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About Jonathan Carr

About Jonathan Carr

Jonathan CarrHello! 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. My primary career is in software engineering and information technology. I do not have a formal education in meteorology. I wear this 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. While far from 100% accuracy, I make sure that everyone leaves a verified or busted forecast with an educational understanding of what happened. I try my best to outline wildcard scenarios so that the public is prepared for optimum safety. I learn more and more every day and thoroughly enjoy passing it on .

I grew up in the coastal New Jersey area obsessing about 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 with the physics of wind. I’ve weathered out many Jersey nor’easters, snow storms and even a few hurricanes. 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 business pages on Facebook and Twitter—organically hatching Severe NJ Weather into 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 —resulting in exponential fan-base growth.

In 2012 (still operating then as Severe NJ Weather) I was part of a small team (including EPAWA Weather Consulting) 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 affected local citizens—quickly becoming the local go-to weather and disaster intelligence resource for emergency response teams across the state.

In June of 2013, my friends and I hosted a charity music festival titled Jersey Shorefest on Long Beach Island. The event supported the first responders, some 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 storm-damaged Long Beach Island.

In July of 2013, NJ Advance Media/NJ.com data reporter and FiveThirtyEight contributor Stephen Stirling co-featured me in an article about social media growth.

Accurate forecasting during winter of 2013-2014 continued explosive fan-base growth, as Jeff Edelstein of the Trentonian highlighted in his January 2014 column. Prolonged polar vortex-influenced cold and winter storms 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 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. I then re-branded into Weather NJ in July of 2014 to concentrate on all of New Jersey’s weather not just the severe systems.

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 the Mid-Atlantic US.

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 mid-February LBI day. I’m still not sure how that was possible but I’ll take it. LBIF has had me back annually to speak since.

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 public programs they offer. The dinner/live music party smashed expectations and generated a substantial profit.

On September 14, 2016, I was invited to speak at the Tuckerton Seaport by the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve and Rutgers University 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 ahead of the event.

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 of the public and private sector in a public-facing spotlight. A HUGE thanks to Press of Atlantic City Meteorologist Dan Skeldon for both the invitation and putting together such a successful conference!

That leads to one of my most distinct honors—being chosen to fill in for Meteorologist Dan Skeldon by the Press of Atlantic City—generating forecast graphics, forecast columns and video forecasts that pushed out to physical newspapers and the social media presences of the Press of Atlantic City. I still to this day enjoy the partnership/relationship with the Press.

On October 11, 2017, I was invited to give a guest lecture at Stockton University to a coastal processes course. This brought me full-circle as a proud Stockton graduate. It was an absolute honor to stand on the other side of the classroom.

On June 7, 2018, the East Brunswick Public Library invited me to speak about the basics of meteorology and some of the historical storms that have hit New Jersey.

On July 14, 2018 my friends (including The MakeShift Union) and I threw our most successful fundraiser yet at the Union Market & Gallery. The relaxed mid-summer dinner music party was called Fun(d) the Dream and raised over $8,000 for David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation. We’ll be doing this again in July of 2019 (details to come).

On August 29, 2018 I spoke at the Ocean County Library (Lacey Branch) about the basics of meteorology and coastal weather influences/micro-climates.

On October 20, 2018 I teamed up with a few friends and my wife to throw a Halloween costume dance party at the Asbury Park Boardwalk Carousel House. This fundraiser raised over $8,000 for David’s Dream and Believe and utilized the historical Asbury Park Carousel in a way that know one has ever seen before.

Today, over a quarter-million people collectively follow Weather NJ (@myWeatherNJ) across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Followers include county and state OEM, Municipal EMS, school districts, the governor, state senators, state congressmen, professional news outlets, reporters and meteorologists, professional athletes and several movie/music celebrities.

I’m in the process of scheduling several talks in 2019 so let me know if you’d like to have me. Otherwise thanks for listening to my story. I look forward to more healthy organic growth in the community with many good times to come. Oh and if you haven’t heard of a KABOOM, stick around for the winter time. As always, be safe! JC

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