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Our Mission

The Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist serves as the State focal point for activities pertaining to the climate of New Jersey. Dr. David A. Robinson, New Jersey State Climatologist, directs the Office, which is associated with the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the Center for Environmental Prediction, which is based within the Department of Environmental Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Science, Rutgers University. The responsibilities of the Office are to collect and archive climate data, maintain an active research program pertaining to New Jersey climate and, through various outreach programs, provide climate education and information to the citizens of New Jersey. These are spelled out in some detail below.

1) Gather and archive data on climate conditions in New Jersey.

a) Collect recent hourly and daily observations for a number of climate variables (for instance, temperature, precipitation, snow) from official U.S. government and private observing stations throughout New Jersey. This information is gathered in real time, or on weekly or monthly time frames in cooperation with the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the National Weather Service (NWS), the Northeast Regional Climate Center, and state government and private organizations. Data are collected in hardcopy (paper) and digital (computer) formats.
 
b) Archive recent and historic climate data, following inspection for data accuracy and consistency. This includes data extending back over the most recent one hundred years. Derived products (for instance, means, totals, heating degree days) for individual stations, climate regions and New Jersey as a whole are also collected or derived and then archived.
 
c) Cooperate with climate observers, the NCDC, and the NWS to assure that station continuity and coverage is maintained throughout New Jersey. This includes fostering and participating in the expansion of existing networks to provide improved coverage in space and time.

2) Conduct and foster research concerning the climate of New Jersey

a) Undertake basic or applied research within the Office of the State Climatologist. Examples of basic research range from developing a thunderstorm climatology to investigating past and potential future climate change across New Jersey. Applied research deals with the impact or importance of the climate as it pertains to a specific activity in New Jersey, such as agriculture or tourism. Rutgers graduate and undergraduate students play active roles in this research.
 
b) Provide information, expertise, and coordination to others in the Rutgers community and beyond as they conduct research having some New Jersey related climate component.

3) Educate and inform the citizens of New Jersey on matters related to climate.

a) Make available recent and historic climate data and derived products in hardcopy and digital formats.
 
b) Provide information and analysis of ongoing climate events. Examples include seasonal climate outlooks or providing historic perspective to events such as a nor'easter, cold snap or drought. Methods of dissemination include contact with NJ government agencies and the media. This is accomplished by phone, fax, email and this World Wide Web home page. While the Office of the State Climatologist does not provide day-to-day weather forecasts, National Weather Service forecasts and the New Jersey agricultural forecast are available through this home page.
 
c) Promote climate awareness by educating the public through publications, correspondence, personal contact, attendance at conferences, lectures to schools and other organizations (as time and resources permit) and interviews with the print, radio and TV media.