Recap of Monday's damaging winds, severe storms, rain
What were the highest winds?
At least 20 reporting sites in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and southern Ocean counties reported a wind gust of at least 60 mph Monday, according to the National Weather Service and the New Jersey Mesonet. The most severe winds were generally found during the late morning and midday, which caused damage.
While not confirmed, it's possible the strong winds came from a gravity wave. A gravity wave occurs when air is forced to rise in stable air. However, the stable air blocks it from rising all of the way through the atmosphere. So it's reflected back down in a wave.
Think of it like throwing a rock into a pond, but going vertically, not horizontally. The waves propagate highest (fastest wind) nearest to the rock (shower).
Winds about 2,500 feet above the surface, at the 925 millibar layer, were 70 to 90 miles per hour. That is extremely unusual. A look at the all of the 925 millibar winds for April 13 from a nearby balloon launch site at Wallops Island, Virgina shows that winds Tuesday were nearly double the maximum wind speed at that level for the date.
Here are the top 10 highest wind gusts in the region. All numbers are from the NWS and the New Jersey Mesonet. Note that some stations are just offshore from the town names attached to them.
68 mph - Strathmere
68 mph - Sea Isle City
70 mph - Strathmere
This observation at the Upper Township shore town was taken 10 minutes after the initial 68 mph gust. The 70 mph gust was at 11:11 a.m., with the initial gust at 11:01 a.m.
70 mph - Mystic Islands
70 mph - Forsythe
72 mph - Cape May Harbor
73 mph - Atlantic City International Airport
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Reports database, this was the strongest wind gust since a July 9, 1990, thunderstorm cut through.
74 mph - Beach Haven
81 mph - Mystic Island
Another town makes the list with two entries. The higher of the two gusts occurred at 11:42 a.m., 12 minutes after the first gust.
81 mph - Barnegat Light
Four days after a 71 mph gust made this spot No. 1 for highest wind gust, Barnegat Light came through again with another top wind gust. The 81 mph gust was higher than that recorded during Superstorm Sandy, which reached 79 mph. However, Sandy had a longer duration of stronger winds.
How about the highest rainfall totals?
While Monday was known for its wind, soaking rains drenched South Jersey as well. Through Sunday, all of southeastern New Jersey was between 51% and 75% below their rainfall average, month to date.
Rainfall totals are from the New Jersey Mesonet and reported from the National Weather Service.
1.52 inches - Tuckerton
1.60 inches - Mullica
1.68 inches - Hammonton
1.71 inches - Folsom
1.78 inches - Dennis
1.86 inches - West Cape May
1.86 inches - Surf City
1.86 inches - Sea Isle City
2.54 inches - Cape May Harbor
I've been the Meteorologist at The Press since Fall 2017. I've spent my whole life in New Jersey, earning a Meteorology degree from Rutgers University. I'm honored to be a 5 time N.J. Press Association award winner and a South Jersey "Top 40 Under 40".
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