NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY Tiptoeing into the water for fear of unexpectedly cold temperatures may be a thing of the past for New Jersey shore visitors, thanks to a new Rutgers' water temperature forecasting service that has been launched on Philadelphia's WCAU-TV Channel 10 News, an affiliate of NBC.
The new service from the Coastal Ocean Observation Laboratory (COOL) of Rutgers' Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS) at Cook College, New Brunswick, advises sport fisherman, surfers, and divers on water conditions. More important, it will help the U.S. Coast Guard zero in on survivors in search and rescue missions. Shore water conditions data also are available from COOL's website, TheCOOLroom.org.
Starting today, the COOL report will be a daily feature of the television station's weather news, for the first time providing shore visitors in the lower New Jersey and Philadelphia areas detailed satellite information about water temperatures from Sandy Hook to Cape May and beyond.
"Ultimately, we'll provide water temperature information from the tip of Long Island to the coast of Delaware and Maryland," says Michael F. Crowley, director of IMCS's Marine Remote Sensing Laboratory.
The water temperature data can make the difference between a good beach day and a bad one, Crowley notes, even on a day when the weather is uniformly warm and sunny. He says that beaches just a few miles away from each other can vary considerably in water temperature. "It can be 75 degrees in one place, and literally, just 10 miles away, 55 degrees," he notes.
Such radical water temperature differences in close proximity to each other are due to upwelling cold water from the ocean depths,
Typically, he says, water sits offshore in layers: warm water heated by the sun on top and cold water on the bottom. But when wind pushes the warm top layer out to sea, the cold water upwells into
Contact: Kevin P. Hyland
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey