New Jersey sets record for warmest February

 Plants got an early start in New Jersey. (Big Stock file photo)

Plants got an early start in New Jersey. (Big Stock file photo)

It didn’t seem much like winter last month.

The eastern half of the United States has had the warmest streaks of February weather on record. The warmer-than-average temperatures have broken hundreds of records, including dozens of all-time February record highs, according to The Weather Channel.

It was New Jersey’s warmest February since record-keeping began in 1895, said state climatologist Dave Robinson.

“The average temperature In February was only about a degree lower than an average March temperature. So, we had March in February this year,” he said.

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A persistent weather pattern was responsible for the record warmth, Robinson said.

“We just couldn’t lock in any cold air. The polar jet stream just wanted to stay to the north,” he said. “Every once in a while, a storm would come though the Eastern United States and pull some cold air in behind it for a couple of days, but then we’d be back in the warmth again.”

This month might not be another record setter. Some weather models indicate that, by mid-March,  temperatures will be average or below normal.

Statewide snowfall this season is about 60 percent of normal accumulations. But the northern third of the state had almost the average amount for February, just about 10 inches.

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