Frigid March Among the Coldest on Record for New Jersey
It has been spring for a week and a half and yet, winter does not seem to want to release its grasp on New Jersey.
In fact, this March was the 12th coldest on record with average temperatures statewide of 35.6 degrees and only three-tenths of a degree warmer than March of 2014, according to New Jersey State Climatologist Dr. Dave Robinson.
"These last two Marches were the coldest since 1984. As for precipitation, our preliminary average for March was five inches on the nose, ranking last month as the 30th wettest on record. Those records date back to 1895," Robinson said.
All but seven days (24 of the 31 days) had normal or below normal temperatures. That has lead to persistent snow cover and snow on multiple occasions later into the month.
"This is a very slow spring. Germination is almost non-existent, blossoming is non-existent thus far. There is a silver lining to that in a sense. If you warm up too quickly in the spring, it leaves blossoming fruit trees and other plants susceptible to a modest freeze. This way, the plants just haven't come out yet and when they start blossoming, it'll get to a point in April where it'll be highly unlikely to have weather so cold that it ruins a whole crop," Robinson said.
So, does that mean New Jersey may skip spring and go straight to summer-like temperatures?
"It could be that April has normal temperatures and May isn't exceptionally warm and we could still have a pretty protracted spring. But, there is the concern that we're suddenly going to hit the switch and come out of this below average pattern, warm up quickly and everything is going to burst into bloom in very short order," he said.
For allergy sufferers, it could either mean a more extended allergy season or one that is short and acute.
"There is nothing to suggest that once it starts to warm up in April that it'll suddenly jump into hot summer conditions. We didn't see that last year and there's nothing to suggest that it'll happen this year either," Robinson said. "We'll just have to wait and see."