Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Exceedingly Dry, Warm September in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 3, 2019) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor David A. Robinson, the New Jersey State Climatologist, can provide insight on one of the driest and warmest Septembers in New Jersey since record-keeping began in 1895.

Last month was the sixth driest September (tied with 2005) in 125 years, with the state averaging 1.19 inches of precipitation – 2.86 below the 1981-2010 average, said Robinson, a distinguished professor in the Department of Geography in the School of Arts and Sciences.

It was also the ninth warmest September on record, averaging 69 degrees – 3.2 degrees above the 1981-2010 average, according to Robinson, who oversees the Rutgers NJ Weather Network and helps coordinate the New Jersey Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Moreover, it was drier than any month since September 2007, which averaged 0.99 inches.

As of Oct. 1, most of New Jersey was abnormally dry and much of Salem County was in a moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

“This can be classified as a flash drought, one that comes on quickly due to major short-term precipitation deficits and warm temperatures, thus mostly occurring during the warm half of the year,” Robinson said. “Soil moisture has been greatly depleted, lawns have dried out, late-season agriculture has been impacted and leaves are turning and dropping from shallow-rooted trees.”

“Despite the recent dry conditions, reservoirs, ground water and stream flows are not exceedingly lower than average, all thanks to the very wet conditions of the past several years up through early August,” he added. “Northern New Jersey reservoirs actually have above average levels for this time of the year.”

Professor Robinson is available to comment at david.robinson@rutgers.edu or 848-445-4741.

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Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at neal.buccino@echo.rutgers.edu

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Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It has an internationally acclaimed faculty, 12 degree-granting schools and the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse student body.

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