About Station location

This website obtains data from a weather station in Hawthorne, New Jersey. The station is at an elevation of 53 feet above sea level in the Passaic River Valley. Hawthorne lies in a shallow valley that rises in elevation toward the north and has localized high points. The First Watchung Ridge, a volcanic extrusion of ballast that created precipitous cliffs and steep slopes, lies along the western edge of Hawthorne. Goffle Brook, a tributary to the Passaic River, which is part of the Newark Bay-Hudson Harbor estuary, flows through the valley.

The Borough of Hawthorne Environmental Resource Inventory states, "Although Hawthorne is a well-developed borough, due to its location in the Passaic River watershed, and its diverse topography. The climate of Hawthorne is typical of the Mid-Atlantic region and specifically the New Jersey Piedmont region. Winters are cold with sub-freezing weather, and summers are hot with temperatures in the eighties and nineties (Seglin 1975). The difference between winter and summer averages 40°F, but differences between low and high temperatures can be almost 100°F (Godfrey 1980). Precipitation, in some form, is received throughout the year. As a result of geography, there are some meteorological occurrences that are unique to Hawthorne. The First Watchung Ridge (called Orange Mountain by geologists) plays a key role in Hawthorne’s climate, especially in winter. With an elevation difference of over two hundred feet between the mountain and the valley there is a marked difference in the texture of winter precipitation when the temperature is near freezing, with snow accumulating on the mountain but melting in the valley during winter storms. The First Watchung also alters the local weather by creating thermal inversions. During nor’Easters (northeastern storms), it is common for warmer air from the ocean to be brought in by easterly winds. This warm air overrides cold air at the surface and turns snow into rain, sleet, and freezing rain. The First Watchung has the capacity to help trap cold air in the valley and extend the duration of an inversion, resulting in slightly more sleet or freezing rain for those in the valley than in the surrounding areas.

Weather records have been kept for most of the twentieth century for the City of Paterson, and these can be considered accurate for Hawthorne with some minor adjustments. Along with Paterson’s records, temperature records were utilized from the NJ State Climatologist Data Site for northern New Jersey, and temperature data from Newark and Little Falls. Precipitation data from the rain gauging station at Midland Park was utilized along with the NJ State Climatologist Data Site for precipitation data.""

About Hawthorne

History isn't clear how the borough came to be named Hawthorne. One theory is that the municipality was named after the author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The other is that it was derived from the hawthorn bush, a thorny vegetation that had to be cleared from the cow pastures in the farmland community.

Once inhabited by the Lenni-Lenape Indians, also known as the Delaware, Hawthorne was settled in the 1700s by Dutch immigrants who were to become the borough's pioneer farmers. This settlement was first part of Manchester Township, a region that was later separated into Hawthorne, Haledon, North Haledon, Prospect Park, Totowa and most of the First Ward of Paterson.

There is evidence that Major General Lafayette was encamped here during the Revolutionary War. At the turn of the century, residents began taking the progressive step of emancipating themselves from Manchester Township. That decision for Hawthorne residents was made at Nelke's Hotel which used to be located at the northeast corner of Goffle Road and Rea Avenue. The municipality was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 24, 1898. Dr. Sylvester Utter was elected the first mayor of this community. The early years were marked by an atmosphere of inexperience and indecisiveness. Around 1908, a house building program began that developed Hawthorne into a suburban community

The 1916 souvenir journal, printed to attract new home buyers to the borough, boasted that Hawthorne has a municipal water system, electrically-lighted streets, a post office with carrier delivery, 30 miles of macadam roads, uniform concrete sidewalks, garbage collection and disposal, ideal natural playgrounds, five churches, five public schools, one parochial school and convent, free public library and fire protection with automobile fire apparatus. That was five years after residents voted to adopt the commission form of government. Reuben Macfarlan, Arthur Rhodes and Sylvester Utter were elected as commissioners in 1911 with Macfarlan filling the position of mayor.

The commission form, designed to bring government closer to the control of the people, served residents with a "pay as you go' philosophy for over 70 years.

In the mid 1980's, fueled by environmental concerns related to the departure of two large chemical companies, a movement began for a charter change. The work of a charter study commission culminated in a vote to adopt the mayor/council form. This created four wards to give residents a representative in each area of the community and the right to directly elect their mayor. The first election under the mayor/council form was held in 1989.

In 110+ years of history, the borough has had only 16 mayors, with Mayor Louis Bay, 2nd holding that office for 40 years spanning 1947 to 1987. He was succeeded by Mayor Anthony Ross, from 1988 through 1993; Mayor Paul Englehardt from 1994 through 1997; Mayor Fred Criscitelli from 1998 through 2005; and Mayor Patrick J. Botbyl from 2006 through August of 2008. Richard S. Goldberg assumed the duties of Acting Mayor upon Mayor Botbyl's resignation, was elected to fill out the remaining mayoral term through the end of 2009, and then was elected to a full four-year term beginning January 1, 2010 Source: http://hawthornenj.org/history.cfm