Today in New York Weather History: February 18
After having back-to-back days with highs in the mid-50s, there was no snow cover in Central Park for the first time since the evening of of 12/23. (But snow would be back on the ground four days from now after a snowfall of 5.7".)
This morning's low of 0° was the coldest reading in February since 1943 (until a low of -1° on Feb. 14, 2016). It was also the eighth day of the past ten with a low in the single digits. During these ten days the low averaged a brutally cold 6°, twenty-two degrees colder than average.
Today's balmy high of 68° was a record for the date, twenty-six degrees above the average. This was four weeks after the Hudson and East Rivers around Manhattan were largely ice covered.
A slushy three inches of snow fell, in addition to freezing rain and sleet. This was the last significant snowfall of the winter. In total, 16.3" fell, which was about nine inches below average.
Eight of the past thirteen days had highs at freezing or colder, twenty-six inches of snow fell and temperatures were nine degrees below average (high/low of 32°/20°).
Although today turned sharply colder, temperatures in the upper 50s the previous three days completely melted away the record-setting 26.9" of snow that fell less than a week ago (Feb. 11-12).
Although precipitation fell on eight of the past eleven days, it amounted to only 0.37".
A quick shot of snow between 5-10 AM accumulated 1.5". This brought the total snowfall in the past 30 days (since Jan. 20) to 42.1" - the most ever in a 30-day period. Today's snowfall was the eighth of one-inch or more in this time frame.
2011 had a VERY pleasant Friday, February 18th, in which I came home for President's Day Weekend from college. Temperatures were well into the 60s under sunny skies - I recall, coming up 10th Avenue from the Lincoln Tunnel, that at the gas station on 45th Street and 10th, which is now defunct, the temperature read a shocking 74 degrees. I believe that reading was incorrect, since that temperature was often grossly too high, but it's just a memoir I have of a beautiful spring-like day when I least expected one.
Posted by: John Taylor | 12/01/2016 at 01:14 AM
The note about February 18, 1979 being the coldest February low since 1943 (and until 2016) is incorrect as it was -2 on February 2, 1961 (which was the first subzero in Central Park at all since 1943.....it was the longest such streak of not having a subzero in NYC until the one from 1994 to 2016) and -2 again on February 8, 1963.
Posted by: Harry Mandel | 02/18/2018 at 03:49 PM
Yes, you are correct - thanks for pointing it out. And there was also a below-zero reading on Feb. 8, 1963.
Posted by: Rob | 02/18/2018 at 04:13 PM
1948 - for the first time in exactly eight weeks (since the day before Christmas Eve), Central Park reported no snow cover on the ground. this was the longest such streak on record, besting the previous record from the winter of 1920 by one day. the winters of 2011, 2014 and 2015 would experience such a streak of 53, 48 and fifty days respectively.
Posted by: William | 08/01/2018 at 08:00 AM
Why is Central Park's official monthly recap for February 2019 missing data in terms of how much (if any) snow fell on 2/18? Is there any possible way to find out how much snow really fell? There was 0.09" of precipitation and the high/low was 42/26.
Posted by: William | 03/17/2019 at 11:30 PM
I don't recall there being an 'M' during February so I suppose the NWS is re-evaluating. LGA and JFK also have an 'M' so it's not only a CPK issue. From what I've written in my journal on 2/18, the precip fell in the pre-dawn hours and the temperature was above freezing (temperatures fell below freezing that night). When I woke up there was no snow on the ground, and when the precip was falling I could hear what I assumed was raindrops on my A/C unit.
Posted by: Rob | 03/18/2019 at 11:06 AM
this is the only day in February (not counting 2/29) that has never had four inches or more of snow since record keeping for Central Park began about two thirds of the way in to the nineteenth century. the most amount of snow that has ever fallen on this date was 3.5”, which happened in 1928.
Posted by: William | 02/06/2021 at 01:47 AM