Wild temps, drought, and a few big storms: NJ’s top weather stories of 2022
As another calendar year comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the weather and climate events that transpired here in the great Garden State. Now only because it is cathartic and educational. But more so because it is time to compile my annual list of the top weather stories of 2022.
In 2021, the list — a whopping top 15 — was dominated by flooding caused by Ida and numerous tornadoes. 2020's countdown highlighted New Jersey's hottest month ever recorded. For some reason, I skipped 2019.
2018 was an incredibly wet year. And for 2017, I declared the solar eclipse to be the biggest weather-related buzz of the year.
Putting together a list of 2022's big meteorological happenings was far less clear cut than past years. But I came up with a top eight. (Plus one bonus entry, featuring a prominent anniversary that just passed.)
One important note: This list is not necessarily limited to the "biggest storms" of the year. It's the biggest weather stories. The headlines that we cared about. Stretches of nice weather can make the cut. As can droughts, heat waves, cold snaps, etc. Important climate events are there too. The final list is admittedly totally subjective. Inclusion and ranking are based on how impactful, newsworthy, memorable, and/or widespread an individual event was for all/part of the Garden State.
I owe a very special thanks to my friend, colleague, and mentor Dr. Dave Robinson, the State Climatologist of New Jersey. His office runs the NJ Weather Network, a system of 60+ weather stations throughout the state. And he produces incredibly helpful, comprehensive narrative recaps for every month and season.
Additional data and statistics contained here come from the National Weather Service offices in Mt. Holly and Upton, the Storm Prediction Center, the National Hurricane Center, and the National Centers for Environmental Information's Storm Events Database.
Hot and cold. Snow and ice. Tornadoes, heat, drought, and a hurricane. Let's dive in...