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This state summary was produced to meet a demand for state-level information in the wake of the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment. The summary covers assessment topics directly related to NOAA’s mission, specifically historical climate variations and trends, future climate model projections of climate conditions during the 21st century, and past and future conditions of sea level and coastal flooding.

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Heavy ice accretion encases the High Point Monument NJWxNet station on December 31st, following freezing rain on December 30th. Photo courtesy of Nick Stefano.

Winter Arrives Up North, Not So Much in the South, and Another Mild and Wet Year: December and 2019 Annual Recaps, Including Top 10 Events

Dr. David A. Robinson
January 7, 2020

There were multiple faces to December weather around the Garden State. Regionally, the north received above-average snowfall, several episodes of freezing rain, and over two weeks of snow cover, particularly at higher elevations. Central and southern areas saw less snow than average and temperatures a little milder than normal compared to up north. There was also a notable difference between the first and second halves of the month, with the first being stormy and the second having just one storm.

Despite a wintry start to the month, the statewide average temperature of 36.3° was 1.1° above the 1981–2010 normal and ranks as the 29th mildest since 1895 (tied with 2016). The north portion of the state averaged 33.1° (+0.4°), the south 38.2° (+1.6°), and the coast 39.4° (+1.7°). Despite a rather dry second half, the 5.56” of rain and melted snowfall averaged across the state was 1.71” above average, ranking as the 19th wettest (tied with 2012). The coast was wettest, averaging 6.09” (+2.33”), followed by the south with 5.60” (+1.81”), and then the north with 5.44” (+1.49”). Snowfall averaged 3.2”, which was 1.6” below average. The north came in with 8.0”, or 1.4” more than average, while the central area had 3.4” (-2.0”) and the south 0.5” (-3.1”).


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