A Dud: 2019/2020 Snow Season Recap

Dr. David A. Robinson
New Jersey State Climatologist
Center for Environmental Prediction, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/NJAES, Rutgers University
April 28, 2020

2019/20 season snowfall map

As we gradually transition into warmer spring temperatures, it’s a good time to recap what was a disappointing season for snow lovers, along with snowplow drivers, auto body repair people, and others who profit from snowy winters.

Seasonal snow totaled 4.7” averaged across the state. This is 19.2” below the 1981–2010 average and, looking back from the 1896/96 to 2018/19 snow seasons, is 21.4” below average. This ranks as the third least-snowy winter snow season, only behind the winters of 1972/73 and 1918/19.

Rank Season Snowfall
1 1972/73 4.0”
2 1918/19 4.3”
3 2019/20 4.7”
4 2001/02 5.9”
5 1997/98 6.5”
6 2011/12 7.4”
7 1949/50 7.5”
8 1991/92 8.5”
9 1994/95 8.6”
10 1931/32 9.0”

Ten least-snowy NJ seasonal snowfall totals between the 1895/96 and 2019/20 seasons.

Exploring snowfall regionally, the state is divided into three regions, best explained by the central region covering Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, Mercer, Middlesex, and Monmouth counties, with the two other regions encompassing the seven counties north of there and the eight counties further south. The north averaged 11.8” for this past winter. This is 21.2” below the 1981–2010 average and ranks as the 4th least snowy season. The same rank holds for the central region, where 5.5” accumulated, which is 21.0” below average. It was a record-breaking snow season for the south, which could only muster 0.6”. This is 17.0” below average.

The highest seasonal snowfall totals reported by CoCoRaHS, National Weather Service Cooperative, and North Jersey Weather Observers stations (all located in Sussex or Morris counties) include High Point 39.2”, Highland Lakes 26.5”, Wantage Township 26.1”, Sparta 23.6”, Jefferson Township 21.5” and 19.5”, Randolph Township 18.4”, Montague 18.1”, and Rockaway Township 17.4”.

For those seeking more detailed information on 5-minute, hourly, daily, and monthly conditions, please visit the following Office of the NJ State Climatologist's websites:

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

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