This morning was a frosty one, with many NJWxNet locations across the state seeing their first freezing temperatures of the season. The accompanying map shows that most every location away from coastal and urban environs dipped to the freezing point or lower. Walpack (Sussex County), the traditional cold spot in NJ on calm clear nights, was the coldest spot at 24°. Atlantic City Marina (Atlantic) and Lower Alloways Creek, along the Delaware Bay coast in Salem County, were mildest, with lows of 46°. All other NJWxNet sites were no milder than 42°. One of the more interesting cold readings was the 32° minimum at Jersey City (Hudson). This station is located in Liberty State Park, demonstrating that even parkland within urban regions can get awfully chilly on calm, clear nights. However, it is a bit surprising to see this low, given that the station is quite close to the waters of NY Harbor.
There were many sides to New Jersey’s October 2015 weather, however, when temperature and rainfall observations were averaged, conditions were quite close to long-term (1981–2010) means. The statewide average temperature of 54.4° was 0.4° below normal. This ranked as the 53rd coolest since 1895 (121 years). Precipitation averaged 4.17", which is 0.24" above normal and ranks as 44th wettest. October was bookended by events that dumped the vast majority of the month’s precipitation, with an extended period of very dry weather in between. This led to a continuation of moderate drought in the northeast, with nearby areas remaining abnormally dry. The late-month rain, which for the first time in many months was heaviest over the driest areas, staved off the need for any further drought deterioration, at least for the time being. The major weather event of the month extended over the first five days, when incessant onshore winds generated the worst beach erosion and back bay flooding since Sandy three years ago, though not nearly in the same ballpark of what Sandy wrought.
While cooler conditions took some time to arrive in New Jersey this fall, once here they locked in for the most part, as the November average temperature of 41.9° was 3.7° below the 1981-2010 average. This ranks as the 24th coolest November of the past 120 years. November precipitation (rain and melted snow) averaged 4.58" across the state. This is 0.94" above average and ranks as 31st wettest. On two occasions measurable snow was reported in northern and central areas, with these regions, respectively, picking up 4.6" and 1.9" on average for the month, with over a foot accumulating at higher elevations. Despite no snow accumulating in the south, the statewide average was 1.7", which is 1.3" above average. It is only the second November to average above an inch since 1995, the other in 2012. A Thanksgiving eve storm delivered a white Thanksgiving to central and northern counties.
At 3:40 AM this morning, Tuesday September 24, the temperature at the NJ Weather and Climate Network (NJWxNet) SafetyNet station in Walpack (Sussex County) fell to 32°. This marks the first freezing observation of the fall season at a New Jersey location. With dense cold air draining from the surrounding hillsides, this northwest valley location is commonly amongst the coldest locations in the 56-station NJWxNet constellation. The Walpack temperature vacillated between a minimum of 31° and 32° the rest of the night until climbing to 33° at 6:45. Walpack had previously fallen to a summer minimum of 33° this month on September 17th and 18th.
Other chilly locations this morning include Pequest (Warren) 33°, Basking Ridge (Somerset) 35°, and nine other NJWxNet stations between 37°-39°. Meanwhile, coastal stations at Harvey Cedars (Ocean) and West Cape May (Cape May) were the mildest locations at 49°.