ABOVE – Geese along Wesley Lake in Ocean Grove await the next snow storm.
By JOSEPH SAPIA
Imagine Ray Charles singing in the background, “Here we go, again….”
In a winter season of multiple snowstorms, Arctic cold, and freezing rain and sleet. And here we go. Again.
Last week, we had snow. Earlier this week, we had snow again and freezing rain and sleet. This weekend, it looks as though something wintry will be going on. But, as of this time, it was too early to tell exactly what.
“I’ve gotten so many emails and calls (about this weekend),” said Neptune Township Clerk Richard J. Cuttrell, his town’s official meteorologist.
But it was “hard to get specific” so early in the week, Cuttrell said. At the beginning of the week it was more favorable for snow. But, as the week went on, it became less favorable for a bigger snowstorm.
Although Cuttrell expected snow this weekend, he said, “I think the big blockbuster is off the table.”
On Wed., Feb. 5, the National Weather Service was predicting a chance of snow Saturday night, rain and snow likely for during the day Sun., Feb. 9 and a chance of snow Sunday night and during the day Monday.
So far this season, the Neptune area has had about 33 inches of snow, or already 7 inches more than an entire season’s normal, Cuttrell said. And we can get snow into April.
“Once you get to St. Patrick’s Day, the chances really go down (for) a plowable snow,” said Cuttrell, speaking of the Asbury Park-Neptune area.
January’s average temperature was 28 degrees, 5 degrees under normal, Cuttrell said. It would have been even colder — about 8 degrees under normal — but, during mid-month, “we had multiple days in the 50s,” Cuttrell said. The last 11 days averaged 18 degrees, or 15 degrees under normal, Cuttrell said.
In the Asbury Park-Neptune area, January’s low temperature was 3 degrees and its high was close to 60 degrees, Cuttrell said.
Tinton Falls Mayor Gerald Turning said there has been a demand for road salt, the town now paying about double the cost.
“The salt supply is almost exhausted,” Turning said. “We’ve having a difficult time getting more. I think we’re going to Pennsylvania for our next pickup.”
Because the salt has to be covered and because of environmental regulations on its storage, Turning said, “You can only store so much of it. It’s hard to have a sufficient supply.”
Otherwise, winter conditions have not created major issues in Tinton Falls, Turning said.
In Neptune, according to Cuttrell, “we’re in good shape” with road-cleaning materials.
Bradley Beach Fire Chief Joseph Everett said the cold and snow has required a lot of “logistics, resources being used.” Snow means keeping the area around fire hydrants cleared, the cold means keeping firefighters warm and the weather in general means firefighters being on standby awaiting calls, Everett said.
The Allenhurst Fire Department has not responded to any major problems, but there is a concern, said John Hansen of the department.
“It’s just been the freezing, cold weather, worried about people with heat,” Hansen said. “Snow goes away. It’s been more the sub-zero temperatures.”
This year, a lot of storms cannot be clearly predicted until the last minutes, so to speak — or, according to Cuttrell, the immediate two to three days preceding the storms. Computer models for forecasting have had trouble keying on weather information, Cuttrell said.