What Weather Will We See this Summer in Southern New Jersey?

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After a rainy start to summer, what can we expect for the rest of the season?

Summer? What? I feel as though we’ve been fighting off winter since March. Everything comes to an end and so too holds true in the world of weather. In case you haven’t noticed, it is getting warmer. Slowly.

We had an incredibly wet start to the spring season and for that reason, our temperatures have been held at bay. Think about that—the wetter your area is, the cooler it is over time. We’ve been stuck in a funk. Eleven weekends in a row saw at least some measurable rain. We were lucky this past weekend since not a single drop of water fell from the sky.

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Okay, I know what you’re thinking now… is this guy done rambling? And as a matter of fact, yes, I am.

Let’s focus on where we go over the course of the season. There are many factors that you need to consider when putting a seasonal forecast together and they are all dependent on one another. If one thing changes, generally everything changes and it can get really annoying.

Luckily, summer is one of the easier seasons to forecast because when the upper levels of the atmosphere warm up enough, there’s nothing too dynamic going on.

Temperatures: I think we are slightly above the norm this year. Nothing crazy. We will see a few heatwaves (stretches of weather at 90+) but we will also see some comfortable days in the lower 80s. I’m all for it.

Precipitation will likely be slightly above average as I expect more tropical activity in the Gulf of Mexico this year. That allows the moisture to funnel up the east coast. That combined with our run-of-the-mill thunderstorms should keep us far away from a drought.

Another aspect of the summer forecast to look at is hurricane season, which began on June 1. This year won’t be nearly as active as last year because we’ve got an El Nino coming on. The water in the Pacific is actually in a natural state, which ultimately equates to an around average season as far as the number of hurricanes and overall storms are concerned. I think there will be 12 named storms, four hurricanes, and two majors—significantly down from last year’s numbers.

The ocean temps in the Atlantic basin are very cool, which means there won’t be much development in the “Main Development Region” (MDR), which runs from the west coast of Africa to the Lesser Antilles. I believe there will be more “homegrown” storms where they develop closer to the continental United States. That makes tracking them more difficult because we will have less time to watch.

I do think that with the positioning of the warmest water just off the New Jersey coast, we stand a better chance of seeing a storm close to home than we have over the past few years.

With that said, I have to touch base on an article I read a few days back declaring that storms are getting more numerous and more frequent. This isn’t the case… at all. In fact, outside of last year, which was an anomaly, the numbers are slightly down.

Last year was no surprise; we were forecasting it to be a bad season because of what the oceans temperatures were doing. It’s not like it happened out of the blue.

So why does it appear that storms are getting stronger and more frequent? More people. More technology. 24/7 news coverage. There are certainly more people being impacted by these storms than there were 50 years ago. The perception is changing. Unfortunately, there are many out there who are misinformed on the topic.

The strongest tropical cyclone on record occurred in 1979, so strong storms have happened many times in the past and will continue to happen in the future.

Just because there is an increased chance of seeing some tropical activity near our region this year doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. It’s important to always have a plan of action in place if you live along the coast. Pay close attention to my forecasts and, of course, what NOAA and the National Weather Service have to say.

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