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Strong winds push waves and spray onshore after a cold frontal passage on December 23rd in Seaside Heights (photo credit: Daniel Nee/Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat).
Strong winds push waves and spray onshore after a cold frontal passage on December 23rd in Seaside Heights (photo credit: Daniel Nee/Lavallette-Seaside Shorebeat).

As has so often been the situation in 2022, December’s weather never settled into any persistent pattern. Unless, of course, a pattern of frequent variations constitutes persistence! In any case, it seems appropriate to co-label this combined monthly and annual report as intervals in search of identities!

Looking first at December, the statewide average temperature of 35.5° is 1.1° below the 1991–2020 normal. This ranks as the 44th mildest December dating back to 1895. The statewide average maximum temperature of 44.9° is 0.1° below normal and ranked 31st mildest. The average minimum was 26.1°, which is 2.1° below normal and ranks 54th mildest. North Jersey averaged 33.3° (-0.8°, 36th mildest), south Jersey 36.8° (-1.3°, 49th mildest), and the Jersey coast 37.7° (-1.4°, 50th mildest).

Statewide precipitation averaged 4.76”, which is 0.49” above normal and ranks 35th wettest. North Jersey averaged 4.93” (+0.68”, 32nd wettest), south Jersey 4.68” (+0.40”, 37th wettest), and the Jersey coast 4.49” (+0.13”, 43rd wettest). The wettest locations were in the northeast and along the northern coast, while the northwest and much of the south were on the drier side.

Latest Extremes

City, State Temp
Little Egg Harbor Twp., NJ 44
Seaside Heights, NJ 43
Sicklerville, NJ 43
Toms River, NJ 43
Cape May Court House, NJ 43
City, State Temp
High Point, NJ 36
Ramsey, NJ 36
Wantage, NJ 36
Charlotteburg, NJ 36
Hackettstown, NJ 36
most current information as of Jan 28 9:20 AM

Latest Conditions & Forecast

New Brunswick, NJ

Rutgers University Meteorology Program

41°F

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7 mph from the SSW

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16 mph from the SW

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Trees and grass impacted by excessively dry conditions on Livingston Campus at Rutgers University in Piscataway (Middlesex County), as the summer drought ranked as the #1 most impactful weather/climate events of 2022 . Photo taken by D. Robinson on August 1st, 2022.

For the 14th consecutive year, we in the state climate office have evaluated the myriad daily, monthly, and annual observations gathered across New Jersey during the course of the year to choose what we feel were the most significant and impactful 10 weather and climate events of 2022. More about each event can be found in the monthly narratives posted on our website. You might be tempted to rearrange the rankings, particularly as some of the events on the list may have affected you more than others ranked higher. Or perhaps you best recall one that didn't make the list. That's the...

An autumnal view along the Lamington River in Hacklebarney State Park on the border of Chester Twp. and Washington Twp. (Morris County). Photo by Dave Robinson.

Last month’s report spoke of how “classic” the weather was during October. November’s weather could be classified as being anything but such. The month began with perhaps the warmest first ten days of November on record in the Garden State, an interval that ranked up there with early November 2020. Then came winter-like temperatures for about ten days leading up to Thanksgiving before the month ended on a closer-to-normal note. There were only two mid-month events that brought more than an inch of rain to parts of the state, one associated with the remnants of a late-season hurricane that...

Brilliant fall foliage looking up towards High Point Monument (Sussex County) on October 22nd. Photo courtesy of Chris Stachelski.

There are years when many say that New Jersey didn’t experience “classic” fall weather. This October is not one of those years, as the month included rain, wind, and coastal flooding from the persistent remnants of a hurricane, many locations received their first frost and freezing temperatures to end the growing season, and there were days with a cloud-free deep-blue sky. October certainly showed its true fall colors. October temperatures averaged 54.1° across NJ. This is 1.3° below the 1991–2020 normal and was the coolest October since 2009. It was the 57th coolest (tied with 4 other...

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Another Dry Spring Month: April 2016 Recap

May 9, 2016 - 11:18am -- Dave Robinson

Brush fire photo

April continued a dry period that began in March. Monthly rain and melted snow totaled 2.34”. This was 1.72” below the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 20th driest April since 1895. The 4.35” March–April total was 3.94” below average and ranks as the 7th driest such interval. Unlike the abnormal warmth of March, the average April temperature of 50.7° was 0.5° below normal. This ranks as the 48th mildest on record.

Statewide snowfall averaged 0.2”, which is 0.7” below the 1981–2010 mean. The southern counties averaged 0.3” (-0.3”), central 0.0” (-0.9”), and the north 0.2” (-1.2”). The 2015–16 snow season ended with a statewide average of 28.0”. This is 4.3” above the 1981–2010 average and 1.8” above the 1895–2016 average. The north was least snowy with 26.5” (-6.5”), the central snowiest at 31.0” (+4.3”), and the south with 27.4” averaged 9.8” above normal. The January blizzard provided the bulk of the snow, well over 75% of the winter total in some locations.

Spring Warmth Arrives Early: March 2016 Recap

April 4, 2016 - 7:53pm -- Dave Robinson

Mild and dry conditions prevailed throughout the Garden State during most of March. This included record-breaking early-season warmth, only one event that dropped more than an inch of rain over multiple locations, and a few minor forest fires. There were also two episodes of measurable snow that focused on coastal counties and 11 days where winds gusted to 40 mph or higher somewhere in the state. The statewide average temperature of 46.7° was 5.6° above the 1981–2010 average. This ranks as the 6th mildest March since 1895. Precipitation averaged 2.09”. This is 2.14” below normal and ranks as the 13th driest March.

March snowfall average 2.4” across the state, which is 1.9” below average. Northern counties saw only 0.8”, which is 5.3” below normal, while the central portion of the state received 1.6” (3.3” below normal). The southern counties were the winners, averaging 0.7” above normal at 3.7”. While snow may fall in April (the morning of April 3rd saw 2.7” at Highland Lakes [Sussex County]), a look at what are likely close to the final seasonal totals includes a statewide average of 27.9”, which is 1.8” above normal. North Jersey took it on the chin, with an average of 26.3”, some 8.4” below average. Central NJ was the winner at 31.0”, 4.0” above normal. Meanwhile the south Jersey total of 27.1” exceeded that of the north, even in an absolute sense, and was 7.1” above normal.

Volatility Reigns: February 2016 and 2015/2016 Winter Recaps

March 7, 2016 - 7:10pm -- Dave Robinson

Fire photo/radar combo graphic

Much like this past January, the second month of 2016 had considerable swings and occasional extremes in temperature and precipitation. This included a brief, exceedingly cold mid-month outbreak with subzero wind chills and a late-month evening with severe thunderstorms bringing strong winds, hail, and flash flooding across NJ. A key indicator of the volatile weather pattern was the wind, which on 13 days gusted to 40 mph or higher somewhere in the state, with five of these days gusting to at least 50 mph. The statewide average temperature was 35.6°, which is 1.8° above the 1981–2010 normal. This ranks as the 19th mildest February since 1895. Precipitation (rain and melted snow) averaged 4.21”. This is 1.35” above normal and ranks as the 24th wettest. Snowfall was below normal, with a statewide average of 5.1”. This is 3.0” below normal and ranks as the 52nd least snowy of the past 122 Februaries. Northern counties tallied only 4.6” (-5.5”), the central region 6.3” (-2.7”), and the south 4.7” (-1.9”).

What Can NJ Expect from El Niño Going into Spring?

March 1, 2016 - 5:13pm -- Ariel Schabes

Spring temperature anomalies during past strong El Niños.

Following a winter of widely-varying conditions, likely in part due to the influence of the major El Niño event that has been underway since last fall, it is useful to look back at past spring weather in years that, like this year, experienced strong El Niños. While certainly not providing a definitive forecast for what we might see over the next several months, this exercise will provide some insights into what might be seen. Here, much as we have done for summer, fall, and winter we will examine the seven strongest El Niño events since 1950.

Looking first at temperature, March was warmer than average in five of the seven years, while for April and May, temperatures tended to be below to well-below average. In fact, only two of the 14 Aprils and Mays averaged more than a half-degree above average, while nine averaged a degree or more below average.

A Winter Sampler: January 2016 Recap

February 8, 2016 - 10:35am -- Dave Robinson

Snow

While average monthly temperature and precipitation (rain and melted snow) did not vary much from their long term averages, January 2016 certainly had enough of a potpourri of atmospheric conditions to satisfy (or displease) most anyone in the Garden State. Temperatures ranged from 67° to -2°, a storm deposited as much as 2.35" of rain, and a blizzard dumped record-breaking snow in several locations and caused moderate to major flooding, especially in south Jersey coastal communities.

The statewide monthly average temperature of 31.1° was 0.1° below the 1981–2010 normal and ranked as the 66th coldest since 1895. The temperature averaged 16.7° colder than the record-shattering December 2015 warmth. This is not a record for a December to January swing in temperature, nor for several other monthly pairs too, however it ranks among the largest. Precipitation averaged 3.65", which is 0.17" above normal and 44th wettest. Statewide snowfall averaged 20.0". This was 12.1" above normal and ranks as the 7th highest since 1895 and the largest since the record 23.1" total in 2011. The north received 20.4", which is 11.1" above normal and ranks 13th largest for January, 23.1" (+15.3") fell in central NJ, ranking 5th greatest for the month, and the south averaged 18.2" (+12.5") tied for the 4th highest January total.

Baked December 2015 and Annual Summary, Including the Top 10 Events of 2015

January 3, 2016 - 8:25pm -- Dave Robinson

Beach fog

New Jersey residents will long remember the last month of 2015 as one where the grass remained green, weeds grew, and a few blossoms were seen on trees and shrubs. In fact, with an average temperature of 47.8°, it was the mildest December on record by a wide margin based on records dating back to 1895. Five of the 6 mildest Decembers have occurred since 2001. The anomaly of +12.2° exceeds the +11.0° value in January 1932 as the largest positive anomaly of any month on record. The 5.6° difference between this December's average and the second mildest in 2006 is by far the largest difference between first and second warmest values of any month. The second largest margin is 2.3° between October 2007 and 1971. With 121 years of records, the difference between one ranking and the next is often a tenth to a few tenths of a degree.

December precipitation averaged 4.91" statewide. This is 1.00" above normal and ranks as 27th wettest on record. Snow and sleet fell on one occasion, with light accumulations reported in the north. The statewide 0.1" snowfall average was 5.4" below normal. While certainly on the light side, this is not too out of the ordinary. Seven Decembers since 1895 have failed to see any snow accumulate, and 12 prior Decembers had a statewide average somewhere between 0.1" to 0.5".

ONJSC's Top 10 NJ Weather and Climate Events of 2015

January 1, 2016 - 4:33pm -- Dave Robinson

Listed below is the Office of the NJ State Climatologist’s ranking of the top 10 weather and climate events of 2015. More about each event can be found in the monthly narratives posted on njclimate.org. You might be tempted to rearrange the rankings, particularly as some of the events down the list may have affected you more than others ranked higher. Or perhaps you best recall one that didn’t make the list. That’s the enjoyment (and frustration!) of lists. While there are a variety of events that made the list, the variable that more often than not took center scene in 2015 was the temperature. Be it warm or cold, the thermometer had stories to tell. Unless stated otherwise, observations are based on an average of several dozen stations. The period of record for monthly and annual departures is 1981–2010; while for extremes and rankings it is from 1895–present.

Will the Present Strong El Niño Event Have a Major Impact on New Jersey’s Weather?

December 18, 2015 - 12:24pm -- Ariel Schabes

Roughly every two to seven years, a joint ocean – atmosphere phenomenon known as “El Niño” occurs. Right now happens to be one of those times and this event is showing every indication of being one of the three strongest El Niños of the past 65 years. An El Niño is defined as the prolonged warming of sea surface temperatures (SST) over the central and eastern equatorial Pacific and associated anomalies of atmospheric variables such as winds, clouds, and precipitation. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to be categorized as an El Niño, a 3-month SST anomaly of at least 0.9°F (0.5°C) above average must be observed in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. There are related atmospheric anomalies elsewhere around the globe that are associated with conditions in the tropical Pacific. Do these anomalies extend to New Jersey, especially during a strong event? This article discusses the current El Niño episode as of mid-December and speculates as to whether NJ is already being impacted by this event and may continue to be into spring 2016.

Unseasonably Mild and Dry: November and Fall 2015 Recaps

December 4, 2015 - 4:11pm -- Dave Robinson

Sunset picture

The climatological fall season ended on a mild note, with the statewide November average temperature of 49.3° coming in at 3.7° above normal. This ranks as the 5th mildest November on record, tied with 1948. Observations go back 121 years to 1895, yet five of the nine warmest Novembers have occurred since 2001. The month had an abundance of sunny days, during what is commonly a rather cloudy time of the year. Precipitation averaged 2.33” across NJ, which is 1.31” below normal and ranks as the 41st driest November. Only two significant rain events occurred during the mid-month interval.

On Average, Rather Average, Bookended by Stormy Conditions: October 2015 Recap

November 6, 2015 - 4:58pm -- Dave Robinson

Waves picture

There were many sides to New Jersey’s October 2015 weather, however, when temperature and rainfall observations were averaged, conditions were quite close to long-term (1981–2010) means. The statewide average temperature of 54.4° was 0.4° below normal. This ranked as the 53rd coolest since 1895 (121 years). Precipitation averaged 4.17", which is 0.24" above normal and ranks as 44th wettest. October was bookended by events that dumped the vast majority of the month’s precipitation, with an extended period of very dry weather in between. This led to a continuation of moderate drought in the northeast, with nearby areas remaining abnormally dry. The late-month rain, which for the first time in many months was heaviest over the driest areas, staved off the need for any further drought deterioration, at least for the time being. The major weather event of the month extended over the first five days, when incessant onshore winds generated the worst beach erosion and back bay flooding since Sandy three years ago, though not nearly in the same ballpark of what Sandy wrought.

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