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Really Lousy Weather

by Greg Hoffman

Greg Hoffman is a year round LBI resident and has produced three weather related documentaries available on video tape.


For most summer visitors to Long Beach Island, lousy weather means rain. Other examples of lousy summer weather include unseasonably cold spells and their more common alternative, brutal heat waves.

For those unfamiliar with the New Jersey shore, the scorching heat and smothering humidity of a summer heat wave would seem easy to deal with. "Just hang out at the beach and go in the water a lot," is the kind of advice one might expect from the uninformed.

Photo of a car turned upside down by a storm.  Click for a larger image.
Click to see a larger image.
People who know the beach know that a heat wave on LBI means no breeze or even worse a land breeze. Those who venture outside in such conditions will be confronted with clouds of swarming greenhead flies and mosquitos both equal in their determination to drink human perspiration... and blood.

The good news is that heat waves on Long Beach Island are very infrequent. Because of LBI's unique position on the map, air moving from the Southwest ( the prevailing summer wind direction) provides us with a cool, refreshing, insect free breeze. This is not the case at most Jersey shore points where a wind out of the Southwest is simply another hot land breeze.

Rainy days, though dreaded, are also an infrequent annoyance for Long Beach Island vacationers. The summer season is a predominantly dry period in this part of the country with most rainfall coming in the form of occasional brief late afternoon showers.

Admittedly this may not always seem to be the case. During one summer season, a few years back, it rained on all but one weekend and although the rain was usually light, as far as the average working stiff was concerned, it might as well have rained all summer.

In fact it didn't. Hardly any rain fell on weekdays and during most of that summer water use restrictions were in place due to what were officially considered drought conditions!

Unusually cold days are the rarest, but again, if we get a few during your vacation no one will blame you for thinking otherwise.

In short, while some summers are better than others, the summer weather on Long Beach Island is nearly always excellent.

The really lousy weather, when it comes, is almost always in the form of a coastal storm, and coastal storms are something that occur in the "off seasons" of fall, winter, and early spring.

There are two types of coastal storms; tropical storms (including hurricanes) and winter storms (northeasters).

Hurricanes  | Northeasters | Photos

Copyright © 1997 by Greg Hoffman

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