The winter of 2015 started off mild, but then cold weather established itself in the second week of January and didn't loosen its grip. (This analysis is based on meteorological winter, which begins on Dec. 1 and ends on Feb. 28.) Despite the relatively mild temperatures of December (three degrees above average), this was the coldest winter since 2003, as January was 2.7 degrees below average and February 11.4 below average. This frigid January and February combo was the coldest since the winter of 1920 - and the tenth coldest overall (eight of the top 10 occurred more than 100 years ago). February was the coldest since 1934, and the tenth coldest of any month.
The winter had no sub-zero days but there were nine days with lows in the single digits, the most since 1994 (which was also the last winter to have a sub-zero reading). Of course, there were a number of days in which with wind chills were in the -5° to -15° range.
Last winter, also a harsh one, was characterized by a record amount of snow in a 30-day period (42 inches). This winter was characterized by persistent cold, which resulted in a new record for most consecutive days in which the temperature never rose above 43°. The streak began on Jan. 6 and continued for the rest of the winter, a period of nearly eight weeks (and it continued into the first week of March). During these days the mean temperature was nearly eight degrees colder than average.
In January and February, a series of snowstorms were forecast that didn't live up to their potential, or ended up bypassing us (burying Boston instead). However, even with these fizzled snowstorms Jan/Feb picked up a healthy 30.5" of snow, which was well above the average of 16.2". There was a snow cover of two inches or more for the last five weeks of the winter.
In total, there were nine snowfalls of an inch or more (and one other that amounted to 0.9"). The largest accumulation came from the snowstorm of Jan. 26-27, which brought 9.8". This storm had originally been forecast to dump 24"-36" on the City. In February there were three with accumulations of between three and four inches.
|Source: NWS New York, NY|