About Weather NJ
About Weather NJ
Our mission is to aggregate weather safety awareness throughout New Jersey and surrounding areas through actionable social discussion while supporting great causes in the community.
Our vision is to become the most accurate independent weather reporting agency in the state of New Jersey as your local go-to weather source.
Weather NJ was originally founded as Severe NJ Weather in February of 2010 by Jonathan Carr (see below). The re-branding to Weather NJ occurred in July of 2014 along with the web-centralization of a 100% organic social media effort. 99.47% of web traffic is from the United States, 93% from the Washington DC-Boston general I-95 corridor area and 71% from New Jersey as confirmed via Google Analytics.
About Jonathan Carr
Hello! My name is Jonathan Carr (aka JC), founder and lead forecaster of Weather NJ. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stockton University and a master’s degree in information systems from University of Phoenix. My primary career is in augmented reality development and software engineering. I do not have a formal education in meteorology which I wear proudly on my sleeve. For that reason, instead of calling myself a meteorologist, I prefer “weather enthusiast” out of respect to the professionally-degreed and accredited meteorological community.
My entire atmospheric and meteorological knowledge-base is mostly self-taught but also under the wings of some great mentors (hat tips to Jim Cantore and Bobby Martrich). While far from 100% accuracy, I make sure that everyone leaves a verified or busted forecast with an educational understanding of what happened as well as a handshake and smile. I learn more and more every day from both success and failure and do eventually plan on acquiring a formal education in meteorology.
I grew up in the coastal Jersey area obsessing about New Jersey weather systems. My father taught me how to read wind patterns over water at a very young age. He was a sailing fanatic and I simply became fascinated by the physics of wind. I’ve weathered out many Jersey nor’easters, snow storms and even a few hurricanes in my lifetime. Every severe weather event further drives my obsession of finding out why it happened and figuring out what pre-existing conditions were present before such.
After demonstrating tremendous forecasting accuracy on my personal Facebook page in 2009, I created dedicated weather pages on Facebook and Twitter—organically hatching Severe NJ Weather in the social media space. In the first two years of operation, my weather service begun its rise in popularity after delivering accurate predictions for the 2010-2011 blizzards, Hurricane Irene, the 2011 Halloween Snowstorm and the June 2012 Derecho (early meso warning)—resulting in exponential social media fan-base growth.
In 2012 (still operating then as Severe NJ Weather) I was part of a small team (including EPAWA) that predicted Hurricane Sandy’s precise landfall 192 hours in advance. Immediately after Sandy, I focused on coaching families through the storm damage and helping the local citizens that got hit—quickly becoming the local go-to weather and disaster intelligence resource for emergency response teams across the state.
In June of 2013 I, along with a planning committee made up of my friends and family, hosted a charity music festival titled Jersey Shorefest on Long Beach Island. The event supported the first-responders who lost everything while saving the lives of others during Sandy. The event far surpassed all financial expectations—generating a $20,000 profit despite fighting the lower capacity of a Sandy-damaged Long Beach Island.
In July of 2013, NJ Advance Media/NJ.com data reporter and FiveThirtyEight contributor, Stephen Stirling wrote this article highlighting my social media growth.
Extremely accurate forecasting during winter of 2013-2014 continued explosive Weather NJ fan-base growth. Prolonged polar vortex-influenced synoptic patterns and frequent significant snowfall amounts lasted well into March of 2014. By the start of Spring 2014, Weather NJ (still operating as Severe NJ Weather) became one of the biggest-trending social media weather services in the mid-Atlantic US region.
Via public vote, I (operating as/re-branded as Weather NJ from this point on) won the 2014 Citizen Journalism award for my Winter 2013-2014 forecasting efforts—an award accepted from former NJ Governor James Florio and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Weather NJ is followed by county and state offices of emergency management, EMS and county/municipal police/fire departments, school districts, governors, senators, congressmen, traditional news outlets/reporters, professional networks, private meteorologists and several celebrities.
In November of 2015, I was invited to the NASA Social OLYMPEX event which was an absolute honor and blast to attend. I had the unique opportunity to meet with NASA astronauts and weather personnel about the latest 3D sensors used to monitor Pacific Ocean-driven precipitation in the NW US—something that has tremendous impact downstream for areas like New Jersey.
In February 2016, I spoke at the Long Beach Island Foundation’s (LBIF) Science Saturday about the Jersey Shore micro-climate and historical severe weather events that have reshaped the Jersey Shore. The facility was packed on an extremely cold, Arctic front-induced, Long Beach Island mid-February day. I’m still not sure how that was possible but I’ll take it.
On August 13, 2016, my friends, family and I threw a fundraiser for Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences and all the wonderful local programs they offer the public. The dinner/live music party smashed expectations and generated a substantial profit. It was such a success that it was requested as an annual event per the LBIF board of directors and all participating sponsors/event stakeholders.
On September 14, 2016, I was invited to speak at the Tuckerton Seaport by the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve and Rutgers Marine Research Station. You might be familiar with their facility at the end of Great Bay Blvd (aka Seven Bridges Road) in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The presentation covered Jersey shore meteorology 101 and historical storm systems that have impacted New Jersey going back to the 13th century. The event was sold out with a waiting list days before the event. A hat tip to Chris Huch for making this happen!
On September 15, 2016, I was invited to sit on a panel with National Weather Service personnel, professional meteorologists and several OEM authorities to talk about hurricane safety, preparation and public communication. The event was titled the Cape-Atlantic Severe Weather Conference and was attended by almost 500 people. It was an absolute honor to sit with the professionals in a public-facing spotlight. A HUGE thanks to Press of Atlantic City Meteorologist Dan Skeldon for both the invitation and putting such a successful conference together!
That leads us into one of my most distinct honors—being chosen to fill in for Meteorologist Dan Skeldon at the Press of Atlantic City from time to time—generating forecast graphics, forecast columns and video forecasts that push out to physical newspapers and the social media presences of the Press of Atlantic City. I enjoy the partnership/relationship with the Press and have become very good friends with Dan.
In addition, my company and I have been chosen to provide event forecasts for several major annual local events. I use these opportunities to provide accurate forecasts for event planners/stakeholders and those wondering how to dress/etc. when attending such events. I also use them as opportunities to advertise the event itself to a large and relevant local audience which has led to profitable marketing returns.
Today, a quarter-million people collectively follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. When 12 or more inches of snow appear imminent, you’ll hear me say KABOOM which results in bizarre hysteria throughout the garden state and surrounding regions. A must if you haven’t experienced this yet! In January 2016, New Jersey saw a “Dude, where’s my car?” snow storm.
Thanks for listening to my story. I look forward to more healthy and steady organic growth with many good times to come. As always, be safe! JC