Rare event: March was colder than February in New Jersey

 Crocus in the snow-covered garden (Big Stock file photo)

Crocus in the snow-covered garden (Big Stock file photo)

You may have noticed the effects on outdoor plants. We’ve had some unusual weather in the area.

State climatologist Dave Robinson said it’s only the third time, since record keeping started 123 years ago, that average temperatures in New Jersey in March were lower than February.

“It was record breaking warmth in February and March temperatures that are just about two degrees below average. For the first time all winter we had the jet stream deliver some cold air to us here in the east.”

The December through February period was the 11th driest on record.

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Robinson said recent rainfall is easing drought concerns, but that can change quickly.

“You only need a week of dry weather this time of the year in the Pine Barrens, for instance, to lead to brush fires. As we get into the warm season you just need some hot, dry months to quickly deplete our reservoir supplies and lower the groundwater.”

A drought warning issued in October for 14 counties in northern and central New Jersey remains in effect.

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