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About Weather NJ & Jonathan Carr

About Weather NJ & Jonathan Carr

After over 10 years of forecasting weather online in the web, social media, and app spaces, I’d like to make sure the original story of Weather NJ does not get lost. A lot of you have been here since the start but as daily/yearly growth continues, many of you have only discovered Weather NJ in recent times. You should know that you haven’t just stumbled upon “another weather page.”

I got into weather as a very young kid. My father taught me a lot about wind physics and everything sort of stemmed from there. I became hooked on watching The Weather Channel and listening to local radio forecasts whenever a major weather event was approaching. As time went on and I grew older in my teens, I began understanding weather conditions better by observing radar and satellite output. In the late-oughts (in my late-20s), I discovered predictive weather models and started forecasting personally for myself, friends, and family. I took the computer weather model output and combined it with my natural insight and experience with specific NJ weather conditions. After forecasting the December 2009 blizzard on my personal Facebook page (when most outlets were screaming miss), my friends and family convinced me that I should open a public page. In February of 2010 I launched Severe NJ Weather, on Facebook only, to make the public leap. Several successful forecasts, including winter storms, Irene, the Halloween snowstorm of 2011, and Sandy, jumpstarted my followership from 2010-2014—forcing me to re-brand and expand into presences on Twitter, YouTube, the web, and mobile app spaces. The polar vortex winter of 2013-2014 took my followership into another gear of growth. From 2014 to present, Weather NJ has seen steady growth surrounding several successful forecasts for major winter storms, nor’easters, severe thunderstorm outbreaks, and tropical activity as well as ongoing routine daily/weekly forecasts for the State of NJ and surrounding areas.

Many will say I have a confirmation bias in my forecasting but I am not right all the time. No one is. Given the variation in New Jersey’s climatology (from elevations to coastal plain), how small NJ is, and how volatile we are throughout 4 seasons of weather per year, it is not possible to be right for everyone for any event. When the forecast doesn’t work out for certain locations, I will admit it and try my best to make sure we all learn something. Remember, this is for safety awareness first and fun second. With weather you prepare for the worst and hope for the best knowing that it’s an incomplete dataset science. There are always a range of possibilities, not just one for your specific location. Our job is to rule out as many scenarios as possible presented in model guidance so we can arrive at a range of expectation, not a finite expectation. There is a difference between accounting work that works with finite numbers to generate your exact tax return….and accounting work that predicts your next year’s tax return using the best/current data possible. Job changes, pay changes, tax rate changes, and many other life factors come into play that could change that future number. Welcome to weather forecasting but with advanced physics.

I think my best public service is not so much forecasting accuracy (some will disagree) but more so in my ability to break the complex physics down into public understanding. My old freshman basketball coach drilled a concept into my head that has stuck since…learn to do something well enough that you can teach it. For whatever reason you place your faith and trust in me, thank you!

Today, the website has been visited over 30 million times by over 12 million unique visitors since launching. Almost 300,000 people follow Weather NJ collectively across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube mostly from, and surrounding, the DC to Boston I-95 corridor. Obviously it’s concentrated for New Jersey. I’m followed by news personalities, celebrities, professional sports figures, federal and state politicians, and a tremendous crowd of weather enthusiasts and generally amazing people. Thousands of users have signed up for the premium KABOOM Club and My Pocket Meteorologist programs. We’ve held several successful charity events including dinners and dance clubs where my following was leveraged for incredibly good causes. Weather NJ intends to continue operational and steady growth.

You’ll see ads on my free public services. This is why my amateur forecasting status has been lost. However, with web hosting overage fees sometimes greater than a high-end monthly car payment, ads and premium services are the only way to keep everything running smoothly—accounting for my costs and time spent away from my family, career, and life in general. Again, 100% transparency.

Below are some of the presentations, talks, awards, invitations, press appearances, and community giveback that has made Weather NJ an extremely rewarding experience for followers and myself. If you’ve been here for a while, thanks again you for your overwhelming support. If you’re new to Weather NJ, welcome aboard and be safe! JC

Presentations & Talks

Rutgers University Jacques Cousteau Reserve – Guest talk at the Tuckerton Seaport about historical NJ storms and weather 101.
Stockton University – Guest lecture at Coastal Processes grad-level course.
East Brunswick Public Library – Guest talk about historical NJ storms and weather 101.
Ocean County Library – Guest talk about historical NJ storms and weather 101.
Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences – Guest talk about historical NJ storms and weather 101.

Awards & Invitations

NJ Citizen Journalist – Awarded for Sandy forecasting and early warning efforts.
NASA Social OLYMPEX – Invited to explore the latest technology in Pacific weather sensors.
Cape-Atlantic Severe Weather Conference – Invited to share stage with NWS and OEM to discuss coastal storm safety preparations.

In the Press

Press of Atlantic City – Weather Technology Article by Joe Martucci
Stockton UniversityArticle by Mandee McCullough
Star LedgerArticle by Stephen Stirling
Trentonian Article by Jeff Edelstein

Weather NJ & Friends – Giving Back!

Each year my close friends and I try to give back to the community via organizing and volunteering for charitable efforts of various themes (see below events). A special thank you to my family and friends who volunteer top-quality efforts to these events. The events would simply not take place without help from the following individuals: Jennifer Carr, Kyle Hoffman, Jack Gamble, Greg Molyneux, Jessika Morgan, Kathy Nowicki, John Nowicki, Jeff Ruemeli, Joe Bilotta, Jacky Lindeborn, Kathy Carr, Ben Wurst, John Homenuk, Sandy Collier, Deanna Nowicki, Chris Huch, Matt Abotto, Jonathan Giglio, Dani Corso, Bobby Martrich, Pat Morgan, Connor Morgan and Justin Auciello. I am forever in your debt and I thank you for making the following events as successful as they were:

Fun(d) the Dream IIA mid-summer dinner party that raised over $12,000 for David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation (DDBCF).
Haunted CarouselA Halloween costume dance party at the Asbury Carousel House that raised over $8,500 for DDBCF
Fun(d) the DreamA mid-summer dinner party that raised over $8,000 for DDBCF.
Fun(d) the Foundation IIA mid-summer dinner party that raised over $4,500 for Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences (LBIF).
Fun(d) the FoundationA mid-summer dinner party that raised over $3,000 for LBIF.
Jersey Shorefest A summer music festival that raised over $20,000 for Sandy OEM first-responders.