe weather and anomalous January outbreak. Thankfully, it doesn't look like we'll be seing that again for now at least. This year I plan to go along with the poem: build my--shrine I guess you could call it, here on WU. It was a cold start to New Year here in South Jersey with that high pressure (1,026) giving us that typical cold, dry, start to the New Year. I'm schocked New Year was as cold as it was, and with the previous clipper bringing us a 5 minute whiteout on New Year's Eve and 15 degrees with a wind chill of at least 5 at Midnight. Unfortunately, we now have ANOTHER clipper to attend to! I have already created a precipitation forecast map for this storm. It's a little confusing this time around; I'll explain later in the entry.

WU's general surface plot for the Midwestern US shows scattered snow showers in Lake Michigan. However, this is not entirely lake effect. It is associated with our next clipper and some of it is synoptic or lake-enhanced. It looks like our friends Winterstormsblog and charlesimages will be enjoying (or dreading) some snowshowers to pile on top of the snow they already have. If this keeps up, snow in some places might not fully melt to February or March. Hopefully this does not create another horrific flood situation like last year. The Northeast is also getting its fair share of snow recently as well (but not me of course!), and I hope there aren't any major floods up in New England either. As I was saying, the storm will drop through tomorrow and be gone as soon as it came, hence the name clipper.

Models dispute on whether or not the clipper will even bring us some precipitation. I'd have to agree with the GFS solution of brief rain/snow/sleet. Portions of Northwest Jersey will have the best chance of getting snow. NAM keeps the storm rather organized as it sails through New England but GFS says it will take on a frontal appearance and possibly merge with another potent coastal system. South of Louisiana lies a forming Gulf Low. It has yet to form a surface low and the mid-level disturbance could possibly be entrained into the clipper on Friday or very early Saturday.

A Gulf Low south of Louisiana is evident 3 hours from now according to the NAM. Yesterday's clipper has intensified off the coast and is heading towards Europe (have fun with that Europeans!).

This is the 48 hour forecasted precipitation from the NAM. Notice the clipper flirting with Lake Ontario and none of the precipitation assocoiated with the clipper is in New Jersey. Meanwhile that coastal storm supposedly takes shape offshore of the Carolinas.

The 39 hour forecast from the GFS. At 42 hours, the GFS already has the precipitation moving out of the area.

Seeing as several people return to work tomorrow (I don't!), the wintry mix of precipitation may prove to be quite an annoyance. High temperatures say south of Morristown will be very similar state wide, around the 40F mark. North of Flemington is where we could see some flakes starting to pile up, though they won't get too far. So my precipitation map for this upcoming winter storm is the usual. However, the precipitation borders have been redone a little. I'm sure everyone remembers how my way of doing it was from one point to another. For example, Gloucester City, NJ-Seaside Heights, NJ (that wasn't in an actual forecast). Well with that said, people don't know where the line could bend or fluctuate. I see now it is better to name communities on the line, not just at the end points. In the map I have lettered the communities on the borders. They are the red dots. I will present them under along with the county. If you are confused just take a look:

Rain Line:
A. Port Norris (Cumberland Co.)
B. Woodbine (Cape May Co.)
C. Sea Isle City (Cape May Co.)

Mix Line:
A. Stockton (Hunterdon Co.)
B. Flemington (Hunterdon Co.)
C. Manville (Somerset Co.)
D. Plainfield (Union Co.)
E. Elizabeth (Union Co.)

I don't mean to copy anybody else who does something similar, I'm just trying to make the forecast simpler! LOL. Be careful in the clipper!

5 Day Forecast Diagnosis
Updated: 1/1/09

Fri. 1/2/09: A chance of snow showers in the morning, then turning to rain in South Jersey at approximately 11:30 AM-12 PM EST. Following that the southern half of NJ will see a mix of snow and rain creating miserable conditions for the commute home on Friday. In North Jersey, snow will continue and accumulation may be possible but there will not be much of it. Again, I'm estimating north of Morristown. Winds will be about 10-20 mph. Chance of precipitation 40-55%. Friday night the clipper has clipped us already. It will be partly cloudy and begin to clear up. Another cold winter night will be in store as we lose the daytime heating and go down into a temperature range of 15-25 degrees. Brr!

Sat. 1/3/09: A high pressure moves in and keeps our temperatures at a normal level. High temperature range 30-45. We could be a little windy with a that clipper moving offshore at the Jersey Shore. Gusts in Cape May County will be about 25-30 mph. In Atlantic County, it will be a bit breezy (20-25 mph). The further up you go, the less windy. Again Saturday night we lose that heating again with lows similar to Friday.

Sun. 1/4/09: Low pressure moves through Sunday, with a chance of rain and snow showers again! I haven't looked into this system yet, but I'm sure it's another one of those clippers, very similar to the one expected tomorrow. Highs will also be very similar to Friday and typical for January standards, 35-45. Since it's Sunday much less people are working than on Friday, but the commute home for anyone that has to still may have trouble. I'll have to write a forecast for that storm Saturday night if I can. Oh boy! Sunday night we are cloudy so we can keep a bit of heating. Lows 35-40. The chance of precipitation Sunday is about 25-40%.

Mon. 1/5/09: Back to school! Ugh. Anyway, we stay mostly cloudy for the first work week of the year for many. Highs still average. I think I can get used to this! Generally 35-45. There's a chance for more wintry weather Monday. I'll have to look into these systems coming up! Mostly cloudy Monday night; lows 35-45.

Tue. 1/6/09: Probably the same storm from Monday. A chace of more irritating snow and rain showers as we enter the midst of the work week. Chance of precipitation 40-45%. Highs in the upper 40s on Tuesday. Precipitation chances increase to 45-55% that night, with lows in the mid 30s.

Marine Forecast
Updated 1/1/09

The NWS has cancelled the original Small Craft Advisory as winds and seas decrease in "anger" as the night goes on. Yesterday's clipper is moving on to the next continent. Tomorrow's system will take a cold front to the Jersey Shore waters. A new Small Craft Advisory has been issued to warn boaters about the possible rough seas through Saturday. There might be a Gale Warning issued tomorrow so boaters be prepared!

Monthly Forecast (January)
Updated 1/1/09

It appears La Nina might make a grand comeback which would be just great. We could have another winter like last one! While not all La Ninas are created equal, I'm sure if we do end up with one its affects on our winter weather will mirror last season's. Still, despite the CPC's forecast for an above-average January temperature wise, I think we may fluctuate between about average and below average. It seems we have gotten into what almost seems like an endless pattern of clippers and Pacific NW oceanic storms coming our way. Hopefully we don't get a coastal storm in the mix. Unless it brings me snow that is. I'm sure with this pattern we will see some kind of snow accumulation. I was trying to relate this season to 2004-05 where the first big storm was late January and it was non-stop with that snow 'til mid-March. February and early March is typically our snowiest time of the year.

Mount Holly, NJ NWS Watches/Warnings/Advisories
Updated: 1/1/09

Mount Holly currently has no alerts out.

East Central US WU Radar:

Current Delaware Valley Temperatures:

WU NEUS General Surface Plot:

NWS Eastern Region Watches/Warnings/Advisories:


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About wxgeek723

Rutgers University meteorology major and avid hurricane enthusiast living in Jersey.

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