NJ Weather: 35-inch snow report could break long-standing state record


An elusive record that has stood for nearly 122 years may have been broken during the monster snowstorm that hit New Jersey for the past three days.

The National Weather Service said Tuesday night it received a preliminary report of 35.5 inches of snow on the ground at Mount Arlington in Morris County.

If this report is confirmed, it would surpass the state’s long-standing record of 34 inches of snowfall, which fell in a multi-day snowstorm that spanned February 11 through February 14, 1899.

However, the weather service is yet to declare this a record, agency meteorologist Patrick O’Hara said. Even though the agency has no reason to doubt the veracity of the snow report, it still has to go through a strict process to confirm it.

O’Hara said the 35.5-inch Mount Arlington snow report came from a trained weather observer, someone who likely knows the right way to accurately measure snow. But to be declared a new statewide record, it needs to be investigated further.

And it’s not a quick process.

“It’s going to go through close scrutiny,” O’Hara said. “It won’t be days, it won’t be weeks. I will probably be months.

On Monday, after the National Weather Service received the first reports of 30-inch snowfall, New Jersey state climatologist David Robinson echoed what O’Hara said, saying all measurements of snow were considered preliminary until they could be confirmed.

Robinson, whose office at Rutgers University oversees state climate data and records dating back to 1895, said any snow report for something as large as a world-wide record Condition should be thoroughly examined under procedures put in place by the National Centers for Environmental Information, formerly known as the National Climatic Data Center.

Robinson said the process involves determining the procedure used by the weather observer who reported the snowfall measurement and making sure the procedure meets the appropriate standards for measuring snow.

It’s not something weather and climate experts take lightly, Robinson noted. This is why the National Weather Service cannot declare the snow report of 35.5 inches as a record at the moment.

If the measurement holds, it would be among several significant snowfall totals over 30 inches that were reported Monday evening and Tuesday – the second and third days of the three-day winter storm.

Tuesday Morning 2-2-21 NJ Snow Map

This map shows the amount of snow that fell in New Jersey and neighboring states on Tuesday morning February 2.National Meteorological Service


Right now, these are New Jersey’s highest preliminary snow totals during this monster storm:

  • 35.5 inches reported in Mount Arlington, Morris County
  • 33.2 inches reported in Montague, Sussex County
  • 32.0 inches reported in Andover, Sussex County
  • 31.3 inches reported in Hope, County Warren
  • 31.0 inches reported in Chester, Morris County
  • 31.0 inches reported in Oxford, County Warren
  • 31.0 inches in Stanhope, Sussex County
  • 30.4 inches reported in Chatham, Morris County
  • 30.3 inches reported in Sparta, Sussex County
  • 30.0 inches reported in Mendham, Morris County
  • 30.0 inches reported in Sandyston, Sussex County

Current weather radar

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Len Melisurgo can be reached at [email protected]. Tell us your coronavirus story or send a tip Here.

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