Rather Cool, Dry and Snow Free
January 2008 Overview

Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist
Center for Environmental Prediction, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/NJAES, Rutgers University
February 7, 2008

The first month of 2008 was rather unremarkable in the weather and climate departments. For those looking for some chillingly winter conditions around the state, early December is a vanishing memory, though perhaps there might be some wintry weather awaiting us during the waning days of winter.

The statewide January temperature averaged 34.3°, which is 3.7° above the long-term mean. This is the 3rd consecutive above average January (the previous two were several degrees warmer) and is the 24th warmest going back 114 Januaries to 1895. A sizeable portion of the positive anomaly can be attributed conditions from the 7th-9th, when high temperatures reached the 60s over much of the state, excepting the coastal and higher reaches. The 3rd, 4th and 21st had the coldest mornings, with temperatures ranging from near zero in portions of northwest Jersey to the teens along the coast and in urban areas.

Less than 60% of average precipitation fell across the state in January. The 2.22" total (rain and melted frozen precipitation) was 1.72" below average and was the 21st driest January on record. As is often the case during the winter months, the deficits were rather uniform across the state, with the northwest counties having departures just several tenths below most other parts of NJ. This was the driest January since 2004. The wettest day of the month was the 11th, when an unusual series of thunderstorms rolled across the state, depositing between a half inch and inch of rain on many locations.

Atmospheric conditions were certainly not conducive to abundant snowfall during the month; in fact not much snow fell at all. The 13th-14th brought an inch or two to lower elevations of northwest NJ and as much as 4.5" at High Point. The most widespread event of the month occurred on the 17th, when a quick inch or two fell over much of the state, the maximum being 2.4" at Califon in Hunterdon County. The southeast corner was covered with several inches on the 24th, with Beach Haven on Long Beach Island the "winner" with 3.5".

Past Climate Summaries