Saturday, March 28, 2009

Drought it is? Summer outlook I

With all operational models showing that it should be raining the nearest drop is hundreds of miles away and I fear this is going to be a trend for the entire spring time. Compared to most places in the world, we live in a "rain forest" if one could call it that. We need a lot of rain to support the abundant life that roam our forests, or is our forests. Actually 40" inches each year is typically amount we need to receive, but so far this year we have 3.84" with the snow melted down. Last year by the end of March we picked up 12.38" inches of liquid with snow melted down as well. We are in trouble if our "April showers" don't become "April downpours" and give us a half a foot of rain and more, which is unlikely, but possible.

Our rivers and streams which froze over completely during the coldest January in three decades did not give a clear indication with this problem. During the fall the state drained Lake Hopatcong by five feet for regular maintenance and now have closed up the dam to try and refill the lake by the summer vacation season. The problem is only .11" inches of liquid has fallen since that and the lake has only risen by a few inches. Without this lake many other lakes and rivers suffer the loss because Lake Hopatcong is the main feeder. I went to fish the Musconetcong and Big Flat Brook the other day, the only problem was both rivers should be 1-2 feet higher this time of the year. Usually the rivers are RAGING this time of the year and overflowing, but they look more like it's the middle of a hot dry August.

Now it's not "global warming" why we are not getting precipitation, in fact this happen every time a weak La Nina begins to dissipate. And according the past records it will continue till next winter when a possible weak El Nino will most likely form, and those winters are fun. People like to judge winters by how much snow they get, and most global warming believers use snowfall to prove their point. These people typically have a lack of education in the topic and just go by what they hear from Al Gore and our president. This year New York and the areas around it had a COLD winter, one of the coldest January's on record, but still snowfall was only at to slightly below average. It doesn't really matter how cold it is, but rather upper air features, oscillation patterns, availability of moisture, solar radiation, snow cover, blocking, ocean currents, and I can go on all day, but you get the point.

This drought is going to happen, unless some spectacular super storm rides up the coast bringing us record rains. And in that case we are most likely still going to see a lack rain after putting us back into drought for the summer season. I am expecting water restrictions in coming weeks as we realize that rain is going to be in short supply for most of the year. So yes summer is going to be dry, and with dry comes hot. Usually in Northwest Jersey we hit 90 or above only 3 or 4 times each summer but I can see a time in June and July where it lasts for a week or better of dry heat. I'm sure Al Gore is going to enjoy hearing about the heat over the east and how people are suffering from heat stroke, typically he wants that stuff to happen so he can put it in his PowerPoint. Of course he will never mention the coldest January in 3 decades from New York to Chicago, that would ruin his "picture perfect hot planet".

This is only Summer Outlook One, and general overview of a dry and hot summer to start, with some moderation as time goes on. I still want more time to read up on the topic and prepare a month by month forecast, then we can see how wrong I was. That sound good?

P.S. I always had a saying that "one extreme leads to another extreme thats opposite of it", and perhaps a Brutally Cold January means a Very hot July? It will be interesting to see...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Let's recap winter 08-09

October 2008:

Well it all started in October believe it or not with our first frost on the 7th and our first hard freeze on the 20th. Then a week later on the 27th rain showers started to change over to snow which fell during the night time hours putting down just a coating. Next thing we know the temperature fell below freezing most of the day putting down 6" inches of snow in Netcong and 14" at High Point, only the higher elevations got anything measureable. If that wasn't bad enough some snow squalls on the 29th put down another 1" inch and the ground on Halloween was covered in snow at my house! We will use my town since it's right in the middle of the area I focus on.


Actual High: 58.1 (-4.7 degrees)
Actual Low: 39.9 (+1.9 degrees)
Month Temp: -1.4 below average
Days of snow: 3
Days of snow cover: 5
Amount of snow: 6.05"
***15 seperate records broken in Netcong

November 2008:

November was lame compared to October, not too much to talk about other than it was colder than average.


Actual High: 46.0 (-5.9)
Actual Low: 33.3 (+2.3)
Month Temp: -1.8 below average
Days of snow: 4
Days of snow cover: 1
Amount of snow: Trace
Days below freezing: 4
***2 records broken in Netcong

December 2008:

December was an interesting month that brought 3.16 inches of rainfall, 13.8 inches of snow, and 0.30 inches of ice!


Actual High: 38.2 (-2.8)
Actual Low: 23.7 (+1.7)
Month Temp: -0.5 below average
Days of snow: 11
Days of snow cover: 15
Amount of snow: 13.8"
Amount of ice: 0.3
Days below freezing: 10

January 2009:

This January was among one of the coldest on record and the only precipitation that fell was in the form of snow or ice. The musconetcong river near my house froze solid, a first for me. Parts of the area broke several records for all time cold with temperatures in Walpack NJ nearing -20 degrees.


Actual High: 27.3 (-8.6)
Actual Low: 13.7 (-3.3)
Month Temperature: -5.9 below average
Days of snow: 15
Days of snow cover: 29
Amount of snow: 12.7"
Days below freezing: 24!


Record dry month and the only month of the "winter season" that was above average temperature wise. This can be because of the lack of snow cover.


Actual High: 38.7 (-1.2)
Actual Low: 20.8 (+2.8)
Month Temp: +0.8 above average
Days of snow: 6
Days of snow cover: 15
Amount of snow: 5.25
***Record driest month


March is not over yet so it's difficult to give a good overview. I would have to say that it's probably right on average thus far except for a lack of precipitation, but we have had a surplus of snow. Because of lack complete data set so far temperature will not be included yet.


Days of snow: 4
Days of snow cover: 7
Amount of snow: 11.7
Days below freezing: 3

Overview 08-09:

The snowfall for the area ranges between 40"-55" which is about average in the lower elevations but the higher elevations usually get a little more and that is still totally possible. In fact the areas around 1,000+ average 1.2 inches of snow in April, and it's looking like that may happen. If you live below 1,000 in Jersey then it may be done for you, but some areas still are likely to keep getting the snow. (And just yesterday March 20th West Orange got 2 inches of snow!) It has been a dry winter though and the rivers and Lakes are very low, typically they are over flowing this time of the year. If April doesn't bring it's "showers" then I fear a drought will persist over the summer which is typical in weak La Nina years. I will use this information to start working on my summer forecast, so check back for that in a few weeks!


Days of snow: 42
Days of snow cover: 72
Amount of snow: 49.5"
Days below freezing: 48
Temp Deficit: -1.35 below average

Winter was much colder than average and snowfall was at to slightly below average (so far)

Friday, March 20, 2009

What to do?

Here is an update on the Morris Canal situation. This is what I received from an email I sent out:

"The town of Stanhope drained it to inspect the culvert under the pavement which runs past the firehouse. They had a sinkhole in front of the firehouse last year which concerns them in not being able to get firetruck out of the firehouse. Right now they are looking for funding to remove silt from basin (HPO approvals are in place as well as Land Use permits.) The section of the canal basin behind the post office needed an archeologist on site to clean out (will probably be cost prohibitive). He can contact Stanhope administrator for more info"

Now what? This could go on for months or even years trying to get funding in a state that is neck deep into debt. Environmentalist groups in NJ should know about the problem, perhaps it could help speed up the process. More updates as time goes on...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Say it ain't so?

This is off the 06z model run this morning. Now it's for the 29th of March and while the chances are elevated for a snowstorm at the end of the month it's still to far out to make a decision of any kind. By this time the NJ ski/boarding season will have ended so if the storm does in fact happen it would have been too late. Now some people would say "Hey, you said we were gunna get a storm and you were wrong!". I'm not saying that AT ALL, all I am saying is that the model output shows a storm, and that's all I can say at this point.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Morris Canal Update:

I called that number I was giving from Environmental Protection and it was the hot line for restoring industrial sites and removal of storage tanks. Clearly not what I wanted, and this tells me that the guy I talked to last night wasn't listening to me and just said "YES your right" to keep me temporarily satisfied. I will send out a few more emails to the parks and if no progress happens than I will start to contact the environmentalist groups of New Jersey. This shouldn't be this difficult, should it?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Interested in global warming?

If you could, and have the time (at least 15 minutes) please read over my global warming paper and give me some suggestions, criticism, edits, and etc. If you could just comment at the bottom of the paper and speak the truth, I can handle it! Thanks everyone, I look forward to seeing what you think.

An update on the Morris Canal

If you have read my previous blog this is just an update. I have emailed the Canal Society of NJ in regards to the problem and I just finished a phone call to environmental protection and they are now aware of the problem. Environmental gave me a phone number to call tomorrow morning and I will explain the issue further to a higher power. The man I talked with did agree with me 100% and said that it is a major issue that needs to be dealt with. I have a feeling that the issue will be resolved very soon, I hope so.

P.S. If we do succeed in our goal perhaps the state should restock the canal with aquatic life to give it a little head start? This ofcourse is a whole another issue that should be considered. More updates tomorrow after I make the phone call.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Old Morris Canal In trouble?

New Jersey is one of the oldest states in the country and is very rich in historical sites. One of those historical sites is the Morris Canal which cuts through my very town. As a kid, right up until last year I would always go fishing in the canal and would catch MONSTER FISH. Just check out some of these pictures (Yes I'm in a few).

Who would ever have thought the fish and turtles in this little body of water could get so big? I have even caught turtles that were SO BIG they couldn't fit in my big net. The canal had Walleye, Channel Cats, Albino Cats, Bullheads, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Large Mouth Bass, Small Mouth Bass, Rock Bass, Crappy, Bluegill, Turtles, Frogs, Eels, Perch, Pickerel, Sucker Fish, and even an occasional Stripped Bass would make it's way in from Lake Hopatcong. And you may think I might not be completely honest about all these fish living in a canal this small, but I have at least caught one or more of the above in that canal.

When ever you would go fishing in the canal the most popular bait was either dead fish or chicken liver and you would hook a catfish one after the other! Also most of the catfish ranged from 1-2 feet long and as seen in the photos above one catfish was 31" inches long! Now here is the bad news. Last spring the canal was drained completely of it's water losing all the aquatic life that once thrived in it. I did call the town of Stanhope several times and I was told it was drained for "maintenance" and once it was cleaned it will be refilled with water. It's been almost a year and I think I have been very patient with the issue. The canal has neither been cleaned or filled back in with water and it's nothing more than "muck hole with loads of trash in it". See for yourself:

It's a different sight to see than in the previous set of photos. This time void of life the "Morris Muck Hole" now looks industrial sludge, an upsetting reality. I am going to bring this to the attention of the Hopatcong State Park officials and others, since I will be linking to this blog entry in my emails I ask all of my regular blog readers to do me a favor by commenting on this entry and let me and others know that we want the canal back! It's not only an environmental issue but an issue in preserving historical sites in our state. The wildlife that once thrived here will return in time but first we need to A) Clean up the trash ASAP then let the water flow once again or B) Fill it back in ASAP!

This issue can not be resolved without your help and support, so together let's tell the state that the Morris Canal in Stanhope NJ needs to have water flowing through it once again! Thanks guys/gals we can do it! :)

Just showing off

Well, I just uploaded the pictures from my camera that I took during the last big snow storm I got here Netcong. For those of you who got ripped off I'm very sorry for making you extremely jealous.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Deep snow then T-Storms?

Just one week ago it was 3 degrees and a foot of fresh snow had fallen here in my hometown of Netcong NJ. And early this morning thunder storms rolled on through waking me up in the wee hours of the morning. I love March, it's so unpredictable. (Check out the radar below, my town is right at the point of the arrow)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday the 13th, again?

Yes, this is the second Friday the 13th in two months and just like the last the long range shows our next potential snowstorm. Remember now, the main axis of the snow has been shifting east all year long so if anything comes it has a good chance of tracking in a favorable zone. This was my forecast over a month ago:

This system is still 168 hours on the models so it's very unpredictable at this point. The best we can do for now is sit back and wait, or get outside because it's beatiful out there! Beware the ides of March, it always has tricks up it's sleeves.

Monday, March 2, 2009

What a storm, or was it?

Well, the storm has passed by and my final two day measurement is 11.7" inches of extremely fluffy high ratio snow. Now If I drive just 10 minutes away into Sparta they only received about 5 inches and Mountain Creek got ripped off badly with only a few inches. If I also drive just 15 minutes east of my town (Netcong) then once again we get down to just 5-6 inches of the white stuff. Now as you get toward the coast, reports of around a foot could be found. Now How did this happen?
When I woke up late last night I looked out my window and saw nothing but white. I checked the radar on the computer and noticed a very narrow and intense band of snow reaching from Hackettstown to Netcong to West Milford into New York state. During this band of snow 5 inches accumulated within 45 minutes till it fell apart. Of course the band lasted for over two hours but it's most intense rate was 6.5 inches per hour! Classic Nor' Easter banding, check it out: (Click for bigger image)

Well, now that northwest Jersey has gotten 40"- 55" inches of snow (49.5" in Netcong) it's time to look at my forecasted season totals I post in October and see how much more we need.

Looks pretty darn close if you ask me. I think the coastal locations are pretty much done with accumulating snowfall for the season but north and west is most likely not done just yet. While skiing and boarding is typically over at the end of March in north Jersey the snow season lasts into mid-April, and snow in April is actually common. I've even seen snow at late at May 8th. The season is not done yet, but it's getting very close.

I'm going to leave you with a few pictures of my backyard, and remember winter is not over yet.