Hello! My name is Jonathan Carr, founder, operator and lead forecaster of Weather NJ. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in information systems. My primary career is in software development (augmented and virtual reality) and information technology. I do not have a formal education in meteorology which I wear proudly on my sleeve. For that reason, instead of calling myself a meteorologist, I prefer “weather enthusiast” or “weather forecaster” out of respect to the professionally-degreed and accredited meteorological community.
My entire atmospheric and meteorological knowledge-base is mostly self-taught but also under the wings of some great mentors including Bobby Martrich and Jim Cantore. While my forecasts are far from 100% accurate, I make sure that everyone leaves a verified or busted forecast with an educational understanding of what happened. I try my best to outline wildcard scenarios so that the public is prepared for optimum safety regardless of the outcome. I make sure to break down what's happening in the atmosphere so that the average public consumer of information can understand it. I learn more and more every day and thoroughly enjoy passing along the knowledge to my followers.
I grew up in the coastal New Jersey area obsessing about weather systems. My father taught me, at a very young age, how to read wind patterns over water and forecast in the short-term by cloud recognition. He was a sailing fanatic and I simply became fascinated with the physics of the atmosphere.
From about 2003-2008 I familiarized myself with computer weather models using real-world observations to identify the biases and common mistakes that the computers make. I’ve weathered out many Jersey nor’easters, snow storms and even a few hurricanes. Every severe weather event further drives my obsession of finding out why it happened and figuring out what pre-existing conditions were present before such.
In 2009 I was ready to share my passion publicly. After demonstrating tremendous forecasting accuracy on my personal Facebook page (specifically for the December 17, 2009 snow storm), I created business pages on Facebook and Twitter in early 2010—organically hatching Severe NJ Weather into the social media space. My weather service begun its rise in popularity after delivering accurate predictions for the 2010-2011 blizzards, Hurricane Irene, the 2011 Halloween Snowstorm, the June 2012 Derecho and ultimately Superstorm Sandy in October 2012—resulting in explosive growth of social media followership. Severe NJ Weather was then re-branded to Weather NJ in 2014 to encompass all weather conditions in New Jersey not just the severe events. Since then Weather NJ has seen steady growth mainly due to major snow storms, traditional nor'easters, active thunderstorm seasons and several near-tropical threats.
Today WeatherNJ.com has been visited by over 20 million unique individuals from all continents of the world (yes even Antarctica). 91% of visitors are from the Washington DC to Boston area with core concentration of followership in New Jersey. Over a quarter-million people follow Weather NJ via social media across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Over 40 thousand people have downloaded the Weather NJ mobile application of which 30 thousand are active daily users.
Presentations & Talks
Rutgers University Jacques Cousteau Reserve - Guest talk at the Tuckerton Seaport about historical NJ storms and weather 101.
Stockton University - Guest lecture at Coastal Processes grad-level course.
East Brunswick Public Library - Guest talk about historical NJ storms and weather 101.
Ocean County Library - Guest talk about historical NJ storms and weather 101.
Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences - Guest talk about historical NJ storms and weather 101.
Awards & Invitations
NJ Citizen Journalist - Awarded for Sandy forecasting and early warning efforts.
NASA Social OLYMPEX - Invited to explore the latest technology in Pacific weather sensors.
Cape-Atlantic Severe Weather Conference - Invited to share stage with NWS and OEM to discuss coastal storm safety preparations.
Atlantic City Press - Invited to contribute and temporarily fill-in as professional forecaster.
In the Press
Weather NJ & Friends - Giving Back!
Each year my close friends and I try to give back to the community via organizing and volunteering for charitable efforts of various themes (see below events). A special thank you to my family and friends who volunteer top-quality efforts to these events. The events would simply not take place without help from the following individuals: Jennifer Carr, Kyle Hoffman, Jack Gamble, Greg Molyneux, Jessika Morgan, Kathy Nowicki, John Nowicki, Jeff Ruemeli, Joe Bilotta, Jacky Lindeborn, Kathy Carr, Ben Wurst, John Homenuk, Sandy Collier, Deanna Nowicki, Chris Huch, Matt Abotto, Jonathan Giglio, Dani Corso, Bobby Martrich, Pat Morgan, Connor Morgan and Justin Auciello.
Fun(d) the Dream II - A mid-summer dinner party that raised over $12,000 for David's Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation (DDBCF).
Haunted Carousel - A Halloween costume dance party at the Asbury Carousel House that raised over $8,500 for DDBCF
Fun(d) the Dream - A mid-summer dinner party that raised over $8,000 for DDBCF.
Fun(d) the Foundation II - A mid-summer dinner party that raised over $4,500 for Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences (LBIF).
Fun(d) the Foundation - A mid-summer dinner party that raised over $3,000 for LBIF.
Jersey Shorefest - A summer music festival that raised over $20,000 for Sandy OEM first-responders.