A historic blizzard began five years ago today, dumping over three feet of snow in some Jersey Shore locations and paralyzing the region.
The magnitude of the storm shocked many, as due to skepticism about how global forecasting models were handling the storm, the National Weather Service and private forecasters did not have firm handle on the system until about 24 hours before it struck.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the area late Christmas Day. New Jersey declared a state of emergency the next day.
High winds, heavy snow, and whiteout conditions created extremely dangerous travel conditions, with numerous motorists becoming trapped on major highways, including Route 18 in the Marlboro area.
Many caught on highways were calling news stations and requesting help, but plows and first responders became trapped in some instances. Thousands were trapped in their houses for days.
Portions of Central Jersey down to coastal northern Ocean County saw the most snow. Brick saw 36 inches of snow, and with winds gusting to tropical storm strength, drifts were much higher.
The high amounts near and at the coast were due to multiple convective forming over the ocean and moving inland, dumping over four inches an hour of snow at times.