Feb 7th, 2020: Very eventful day

Today we achieved a record high temperature of 61F, a remarkably low pressure of 974.6 mb, and an incredibly high windspeed of 47 mph. This is the highest windspeed recorded at Rutgers Gardens. Note: trees were removed four years ago, which limited the windspeeds recorded during Superstorm Sandy in 2013.

Screenshot from 2020-02-07 14-14-34.png


Verification for 1/30 to 2/1/31

Apologies for the short hiatus. The dissertation isn’t going to write itself

1/29 to 2/1 Climatology: Average high: 40F, Average low: 22F
Thursday 1/30/20 Verification: High of 37F and Low of 25F. (0F predicted vs +1F actual )
Friday 1/31/20 Verification: High of 42F and Low of 29F. (+3.5F predicted vs +9F actual)
Saturday 2/1/20 Verification: High of 45F and Low of 34F. (+8F predicted vs +9.5F actual); Coastal storm remained mostly offshore but a few bouts of light rain appeared throughout the day. Total precipitation accumulation of 0.01″.

January 2020 at Rutgers Gardens was remarkably warm compared to climatology. The entire month was 8F above the climatological mean. Only 1.8″ of snow was recorded, based on two events (0.6″ on 1/5 and 1.2″ on 1/18). Precipitation was slightly below normal at 1.99″ for the month. The lowest temperature recorded was 15F on 1/20 and the warmest temperature was 69F on 1/11.

Short Range

Overnight, don’t be surprised if there is a dusting of snow on the ground as a the base of a negatively tilted trough provides rising air on the west side of an area of low pressure that is moving out of the region. Snow accumulations may be as much as 0.5″ in far northern New Jersey but likely just a dusting in Central New Jersey. In very rural areas of New Jersey the low temperature may fall as low as 30F, so anticipate the possibility of light icing. Sunday Feb 2nd will be characterized by a shift from¬† W to SW winds as temperatures rise to 43F. After the sun sets there is another chance of a light dusting of snow as a weak area of low pressure moves through the area.

Long Range

Through 2/5/19, New Jersey will enjoy above average temperatures with low temperatures above freezing each day. The first significant cold front will move through late on 2/5, but mostly zonal flow will prevent the coldest air from moving south of central New York. A deepening shortwave and accompanying vorticity maxima on the eastward side of the trough will move through the northeast on February 7th, aiding an inland moving area of low pressure that will move northeast from the Gulf of Mexico, across the southeast, and along eastern PA. We will enjoy warm temperatures being on the warm side of this disturbance. Temperatures will remain mixed during the first two weeks of February as a ridge develops across the southeastern United States while cold Alaskan air spills across Canada, the western and central US.  A very strong midlatitude jet stream and a record strong AO (near 5 sigma) will prevent extreme intrusions of cold air through the first two weeks of February. Thus, temperatures will be moderate but likely will remain on the warm side.

During mid-February, the mid Atlantic will be right in the middle of a strong thermal gradient which may be favorable for unsettled weather. However, high latitude blocking is nowhere to be found, which will severely limit our ability to see the development of strong developing cyclones from 2/10 to 2/20. I mentioned a few days ago that the GEFS was showing the SPV becoming severely disturbed, but in recent model runs the SPV is now able to shrug this off mostly. The result is a SPV that is slightly displaced towards Greenland and extreme northern Canada. This shifts the coldest air over parts of North America but it is not far south enough to benefit us in the mid-Atlantic US. Winter is looking a little bleak, but it’s always possible to squeeze out some storms out of March if we can manage a sustained -NAO with cold air displaced over North America.

A look at the next four days of temperatures at Rutgers Gardens:
Sunday 2/2/20: High of 43F and Low of 34F. (+7.5F)
Monday 2/3/20: High of 49F and Low of 35F. (10.5F)
Tuesday 2/4/20: High of 53F and Low of 39F. (+14F)
Wednesday 2/5/20: High of 53F and Low of 32F. (+10F). Strong cold front moves through late in the evening. The morning low will actually not drop below 45F.