Office of the New Jersey State Climatologist's
Top 10 NJ Weather and Climate events of 2012

Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist
Center for Environmental Prediction, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/NJAES, Rutgers University
January 2, 2013


1.     Hurricane/Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy (October 28-30)

a.     Winds gusting as high as 88 mph

b.     Record coastal storm surge central coast and northward

c.     As much as 12.71" of rain in Cape May County

d.     All-time record low barometric pressure of 946 mb (27.94") at landfall

e.     Coastal devastation; 80% of NJ without power

f.      40 deaths


2.     South Jersey derecho (June 30)

a.    Winds gusting as high as 81 mph

b.    Considerable tree damage

c.    Power out to over 200,000 customers

d.    5 deaths


3.     Record warm calendar year

a.   56.0° annual average is 2.8° above the 1981-2010 normal

b.   5 months ranked either warmest (March), 3rd warmest (February, May), or 5th warmest (July, December) of their respective month dating back 118 years

c.   7 of the 10 warmest calendar years dating back to 1895 have occurred since 1998


4.     Rather snowless January through April

a.   Only 23% of average snow fell across the state from January-April, leaving the October 29, 2011 storm the snowiest of the 2011/12 "winter"


5.     Early spring green up

a.   Growing season 3-4 weeks ahead of average, resulting from a mild winter, especially a record warm March (8.7° above average)


6.     November 7 snow storm

a.   Unseasonably early accumulating snow, particularly in the eastern half of the state and especially in interior Monmouth and Ocean counties where up to 13" fell


7.     Severe summer thunderstorms (June-early September)

a.   3 deaths from lightning (individual storms)

b.   Rainfall exceeded 3.00" at one or more locations in 7 events

c.   Wind gusts exceeded 50 mph on a number of occasions

d.   EF0 tornado in Mount Ephraim (Camden County) on September 4 (only confirmed NJ tornado in 2012)


8.     Forest and brush fires (first 3 weeks of April)

a.   Several from several hundred to 1000 acres; statewide, though concentrated in the Pinelands

b.   Late season nor'easter on April 22 greatly reduced fire danger


9.     Wintry November

a.   First month with below average temperatures (4.1° below average) since January 2010

b.   Record streak of 21 consecutive months without a month being below average broken

c.   Two measurable snow events making for the 6th snowiest November since 1895 (statewide average)


10.  Driest year since 2001

a.   Statewide average of 43.21" (3.73" below normal) is the 8th driest of the past 30 years

b.   Northeast, central and southwest counties driest

c.   Of NJ's 21 counties, only Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May were above average for the year

For those seeking more detailed information on hourly, daily and monthly conditions, please visit the following Office of the NJ State Climatologist's websites:

NJ Weather and Climate Network
NJ Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network
NJ Snow Event Reports

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