New Brunswick, N.J. (Aug. 4, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick climatologist David A. Robinson and meteorologist Steve Decker are available for interviews on the outlook for Tropical Storm Isaias in New Jersey and the record warmth in July.

“Isaias has the potential to deliver heavy rain, strong winds and some moderate coastal flooding to the Garden State,” said Robinson, New Jersey State Climatologist and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography in the School of Arts and Sciences. “The forecast rain of 2 to 4 inches, with local areas perhaps up to 6 inches, is similar to what Tropical Storm Fay delivered on July 10. Should this occur, flash flooding is a possibility, but significant river flooding would require large areas within a basin to receive at least 4 to 6 inches. Winds may bring down trees, branches and power lines. Thus, people should be prepared for the possible loss of power. Coastal storm surge could be a problem in areas that experience flooding one or several times each year but will not approach conditions such as during Superstorm Sandy or strong nor’easters. Still, care should be taken to move vehicles to higher ground and remain out of flood waters.”

“Isaias is arriving on the heels of New Jersey’s warmest month on record, with July 2020 crushing the former record (for July or any other month) by 0.5 degrees – a record that was held jointly by 1955, 1999 and 2011,” Robinson said. “The average of 78.9 degrees was 4.3 degrees above normal. Seven of the nine warmest Julys since 1895 have occurred since 2010.  Statewide precipitation of 6.67 inches in July 2020 was well above the 4.57-inch norm, and it ranks as the 15th wettest July on record.”

“For New Jersey, Isaias looks to be a wetter and windier version of last month's Fay. In the worst-case scenario, Isaias presents wind and rain/flood risks that could approach those of Irene in some areas, but the storm surge threat is low, so this will not be another Sandy,” said Decker, associate teaching professor and director of the Meteorology Undergraduate Program in the Department of Environmental Sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Robinson, who oversees the Rutgers NJ Weather Network and helps coordinate the New Jersey Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, is available to comment at [email protected]


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