Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter Recap So Far...

All this extreme cold has lead to not only the lakes freezing but all the major rivers. Ice jams are going to be a major problem during the next thaw and in fact are already causing some minor flooding along portions of the Musconetcong River in Stephans State Park.

While effects right now of the ice build up is not very significant it will be a serious concern in the coming weeks. Ice jams are unpredictable where and when they will occur and can cause dangerous flash flooding when a ice dam like the one above breaks. Bridges can sometimes get overwhelmed by the ice flows causing failure, and here in New Jersey they were not designed with these situtations in mind.

So where are we at in reguards to winter this year compared to average? Let's take a look. First off here is a look at the current deep freeze. Data taken from my weather station (a centralized location in North Jersey). Impressive but nothing abnormal for January to be honest. This deep freeze will continue for the next week at  least with temps approaching the upper 20's for Monday which will be the warmest day in a two week period.

Compared to average snowfall we are currently running just above average with 32" of snow this season and average is around 50" in the highlands with lower amounts in the valleys of around 36"-40".

I also like to keep track of the number of days with high temperatures that fail to break freezing. Average for the entire year is around 39 days and today (Sunday the 26th) marks number 37. Clearly well above the average with two months of cold yet to come. Could be a record breaking year if we can top 55 days from the 10'-11' winter. 

With all that said winter is from over. Check back for updates of any more storm threats. 

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