Last month was the ninth-mildest January in New Jersey since they began keeping records of such things 125 years ago, experts at the Rutgers NJ Weather Network said Monday. It was also the 11th least snowiest January around here, they said.
But don't stash the shovels and snowshoes just yet.
"Despite February likely getting off to a mild start, there still remains plenty of time for snow to fall," said David A. Robinson, the New Jersey state climatologist and a distinguished professor in the Rutgers University-New Brunswick Department of Geography.
"In fact, the last three snow seasons have seen the largest monthly totals in March,” he said.
Last month's temperatures averaged 37.3 degrees – 6.6 degrees above average, Robinson said Monday.“It was also dry, with 70% of normal precipitation (rain and melted snow), ranking 26th driest on record," he said."Snowfall averaged 1.3 inches statewide, which was 5.9 inches below average," Robinson added. "The 0.1 inches of snow in South Jersey was just the third time that total or no snow accumulated in that region.”
“With cold air confined to the Arctic, most of the precipitation fell as rain, and any snow that fell melted rather quickly,” said Robinson, who oversees the Rutgers NJ Weather Network and helps coordinate the New Jersey Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. “The snow season to date has seen an average of 4.5 inches in New Jersey. This ranks as the 19th slowest start of the snow season."
Why such a mild winter so far?
“The polar vortex has remained locked over the Arctic in January, keeping the coldest air at bay," said meteorologist Steve Decker, associate teaching professor and director of the Meteorology Undergraduate Program in Rutgers' Department of Environmental Sciences.
In addition, he said, "the arrangement of thunderstorm activity in the tropics has nudged the jet stream into a configuration that has shifted the storm track to our west, putting us on the warmer side of most storms that approached our area.”ALSO SEE: Bet Against Serious Snow This Week, North Jersey Weather Expert Says
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