Snowy Winter, But Could Be Worse [AUDIO]
It's only the end of January, and Tuesday's snowfall made some New Jersey areas already reach their average seasonal totals. It wouldn't be wise to complain about the snow, though, because the state has had it much worse.
New Jersey state climatologist David Robinson pointed to the winters of 1993-94 and 1995-96 as prime examples of a "worst-case scenario." A series of ice storms in early 1994 was followed by a white-out February; some school districts canceled classes for more than two weeks. Two winters later, New Jersey experienced its snowiest winter on record -- approximately 75 inches of snow, compared to the normal 25. Every month from November to April saw above-average snowfall.
Prior to Tuesday's snow event, New Jersey's average snowfall was running in the 10-to-12-inch range.
"We still have February, which has the potential of being equally as snowy as January in a climatologic sense," Robinson said. "And then, climatologically, March can be as snowy as December."
Robinson said this winter so far should be known for its "extremes" -- big swings between mild and bitterly-cold temperatures. However, New Jersey seems to be locked into a consistently cold stretch through the end of the month.
"Any time you're going to get a storm threat during that time, there's going to be the possibility of snow," Robinson explained.
He said the days ahead should definitely make January 2014 rank "well below average" in temperature for New Jersey. December's temperatures averaged above normal.