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Winter 2016 Recap - Mild, With Cameo Appearances by Old Man Winter

Winter2016

 

This was a most unusual winter.  It began with the mildest December on record, followed by the second biggest snowfall of all time in January, and then capped off in February by the City's first sub-zero temperature in more than 20 years.  (Ironically, last winter was much harsher but it couldn't boast of a monster snowstorm nor did it have any readings below zero.)  However, despite January and February's brief flings with Old Man Winter, December set the tone for the entire season, which ended up as the second mildest meteorological winter on record (behind the winter of 2002).  And although it wasn't the mildest, it has the distinction of having the most days with highs of 50°+ of any winter.

 

DECEMBER 2015

December was the warmest on record by a wide margin (following the mildest November).  No day had a temperature of 32° or colder - a first for December.  Eleven days had highs of 60° or warmer.  The warmth peaked on 12/24 when the high/low was an incredibly mild 72/63 (33 degrees above average).

Milddecember2015  

JANUARY 2016

The first measurable snow of the winter didn't fall until 1/17, and then it was just 0.4".  Then less than a week later, on 1/23, a paralyzing weekend blizzard stopped the City, burying it under 27.5" (considerably more than had been predicted).  This made it the biggest accumulation on record, surpassing the previous record from February 2006, when 26.9" fell.  (However, at the time of the storm the total was reported as 26.8".  It wasn't until the end of April that the National Weather Service revised the total upward to reflect a final band of snow that moved through after midnight on 1/24 that, inexplicably, went unaccounted for.)

 

Nyc.blizzard2016

 

FEBRUARY 2016

A rather mild, uneventful month was upended mid-month when the Northeast was plunged into the deep-freeze, with the temperature dropping to 1° below zero at daybreak on Valentine's Day (wind chills were between -10° and -20°).  Not only was this the first sub-zero reading since the winter of 1994, it was the first below-zero reading in February since 1963, and the latest date for a sub-zero reading since 1943.  This Arctic outbreak was experienced in a month that had 11 days with mean temperatures 10 degrees or more above average, giving this February the distinction of being the mildest of any month with a below-zero reading (there have been 36 such months).

 

Bittercold

 

 Winter2016Recap

 

And although meteorological winter is over, the calendar has a mind of its own as March has been known to act as a refuge for Old Man Winter on occasion - 2015 and 2014 being perfect examples.

 


 

Comments

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William

the final band of snow (0.7") that moved through after midnight on 1/24 went unaccounted for during the January 2016 storm because the mistake stemmed from a communication issue rather than a problem with measurement technique. more information can be found in the link below.

http://www.weathergamut.com/2016/04/28/revised-numbers-show-january-2016-blizzard-was-a-record-breaker-in-nyc/

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