Potential El Niño could impact New Jersey weather this summer

May 30, 2014 - 5:11pm -- Dan Zarrow

Map of impending El Nino

As climatological summer and the Atlantic hurricane season begin on June 1, scientists are carefully monitoring sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean for a potential El Niño event. An El Niño occurs when warmer-than-average waters start to form in the eastern Pacific Ocean, specifically near the equatorial latitudes. Easterly winds (blowing from the east) typically move warmer water to the western Pacific (near Indonesia), permitting cooler water to upwell to the surface in the east (near South America). When these winds are weaker, or if they reverse direction, the warm water stays in the eastern Pacific. This difference in sea surface temperatures and winds creates a new dynamic between the ocean and atmosphere, distinctly affecting weather patterns across the world. No two El Niño events are alike; they vary in magnitude and location of the largest temperature anomalies. El Niño events can be classified as Strong, Moderate or Weak. What might an El Niño summer mean for New Jersey's weather?

No escaping a sultry, sweaty heat wave

July 22, 2013 - 8:09pm -- Dan Manzo

Garden State residents suffered through another heat wave last week, and at times it seemed like the unrelenting heat would never subside. A heat wave is unofficially defined as three or more consecutive days with the maximum temperature at or over 90°. This heat wave lasted seven days for many areas and furthermore, very high dew points (a measure of moisture in the air) made the heat index soar above 105°.

The heat wave began for many on Sunday, July 14, with stations in central and northeast Jersey, such as Haworth, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Howell, and Toms River all recording high temperatures in the low 90°s. Hawthorne was the hottest spot with a high temperature of 94°. Other stations recorded high temperatures in the upper 80°s. This combined with widespread dew points above 70° resulted in heat indices at or near 100°.


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