Well we made it through October 29 without a hurricane or snowstorm! In fact, yesterday had some of the nicest late October weather you’ll ever see. We’re all for the quiet of late, however for central and northern areas of the state, based on 119 years of historical weather records, this is destined to be about the 5th driest. Even in the south, with the exception of the persistent nor’easter earlier in the month, conditions have been on the dry side. While there are no immediate drought concerns, our recommendation to the National Drought Monitor has been accepted and about half the state is ranked as “abnormally dry” (D0) on this valuable “map by committee” weekly product.
Despite the frequent daily goose eggs, we are so grateful to continue to hear from over 150 of you each day. Numbers jump to well over 200 on rainy days, which is just tremendous. For those who might miss reporting on dry days, it is never too late to visit the CoCoRaHS site and fill in those missing days where you know that no precipitation fell. You can accomplish this by visiting the monthly zeros report form. While we hope that beneficial rain will soon return, when NJ begins to dry out we are always left wondering if this might be the beginning of a drought (we’ve not had a major one in over a decade…..though it never is correct to say that one is “overdue”). In such circumstances it is more important than ever to report zeros, as CoCoRaHS observations are utilized in assessing drought conditions, in making water resource decisions, and in evaluating agricultural drought insurance claims. So if you have a few minutes right now or tomorrow, please see if you can add any missing zeros from earlier this month. Please only do so if you are certain of the observation being a dry one, but I bet there are some “holes” you could fill in.
On one other note, while we didn’t see any snow flakes flying in October this year, you can bet that we’ll see some in November or shortly thereafter. This is a good time to find your snow board and perhaps put a fresh coat of white paint on it. Also, remember that the CoCoRaHS website has an excellent tutorial on snow measurement where you might wish to head for a refresher course! Finally, with colder weather on the horizon don’t forget to keep an eye on the inner cylinder of your gauge and consider removing it for the cold season to avoid freezing damage and to best collect snowfall.
As always, our gratitude for your terrific contributions!
Dave and Mat
NJ CoCoRaHS Co-Coordinators
Office of the NJ State Climatologist