Spring has officially arrived (it begins March 20), and if you were wondering, the just-completed winter season was not terribly harsh for most Garden State residents.

According to Rutgers University-based New Jersey state climatologist Dave Robinson, the winter of 2021-2022 is going in the books as “on the mild and dry side, flip-flopping with more snow in the south, and gratefully no major coastal storms that resulted in major flooding and major beach erosion.”

Not a lot of shivering

He said for what are usually the three coldest months of the year — December, January and February — it was more than 1 degree above normal.

“December was the 3rd warmest on record going back to 1895, and the winter as a whole was the 16th warmest in the last 128 years, and that certainly has continued into March.”

He pointed out depending on where you live in the state, it was wasn’t very snowy or it was quite snowy.

“The southeastern part of the state had more snow than the northwestern part of the state. Atlantic county is going to be the snow capital of New Jersey for the winter.”

He noted one major storm, on Jan. 3, socked South Jersey but “nothing got much north of 195, really the Atlantic City Expressway.”

Could it still snow?

New Jersey 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said even though spring has sprung, “it’s absolutely still possible that we see snow or frosts or freezes but the threat of a big winter storm burying us. The bread-and-milk kind of thing, that’s over for the year at this point.”

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He said the reason is “it just gets very hard for big snowstorms to actually form, the sun angle is too high, the days are too long and too warm.”

Don't waste water

Robinson said the winter season did not see much precipitation of any kind in many parts of the state, and right now “the southern quarter of New Jersey, quarter to a third, has been classified in the National Drought Monitor as D-1, which is moderate drought.”

He also pointed out much of the rest of the state is D-0, which means abnormally dry.

He said an evaluation by the Department of Environmental Protection shows groundwater levels and stream flows are below normal.

Robinson noted reservoir levels are listed as average right now, but this is the time of year they should be filling up, which is not happening, so we need to be careful with water use moving forward.

“We finished 2021 with November-December combined being the driest November-December on record.”

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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2022 Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge photos

More than 6,000 people took the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 26, 2022 to raise more than $2 million for the Special Olympics New Jersey.

Best coffee shops & cafes near NJ beaches

When it comes to food, New Jersey is known for many things such as pizza and pork roll. Don't count us out when it comes to coffee.

With all the hustle and bustle involved in the average New Jersey resident's day, coffee is essential. It doesn't matter whether you're living in the cities of North Jersey or the vacation spots at the shore.

In fact, as the former owner of two Jersey shore coffee houses, Coffee Dot Comedy in Sea Isle City and the Daily Grind in Ocean Grove, I know firsthand how much people at the Jersey shore love their coffee.

With respect to that, I asked my social media following where the best coffee houses at the Jersey Shore were, especially since my two places no longer exist.

Below is what they came up with. (And see this other article for their coffee shop and cafe recommendations for Central Jersey.)

The Ultimate Guide to New Jersey Brewpubs

From the website that gave you the "Friendliest bars" and places to watch the game, comes the ultimate guide to New Jersey brewpubs.

So what's a "brew pub"?

According to Thompson Island's Article on the differences between a craft brewery, microbrewery, brewpub & gastropub, it says:
 
"A brewpub is a hybrid between a restaurant and a brewery. It sells at least 25% of its beer on-site in combination with significant food services. At a brewpub, the beer is primarily brewed for sale inside the restaurant or bar. Where it's legally allowed, brewpubs may sell beer to go or distribute it to some offsite destinations."

New Jersey has tons of Brewpubs, some of which have been around for years and some that have just opened in the past year.

Here is a full list of the 21 brewpubs in New Jersey according to New Jersey Craft Beer: