Rutgers Experts Available to Discuss Winter’s Snow Drought in N.J.

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 2, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick experts are available to discuss New Jersey’s mild weather so far this winter.

That includes February, which was the third mildest February since record-keeping began in New Jersey in 1895 and tied with 1998 as least snowy, according to preliminary data.

February’s average temperature of 39.2 degrees was 5.7 degrees above the 1981 to 2010 average and followed the eighth mildest January on record, according to David A. Robinson, the New Jersey State Climatologist and a distinguished professor in the Department of Geography in the School of Arts and Sciences. February 2017 and 2018 ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in terms of warmth.

“Snowflakes were hard to find in February,” according to Robinson, who oversees the Rutgers NJ Weather Network and helps coordinate the New Jersey Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. “The statewide average snowfall of 0.2 inches was 7.8 inches below the 1895 to 2019 average, tying with 1998 as the least snowy February on record.”

During meteorological winter (December through February), the temperature averaged 37.7 degrees, or 4.5 degrees above average, making it the sixth warmest on record, according to preliminary data. The ranking could drop to seventh when the data are finalized, Robinson said.

New Jersey averaged 4.7 inches of snow from December through February – 16.3 inches below average, he said. It is the fourth least snowy meteorological winter on record behind 1918-19 (2.7 inches), 1991-92 (3.3 inches) and 1972-73 (3.8 inches).

Meteorologist Steve Decker, associate teaching professor and director of the Meteorology Undergraduate Program in the Department of Environmental Sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, said: “Although a snow event or two cannot be entirely ruled out (especially in the northwest part of the state) later this winter or in early spring, current forecasts suggest the most likely outcome is for our snow drought to continue.”

Robinson is available to comment at david.robinson@rutgers.edu or 848-445-4741.

Decker is available to comment at decker@envsci.rutgers.edu

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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 neal.buccino@echo.rutgers.edu

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