What better way to enjoy the hot, hazy, and humid days of summer than swimming in the ocean?
After cooler than normal ocean temperatures in June and early July, Mother Nature is delivering much more enjoyable conditions that are above normal for mid-July.
On Tuesday afternoon, swimmers in New Jersey enjoyed the warmest ocean water yet this summer. In Atlantic City around high tide, the temperature surged to 79.7 degrees. The ocean was around 75 degrees in the same spot Monday afternoon.
Sandy Hook experienced a similar surge on Tuesday, although slightly cooler at 78.5 degrees.
It’s due to the wind direction, as the ongoing light onshore flow has pushed warmer water toward the coastline. With days of offshore winds, upwelling — or warmer water getting pushed offshore and colder water below the surface rising — is a common occurrence.
During the 4th of July holiday, ocean temperatures were topping out around 60 degrees.
The fluctuation is typical during the summer, when the average ocean temperature in September reaches the middle to upper 70s. Solar radiation is also a significant factor as the water warms after weeks of summer heat.