Challenges the Jersey Coast faces post-Sandy and ways to better prepare for future storms, rising sea levels and other climate changes will be discussed in a unique debate-style forum being held in Ocean County later this month… The free, two-day con…
A strong El Nino in the Pacific will set the stage for much of winter weather in the country this time around, but will it impact New Jersey?… Halpert says it could mean above average temps here, but also more moisture. He says this season’s El Nino could be the strongest since one that occurred in 1997-98. He believes it could be “among the three strongest since the 1950s.”… Will it mean more snow? State Climatologist Dave Robinson of Rutgers says past El Ninos in Jersey have gone both ways… According to Robinson, there are two wild cards out there for this El Nino winter in New Jersey. One is that pool of warm water out in the north Pacific Ocean, that has actually helped contribute to the last two winters being so cold in eastern north America. Robinson says, “that pool of warm water is still there. So that could, at times, overide the El Nino signal coming out of the tropics.”
This year’s New Jersey pumpkin crop will feature great quality, but the fruit will be of average size. Assistant New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Al Murray says Charlie Brown likely will not be seeing the Great Pumpkin in New Jersey this fall. He says sizes will be average… South Jersey agricultural extension agent Michelle Infante-Casella said dry weather also kept disease in check for pumpkins. She said some Jersey pumpkin growers actually brought them out of the fields and put them in storage, so that when it did rain, they did not succumb to fungal diseases… “As a result, the 2015 crop probably looks a little bit better than the 2014 crop,” she said… “If they were not fertilized enough in the field, a lot of time they will not turn deep orange,” she said. That deeper orange color is going to show maturity as well. She also advises New Jersey consumers to support local farmers by buying local, that is, locally grown and harvested.
The dry conditions that the Garden State has faced over the last few months could affect one of the highlights of autumn in New Jersey, the fall colors… Bill Hlubik, Professor and Agricultural and Resource Management Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County, New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Rutgers, The State University, said the drought could change the timeline a bit for fall foliage… The typical fall color peak takes place in mid-to-late October, but Hlubik believes that could bleed into November this season. He said you will still see yellows, then orange, and red leaves, but it may not be as vibrant as usual… Hlubik said the brightest and earliest fall foliage can be found out at New Jersey’s highest elevations at state and county parks. “It may be a little shorter lived and may be delayed a little bit, but I think we’re going to have great fall color out there,” he said.
A new study looking back over 1,000 years finds the flooding risk along the New York and New Jersey coasts increased greatly after industrialization, and major storms that once might have occurred every 500 years could soon happen every 25 years or so… It was released a month before the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, which devastated the coasts of New York and New Jersey… “A storm that occurred once in seven generations is now occurring twice in a generation,” said Benjamin Horton of Rutgers, one of six lead researchers involved in the study… The study does not explicitly state that the changes are due to human activity but implies it “by the timeframes,” Horton said. The researchers wanted to compare recent decades to the period before the Industrial Revolution.
State Climatologist Dave Robinson of Rutgers University says the Garden State’s summer climate lacked any excessive heat or cold, and was on the mild side… “It was a summer with quite a mixed bag of conditions, with the exception of the weekends, which were almost exclusively beautiful,” Robinson said… Robinson says every weekend day was rain-free, from the beginning of July through Labor Day. He said New Jersey did not have an exceptionally warm summer, just as the past two years have not been exceptionally warm in the eastern U.S., when other parts of the world are experiencing intense heat… In fact, global climate watchers are saying 2015 is on track to go into the books as the warmest year on record for the planet earth. But not so here in the Garden State. According to Robinson, we were above average temperature-wise, in every month of the summer, but not excessively so.
According to Dave Robinson, the New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University, most of the Garden State has been quite dry in the month of August, especially in Central Jersey… “May was the third driest on record, but June was the fourth wettest June in the last 120 years and that was the real saving grace, because we could be facing seriously low reservoirs and possible crop damage if it hadn’t been so wet,” Robinson said… He said the bottom line is “if the next 2 weeks stay as warm and dry as the national weather service is forecasting we could see parts of Jersey with significant enough deficits of rainfall, soil moisture and stream flow, that we might get to this moderate drought categorization.”
The basic definition of El Nino is this: Trade winds that blow from east to west in the tropical Pacific Ocean tend to weaken every two to seven years. That change sets off a whole raft of weather changes that can make some areas wetter, others drier and cause major storms in some places… This past year was a good example. But for the season ahead, what may be the biggest El Nino ever could spell out some winter trouble… “We can generally rule out an extended period of very cold weather,” said Dave Robinson, state climatologist at Rutgers University. “El Nino is a mixed bag here in New Jersey. It can either be rather wet, or rather dry, rather warm, sometimes on the cold side.”… When there is a strong to very strong El Nino, Robinson said New Jersey has a number of coastal storms, but not a lot of snow. Two of the state’s least snowy winters in over a century, 1972-73 and 1997-98, were both strong to very strong El Niño winters. But once again, underscoring the system’s volatility, there was one major snowstorm during 1982-83 – another very strong El Nino.
New Jersey had 8.2 inches of rainfall this month, which is 4.18 inches above average ranking June as the fourth wettest since 1895, according to Dave Robinson, New Jersey state climatologist at Rutgers University… “May was the third warmest May on record and June, at a half degree above normal averaging 70.6 degrees, was the thirtieth warmest on record,” Robinson said. “So, it was mild in June, but not as abnormally mild as May was.”… As of right now, it looks like we are in a weather pattern that likely will not lock the state into a prolonged period of warmth or dry weather. But, the two warmest months of the year are on the way.
“There are obvious effects such as brown lawns and low stream flow, but there’s no significant long-term danger yet, as long as we get some rain soon,” NJ 101.5 Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said today… State Climatologist Dave Robinson of Rutgers University says water conservation is a rapidly developing concern. Naturally, this could affect things like gardening, pool use and sprinklers.