If June's daily weather forecasts seemed like a broken record, with daily threats of showers, thunderstorms or heavy rain, that's because it was.
June went down as the wettest June recorded at the Atlantic City Marina, with the 9.55 inches breaking the previous record of 8.45 inches set in 1920. The average is 2.69 inches, with records dating back at that site 137 years.
About 12 miles away, at the Atlantic City International Airport, 7.53 inches of rain fell in June, good enough for third place. That is still 4.42 inches above normal, according to the National Weather Service.
Elsewhere in the state, some weather stations recorded more than a foot of rain, while others recorded about 7 inches, according to the Office of the State Climatologist. Statewide, the rainfall averaged more than 9.2 inches, also setting a record.
This variability is indicative of the overall weather pattern drawing tropical moisture from the south, rather than several large scale major storms such as Tropical Storm Andrea, which swiped the coast June 7, said David Robinson, Rutgers University professor and state climatologist. "Only 40 percent of that record was Andrea and Andrea was part of the pattern."
For the businesses in Ocean City and elsewhere along the shore, the chilly and wet spring did not entice tourists to the region and the wet June really was not a help, said Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce. "The weather has been a challenge. We're just hoping for brighter days ahead."
While some Boardwalk businesses do well when the weather is not that great, Gillian said, others find customers are discouraged when the weather is consistently bad. "Our restaurants are doing good and people are visiting," she said. "We just want to make sure this weather doesn't discourage people from coming."
If it seems as if the weather has been gridlocked for the past few weeks - temperate with the potential for heavy rain almost every day in some part of the state - that's because the steering currents that allow various patterns to develop and change have effectively been stuck in traffic, said Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University climatologist and research professor.
The key to the gridlock could be found in the Arctic as the amount of snow on the land and ice in the sea continues to decline at a rapid pace, causing the air to warm, said Francis, who studies the topic. That warmth has been linked to a slowing and contorting of the jet stream, which is the dominant atmospheric steering current that has major influences on weather.
The stalled patterns of the past month have caused the record heat wave out west that stretches far into Alaska, the flooding rains in Canada and the near constant tropical feel along the East Coast.
"It's hard to connect dots with a Sharpie. We can only really do it with a pencil right now," Francis said. "But it's all hanging together with the idea that as we warm the Arctic much faster ... it really seems to be causing, or at least tending to cause, these types of patterns."
A locked weather pattern that breaks records has historically been relatively rare, but a similar pattern set up in August 2011, drawing record rains and Tropical Storms Irene and Lee to New Jersey, Robinson said. "As long as this pattern is open, should anything tropical form down to our south it could be pulled up in this direction," he said.
As for the rest of the week, the chance for rain will be relatively high today, but the chance will diminish by Thursday as hot and humid weather builds in, said Kristin Kline, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Mount Holly.
And while the Weather Service's long-range models show an above-average chance for a rainy July, Kline said, "anything beyond five to seven days is pretty uncertain."
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