Will NJ get any snow this winter? Just wait until March
If you’re a big fan of winter, you are probably not thrilled with the warmer than normal temperatures and the small amount of snow in New Jersey over the past few months.
According to Rutgers University-based state climatologist Dave Robinson, the average temperature so far this month has been 37.6 degrees, about 6 degrees warmer than normal.
“January looks like it’s going to go down as the 8th warmest January and we have records in New Jersey back to 1895," he said.
As far as snowfall is concerned, Robinson said statewide 1.3 inches has fallen this month, which is the 11th least snowy January in 125 years.
The state as a whole is averaging 4.5 inches so far this season, which is 8.5 inches below normal.
“It’s far from unprecedented but it’s something you don’t see more than every 10 or 15 years," he said.
While it has been a mild winter, Robinson said don’t assume the trend will continue. Since 2017, every March has been the snowiest month of that year's snow season.
“Don’t let your guard down. Don’t put away the shovel, don’t put away the plows: There’s still plenty of time to pop a few snowstorms as we go through the latter half of winter.”
Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow agrees.
“There's still plenty of time left for some snow,” he said. “Especially considering March can be a violent month for winter storms.”
He said examples include the Blizzard of 1993 and the "quadruple nor'easters" of March 2018.
But for New Jersey to be transformed into a winter wonderland, Zarrow said “we need two important things to happen: an intrusion of cold air paired with a change in our overall weather pattern that is more conducive to snow and ice storm systems.”
“Our current technology and understanding of the science of meteorology allows us to see significant snow threats about five to seven days in advance, with forecast details like timing and totals falling in line once we're within two to three days," he said. "So it's totally possible that conditions change dramatically within the span of a week. Winter ain't over yet!”
When it comes to overall precipitation for our rivers, streams and reservoirs, Robinson said “we have been a little on the low side" with a dry September, November and January.
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