Central Jersey snow frustration

March 22, 2013 - 12:18pm -- Dave Robinson

While winter snow has almost accumulated to the seasonal average here in central New Jersey, time and time again it seems as if our area has been left short in the snow department. This atmospheric nickel and diming has included a number of times when areas to the south accumulated more snow, and occasions, as often expected, when locations to the north were the "winners".

Looking at this number-wise, to date, there have been 16 events this season that have deposited 2 or more inches of the white stuff at one or more location across NJ (see the list of totals here). This is based on reports primarily provided NJ CoCoRaHS observers and National Weather Service spotters. As many as 200 observations are received following larger state-wide events, while a localized event will see a dozen or two reports of measured snowfall along with 100 or more CoCoRaHS reports of no snow having fallen.

The largest snowfall for each of the 16 events has been compared to snow observed in Hillsborough, a southern Somerset County township situated quite close to the center of the state. To date, Hillsborough has received 25.7" of snow, which is only several inches below average for an entire season. Thus it isn't as if snow hasn't fallen. However, on every occasion, Hillsborough has received less than half the snowfall measured at the top "producer" in the state. Of course, with reports from so many stations one wouldn't expect a particular station to have the highest total all that often. However at a station in the middle of the state one would on some occasions certainly expect to see "healthier" percentages compared to the top value.

Of the 16 events, 4 times Hillsborough received a trace of snow or none at all. Twice the location caught 9% of the largest total in the state, once 13%, with 20%, 24%, 27%, 30%, 32%, 40% (twice), 42% and 47% rounding out the rankings. That's correct, in 12 of the 16 events Hillsborough received less than one third of the highest total. Adding insult to injury, on 6 occasions a location to the south of Hillsborough received the most snow, while 9 times the top total was to the north, and, painfully for a snow lover, one time stations to the north and south tied for the highest total.

Can winter produce one last event that puts central Jersey closer to the winner's column? Stay tuned…