Monthly Summaries

A Little of This, a Little of That/Mild and Damp: May/Spring 2024 Recaps

June 7, 2024 - 5:08pm -- Dave Robinson

A rainbow (note a slight double rainbow) early on the evening of May 15th, looking east from Shawnee, PA, across the Delaware River with the NJ Kittatinny Ridge in the background (photo courtesy of Erin Daly).

As spring turns to summer, all in Jersey can be pleased that water supplies are in good shape. Also, while it took some time to become established, by late May, warmer temperatures brought out summer wardrobes. Spring (March–May) conditions will be covered later in this report, but first a look at May. As the title of the monthly portion of this narrative suggests, May 2024 never established a consistent atmospheric pattern. There were plenty of episodes where light to moderate showers dotted the state, but never a broad soaker. Temperatures fluctuated on a weekly basis, without a persistent leaning until warmth prevailed later in the month. Put it all together and May ended on a green note born of somewhat below-normal precipitation and above-normal temperatures. The statewide average temperature of 63.9° was 2.7° above the 1991–2020 normal. This ranks as the 11th mildest May dating back to 1895. This anomaly was driven by elevated minimum temperatures that averaged 54.0° which is 3.8° above normal and ranks as the 4th warmest on record. This no doubt due to persistent nighttime cloud cover. The average high temperature of 73.7° was 1.4° above normal, ranking 35th warmest. The northern climate division averaged 63.0° (+3.1°, 7th warmest). Across the southern division the average temperature was 64.5° (+2.3°, 13th warmest). The coastal division averaged 63.1° (+2.1°, 11th warmest).

In the End...Rather Normal: April 2024 Recap

May 7, 2024 - 7:32pm -- Dave Robinson

Cherry Blossom trees in full bloom at Branch Brook Park in Newark (Essex County) on April 10th. Photo by Tariq Zehawi/

You would never have guessed it by looking at most days, with some wet, some dry, some warm, some cold, but put it all together and a rather normal April temperature- and precipitation-wise emerged from quite a variety of days and weeks. This is often the case during a transitional month (mid-fall or mid-spring), but this month took it to a bit of an extreme. Toss in a partial solar eclipse and an earthquake and it was quite the month for all who enjoy observing our fascinating world and solar system.

April precipitation averaged 4.14” across New Jersey. This is 0.44” above the 1991–2020 normal and ranks as the 42nd wettest of records dating back to 1895. Generally, the north received more rain than the south. The north climate division averaged 4.59” (+0.69”, 40th wettest), south division 3.89” (+0.31”, 48th wettest), and coastal division 3.65” (+0.10”, 61st wettest).

The year-to-date precipitation (rain and melted frozen precipitation) is 19.86”. This is 5.61” above normal and ranks as the 5th wettest January–April period on record. The top total is 22.98” in 1983 and the second through four wettest occurred in 1979, 1958, and 1953. The past 12 months have seen a state average 56.98” of precipitation, which is the 6th wettest of all such May–April periods dating back to 1895.

The Lion Roars: March 2024 Recap

April 5, 2024 - 8:04pm -- Dave Robinson

Looking south from Island Beach State Park toward Long Beach Island and the Barnegat Lighthouse on March 20th (photo by Dave Robinson).

So much for March flipping from lion to lamb or vice versa. March 2024 was often a lion throughout, with frequent roaring winds and multiple rain events producing a near-record monthly precipitation total and occasional flooding. The first half of the month ran at a record-warm pace, the monthly average later to be tempered by a second half that was cooler than the first. Still, the month emerged as the 9th mildest on record. Befitting the overall mild conditions, snowfall was scarce to non-existent.

Winds gusted to 35 mph or higher at one or more Rutgers NJ Weather Network (NJWxNet) station on 16 days, exceeding 40 mph on 11 of those days. Precipitation (rain and the water equivalent of the very little snow that fell) averaged 7.76” across the state. This is 3.56” above the 1991–2020 normal and ranks as the third wettest March since records commenced in 1895. The northwest was least wet with 6.00”–7.00” falling. Totals increased to the southeast where near coastal areas received 9.00”–10.00”. The northern climate division averaged 7.01” (+3.00, 6th wettest), the southern division 8.15” (+3.83”, 3rd wettest), and the coastal division 8.98” (+4.56, 2nd wettest).

The statewide average March temperature was 46.0°. This is 5.0° above normal and ranks as the 9th mildest of the past 130 years. The average high temperature of 55.6° was 4.7° above normal and ranks 10th mildest. The average low of 36.3° was 5.1° above normal and ranks 4th mildest. The northern division averaged 43.9° (+5.1°, 9th mildest), southern division 47.2° (+4.8°, 8th mildest), and coastal division 47.0° (+4.8°, 7th mildest).

Lost Winter: February 2024 & Winter 2023/2024 Recaps

March 7, 2024 - 5:34pm -- Dave Robinson

Sunset at Colonial Park in Franklin Township (Somerset County) on February 15th (photo by Dave Robinson).

Perhaps the title of this report is a bit overstated when it comes to February weather conditions, but not by all that much. However, like much of the coterminous United States, it applies rather appropriately to the December 2023–February 2024 winter. New Jersey’s winter conditions follow at the end of this report, with February discussed first.

February 2024 was on the dry side. In fact, the statewide average precipitation (rain and melted snow) of 1.55” was 1.31” below the 1991–2020 normal and ranks as the 12th driest since records began in 1895. The northern climate division averaged 1.68” (-1.11”, 12th driest), the southern division 1.47” (-1.42”, 10th driest), and the coastal division 1.44” (-1.63”, 7th driest).

February snowfall averaged 7.9” across NJ. This was just 0.3” below normal, ranking as the 51st snowiest since 1895. The North snow division averaged 12.4” (+2.1", 40th snowiest), Central 12.4" (+3.3", 36th snowiest), and South 3.2" (-3.5", 58th least snowy). The vast majority of the snow fell in two events four days apart, with mild temperatures that soon followed prohibiting the snow cover for sticking around for too long.

In fact, mild days outnumbered cold ones during February, leading to a monthly statewide average of 37.0°, which was 3.1° above normal and ranks as the 14th mildest on record. The statewide average daily high temperature of 46.3° was 3.2° above normal and ranks 16th mildest. The daily minimum of 27.8° was 3.2° above normal, ranking 9th mildest. The north averaged 34.9° (+3.6°, 12th mildest), south 38.3° (+2.8°, 16th mildest), and coast 38.4° (+2.4°, 16th mildest).

Take Your Pick: January 2024 Recap

February 6, 2024 - 8:52pm -- Dave Robinson

An ice-encased walkway and railings generated from spray from Great Falls (background) in Paterson (Passaic County) during the cold January outbreak (photo courtesy of Liz Reilly).

The first month of 2024 provided a potpourri of weather happenings, including excessive rainfall and flooding, multiple snowfalls, frequent strong winds, frigid days, occasional warmth, and culminating with persistent dismal (aka damp, cloudy) conditions. Something for anyone or perhaps not favored conditions for most people. Totaling up the multiple precipitation episodes, this month emerged as the 6th wettest January on record dating back to 1895. It was the wettest January in 25 years and follows this past December, which was the wettest on record. The statewide 6.39” of rain and melted snow was 2.90” above the 1991–2020 normal. The northern climate division averaged 6.70” (+3.20”, 5th wettest), the southern division 6.18” (+2.71”, 7th wettest), and the coastal division 6.48” (+2.97”, 6th wettest).

January snowfall averaged 7.0” across NJ. This is just 0.2” below normal and ranks as the 53rd snowiest January of the past 130 years. Snow divisions include the north, which averaged 8.9” (-0.5”, 52nd snowiest), central coming in with 5.9” (-1.8”, 65th snowiest), and south with 6.6” (+0.9”, 43rd snowiest).

Temperatures fluctuated throughout the month, ultimately averaging 34.7° statewide. This was 3.0° above normal and ranks as the 20th mildest January. The north averaged 32.3° (+3.4°, 17th mildest), south 36.1° (+2.7°, 22nd mildest), and coast 36.9° (+2.5°, 24th mildest). The statewide average maximum of 42.0° was 1.7° above normal, ranking as the 30th warmest. The statewide average minimum of 27.4° was 4.2° above normal, ranking 16th mildest.

The Wet Bandits Strike/Warmth with Precipitation Indecision: December/Annual 2023 Report

January 5, 2024 - 11:31am -- Dave Robinson

Flooding from the nearby Pompton River in Wayne (Passaic County) on December 19th, 2023. Photo by Julian Leshay/NJ Advance Media.

It was a wet December, of this there is no doubt. In fact, it was New Jersey’s wettest 12th month on record, dating back to 1895. On multiple occasions, rainfall arrived in multiple-inch increments, leading to episodes of minor to major stream and river flooding. Though hardly maliciously, Mother Nature certainly left the tap flowing far too long and often!

Monthly rainfall (with a little melted snowfall added to the mix in some locations) averaged 8.20” across the state (Figure 1). This was 3.93” above the 1991–2020 normal and was 0.33” above the previous wettest December in 1996 (Table 1). Precipitation averaged 8.51” (+4.26”, 3rd wettest) in the northern climate division (Hunterdon-Somerset-Union northward), 8.02” (+3.74”, 2nd wettest) over the southern division (Mercer-Middlesex-Monmouth mostly southward), and 7.88” (+3.52”, 2nd wettest) in the coastal division (generally east of the Garden State Parkway from Monmouth to Cape May).

Waiting and Wondering/On Average: November/Fall 2023 Recaps

December 6, 2023 - 7:10pm -- Dave Robinson

Steam rising from the cooling tower at the Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lower Alloways Creek Township (Salem County) on the afternoon of November 11th.

The dry first three weeks of November kept everyone waiting and wondering if a record dry month might be at hand along with increasing drought concerns. To the rescue came two rain events on the 21st–22nd and 26th to bring the monthly average precipitation to a rather respectable total. The statewide average of 2.68” was 0.68” below normal, ranking 52nd driest of the past 129 Novembers. Unlike recent months, it was the coastal northern counties that were driest, while the central north was wettest. The northern division (Hunterdon-Somerset-Union counties northward) averaged 2.92” (-0.55”, 50th driest), the southern division (Mercer-Middlesex-Monmouth counties southward, except along the coast) 2.56” (-0.73”, 53rd driest), and the coastal division (roughly the Garden State Parkway to the coast) 2.24” (-1.10”, 42nd driest).

Snowflakes were seen in a few northern locations on the 1st, a dusting occurred at higher elevations at the start of the 21st–22nd rain event, and flurries and a few measurable dustings from squalls occurred on the 28th. Despite the scattered dustings, regionally and statewide records show an absence of accumulation. This is 0.5” below normal but has been seen in 52 of the previous 128 Novembers.

Tranquility: October 2023 Recap

November 6, 2023 - 9:14pm -- Dave Robinson

Fall colors surrounding Lake Wapalanne at the NJ School of Conservation on October 25th. The Sandyston (Sussex County) NJWxNet station sits nearby on school grounds. (Photo courtesy of Nick Stefano).

Foggy mornings, clear days, four modest rain events, and most locations yet registering a fall freeze. This all speaks to a rather quiet weather October, thus the title of this report. The rather dry conditions resulted in statewide monthly precipitation averaging just 2.16”. This was 2.03” below normal and ranked as the 32nd driest October since records commenced in 1895. Under an inch fell in the southwest, while only the northeast and northern coast saw totals close to or above normal. The northern climate division averaged 3.06” (-1.39”, 56th driest), southern division 1.57” (-2.46”, 17th driest), and coastal division 2.00” (-2.09”, 30th driest).

As a result of above-normal temperatures to begin and end the month, the statewide average temperature of 58.2° was 2.8° above normal, ranking 9th warmest (tied with 2019). Every other October since 2017 sits in the top 10. The northern division averaged 56.4° (+3.1°, 9th warmest), southern 59.2° (+2.7°, 12th warmest), and coastal 60.2° (+2.6°, 11th warmest).

Turn! Turn! Turn!: September 2023 Recap

October 9, 2023 - 2:32pm -- Dave Robinson

Flooding of Wesley Lake on the border of Asbury Park and Ocean Grove (Monmouth County) on September 29th. Submerged cars are located on aptly named Lake Avenue. (Photo courtesy of S. Isk).

Fall and spring months are considered to be seasonal transition ones. At times, the change of season takes place rather slowly. Then there are months like this past September when the turn is quite abrupt. September 2023 began with the hottest day and week of 2023. Several rainy periods, some with severe storms, ensued as temperatures began to decline and Hurricane Lee, while remaining far offshore, brought rough surf and some clouds to NJ. Soon after came chilly conditions with the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia twice bringing heavy rain into portions of the state and over a week of minor to occasional moderate coastal flooding at times of high tide.

Statewide, the average temperature of 68.1° was 1.2° above the 1991–2020 normal. This ranked as the 16th warmest September since records commenced in 1895. The average high temperature was 77.4°, which 0.2° above normal and ranks 35th warmest. The average low temperature of 58.8° was 2.2° above normal, ranking 8th warmest. The northern climate division averaged 65.8° above (+0.9°, 21st warmest), southern +69.5° (+1.4°, 14th warmest), and coastal 69.9° above (+1.2°, 14th warmest).

September rainfall was excessive, with the southwest and northwest the driest regions of the state yet averaging above the statewide 30-year normal. The wettest area was along the northern coast with rainfall as much as 3 to 4 times above the climatological mean. Statewide, September precipitation averaged 7.55”, which is 3.39” above normal and ranks as the 9th wettest. The northern division averaged 7.73” (+3.27”, 11th wettest), southern 7.38” (+3.39”, 11th wettest), and coastal 8.01” (+4.12”, 3rd wettest).

Is That All There Is?/Dodging Extremes, With a Few Exceptions: August/Summer 2023 Recaps

September 7, 2023 - 6:45pm -- Dave Robinson

The confluence of the Raritan and Millstone Rivers as seen from the Delaware-Raritan Canal Towpath in Franklin Township (Somerset County) on August 20th. Photo by Dave Robinson.

It is not as if August 2023 was devoid of strong thunderstorms that produced locally heavy rain and three minor tornadoes. There were also some hot and humid days and even a few days with smoke high aloft, a rather persistent feature of this summer’s weather (more on this in earlier June and July recaps and the summer summary later in this report). However, with temperatures a bit below normal and statewide rainfall leaning that way too, it just was not a particularly notable August in the weather/climate department. Mind you, most folks hardly complained of 90° maximum temperatures being rather scarce, there being no soaking tropical system, and, for the most part, fine weather for outdoor activities.

Statewide, the average temperature of 72.9° was 0.7° below the 1991–2020 normal. This ranked as the 48th warmest August of the past 129, but the coolest since 2017. Three of the past four months have been below normal, something not accomplished since January, March, and April 2018. The average high of 82.4° was 1.4° below normal, ranking 60th warmest. The low of 63.4° was 0.1° above normal, raking 31st warmest. The northern climate division averaged 70.7° (-1.2°, 53rd warmest), the southern division 74.2° (-0.4°, 46th warmest), and coastal division 74.5° (-0.2°, 38th warmest).

Precipitation averaged 4.03” across NJ, which is 0.54” below normal and ranks as 61st driest (68th wettest) since 1895. There was a north/south difference in rainfall, with the north averaging 5.02” (+0.46”, 41st wettest/89th driest), the south 3.45” (-1.12”, 49th driest/81st wettest), and coastal NJ 3.14” (-1.46”, 42nd driest/88th wettest).


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