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Winter refuses to relinquish its grip on the Garden State: March 2014 Summary

April 5, 2014 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

March 2014 snow photo

One of the most disruptive winters in recent memory continued to deliver cold weather throughout New Jersey during March. Three snow events brought over 20" of snow to Cape May County, yet failed to bring more than flurries to northern counties. The statewide average monthly temperature of 35.3° was 5.8° below normal. Thus March ranked as the 11th coldest since statewide records commenced in 1895 (Table 1). Rain and melted snow for the month averaged 4.11". This is 0.12" below normal and ranks as the 55th wettest of the past 120 Marches. Aside from the southern snows, the bulk of the precipitation fell in a soaking storm at month's end.

Relentless Winter: February 2014 Summary and Winter 2013/14 Summary

March 4, 2014 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Snow Cover Map

One of the more disruptive winters in recent decades continued during February, erasing the hopes of many for an early spring. Averaged across New Jersey, the monthly temperature of 29.5° was 4.3° below normal. This made for the 35th coldest February over the past 120 years and the coldest since 2007. Temperatures ranged from a low of -18° at Walpack in snow covered Sussex County valley on the 11th and 12th to a high of 67° at several southern locations on the 21st. The statewide average precipitation of 5.26" made for the 20th wettest February on record. This includes both rainfall and the liquid equivalent of frozen precipitation, and is 2.40" above normal. Snowfall averaged 21.9" across the state, which is 13.9" above normal and ranks as the 7th snowiest of the past 120 Februaries.

Cold and Snow: January 2014 Summary

February 1, 2014 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Sea smoke photo

The year began where 2013 left off, with the jet stream in an amplified, progressive pattern that resulted in frequent, pronounced fluctuations in temperature and multiple precipitation events. By late month, the pattern slowed, but remained amplified, locking NJ into over a week of bitter cold conditions. The statewide average temperature for January was 26.1°, which is 5.1° below the 1981-2010 average and ranks as the 17th coldest since 1895 (120 years). It was the coldest January since 2004. Precipitation in the form of rain, freezing rain, and melted snowfall averaged 3.09". This is 0.39" below normal and ranks as the 57th driest. Snowfall averaged 17.7", which is 10.6" above normal and ranks at the 8th snowiest January on record.

An Active Pattern: December and 2013 Annual Summary

January 1, 2014 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Snowfall totals map from December 8th

The final month of 2013 proved to be a rather volatile one in the weather department. A smorgasbord of conditions included biting cold, record warmth, four snow events, and several soaking rainstorms. The statewide average temperature of 36.2° was 0.6° above normal, making it the 46th mildest December dating back 119 years to 1895. Not only were there major day-to-day fluctuations in temperature, as on several occasions temperatures varied by more than 40° from north to south Jersey. Precipitation in the form of rain and melted snow averaged 4.91" across NJ. This is 1.00" above normal and is the 26th wettest on record. Snowfall averaged 9.2", which is 4.3" above normal and the 31st snowiest December.

A December Warm Spell for the Record Books

December 24, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Temperature map

It wasn't just chestnuts that were roasting in New Jersey several days before Christmas this year. In fact it may be that coal noses on rapidly shrinking snowmen were igniting as a snowy spell from the 8th to 18th quickly transitioned to some unusually warm conditions.

Woodbine (Cape May County), Toms River (Ocean), and Berkeley Township (Ocean) shared top honors on Sunday the 22nd when the thermometer topped out at 73°. Maximum temperatures reached from 70° to 72° at 22 of the 55 NJ Weather and Climate Network stations. Only High Point Monument (Sussex), Hope (Warren), and Harvey Cedars (Ocean) managed to stay out of at least the 60s on the 22nd, with all three locations reaching 59°. Daily records were established at a number of long-term observing stations. For instance highs at Newark (Essex) on the 21st and 22nd of 64° and 71° beat former daily records by 3° and 6°, respectively.

Winter 2013/14: Round One

December 18, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

NASA MODIS satellite imagery

Following a mild six days of December, when a number of locations approached or exceeded the 50° mark for highs, the bottom fell out of the thermometer. From the 7th through the 18th most of the northern half of the state failed to reach 40°, while southern locations only saw milder highs on the 14th, early on the 15th, and on the 17th. This includes the first sub-zero observation of the winter, when -1° was reached at Walpack (Sussex County) on the 17th and again on the 18th.

Encroaching Drought?: November and Fall 2013 Summary

December 1, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Dry reservoir photo

The first statewide nor'easter of the season on the 26th-27th provided much needed rainfall and kept the month from becoming one of the driest on record. Storm specifics are found below, confirming that this event accounted for the bulk of the statewide monthly average of 2.83" and at least temporarily staved off worsening drought conditions. This was 0.81" below the 1981-2010 normal and ranked as the 52nd driest of the past 119 years. Temperatures seesawed a fair bit but overall, colder than average conditions prevailed for the second consecutive November. The statewide average of 43.0° was 2.6° below normal and tied with 1906, 1919, 1940 and 1986 as the 36th coolest on record. Rather frequent frontal passages resulted in winds gusting to 40 mph or greater on twelve November days.

Pre-Thanksgiving Soaking

November 28, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Snow photo

The first statewide nor’easter of the season soaked the Garden State on Tuesday and Wednesday the 26th-27th. Heavy rain, some northwest freezing rain, and strong winds contributed to holiday travel woes, though fortunately the worst conditions occurred during the overnight hours of Tuesday into Wednesday. The excellent National Weather Service forecasts had everyone aware of the potential storm days in advance, which helped in planning and preparation.

A Tranquil October (Imagine That!): October 2013 Summary

November 4, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Damage from tornado in Paramus on October 7th. Photo Credit: Michael Harger
Following the past two October 29ths, it was wonderful to see sunny skies and seasonable maximum temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 40°s in the northwest to the low to mid 60°s in south this 29th. As a matter of fact, aside from a strong frontal passage blowing through the north on the 7th and a stubborn coastal storm impacting the south from the 9th-12th, conditions were quite tranquil throughout most of October 2013. A summer-like first week was the major contributor to the statewide monthly average temperature of 57.1° coming in 2.3° above normal. This ties with 1950 and 1951 as the 20th mildest October since statewide records commenced in 1895.

October begins with record warmth, a tornado, and strong winds

October 9, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dan Manzo

Damage from tornado in Paramus

The first week of October was nothing but bizarre, or at least to most New Jerseyeans it seemed that way. The period included unseasonably warm weather, heavy rain, strong winds and even a tornado. It was all credited to a stationary front that held in position in Southern New York, which allowed warm air to enter the Garden State. The warm air was later pushed out, when a sharp and potent cold front from the Midwest set off severe storms and heavy rain in parts of the area.

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