Weather NJ out in the Community
Last Wednesday, 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.
My presentation was geared towards Jersey shore meteorology 101 and historical storm systems that have impacted New Jersey going back to the 13th century. I started the meteorology 101 segment with basic concepts of why we have weather in the first place. By the time I was finished, the crowd had a basic general understanding of surface features and upper-level physics that produce such historical storm systems.
I then covered the oldest storm of scientific record for New Jersey which occurred sometime between the late 1200s and early 1400s. I showed everyone the Brown University Department of Geological Sciences case study performed in July of 2001 near the Great Bay marshlands. This study analyzed a paleoclimatological marsh core sample, specifically several fans (layers of sand between marsh mud) representing the different historical NJ coastal storm systems (1821, 1903, 1944 and 1962) that have occurred. The system that occurred in the 13th-15th century had the largest fan indicating the strongest coastal event. I’m sure Sandy will have her own fan once a few more years of marsh mud stacks on top of Sandy’s fan. Everyone seemed thrilled that such a geological study could act forensically on weather history. We then went through each of the memorable coastal systems along with their defining characteristics.
I found the audience to be very engaged in the subject matter. They had very good questions at the end of the presentation and were, for the most part, delighted for my talk. It was refreshing to see the local community so willing to learn. A huge hat tip to Chris Huch and the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve for reaching out and inviting me to the Lunch and Learn program at the Tuckerton Seaport. I had an absolute blast and look forward to doing more talks in the future. I’ve got a few more lining up and will let you know as they approach. Be safe! JC