Weather pattern ‘uncertain’ as we head into March
The roller-coaster ride that has been this winter rolls into March Tuesday, with a lot of uncertainty ahead.
"This has been, in many respects, a typical strong El Nino winter. We had a lot of volatility," Dave Robinson, the State Climatologist at Rutgers said.
Robinson said when there is a lot of energy in the atmosphere, the story that it tells is one of constant variation.
According to Robinson, after a record December, temperatures and precipitation went back and forth in January and February. He said although it's been unusually mild the past few days, "we should not give up on winter quite yet."
Robinson said climatologically, the last day of March is on average, 10 degrees warmer than the first day of March.
March can be something of a dice throw. Robinson said we have had a number of nasty snowstorms in March in the past. There is the 1993 storm, and of course, what he calls, "the grandaddy of them all," the blizzard of 1888, which has not been surpassed in terms of the amount of snow and the ferocity of the winter.
"Even last winter, we had one of the larger snow events of the winter, a winter that had a number of moderate snow events, and that occurred on March 5. And then the first day of spring, we had upwards of 4 to 6 inches of snow in parts of the state," Robinson said. "We escaped the snow in February. Statewide, we averaged about 5 inches, and that is about 5 inches below average."
He said despite the fact that November and December were snowless, and February was below-average in the snow department, it just took that one storm in January to bring most of the state close to average.
Robinson said the average temperature in February was 35.4 degrees, 1.6 degrees above average and is the 21st-warmest of the last 122 Februarys. As far as precipitation, he said we had 4.17 inches on average. That is 1.31 inches above normal, and ranks as the 24th-wettest February on record.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor at New Jersey 101.5.