Memorial Day weekend’s weather was streaky, and the mood uncertain as we entered the summer season at the shore, but a streak of fair weather weekends followed and the Labor Day weekend was spectacular.
In what will surely be remembered as one of the most unique seasons in the history of the Je…
And the fine weather did more than brighten our moods, it drove people to the shores and boardwalks.
“Our businesses needed this great weather to close out the summer season. The weather drove people to the shore communities and we clearly saw them on the Boardwalk and taking advantage of the outdoor dining experiences so many restaurants are able to offer.,” said Michael Chait, president of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber.
It didn’t start out that way. Memorial Day weekend arrived chilly, damp, cloudy and bringing showers. The exact type of weather that drives people inside. In that regard, it matched the state of mind (and orders of the governor) at that stage of the COVID-19 pandemic: A stay-at-home order wouldn’t be lifted for another two weeks; you couldn’t dine at a restaurant; and school graduations, still a week away, were in flux.
That earned the first weekend of the summer season a D+, the first one given since the shore summer weekend report card grading started in 2018.
Fortunately for us, summer turned it around in the weeks that followed.
This was helped in part by the fact that our climatological summer — June through August — went on to become the second warmest in New Jersey since records were kept in 1895, according to the Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist.
Despite that, there were few excruciatingly hot days. Only one daily high temperature record (at 92 degrees) was broken at Atlantic City International Airport, June 3. Rather, it was the above-average high temperatures and the well-above-average low temperatures that put 2020 in the number two spot.
“In Margate the weather was perfect,” said Eileen LaPat, of Margate on the rain-free, warm and not too humid weekend.
The summer of 2020 earned a B for its weekend weather at the shore, taking into account those 16 Fridays through Sundays, including Memorial Day and Labor Day. While this falls short of the B+ of the 2019 summer, it falls roughly in line with the summer of 2018, which earned a B as well.
Complaints about rainy weekends at the shore were few and far between this summer, and for g…
“A” grades were given to weekends that were rain-free, with low dew points, plenty of sunshine, light winds and high temperatures between 75 and 90 degrees — all perfect for getting outside to the shore while still maintaining safe social distancing on the sand.
That happened twice during the summer, June 19 to June 21, and Labor Day weekend. At Sen. Frank S. Farley Marina in Atlantic City, no rain fell from Sept. 4 to 7. High temperatures were between 78 and 82 degrees, with a sunny to partly sunny sky. This was welcome news for many shore businesses.
“Good weather drives people to the shore. When they come, they look for the experiences they’ve had for years. All of our businesses have made every effort to deliver that in a safe and responsible manner,” Chait said.
Five weekends earned a B+, six earned a B, one earned a C+ and two earned a D+. Those two failing grades were for Memorial Day weekend and the weekend of Aug. 14 to 16.
The best stretch of weekends was from June 19 to 21 to July 17 to 29, which featured all As and B pluses.
Precipitation achieved the 26th wettest of the past 126 years in the state. June was below average, but July and August were 2.22 and 1.94 inches above their monthly averages, respectively.
September is the third driest month of the year, on average, in Atlantic City. With warm weather and sunshine still to come, a new summer season awaits.
“Had to be the best Labor Day weatherwise in a very long time, let’s keep it going the rest of locals’ summer month (September),” said John Rogers, 62, of the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township.
The record breaking hurricane season is finally over, here were the storm names
The 2020 Hurricane Season, by the numbers (and one picture to explain it all)
In a year full of firsts, hurricane season was right up there, too. The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season shattered the previous record for most named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes) in a year at 30. The previous title holder went to the 2005 season, which joined 2020 as the only two hurricane seasons to force meteorologists to go into the Greek alphabet for storm names.
“The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season ramped up quickly and broke records across the board,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D, acting NOAA administrator.
Besides the number of named storms, 2020 also set the record for the most number of landfalling named storms in a season at twelve, besting the previous record of nine. One of those, Fay, came ashore between Long Beach Island and Atlantic City, a recent hot spot for tropical activity in the state.
Isaias did not make landfall in South Jersey, but it certainly felt like it. Two tornadoes and damaging winds brought the most widespread power event since Sandy in the area.
While there were records broken, 2005 still holds the top spot for the most number of major, category three or greater hurricanes. Also, the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for 2020, while well above average, was well below the top spot.
If that's too much to wrap your head around, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pulled together satellite pictures of all 30 named storms, in one spot.
Arthur - Used
It's the sixth year in a row that a named tropical system has developed in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin before the June 1 official start.
Bertha - Used
Tropical Storm Bertha is the second tropical storm or greater storm to have formed in the Atlantic Hurricane basin before the official start June 1. This is only the sixth time since records have been kept in the 1700s that two tropical storm or greater storms have formed before the start.
Cristobal - Used
Dolly - Used
Dolly was the third earliest fourth named (D storm) storm in Atlantic Hurricane history, which goes back to 1851. It also flared up further north than any tropical storm before July 1 in recorded history, according to Sam Lilo, postdoctoral researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
#Dolly has formed in the North Atlantic - the 3rd earliest 4th Atlantic named storm formation on record (since 1851). Danielle is earliest on 6/20/2016. Debby is 2nd earliest on 6/23/2012 at 12 UTC. Dolly in 2020 formed on June 23 at 1615 UTC. #hurricane pic.twitter.com/1Ha6ZnxHqc— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) June 23, 2020
Edouard - Used
The Atlantic Hurricane season continued its blistering pace. Edouard, which developed July 6, was the earliest fifth named (with the letter "E") storm in Atlantic Hurricane history, which goes back to 1851. This is according to Philip Klotzbach, Meteorologist at Colorado State University, who issues a highly reputable hurricane forecast each year and is used by The Press.
The previous record was held in 2005 with Emily, which occurred on July 12. 2005 holds the record for the most active hurricane season on record in the Atlantic Hurricane basin, with 27 named storms.
However, all of the storms to this point have all been tropical storms. Some, like Edouard, likely would not have even been noticed before the satellite era, as they were out to sea and may have been missed by shipping routes.
Fay - Used
Tropical Storm Fay will go in the record books for multiple reasons.
- It is the tenth tropical storm or hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey since 1900.
- It made landfall just south of Holgate, on Long Beach Island, this is, incredibly, about ten miles away from where Tropical Storm Irene and Superstorm Sandy made landfall, right near Brigantine.
- Fay was the earliest sixth tropical storm or hurricane to form in the Atlantic Hurricane basin, since records started in 1851. On other words, it was the earliest "F" storm on record.
Gonzalo - Used
Tropical Storm Gonzalo formed as a tropical depression July 21 and turned into a named storm July 22.
Hanna - Used
Tropical Storm Hanna formed Thursday, July 24. That put the 2020 hurricane season in a big lead over the 2005 hurricane season for the quickest, most active start. In 2005, Harvey formed on August 3, putting the 2020 season roughly two weeks ahead of 2005.
According to Retired National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Eberwine, this was the first time in 22 that there have been eight tropical storms, without any hurricanes. However, its upgrade to a hurricane July 25 meant this streak was broken.
Isaias - Used
The fourth largest power outage event in Atlantic City Electric's history came with Isaias, which passed to the west of New Jersey as a tropical storm.
Isaias continues the blistering pace of the hurricane season, beating out the 2005 season. The "I" storm then, Irene, developed on August 7.
Hurricane Irene would be retired by the World Meteorological Organization in 2011. The storm brought power outages to over 100,000 in South Jersey, a tornado in Vineland and nearly a foot of rain to the Wildwoods.
This also ties the record for the most number of July tropical systems in a month, at five.
Josephine - Used
Tropical Storm Josephine formed Aug. 13, after spending time as a Tropical Depression for a couple of days. According to Klotzbach, this is the earliest tenth named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season on record, best 2005 by nine days.
Kyle - Used
Tropical Storm Kyle developed Aug. 14 well off the Delmarva coast.
This outpaces 2005 by ten days. On Aug. 24, 2005, Hurricane Katrina formed.
Laura - Used
Tropical Depression 13 turned into Tropical Storm Laura.
According to Klotzbach, Laura is the earlier "L" storm on record, beating out Luis in 1995.
Laura is forecasted to make landfall on the Gulf Coast Wednesday, doing so at nearly the same time as what will be Marco.
Marco - Used
The previous record for the earliest thirteenth storm of the year was Sept. 2.
Nana - Used
Omar - Used
Tropical Storm Omar formed off the North Carolina coast on Sept. 1. 2020 continues to lap other hurricane seasons for the most active on record. According to Klotzbach, the second earlier "O" (fifthteen) named storm was Ophelia on Sept. 7, 2005.
Tropical Storm #Omar has formed off of the North Carolina coast - the 15th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic #hurricane season to date. The previous record for earliest 15th Atlantic named storm formation was Ophelia on September 7, 2005 at 6UTC. pic.twitter.com/YHEizBrdzN— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 1, 2020
Paulette - Used (again)
After a five day hiatus, Paulette turned back into a tropical system on Sept. 21, morphing into a tropical storm. According to Klotzbach, Paulette was the first hurricane to become post-tropical and then redevelop since Ivan, in 2004. Ivan was brought back into the spotlight this year for having a very similar look and landfall as Hurricane Sally. Sally crashed into Alabama earlier in September.
Paulette's eye went right over Bermuda as a hurricane, though little damage was seen on the resilient island.
Rene - Used
Tropical Storm Rene formed off the coast of Africa on September 7. According to Klotzbach, this outpaces the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season for the most active on record. Rita formed on September 18.
#Rene has formed in the eastern tropical Atlantic - the 17th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic #hurricane season to date. Rene is the earliest forming 17th Atlantic named storm on record, breaking old record set by Rita on September 18, 2005. pic.twitter.com/5gKXDXdoOE— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 7, 2020
Sally - Used
Teddy - Used
Teddy formed on Sept. 14, 2020. The blistering pace of the Atlantic Hurricane season continues, beating out the 2005's nineteenth named storm by nearly two and a half weeks.
#Teddy has formed in the central tropical Atlantic - the earliest 19th Atlantic named storm formation on record. Prior record was October 4, 2005 (Unnamed). Unnamed storm was added in post-season reanalysis in 2005. #hurricane pic.twitter.com/SAnhkoHKs5— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 14, 2020
Vicky - Used
#Vicky has formed in far eastern tropical Atlantic - the 20th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic #hurricane season to date. Vicky is earliest 20th Atlantic named storm on record, breaking old record set by Tammy on October 5, 2005. pic.twitter.com/EmxNj6352O— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 14, 2020
Wilfred - Used
#Wilfred has formed in the eastern tropical Atlantic - the 21st named storm of the 2020 Atlantic #hurricane season to date and earliest 21st Atlantic named storm on record. Prior record for earliest 21st named storm was October 8, 2005. pic.twitter.com/t8kGhASX13— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 18, 2020
Wilfred exhausts the list of hurricane names for the Tropical Atlantic Ocean. It is in the earliest twenty-first storm on record, beating out 2005's storm, which formed on Oct. 8.
For the second time in history, Greek names will be used to name storms
We go Greek.
The rules for hurricane names state that once the list is exhausted, storm names go by Greek letter of the alphabet. This has only been used once, and that was for the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season that 2020 is on pace to break.
The next five storm names after Wilfred go in the following order:
For storms that cause massive destruction, any member state of the World Meteorological Organization can ask to retire the name. The WMO Hurricane Committee then votes on it. Member states can apply to have a greek alphabet name retired in 2020. If the WMO approved it, the name will go into the "retired" list, but still be used whenever needed.
Retiring storm names are uncommon. Between 2010-2019, only 15 out of the at least 210 potential names will not be used again, 7.1%.
Alpha - Used
For the second time in history and the first time since 2005 the list of storm names have been exhausted.
Subtropical storm Alpha is the first Greek storm name of the season. Perhaps fitting for its name, it has charted its own path, crashing into Portugal as a mid-level stom Sept. 18.
Beta - Used
Gamma - Used
After a break for nearly a week, Gamma spawned in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Klotzbach, Gamma is aggressively beating out the 2005 season.
Tropical Storm #Gamma has formed in the NW Caribbean - the 24th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic #hurricane season to date. Gamma is the earliest forming 24th Atlantic named storm on record, breaking the old record set on October 27, 2005. pic.twitter.com/A9Wvln4VnG— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) October 2, 2020
Delta - Used
Tropical Storm Delta formed from a tropical depression on Oct. 5. Delta is forecasted bring impacts to the U.S. Gulf Coast late in the week.
Note that storms in the Greek alphabet can be retired if they are significant enough. However, the World Meteorological Organization will continue to use the storm name if the situation warrants. Only 2005 has even had storm names in the Greek alphabet, so it is a rare occurrence.
Epsilon - Used
#Epsilon has formed in central subtropical Atlantic - the earliest 26th Atlantic named storm formation on record. Prior record was November 22, 2005 (Delta). Additional storm in October 2005 added after the season, which is why Epsilon breaking record set by Delta. #hurricane pic.twitter.com/NeyB1l6yrD— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) October 19, 2020
According to Klotzbach, Epsilon, which formed on Oct. 19, is the earliest 26th named storm of the season in recorded history. In 2005, that storm developed on Nov. 22, 2005.
Zeta - Used
Zeta was the last name that was used in the 2005 hurricane season. However, 2020 has not tied the record for the most number of tropical storms and hurricanes in a season.
After the 2005 hurricane season ended, the National Hurricane Center performed a reanalysis of the season, as is done every year. During that time, they determined that another storm had formed Oct. 4-5 that was not classified by the NHC. The storm, informally known at the 2005 Azores subtropical storm, was then added to the data base.
As a result, the 2005 hurricane season has 28 "named storms", while the 2020 has 27 storms through Zeta.
Eta (Ties record) - Used
Eta, the twenty-eight named storm of the year, developed Nov. 1. Officially, 2020 tied the 2005 for the most tropical storms and hurricanes in one season in the Atlantic Hurricane Basin. Records go back to the mid-1800s, but more reliably since the 1960s.
Theta (Breaks record) - Used
Subtropical Storm Theta is the twenth-ninth tropical storm or hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean Basin, besting 2005 for the most active hurricane season on record. Records go back with a high degree of accuracy to the 1960s, when satellites kept an eye on the oceans. However, observations on hurricanes have been made with regularity since the mid-1800s.
Iota - Used
Iota formed on Nov. 13 from Tropical Depression 31, continuing the record pace.
Track hurricane season with our interactive map
Track all of the active tropical systems, along with their movement, wind speeds and weather alerts here.