Antares rocket on launch pad ahead of scheduled Sunday evening launch (copy)

3:10 p.m. update: A more positive forecast is seen in South Jersey. 

A daytime launch of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket will occur in Wednesday in Virginia. Some parts of the state will be able to see the rocket fly through the atmosphere, while others will have their head stuck in the clouds. 

The launch will take place from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Launch time is expected to be at 4:46 p.m. Traveling at thousands of miles an hour and to the International Space Station, much of the mid-Atlantic will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft.

That is, as long as we can break clear enough from the clouds expected Wednesday morning.

Cloud cover has engulfed much of South Jersey on Wednesday, as expected. The region is just sitting north of a cold front, which is responsible for the front. The clouds have largely been confined to the southern half of the state. Monmouth, Mercer and northern Ocean County have seen plenty of sunshine. 

Clouds continue to lift north of the state. Filtered sunshine looks to be present now for the launch. It may not be enough to see the launch, but it will help. The brightest spots will be in Cumberland and Cape May counties. 

According to NASA, those south of Dennis Township and Sea Isle City may be able to see the rocket 30 to 60 seconds after launch. Those north of that line until around the White Horse Pike will have the opportunity 60 to 90 seconds after. Those farther north will have 90 to 120 seconds after liftoff to view the spacecraft.

Visibility Map

South Jersey will be able to see the Antares rocket in space between 30 to 120 seconds after launch between 4:46 p.m. to 4:51 p.m. Look toward the southeastern sky for the launch.

Launch coverage will begin at 4:15 p.m. on NASA TV.


This is my first newspaper but not my first forecast for NJ. I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology from Rutgers. Two TV internships gave me a taste for the newsroom. Then, after nearly 4 years in private NJ weather, I'm forecasting South Jersey for you.

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