Above average: Ocean temperatures nearing 80 degrees at the Jersey Shore

    South Seaside Park. (Photo: Justin Auciello/for NewsWorks)

    South Seaside Park. (Photo: Justin Auciello/for NewsWorks)

    Ocean temperatures at the Jersey Shore are above average heading into the second week of August. 

    According to NOAA data, the temperatures are in the upper 70s along the entire coast.

    As of this morning, Sandy Hook is reporting 78.3 degrees, while Atlantic City is slightly cooler at 77.4 degrees. The average ocean temperature for the second week of August is in the lower 70s. 

    During the summer, ocean temperatures typically fluctuate with the wind direction.

    Offshore winds generally generate cooler temperature due to the cooler layer on the bottom replacing the warmer surface, known as upwelling. Onshore winds push the warmer water near the Gulf Stream toward the coast.

    But despite winds with an offshore component this weekend, upwelling did not occur at all beaches along the Shore, although some beaches in the northern half did experience a slight dip.

    With a northeast wind today, the ocean temperatures could hit 80 degrees, which would be around the forecasted high air temperature.

    Ocean temperatures generally peak in the middle to upper 70s in September.

    And that’s the “ideal” temperatures, one researcher says. 

    “Most people like it to be at least in the mid to upper 70s,” said Josh Kohut, assistant professor of Physical Oceanography at Rutgers University and founding member of the university’s Coastal Ocean Observation Lab (COOL).

    But it’s different for surfers, says Tim Husar, a year-round surfer at Seaside Park and Island Beach State Park who fishes often in Ocean County. 

    “Definitely the mid 60s is the sweet spot. Anything higher than that, like when you get water temperatures in the 70s, means that you don’t get much of a swell,” he told NewsWorks in 2014.

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