March Discussion with WeatherTrends360

Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr March 4, 2018 17:34

March Discussion with WeatherTrends360

It’s time to harness the WeatherTrends360 proprietary weather algorithms to see how the rest of March 2018 should play out. But first lets break New Jersey into climatological regions. We have the higher elevations of NNJ/NWNJ, the interior coastal plain (SWNJ through CNJ and into NENJ – Newark Basin), and the coastal regions (most of SENJ coast – Sandy Hook down and around Cape May into Delaware Bay). I’ll be representing each climatological region with a 28-day graph from weathertrends360 data followed by a brief discussion.

Please keep in mind that these algorithms are documented with an 84% verification rate and are based on oceanic water cycles, time table series and very complex mathematics. The best takeaway from this data are general trends (cool vs warm, rainy vs dry, etc). I’m always hesitant to forecast specific surface conditions (rainfall amounts, snowfall amounts, winds, etc) beyond the 7 -day forecasting period. But temperature and precipitation trends is what WeatherTrends360 does best with their proprietary mathematical analysis derived from over 150 years of reactive pattern data. For this reason, let’s call this a long-range discussion of expectations rather than a locked-in long-range forecast.

Higher Elevations of NNJ/NWNJ

(Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Morris, N. Somerset, and N. Passaic) – Known for little to no Atlantic Ocean influence, colder-snowier winters, and drier conditions in general when compared to the coast. This rnown to get hot when high pressure sits overhead during the summer and bitterly cold during Arctic outbreaks in the winter. Elevation is a major influence that separates this micro-climate from the rest of New Jersey. This region extends into NE PA (Poconos) and parts of NY State (Catskills).

nnj3-2018

Higher Elevation Discussion: We’re almost finished with winter. But not just yet. A wintry storm signal is showing for the general Tuesday-Thursday (March 6-8) period. Another storm signal is showing for the March 11-12 period but that looks a little warm for snow. The second half of March looks milder, as it should, with highs in the upper-40s/lower-50s and lows hovering around 30. For any wintry precipitation to accumulate after mid-March, a storm system would need to time with overnight hours to avoid the daytime sun-angle. It’s still possible but cold rain, with wintry mixing in the highest elevations, is a more probable outcome for this region. Precipitation for the second half of March looks “here and there” but generally less than what the last two months saw. The rainiest late-March period is currently indicated from the 22-26th.

Interior Coastal Plain and Newark Basin from SWNJ-CNJ-NENJ

(Salem, Gloucester, Camden, W. Burlington, Mercer, W. Monmouth, Middlesex, S. Somerset, Union, Essex, Hudson, Bergen, and S. Passaic) – Known for naturally higher temperatures due to lower elevations away from the oceanic influence. This region is also known as “heat island” due to transportation (I-95 corridor), smog, abundant asphalt, concrete, and other man-made substances that naturally absorb and retain heat moreso than natural protected land. This is why excessive heat warnings and air quality alerts are more common in this region. SWNJ always tends to run a few degrees warmer than NENJ but this region is very similar otherwise in micro-climate due to the parallel nature of the Appalachian Mountain elevations to the NW. The same micro-climate can be extended into SE PA and NE MD which tends to run just a little stormier than NJ. This however is what makes up the interior coastal plain.

cnj3-2018

Interior Coastal Plain and Newark Basin Discussion: We’re almost finished with winter. But not just yet. A wintry storm signal is showing for the general Tuesday-Thursday (March 6-8) period. Another storm signal is showing for the March 11-12 period but that looks a little warm for snow. The second half of March looks milder, as it should, with highs in the low-to-mid 50s and lows ranging in the 30s. For any wintry precipitation to accumulate after mid-March, a storm system would need to time with overnight hours to avoid the daytime sun-angle. There’s a lot of climatology and heat island effect working against snowfall accumulation in this region.  It’s possible but cold rain is a more probable outcome with any synoptic systems involved. Precipitation for the second half of March looks “here and there” but generally less than what we’ve become used to as of late. The rainiest late-March period is currently indicated from the 22-26th.

Coastal Regions of SENJ

(Cumberland, Cape May, Atlantic, E. Burlington, Ocean, and E. Monmouth) – Known for tremendous influence from the Atlantic Ocean. Oceanic influence keeps this zone cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than the interior coastal plain and especially the higher elevations of NWNJ. In the summer, sea breeze fronts back into the coast and can ignite thunderstorms if enough instability is present. The cooler marine air slides under the hot air to the W and provides additional atmospheric lifting. This is both why it’s 5-15 degrees cooler at the shore than the Philly-Trenton area and why near-stationary thunderstorms can form along the coast capable of producing localized flash flooding. In the winter, the ocean is warmer than interior regions which plays a huge role in rain vs. snow—highly dependent on wind direction. When the winds chance from NE to N/NE, that’s usually when temps crash and change rain over to snow. Regardless, this micro-climate is well known, well documented and well expressed. This region extends into most of Delaware as well.

snj3-2018

Coastal Region Discussion: We’re almost finished with winter. But not just yet. A wintry storm signal is showing for the general Tuesday-Thursday (March 6-8) period. Another storm signal is showing for the March 11-12 period but that looks a little warm for snow. The second half of March looks milder, as it should, with highs ranging in the 50s on average (a few warm days above 60) and lows ranging in the 30s (sometimes failing to dip below 40). For any wintry precipitation to accumulate after mid-March, a storm system would need to time with overnight hours to avoid the daytime sun-angle. Snowfall rates would also have to be insane to overcome the warmer surface. There’s a lot of marine-influenced climatology working against snowfall accumulation here after March 15.  It’s possible but cold rain is a more probable outcome for this region with any synoptic systems involved. Precipitation for the second half of March looks “here and there” but generally less than what we’ve become used to as of late. The rainiest late-March period is currently indicated from the 22-26th.

In English: The March 6-8 period might be the last shot for significant plowable snow for many in NJ. After that we generally warm with natural climatology. There’s always the sneaky thread-the-needle overnight wintry hit but that’s what it takes once we’re mid-March and beyond. NWNJ elevations remain the only realistic part of NJ to still keep snowfall accumulations on the table. The lower 2/3 of NJ simply becomes too warm at the surface. Keep in mind this is not considering any major synoptic storm system that could pop-up in the long-range. There are currently no such storms showing but if such happened then we would need to assess the lower-level temperature profile and see if snowfall accumulation makes sense. It’s possible but not probable according to history. The clocks change soon and we’ll be that much closer to spring. Let’s get through this March 6-8 wintry storm signal and see where we stand afterwards. Otherwise have a great March and please be safe! JC

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Jonathan Carr
By Jonathan Carr March 4, 2018 17:34

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