Saturday, January 31, 2009

Record January?

Well, today is the last day of January and one of the worst I have seen in all my years. Lake Musconetcong, Lake Hopatcong, Budd Lake, Saxon Falls Quarry, and Culvers Lake are in the top ten biggest lakes in the State and everyone is completely frozen over. If fact Lake Hopatcong, the biggest lake in New Jersey has an 18" ice cover. I was talking with a man who has been fishing the lake all his life and he said that in his 40 years of ice fishing he as never seen that lake freeze over so thick. Ice fishing is really going strong here across North Jersey and there is no worry about breaking through, the lakes can even support a fully loaded 18 wheeler of 80,000 lbs which is similar to the ice roads of the Canadian North Country. Below is a lake effect snow squall over one of NJ biggest lakes:

The current snow pack in the Mountains of north Jersey has compacted to around 8" inches but that is very deceiving. After melting down the snow pack, which I did, I found out the liquid equivalent is 1.8" inches! With the normal 10:1 ratio that should equal 18" inches of snow, not the 8" inches that we have. I was walking through the woods and I was only breaking through about half an inch which was the powder that fell yesterday with those snow squalls across the area. I even took my Trailblazer off roading today and the snow pack is so strong my car only make a small indentation on the snow, or should I say "ice" pack. With 30"-45" across the Mountains so far this year we are well on our way to that 60"-75" average. Below is the snowpack for January:

There are many rivers across New Jersey but the Musconetcong River is the one that has the largest vertical drop in the state, was begins in Lake Hopatcong and ends up in the Delaware. This river is now completely frozen over in most section except where the fast moving water is in the center. The river is choked with ice flows and the trout are very active!

We also are seeing one of the coldest January's ever on record, with 24 days this month without getting above freezing, 15 days of snow, and 29 days with a snow pack greater than a Trace. January's anomaly was -5.94 degrees below average getting into the top 10 coldest of all time! The average high was 27 degrees and average low was 13 with a monthly average of 20.5 degrees. The daily high was 8.6 degrees below average and the daily low was 3.3 degrees below the average, but the this months snowfall was 1.3 inches below the average.
I will be doing more average for Walpack and High Point Monument to see what happened there. Do you like these kinds of updates? Let me know what other information you would find useful.

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