Here’s the Date to Expect NJ’s First Snow of the 2023-2024 Season
Welcome to November. The last month of climatological winter. The last month of the Atlantic hurricane season. And an important month of transition, as New Jersey's "snow season" continues to loom closer.
The Winter Solstice is still a full 38 days away, coming up on December 21st at 10:27 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. However, believe it or not, New Jersey's "snow season" has already begun.
Looking back through history, measurable snowfall has been recorded in New Jersey across each of eight months of the year, from late October through early May.
That leaves a very wide window for when New Jersey's first snow of the season is "supposed to" fall. And there are a variety of ways to answer that question, depending on what snowfall threshold you use.
Last year, the 2022-2023 snow season kicked off on December 11th, as about 2 inches of snow fell across parts of Warren, Sussex, Morris, Passaic, and Bergen counties in North Jersey. (According to the Office of the NJ State Climatologist, which keeps detailed snow event records for the state.) As you may recall, last winter was quite a dud for most of the Garden State — we only had eight winter storms that produced at least two inches of snowfall, which is well below normal.
Going back in time, the 2021-2022 snow season began on Christmas Eve (December 24th), as upwards of 2 inches of snow accumulated across much of North Jersey. (According to the Office of the NJ State Climatologist, which keeps detailed snow event records for the state.)
2020-2021 featured an early start, with a rare October snowfall (on the 30th). The 2019-2020 season began with a sizable snow on December 1st. And who could forget the 2018-2019 winter season beginning with a bang, the "Brinegate" storm that surprised and stranded commuters on November 15th.
So when will snow season start in New Jersey this year? To be clear, I am not giving a short-term, plan-your-week kind of weather forecast here. Instead, I want to do my annual dig into some facts, statistics, and big storms based on our state's historical snowfall record.
To be even clearer, the "answer" to the headline of this article? On average, for most of the state, the first snow event occurs around mid to late December. Right around the actual Winter Solstice. (Keep reading for more.)
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Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow
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