New Jersey’s Wintry Halloween

by on January 27th, 2011
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There is no doubt that Saturday, October 29, 2011 will go down in history as one of the most unusual weather events in New Jersey history. Today, northern New Jersey has received ten to twelve inches of snow in a very unusual weather event. There are over 250,000 people without power and reports of tree limbs down everywhere. The temperature is also very unusual, bottoming out at a balmy 27 degrees Fahrenheit with at least two more days of unseasonable cold temperatures.

I look out on my street and I see wires hanging by threads. Trees are humbled by the heavy snow and look more like wayward saplings begging to shed themselves of icy clusters of leaves that are weighing down their branches. Branches and tree limbs are down as far as the eye can see. The foot of snow and icy rain has coated the road and there are few sounds of cars passing.

Writing in the warmth of my home with power, I am grateful that the heat is still on and that the storm appears to be dying down. The governor has declared a state of Emergency in New Jersey to allow emergency crews to mobilize and to keep motorists who are not smart enough to know better off the roads. I can’t help but reflect on the last three months of weather and nature related events that have hit New Jersey in the last three months.

Hurricane Irene devastated this region of New Jersey with record flooding and damage. The damage from this storm is still being felt. Following Irene there were weeks of rain that complicated the flooding and promised to create traffic and headaches. Then as soon as everyone was settled down from the rain, a 5.9 earthquake that was settled in Virginia rattled the Garden State to make sure everyone knew that Mother Nature wasn’t quite finished with us.

Now with over a foot of snow, power outages, downed trees and icy roads I scratch myself in awe and find myself wondering what the winter will bring. Predictions about the severity of the winter are already swirling around with warnings of significant snowfall. If you consider that in September, New Jersey received thirty inches of rain…the possibility of even half of that precipitation would have us buried in more snow than one could imagine. Consider that one inch of rain creates five inches of wet snow! Perhaps investing in the generator for a family Christmas present may not be a bad idea at all!

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