The climate of New Jersey
State experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa, Cfb) in South Jersey, central and the northeast. The northwest portion has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa, Dfb) with cooler temperatures than the rest of the state. New Jersey lies on the eastern shore of the United States, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. Delaware in the southwest, Pennsylvania in the west, New York in the north, and the Atlantic Ocean in the east and southeast share borders with the state. The distance from the Atlantic Ocean, and the prevailing westerly winds that flow from west to east influence the climate.
New Jersey, the Garden State, has an average elevation of 80 meters, with the highest elevation at High Point at 549 meters. There are five major geographical zones, with significant temperature differences between the south and the northwest. The Northern Zone covers one-fourth of the state and consists of highlands and valleys. The Central Zone runs from the Lower Hudson River to Trenton near the great bend of the Delaware River and experiences the heat island effect. Cold fronts in the highlands result in clouds when the rest of the state has clear skies. Pine Barrens with scrub pine and oak forests dominate the central south. The Southwest Zone has a maritime influence on the climate and lies between sea level and 30 meters above it. The Coastal Zone battles between continental and oceanic influences.
The average annual rainfall in New Jersey ranges from 40" (1016mm) in the southeast to 51" (1295mm) in the north and central parts. The precipitation occurs throughout the year with maxima in late spring and summer. The fall is the driest season with eight days per month of precipitation, while there are 120 wet days annually. The snowfall lasts from October
, with 40" (1016mm) to 50" (1270mm) in the north, and 10" (254mm) to 15" (381mm) in the south. Freeze-free days range from 163 in the northern highlands to 217 along the coast. Frost arrives by October in much of the state, and occasionally by mid-September
in the northern valleys. The average annual sunshine lasts from 2400 to 2800 hours.
Summer average temperatures in New Jersey usually range between 82°F (27.8°C) to 87°F (30.6°C). Central New Jersey tends to have 15 to 20 days of temperatures above 90°F (32.2°C), while the south registers double such number of days. Winters are severely cold in the northern highlands but relatively mild in the central and southern coastal areas. The average temperatures in the cold season are in the high 34°F (1.1°C) to 43°F (6.1°C) and low 16°F (-8.9°C) to 28°F (-2.2°C) ranges. The northwest registers lows below 0°F (-17.8°C), while the rest of the state occasionally drops below 10°F (-12.2°C). Spring and autumn seasons record wide variations in temperatures and are typically less humid than the summer.
The highest temperature on record in New Jersey is 110°F (43.3°C) on July
10, 1936, in Runyon, while the lowest recorded temperature is -34°F (-36.7°C) on January
5, 1904, in River Vale.
The best time to visit New Jersey
The best time to visit New Jersey
is during late spring and early summer when the temperatures are mild. The period from April
is warm, relatively dry, with a low likelihood of snow and storms. The humidity is bearable compared to the summer season. July
is the height of summer, and the temperatures soar above 90°F (32.2°C) in many places. Early fall is another good time with a drop in temperatures and colorful landscapes. Summer coincides with the peak tourist season in New Jersey when everything from hotels to rentals becomes costly.
The worst time to visit New Jersey
The worst time to visit New Jersey
is from December
in the winter season. The conditions are cold and damp under the gloomy skies. Northwest New Jersey is severely cold, with temperatures dipping below 0°F (-17.8°C) in the night. Snowfall is heavy, and occasional blizzards make the conditions challenging. The coastal regions in the vicinity of the Atlantic Ocean are relatively warmer than the north. Winter is a treat for snow lovers with plenty of adventure and fun options available for selection. For the rest of the population, a vacation in the warm south of the United States is more appealing.
is vulnerable to thunderstorms, floods, and snowstorms. Coastal storms called Nor' easters frequently occur between October
. Storms range from 5 to 10, bring strong winds and heavy rains, and often raid several hundred miles offshore. Tornadoes are weak and number less than 5 in the year, but thunderstorms are in the range of 25 to 30 annually. Thunderstorms are prominent during late spring and summer and bring the majority of rainfall. Snowstorms typical of the North East frequently occur in the winter and stall daily life.
Weather in January
is the peak of the winter season in New Jersey
, with cold days and freezing nights. Trenton, the capital in the lower north, registers temperatures in the cold 23°F (-5°C) to 39°F (3.9°C), while Atlantic City in the south is a few degrees milder between 29°F (-1.7°C) to 42°F (5.6°C). Weather in January »
Weather in February
is the snowiest month of the year in New Jersey
, with occasional snowstorms in the fray. Newark and New Brunswick in the north, register snowfall in the range of 8" (203mm) to 10" (254mm), while it records between the 4" (102mm) to 7" (178mm) in the south. Weather in February »
Weather in March
is cold and damp in New Jersey
at the beginning of the spring season. The days are mild to warm, with the average temperatures in the 45°F (7.2°C) to 55°F (12.8°C) range. Nights are freezing for the better part of March and even significantly below freezing in North Jersey. The 3" (76mm) to 5" (127mm) of snow mainly falls in the north, especially in the northwest. Weather in March »
Weather in April
is the period of singing birds and blooming flowers in New Jersey
with the temperate weather of the spring season. The departure of the chilly winter enlightens the spirits with the spread of greenery on the landscape. The snowfall is light in the highlands by the fourth week of April. Weather in April »
Weather in May
is the peak of the spring season in New Jersey
with brilliant sunshine 244 hours in the month. Sunny days are back from the northern highlands to the southern coasts. The average high temperatures are in the warm 67°F (19.4°C) to 74°F (23.3°C), while the average low temperatures are in the mild zone of 46°F (7.8°C) to 55°F (12.8°C). High Point State Park has mild conditions and an absence of snow cover by the second half of May. Weather in May »
Weather in June
is the beginning of the warm to the hot summer season in New Jersey
, with the average temperatures in the sunny 76°F (24.4°C) to 83°F (28.3°C) range. The days are long and bright, with moderate rain in the form of thunderstorms. Weather in June »
Weather in July
is usually the hottest month of the year in New Jersey
, with average high temperatures in the 79°F (26.1°C) to 89°F (31.7°C). Moorestown in the south is one of the hottest places with temperatures in the 64°F (17.8°C) to 89°F (31.7°C) zone. Weather in July »
Weather in August
is a hot summer month in New Jersey
, with the southern parts often registering more than 85°F (29.4°C). The average high temperatures are in the hot 77°F (25°C) to 87°F (30.6°C) zone, with sticky heat and partly cloudy skies. Weather in August »
Weather in September
is the period of the early autumn season in New Jersey
that brings relief from the summer heat. The average high temperatures slide to the 70°F (21.1°C) to 80°F (26.7°C) range from the peak of summer. Nights are between 50°F (10°C) to 64°F (17.8°C) statewide and tend to be comfortable due to the decrease in humidity. The skies are partly cloudy with the precipitation in the 3" (76mm) to 5" (127mm) range. Weather in September »
Weather in October
brings peak fall foliage to New Jersey
that it is breathtaking in the mountains and highlands of the northwest. The diverse landscape spreading the land and water assumes the nature of a wonderland out of a children's book. Weather in October »
Weather in November
brings the end of the autumn in New Jersey
as the temperatures drop rapidly in the state. The average high temperatures are in the mild 47°F (8.3°C) to 58°F (14.4°C) range, while the nights are chilly in the 30°F (-1.1°C) to 41°F (5°C) range. November sees snowfall in many places in the north, but the coastal regions remain untouched by ice. Weather in November »
Weather in December
is the darkest month in New Jersey
as the daily sunshine lasts hardly for 4 hours. The beginning of the winter sees average high temperatures in the range of 36°F (2.2°C) to 47°F (8.3°C) and the average low temperatures in the freezing 21°F (-6.1°C) to 34°F (1.1°C) zone. Weather in December »