Rutgers Expert Can Discuss Near-Record February Snow, North American Snow Cover

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 9, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick climatologist David A. Robinson is available for interviews on the seventh snowiest February since 1895 in New Jersey as well as the fourth largest North American snow cover in February in 55 years.

“All told, the statewide average snowfall was 23.5 inches in February,” said Robinson, New Jersey State Climatologist and a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography in the School of Arts and Sciences. “That’s 15.3 inches above the 1991 to 2020 average and ranked as the seventh snowiest February dating back to 1895. The major storm early in February and a cavalcade of modest events throughout the remainder of the month resulted in north Jersey’s snowiest February on record and central Jersey’s second snowiest on record.”

“The northern portion received 36.9 inches, eclipsing the average by 26.7 inches,” Robinson said. “The top four totals have occurred since 2003. Central Jersey’s 32 inches was 22.9 inches above average, only topped by 34 inches in 2010. Alas, south Jersey missed out on the big storm early in the month but still came in with a respectable 12-inch total that was 5.4 inches above average and ranks as the 22nd snowiest February. Northern and central regions have already exceeded their seasonal snowfall average, while the south still remains 4 inches below that mark.”

“So far this snow season, a statewide average of 29.9 inches has fallen, exceeding the full season average by 4.7 inches,” he added. “Therefore, should not another flake fall through spring, this would rank as the 42nd snowiest season of the past 127 years.”

The “Anything but Boring: February 2021 and Winter 2020/21 Recaps” report is on the Rutgers NJ Weather Network website.

Robinson oversees the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, which includes an internationally recognized database of Northern Hemisphere snow extent throughout the satellite era.

“The cold and snowy outbreak over a good portion of the lower 48 states resulted in North American snow cover in February ranking as the fourth largest in 55 years of satellite monitoring,” he said. “Melt most often quickly occurs following southern snows, but this unusual episode left the ground covered for as much as a week over most of Texas and surrounding states.”

Robinson, who oversees the Rutgers NJ Weather Network and helps coordinate the New Jersey Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, is available to comment at [email protected]

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Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino at [email protected] 

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