Snow, temperatures neared historic levels in March in New Jersey

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For three weeks, Wildwood Crest became snow capital of New Jersey while one of the most disruptive winters in recent memory continued to deliver cold and possibly historic weather, a leading state climatologist says./R.J. Liberatore Jr. For three weeks, Wildwood Crest became snow capital of New Jersey while one of the most disruptive winters in recent memory continued to deliver cold and possibly historic weather, a leading state climatologist says./R.J. Liberatore Jr.

For three weeks, Wildwood Crest became the snow capital of New Jersey while one of the most disruptive winters in recent memory continued to deliver cold and possibly historic weather, a leading state climatologist says.

Snowy South Jersey in March

A rather remarkable and persistent storm track and the colder-than-average temperatures resulted in the southern half of the state being blanketed with moderate to heavy snow on three occasions, said David A. Robinson, New Jersey State climatologist, with Rutgers University.

Wildwood Crest received a year’s worth of snow  21.8 inches  for the month, Robinson said in issuing the March 2014 climate summary, which was released Monday, April 7.

Sea Isle City caught 20.8 inches of snow, and Woodbine got 20.6 inches.

In Atlantic County, Estell Manor received 17.1 inches of snow and Egg Harbor Township got 17.1 inches, Robinson said.

“In addition to hefty totals in Cape May and Atlantic counties, over 10 inches fell over much of Cumberland, Salem, Gloucester, Ocean and Burlington counties,” Robinson said. “Less than a half an inch (of snow) accumulated north of a line through central Mercer, southern Middlesex, and northern Monmouth counties.

Cold weather continued in March 2014

Besides being snowy, March was unusually cold, Robinson said.

“The statewide average monthly temperature of 35.3 degrees was 5.8 degrees below normal,” Robinson said. “Thus March ranked as the 11th coldest since statewide records commenced in 1895.”

By comparison, 1916 was the coldest March on record. The temperature averaged 31.3 degrees, according to information provided by Robinson. The coldest in recent memory was March 1960, when the temperature averaged 31.7 degrees. The most recent coldest March was in 1984, when the temperature averaged 35.1 degrees.

Winter's cold temperatures neared 20-year lows

A continued winter chill that began in December has sent the December-to-March average temperature readings for New Jersey to the lowest level in 20 years, Robinson said.

New Jersey’s average temperature of 31.9 degrees for the period was 3.5 degrees below the 1981-2000 normal and 2.3 degrees below the 1895-2014 normal.

“Even more impressive is the 30.4 degree January-March average, which is the 10th coldest start of a year on record and the coldest since 1978, and before that, 1940,” he said. “The 12 months ending with March is the coolest such interval (52.2 degrees) since February 2003-January 2004.”

March had its warm moments, however

Despite the cold, there were some mild afternoons scattered throughout the month.

“However, the warmth was always quite fleeting,” Robinson said.

The temperature in Egg Harbor City reached 61 degrees on March 8 and 69 degrees on March 11.

Red Lion in Burlington County scored the state’s highest temperature in March, bursting the mercury at 71 degrees on March 12.

In Cape May County, Woodbine and Greenwich reached 65 degrees on March 15, Robinson said.

 

 


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