Annual Overview

A Mixed Bag, and A Blow Torch Year: December & Annual 2020 Recaps

January 7, 2021 - 4:43pm -- Dave Robinson

Drone photos of tidal flooding near the morning high tide on December 17th

The statewide average temperature during this last month of 2020 averaged 37.0°. This was 1.8° above the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 22nd mildest December in the 126-year record that dates back to 1895. Northern and southern portions of NJ had similar departures and rankings.

December precipitation (rain and the liquid equivalent of snow and sleet) averaged 6.24”. This includes rain measured at National Weather Service Cooperative Observing stations on the morning of December 1st but does not include rain measured at these stations for the 24 hours ending on the morning of January 1st. See an explanation of the November 30th–December 1st measurement in the November report. The monthly value is 2.39” above average and ranks as the 11th highest December precipitation total on record. North Jersey averaged 6.73”, which is 2.78” above average and ranks 7th wettest. The south came in at 5.89”, which is 2.10” above average and ranks 17th wettest. The coast averaged 6.43”, which is 2.67” above average and ranks 11th wettest.

Winter Arrives Up North, Not So Much in the South, and Another Mild and Wet Year: December and 2019 Annual Recaps, Including Top 10 Events

January 7, 2020 - 5:22pm -- Dave Robinson

Freezing rain photo

There were multiple faces to December weather around the Garden State. Regionally, the north received above-average snowfall, several episodes of freezing rain, and over two weeks of snow cover, particularly at higher elevations. Central and southern areas saw less snow than average and temperatures a little milder than normal compared to up north. There was also a notable difference between the first and second halves of the month, with the first being stormy and the second having just one storm.

Despite a wintry start to the month, the statewide average temperature of 36.3° was 1.1° above the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 29th mildest since 1895 (tied with 2016). The north portion of the state averaged 33.1° (+0.4°), the south 38.2° (+1.6°), and the coast 39.4° (+1.7°). Despite a rather dry second half, the 5.56” of rain and melted snowfall averaged across the state was 1.71” above average, ranking as the 19th wettest (tied with 2012). The coast was wettest, averaging 6.09” (+2.33”), followed by the south with 5.60” (+1.81”), and then the north with 5.44” (+1.49”). Snowfall averaged 3.2”, which was 1.6” below average. The north came in with 8.0”, or 1.4” more than average, while the central area had 3.4” (-2.0”) and the south 0.5” (-3.1”).

A Fitting Finale: December 2018 Recap and Annual Summary, including the Top 10 Events of 2018

January 7, 2019 - 1:58pm -- Dave Robinson

Rainy street

It is appropriate that the weather of last month of 2018 was rather similar to many earlier months in the year. Statewide, precipitation was above average for the 10th month of 2018 and the temperature was above average for the 8th month. This resulted in the year being the wettest on record and the 11th warmest since statewide observations began being calculated in 1895.

December precipitation totaled 5.38”. This is 1.53” above the 1981–2010 average and ranks as the 20th wettest (tied with 2007). Snowfall averaged 1.0”, which is 3.9” below average and the 31st least snowy December since 1895. The only notable snowfall was across a swath of south Jersey on the 5th, leading to a south Jersey monthly average of 1.7”. This is 1.9” below average and ranks as the 55th least snowy December. Northern counties averaged 0.6” for the month, some 6.0” below average and ranking 19th least snowy. Central counties came in without any measurable snowfall. This is 5.5” below average and joins ten other Decembers of the past 124 years without measurable snow, four of which have been this century (2001, 2006, 2011, and 2015).

The average statewide temperature was 37.5°. This is 2.3° above the 1981–2010 average and ranks as the 18th mildest December of the past 124 years (tied with 1972 and 1991).

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".

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.

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