Today in New York Weather History: February 2
Today's seasonably cold high of 37° was the only day between Jan. 23 and Feb. 7 with an above-freezing high temperature. With the exception of today, the average high/low during this extended period of frigid weather was 26°/12°. (And 8.7" of snow fell.)
Today was the second, and last, day of this mild winter with a sub-freezing high; the high/low was 29°/14°. (A typical winter has 18 days with highs of 32° or colder.) It came the day after the high was 52°.
The biggest snowfall of the winter, 3.6", began shortly after midnight and continued thru mid-afternoon. The temperature fell throughout the day, from 28° to 10° just before midnight.
The morning of low of 7° was the coldest reading of the winter.
The morning low of -2° was the first below zero reading in Central Park since February 1943. It came at the tail end of a record-setting sixteen-day streak of days with high temperatures below freezing that began on Jan. 19.
Rain that started yesterday evening continued thru early evening today, coming down heavily between 9 AM-5 PM. The 2.98" that fell today (3.19" when yesterday's rainfall is included) was a record for the date, and the second highest amount for any day in February. The precipitation began as a cold rain, but by the time it ended the temperature had risen into the upper 50s.
An incoming mass of Arctic air caused a flash freeze at around 4 AM as the temperature fell from 45° shortly after midnight to 17° at 7 AM, and 10° by 11 AM. Half an inch rain fell before changing to snow which accumulated one inch in Central Park between 6-8 AM (Newark Airport reported 2.4"). Although the accumulation wasn't significant, when combined with the icing over of rain-soaked pavement and the gusty winds (clocked at 35-50 mph), area airports were forced to shut down during the morning.
This sharp drop in temperature happened 100 years to the date of another 35-degree drop in temperature (46° to 11°).
Light snow fell throughout the day and accumulated 4.3". This was the third snowfall of four-inches+ so far this winter. And one more would follow in a few days.
Between Jan. 6 and today temperatures were ten degrees above average. No snow fell during this four-week period.
Like the winter of 1959, this morning's low of 7° was the coldest reading of the winter.
Today was the 28th day in a row with colder than average temperatures. During this four-week period temperatures were 10 degrees below normal. 20 of the days had highs of 32° or colder, there were eight days with lows in the single digits, and 17.3" of snow fell.
Today's high was 29°, the first time in 13 years that the high on Groundhog Day was 32° or colder.
Today's high of 56° would be the mildest reading of the month (the month's coldest temperature would occur at the end of the month). And fears that today's Super Bowl game in northern New Jersey would be played in cold and/or snowy conditions were allayed as the game-time temperature was in the upper 40s. Tomorrow's weather, however, would be very different as winter returned with a vengeance.
A nasty winter storm brought snow, sleet and freezing rain for much of the daytime hours, and then Arctic air blew through during the evening, dropping the temperature into the mid-teens by midnight (with wind chills around zero degrees). Precipitation that began as rain shortly before midnight on the 1st ended as snow during the afternoon today, with a total accumulation of 5.3". A considerable amount of sleet and freezing rain hampered the morning commute. This and three other snowfalls in the past ten days brought 19.7" of snow.
On Groundhog Day 1976 I remember we had a snow day because of blizzard-like conditions in Westchester County in the early morning hours. It then got really cold after that.
Posted by: Mark Chelchowski | 12/28/2016 at 08:32 PM
Yes, there was a drastic drop in temperature after an Arctic front moved through, going from 45 degrees at 1AM to 10 degrees by 10AM. Rain changed to snow, but only one inch fell in NYC (2.4" in Newark).
Posted by: Rob | 12/28/2016 at 11:15 PM
I'm surprised to learn this is the date for the average first 60° day since 2/2 has never reported a 60° day. the record high is 59° set in 1988.
Posted by: William | 02/02/2018 at 05:48 PM
That's the funny thing about averages, they're often the product of extremes that give you a number that's not actually reflective of reality. For instance, with a month's average temperature, how many days actually had that reading?
Posted by: Rob | 02/02/2018 at 06:58 PM
Interesting side note about that -2 in 1961. The 18 years between 1943 and that subzero reading was the longest amount of time between subzero lows in NYC until the last "drought", that of going from January 19, 1994 to February 14, 2016; a period of 22 years.
Posted by: Harry Mandel | 02/02/2019 at 05:24 PM
Rob -- I am surprised you did not include February 2, 1976 among your posts for this date. I remember waking up at 5 a.m. (I was living in Throgs Neck at the time) and hearing rain pounding down on my awning. I had an indoor-outdoor thermometer and it was 40 degrees . . . and falling fast! I could actually see the mercury falling right before my eyes!
Within less than an hour, I had whiteout conditions with temperatures in the 20s and by 7 a.m. , the snow had ended (I received 2") , the Sun was coming out and my thermometer read 10-degrees. It was the flash freeze to end or flash freezes.
And I remember hearing Bob Harris on the "Rambling with Gambling" show on WOR/710 Radio at that hour, state that the storm responsible was rocketing past Cape Cod with a central pressure of 28.50" -- "As low as a mature hurricane in the middle of the summertime!"
Keep up the great work!
Posted by: Joe Rao | 02/03/2022 at 11:56 AM