175 Years of Weather Observations in the Newark, NJ Area (324)

Chris Stachelski, NOAA/National Weather Service Eastern Region Headquarters Regional Observation Program Leader, Bohemia, NY



As the largest city in the State of New Jersey, the City of Newark has a historic past known largely for being a center of industry and commerce in northern New Jersey and within the greater New York City metropolitan area. Daily weather observations were first taken in Newark on May 1, 1843 and have continued in the greater Newark area to date. What makes the Newark record unique is not only the longevity of it within the largest population concentration in the United States but that every single day of the entire record has had some level of in-person human interaction with observing. This poster will show the history of weather observations in greater Newark over the last 175 years including a number of significant milestones which played a role in the weather observing and meteorological history across the country. This includes the role of Newark's first weather observer, William Whitehead, who served as a formal &ldquocooperative observer&rdquo prior to the establishment of the modern cooperative observer weather program by the Smithsonian in 1849 as well as Whitehead's monthly weather column in the Newark Daily Advertiser which largely served as a source of early meteorological events not only in Newark but throughout the United States. Later daily weather observations and climatological data were used to brief and provide an early form of decision support to city leaders in formal reports in the early 1900s. In 1929, the growing aviation community resulted in the establishment of a U.S. Weather Bureau Office at Newark Airport, making it one of the first Weather Bureau offices nationally to be operated at an airport and not at a downtown facility.