BCG Weather Report – August 25, 2023

Humid and Stormy Day Greets Start of 2023 HS Football Season

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Mother Nature has decided not to cooperate for the Opening Day of the 2023 New Jersey High School Football season.  Not only has there been and will be cloudy skies and some rain, but the air is also very tropical.  Very important that the coaches relay the message to all the players to make sure to drink plenty of fluids during the course of this afternoon and evening.

The average person may look at the sky conditions and the temperature and think that drinking plenty of fluids would not be necessary.  However, when I stepped outside for an afternoon walk about an hour or so ago, the air felt like I was walking into a sauna.  Very moist, humid air.  Not only is that a recipe for instability and storms, but it could also result in dehydration and leg cramps during the course of a football game.

There has been a large area of high pressure centered in the middle of the United States for the past week or so, and responsible for record-breaking temperatures in the Midwest, Great Plains, and Southern states.  Storms like Tropical Storm Hilary, which made landfall in Southern California on Sunday, have been riding around the vast dome of high pressure.  Those storms are now pushing into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic.

On Friday morning, the first wave of storms came through Greg’s Weather Center in South Plainfield, NJ at about 6:00 AM.  Heavy rain came down at times for about an hour or so.  The peak rainfall rate at GWC was 4.14 inches per hour at 6:36 AM.  The rainfall total ended up being 1.15 inches.  A Flood Advisory was in effect until 10:30 AM. Since then there, hasn’t been any more rain, but with the humidity, there is going to be instability, and a chance for storms later this afternoon and evening.

Temperatures around Central Jersey have been hovering in the upper 70s to around 81.  Currently at GWC in South Plainfield, the thermometer is at 79 degrees, which is the highest for the day.  The morning low was just 67.  So, the cloud cover has prevented a large diurnal range in temperature from taking place.  Rainfall amounts around the region have ranged from 0.46 of an inch in New Brunswick to 1.60 inches in Piscataway in Middlesex.

The humidity in South Plainfield is up to 80 percent, which has resulted in a dew point of 73 degrees and a heat index of 84.  When the dew point gets into the low to mid 60s conditions begin to become uncomfortable.  So, with dew points hovering in the low to mid-70s around the region, there is going to be a tropical feel in the air.  

Humidity levels range anywhere from 80 percent here at GWC in South Plainfield to 87 percent at Watchung Mountain and 92 percent at Green Brook Mountain in Somerset County.  The latter two places are higher in elevation, which is causing the phenomenon of orographic lifting.  

The lifting of the air over a physical barrier such as a mountain.  As the air is lifted, its actual temperature cools and the more it cools, the closer it gets to the dew point.  When the air cools to the dew point temperature, you have the process of condensation begins, which results in fog or rain.  

Looking at the latest forecast from the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, there is a 30 to 40 percent chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.  There will also be the possibility of patchy fog tonight.  Additional rainfall amounts are expected to range between a tenth to two-tenths of an inch.  Southwest wind will turn toward the southeast before going back to the southwest after midnight.

Saturday looks to be a better day with Partly sunny skies and a high of 84 degrees here in South Plainfield.  Over in Keyport for Manville’s season opener against the Red Raiders, there will be sunny skies and a high of 85.  Further north in Morristown for J.P. Stevens’ opening day game versus Morristown Beard, the temperature will be slightly cooler at 83 degrees under partly sunny skies.

Further down south in Ocean City, where St. Thomas Aquinas and Union will be participating in the 2023 Battle at the Beach at Carey Field, the conditions will be similar.  Partly sunny skies with a high of around 83 in the afternoon.  The bottom line for tonight and tomorrow’s games will be making sure that the players stay hydrated prior to and during the action.