WOW! The snowstorm today took me completely by surprise. I knew that it was going to get colder and some areas could have snow today, but I certainly did not think the center of the state was going to get so much snow. Late October snow is not unheard of, but is unusual. I have been trying to figure out if in 25 plus years I have lived in NJ if we have ever had a big snow storm this early.
I went into class at 10 am and it was raining really hard. When I was done with class at 11:15 am there was about an inch of snow on the ground. I expected it to snow in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania and maybe in the mountains in NW Jersey, but the extent of the snowfall took me and other meteorologists by surprise. It took the towns by surprise, too and they were not ready to deal with the snow. The roads were terrible and there were a lot of accidents. The storm will certainly give me something to talk about in class tomorrow morning. One of my students told me he even heard thunder during the snowstorm. That is also very unusual and even has a special name. It is called thundersnow.
When I was driving home there were a lot of trees down from the weight of this wet heavy snow. It was very strange seeing trees with leaves and snow on them. It usually doesn't snow around here until near Thanksgiving. In my Meteorology class we have a contest where my students have to guess when we will have our first snowfall. I had a female student that had actually picked today as the first snowfall. She is now the winner of our contest. I wonder what made her pick such an early date for our first snowfall. I guess I will ask her tomorrow in class when I announce that she is the winner.