Archived Posts from "'Hoboken Weather News'"

“Major Winter Storm”

Major Winter Storm – or just stupid hype?

Wow – is this “pre-season” weather event a major winter storm, or just a “minor event?” That’s what I want to know. Sure some areas way to the north and west may see over 8″ of snow – but our area near the coast will barely see a couple inches (if that).

So yesterday I was on my way from Hoboken to Short Hills Mall to pick up some Xmas bling gifts (and to thwart would-be carjackers) – and I saw this sign on Route 78 that “warned” drivers of the impending “MAJOR WINTER STORM – BE PREPARED!”

Major Winter Storm Hype Hoboken NJWTF? A couple inches of wet snow and all of a sudden it’s declared a “MAJOR” storm? Who is responsible for such wording? Off the top of my (non-hysterical) mind – I’d suggest the following verbiage classifications:

  • Insignificant Snow Event: Flurries – dusting
  • Minor Snow Event: 1″ to 5″
  • Moderate Snow Storm: 5″ to 10″
  • Heavy Snow Storm: 10″ – 16″
  • Major Snow Emergency: 16″ with blizzard conditions

To use such a superlative word as “MAJOR” makes it seem at the “top of it’s class” in terms of comparisons. Which this boring storm has none of.

However, I will give them a smidgen of elbow room here. Because we have so many dim-witted morons traversing our public roadways, perhaps “scaring” some people off the roads may be a pretty good idea. Because the people that automatically believe “hype” like this – are probably also very bad drivers as well.

Have fun with your (soon to be brown) coating of frozen precipitation!

major winter storm hoboken nj

Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Weather

Holiday Travel Weather – What does it mean?

Here we go… one of the biggest holiday travel days of the year (Thanksgiving), and there’s a potential for some “slippery” weather.

Forecasters are suggesting that our area may be impacted by snowy, icy, slushy conditions this Wednesday. While the Hoboken area seems to be near that proverbial “rain/snow line,” and we might not get anything except cold rain – should you be concerned?

Thanksgiving snow threat hoboken NJ nyc tri state area

Odds for mishaps increased due to volume

Regardless of the weather, the main phenomenon here is the power in numbers. Once the volume of drivers reaches these infrastructure-clogging levels, the number of really bad drivers increases – therefore increasing your odds with encountering them.

Any kind of inclement weather just amplifies the problem.

Which is why smart travelers always find a way to either avoid the mad rush – or stay put entirely until an off time.

Will bad weather impact your travel this year?

Dog Days of Summer {put to sleep?}

What happened to dog days of summer “heat waves?”

Now while weather “forecasters” (we put everything that is questionable or suspect in quotes) are always talking about the future events that may happen or not – most sensible people know that they can marginally predict the weather three days out.

Me miss dog days of summer in Hoboken NJ

Forecasts Schmorecasts

We have annual tropical storm “forecasts,” which akin to throwing darts at a dartboard blindfolded, can sometimes be right, over-estimated or under-estimated. I’d trust a dartboard more.

Heck, even the Farmer’s Almanac still publishes annual weather forecasts a year in advance! Sort of reminds me of an astrology book!

So despite any long-term forecast being as reliable as Jim Cramer on CNBC, what about Summer 2014 here in Hoboken?

dog days of summer not happening in Hoboken NJ

Best summer in recent memory in Hoboken!

Up until this point – it has been great. Almost 100% perfect. No massively hot, unbearable days. And most certainly no ultra-long extended “heat waves,” as I recall happening often in years past.

And looking at the extended “45 day forecast” online – they show only ONE day barely cracking 90 degrees now through September 17th! How the hell is that possible?

Now the “realist” in me says they don’t truly know anything, and our weather can turn at the drop of the dime. Atmospheric changes, a volcano in a distant hemisphere, all sorts of stuff can throw their “prediction” down the drain. So while this fruity “45 day forecast” may say one thing – we’re perfectly ready to accept deviations from their flawed science.

Additionally – every heat wave brings up all sorts of chatter about “global warming,” while anything that doesn’t support that ludicrous claim makes no mention to the contrary. Odd, no?

However, if the rest of the summer remains as moderately cool as it has already been – what does that tell you?

Hurricane Arthur

Do you think Hurricane Arthur will muck your July 4th plans?

Thanks to technology, we can all worry about (soon to be) Hurricane Arthur way before we’re certain something may (or may not) happen.

Forecasts are all over the map as to the exact “path,” but the Hoboken area is expected to see “enhanced” thunderstorm activity regardless of where it goes. And we have some friends traveling to the Outer Banks today, and I guess they’ll be in for a bit of an exciting vacation.

Do you think this will alter your holiday plans? Will you put them on hold until the coast is clear, or party-hard one way or another?

Hurricane Arthur 2014

And as you can see from this map – New Jersey is predicted at the moment to have a 20-30% chance of “tropical storm” force winds. Joy.

hurricane arthur wind possibility map

Hoboken Flooding – yeah, so?

Same old song and dance with Hoboken Flooding

Hoboken flooding is a GIVEN any time there’s an extended period of moderate rain. Even more so when it coincides with high tides, certain wind direction and so on. Pumps are useless, and are a blatant waste of property taxpayer funds (no matter where they were “re-directed” from).

The type of flooding we’re having tonight is of the “standard” type. Not storm surge related, but due to the antiquated infrastructure in town, coupled with the below sea-level aspect of certain areas of the city. We’ve talked about and “covered” this so many times – it should be burned into the brain of everyone. Doesn’t deserve the “coverage” that other people get hard-ons for. It’s a fact of life here in this dense, over-populated and over-developed city.

It should only become “news” when it is life-threatening. Like a tsunami. Or tidal wave. Or filled with sharks and stingrays. Or hot bikini-clad pro-surfing chicks from Hawaii.

Other than that – stay dry Hoboken!

Hoboken Flooding April 30 2014 same ole

Hoboken Flooding April 30 2014 what else is new

Blue snow in Hoboken

Why? Blue snow in Hoboken?

Been meaning to mention this… Did you notice that after one of our bigger storms this year – that we had a very unusual blue snow phenomenon?

Maybe I was the only one fascinated with nature (much less than social networking blabber), but it was definitely not a common occurrence. See below for an explanation!

Blue snow in Hoboken NJ scientific explanation

Blue Snow not blue for reasons you think

The picture displayed here were hard to find because most snow mounds in Hoboken become quickly disturbed or dirtied by footsteps, road salt, dog poop or just plain garbage. You have to reach the outskirts of town to find a relatively clean pile of the white stuff.

Below is an explanation from seismologist Larry Gedney from the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks:

Blue Snow and Ice – WHY?

It is a common misconception that the blue color exhibited by glaciers, old sea ice, or even holes poked into a snow bank is due to the same phenomenon that makes the sky blue–light scattering. But nature has more than one recipe for producing the color blue. In frozen water and in the sky the processes are almost the reverse of each other.

A blue sky results when light bounces off molecules and small dust particles in the atmosphere. Because blue light scatters more than red does, the sky looks blue except in the direction of the sun (particularly when the sun is near the horizon and the blue light is scattered out of the sunlight, leaving the red color of sunrises and sunsets).

When light passes through ice, however, the red light is absorbed while the blue is transmitted. Were the operating process scattering as in the atmosphere, then the transmitted light would be red, not blue. However, because of the large size of snow grains and ice crystals, all wavelengths of visible light are scattered equally. Scattering therefore does not play an appreciable role in determining the color of the transmitted light.

Trippy blue snow as seen in Hoboken NJ

It takes an appreciable thickness of pure ice to absorb enough red light so that only the blue is transmitted. You can see the effect in snow at fairly shallow depths because the light is bounced around repeatedly between ice grains, losing a little red at each bounce. You can even see a gradation of color within a hole poked in clean, deep snow. Near the opening, the transmitted light will be yellowish. As the depth increases, the corer will pass through yellowish-green, greenish-blue and finally vivid blue. If the hole is deep enough, the color and light disappear completely when all the light is absorbed.

The color of ice can be used to estimate its strength and even how long it has been frozen. Arctic Ocean ice is white during its first year because it is full of bubbles. Light will travel only a short distance before it is scattered by the bubbles and reflected back out. As a result, little absorption occurs, and the light leaves with the same color it had when it went in.

During the summer, the ice surface melts and new overlying ice layers compress the remaining air bubbles. Now, any light that enters travels a longer distance within the ice before it emerges. This gives the red end of the spectrum space enough to be absorbed, and the light returned at the surface is blue.

Arctic explorers and mountain climbers know that old, blue ice with fewer bubbles is safer and stronger than white ice. An added bonus for explorers is knowing that floating camps built on blue ice will last longer.