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WEATHER REPORT (April 15, 2019):

According to NJ State Climatologist David Robinson of Rutgers University, “Much like last month, March 2019 had a wide variety of weather conditions across the Garden State. The month came in like a lion, with a week of wintry weather, which was particularly snowy in northern and central regions. More snow fell than in any other month this season while the remainder of the month was often lamb-like, including four days with high temperatures exceeding 70° at many locations and six in the 60°s. Several inch-plus rain events occurred, along with the first lightning-filled squall line of the year, which, in some locations, included hail and strong winds.” The statewide monthly temperature averaged 39.7°. This is 1.1° below the 1981–2010 average, yet it is 1.5° warmer than last March 2018. The statewide average rain and melted snow totaled 3.91”. This is 0.20” below the 1981–2010 average, yet it is .75” less precipitation than last March 2018. In a nutshell, it is warmer and drier than last March 2018. Because of those conditions, most of our farmers have been able to get their tilling & planting started on time this season. Recent warmer and drier conditions have allowed field work for the last several weeks and “planting season” has started on time in terms of field preparation, soil saturation, and soil temperatures. We’re about average for the start of our Jersey Fresh produce season, and certainly at least a week sooner than last year at this time. The first asparagus and over-wintered produce such as cilantro, dandelion, spinach, and leeks are starting our Jersey Fresh produce season. With warming weather and increasing soil temperatures, our season should start to speed up.

Temperatures are in the mid-50’s today and are expected to rise into the mid-60’s for a couple of days mid-week before they rise up into the lower 70’s on Friday where they remain for the weekend. Warm overnight temperatures this week should help to warm soil temperatures and accelerate the growth of all plantings, especially our asparagus harvesting. This warm weather will be accompanied by thunderstorms on Friday that will be followed by a weekend of rain. Farmers should have at least four days of a great work week to get a lot of work done outside.

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