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Photo Gallery: Snowfalls of Winter 2017

Feb9 hedges (2)

Taking a break from weather statistics and analyses, here's a gallery of this winter's snowfalls in New York as captured through the lens of my smartphone. (There have been eight snowfalls thru mid-March - oops, I slipped a statistic in there!) 

 

Dec11 first snow
0.4" of snow fell the evening of Dec. 11

 

Dec11 snow by streetlight
Snow in lamp light on Barrow St. (Dec. 4)

 

Dec17 boot n slush
Nearly 3" of snow fell the morning of Dec. 17.  This photo shows the slush that resulted when the temperature rose into the upper 30s during the afternoon.

 

1christmas 2016
Dec. 17, Hudson St. (Greenwich Village)

 

Jan7 greenwich village snow
5.1" of snow fell on Saturday, Jan. 7. These apartment buildings are on West 10th St., off of Seventh Ave. South.

 

Jan7 sheridan square
Of all the photos chosen for this post, this one of famed Village Cigar may be my favorite

 

Jan7 snowy seventh ave south
Looking north on 7th Ave. South from the  second floor of my gym (Jan. 7)

 

Jan7 snow covered car
I found the white & gray of the snow & steel on this parked on Washington Place aesthetically pleasing (Jan. 7)

 

Jan7 snowy steps
West 23rd St. (evening of Jan. 7)

 

Jan7 snowy night
The park on the corner of 7th Ave. and Greenwich Ave. (Jan. 7)

 

Jan7 snowy door
This is the front door of my apartment building (Jan. 7)

 

Jan14 dusting of snow
Two days after a record high of 66 degrees, afternoon temperatures on Jan. 14 were below freezing and about an inch of snow fell.  This photo was taken at Sheridan Square Park.

 

Jan14 snowcovered balloons
Snow-covered balloons outside of my gym (Jan. 14)

 

Geese2
Geese foraging in Hudson River Park (Jan. 15)

 

Jan15 wintry sunset
Wintry sunset at Bloomfield Place in lower Manhattan (Jan. 15)

 

Jan31 snowy lexington and 42nd st
An inch of snow fell late in the morning of Jan 31. This photo (looking at the Grand Hyatt) was taken near the corner of Lexington Ave. and 42nd St.
 
Feb9  washington place (1)
9.4" of snow fell the morning of Feb. 9, the day after a high of 62 degrees. I took this photo as I was walking to the subway.

 

Feb9 washington place
This was the sight that greeted me when I stepped out of my apartment building on Washington Place
 
Feb9 jefferson library (1)
The clock tower of Jefferson Market Library on Sixth Ave. in Greenwich Village.  Visibility for much of the morning was less than 1/4 mile (Feb. 9).

 

Feb9 hedges (1)
In front of the NY Public Library on Fifth Ave. (10AM on Feb. 9)
 
Feb9 patience and fortitude (1)
Profiles of famed lions, Patience and Fortitude, who guard the NY Public Library (Feb. 9)

 

Feb9 chrysler building
The obscured Chrysler Building, looking east on 42nd St./Fifth Ave. (Feb. 9)
 
Feb9 patience and fortitude (2)
On a snowy day like this it's more appropriate to call this a "Trudge" sign (Feb. 9)

 

Feb9 blue umbrella
Corner of Madison & 42nd St. (Feb. 9)

 

Feb9 near office (2)
At the height of the snowstorm's fury (Feb. 9)
 
Feb9 capital grille
Steakhouse across the street from my office building (150 E. 42nd St.)
 
Feb9 near office (1)
Lunchtime, Lexington Ave. near the corner of 42nd St. (Feb. 9)

 

Feb9 slush as modern art
Slush & snowmelt at sidewalk's edge on Lexington Ave. brings to mind modern art (Feb. 9).

 

Feb9 snow drift
Snowdrifts in Greenwich Village, night of Feb. 9 (Sheridan Square Park, along Christopher St.)

 

March14 patio
Tribeca patios prepared for evening cocktails (March 14)

 

Fiorello laguardia
Snow-covered statue of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia on LaGuardia Place in Greenwich Village (March 14)

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December 2016 Weather Recap - The Streak Continues ...

1christmas 2016After last year's extraordinarily mild December, the warmest on record by a wide margin (13.3 degrees above average), December 2016 fell back to earth, 0.8 degrees above average.  Through 12/21 the month was two degrees colder than average, but then the jet stream reversed itself and temperatures were seven degrees above average during the last ten days of the month, pushing the month into the above-average column - the eighteenth month in a row with above average temperatures.  With every month of 2016 experiencing above average temperatures, it was no surprise that the year was one of the mildest on record, ranking fourth (joining 2015, 2012 and 2010 in the top 10).  Here are a few other observations:

 

  • Wintry conditions took hold from 12/9-12/20, with temperatures five degrees below average.  This included the winter's first measurable snowfall (0.4" during the evening of 12/11) and first snowfall of one-inch or more (2.8" during the evening of 12/17).  Two days had highs below freezing (and four other days had highs between 33° and 35°).  And the low of 17° on 12/16 was the coldest reading in December in seven years.  That day's high/low of 27/17 made it one of the five coldest days of the entire year.  And while last December was the first to have no reading of 32° or colder, this December had 11 such days (which is fairly typical).

 

First snow

 

  • Heading into the last week of the month it looked like this might be the first December since 2005 to have no temperatures in the 60s, but then the high reached 60° on 12/27.
  • After having the wettest November in ten years (5.41"), December reversed course and was the driest in ten years (2.89").  Despite this below average amount measurable precipitation fell on twelve days.  For the second year in a row the year's total precipitation was well below average (42.17" vs. the average of 49.94"; 2015 had 1.20" less precipitation than this year).  The last time there were comparable back-to-back dry years was in 1985 and 1986.

 

Warmest years in new york

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December 2015 Weather Recap - El Niño on Steroids

To sum up December 2015's weather in one word - "WOW"!

 

Dec2015.newyork.nbcnews

 

As you may recall, November 2015 was New York's mildest on record, edging out November 2001 by 0.1 degree.  In December, 2015 once again beat out 2001 as mildest ever, but this time it was by a wide margin - 6.7 degrees.  Never before has a warmest/coldest month been that far ahead of the second ranked month.  (The previous greatest margin between the top two was 2.8 degrees, February 1934 vs. 1899.)  December 2015 was consistently mild throughout the month and was 13.3 degrees above average - the most above average of any month on record.  In fact, it wasn't much cooler than the record-mild November and was 3.1 degrees milder than a typical November.  Every day of the month had an above average mean daily temperature - the only month in which this has ever occurred.  The chilliest day was 12/19, when the mean temperature was two degrees above average (high/low of 40°/35°). 

 

Clipart_tropical_santa

 

No day in December had a temperature of 32° or colder - a first for December (the coldest reading was 34°).  Previously, the mildest daily minimum temperature in December was 28°.  18 days had mean temperatures that were 10+ degrees above average; 13 were 15+ degrees above average, and seven were 20+ degrees above average.  There was one streak of nine days with mean temperatures 10+ degrees above average - only a ten-day streak in December 1998 was longer.  11 days had highs of 60° or warmer, another December record.  The high of 72° on 12/24 was the tenth time NYC had a high in the 70s in December.  And the low that day was the mildest ever reported in December, 63° (13 degrees above that day's previous record).  Christmas Eve's mean temperature was 33 degrees above average - the most above average day on record.  All told, the month saw four new record highs (and one tied a record) and five record-high minimums (and two ties).  

 

Elnino

 

December was the third month in 2015 that was warmest ever.  Additionally, May and August were second and third warmest, respectively.  These warm months almost completely overshadowed February, which was the second coldest since 1900.  (Remember the frozen fountain in Bryant Park, or the ice-clogged Hudson River at month's end?)

 

 

 

 

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When March is Colder Than December

Anomaly

 

Typically, the month of December is five degrees colder than March, but about every five years (based on records since 1960) March is colder.  2014 was one of these years, as March, the coldest in 30 years, was three degrees colder than December.  Of the 34 years (since 1869) in which March was colder than December, the most extreme was in 2015 when it was 12.7 degrees colder (that December was the mildest on record).  Here are some other tidbits ...

 

  • Of the years in which March has been colder than December, both months had below average temperatures in five of them.  The last time this happened was in 1916.  And in 1982 and 2006, despite March being colder than December, both months were milder than average.
  • The most consecutive years in which December was colder than March is fourteen, from 1942 thru 1955.  However, there have never been more than two consecutive years in which March was colder than December.  (UPDATE: This is no longer the case as March 2015 was also colder than the December preceding it.)  Finally, in the last two decades of the nineteenth century, March was colder than December in half of the years. 
  • Interestingly, one of the coldest Marches on record, in 1960, wasn't colder than that year's December, which was also much below average.

 

LAST 10 YEARS WHEN MARCH
WAS COLDER THAN DECEMBER
       
  Mean Temp Difference
  March Dec. March v Dec.
Average* 42.5 37.5 5.0
       2015     38.1     50.8         -12.7
2014 37.7 40.5 -2.8
2011 42.3 43.3 -1.0
2006 43.1 43.6 -0.5
2001 39.6 44.1 -4.5
1996 38.9 41.3 -2.4
1994 40.7 42.2 -1.5
1984 36.7 43.8 -7.1
1982 42.0 42.8 -0.8
1971 40.1 40.8 -0.7
*1980-2010      
       
       
GREATEST TEMP DIFFERENCE
(MARCH V DECEMBER)
       
  Mean Temp Difference
  March Dec. March v Dec.
2015 38.1 50.8 -12.7
1984 36.7 43.8 -7.1
1891 35.8 42.3 -6.5
1923 36.8 42.0 -5.2
1885 30.6 35.7 -5.1
1911 34.7 39.4 -4.7
1888 30.0 34.7 -4.7
2001 39.6 44.1 -4.5

Winter Festival: A Celebration of Snow As Portrayed by Covers of The New Yorker

The-new-yorker-logo.jpgBefore it turns to slush, newly-fallen snow in New York brings a blanket of serenity even to the great metropolis.  And wintertime covers of The New Yorker perfectly capture the ineffable beauty of the season.  Here are a few dozen of my favorites (captions are mine) ...

 

New Yorker Jan 29 1927
Snowstorm Meets Roaring Twenties (Jan. 29, 1927)

 

S-liam-dunne-the-new-yorker-cover-january-16-1932
Snow Beautiful (Jan. 16, 1932)

 

Adolph-k-kronengold-the-new-yorker-cover-february-27-1937
Wintry Tableau (Feb. 27, 1937)

 

Edna-eicke-the-new-yorker-cover-february-2-1946
Little Siberia (Feb. 2, 1946)

 

Edna-eicke-the-new-yorker-cover-january-21-1950
The Excitement Builds (Jan. 21, 1950)

 

Perry-barlow-the-new-yorker-cover-january-20-1951
Eager Anticipation (Jan. 20, 1951)

 

William-steig-the-new-yorker-cover-january-7-1956
Sisyphus In Winter (Jan. 7, 1956)

 

Edna-eicke-the-new-yorker-cover-january-21-1956
Hibernation, Manhattan Style (Jan. 21, 1956)

 

Garrett-price-the-new-yorker-cover-march-2-1957
Manhattan on Ice (March 2, 1957)

 

Abe-birnbaum-the-new-yorker-cover-january-11-1958
Polar Express (Jan. 11, 1958)

 

 

Laura-jean-allen-the-new-yorker-cover-january-8-1966
Flight Delay (Jan 8, 1966)

 

Laura-jean-allen-the-new-yorker-cover-january-7-1967
Old Man Winter's Calling Card (Jan. 7, 1967)

 

Albert-hubbell-the-new-yorker-cover-march-2-1968
Veil of White (March 2, 1968)

 

Albert-hubbell-the-new-yorker-cover-january-4-1969
Mantle of White (Jan. 4, 1969)

 

Charles-e-martin-the-new-yorker-cover-january-22-1972
A Cold Winter's Night That Was So Deep (Jan. 22, 1979)

 

Charles-e-martin-the-new-yorker-cover-january-7-1974
In Winter's Grip (Jan. 7 1974)

 

Charles-saxon-the-new-yorker-cover-january-12-1976
Cozy Inside (Jan. 12, 1976)

 

James-stevenson-the-new-yorker-cover-february-7-1977
Travel Advisory (Feb. 7, 1977)

 

Charles-saxon-the-new-yorker-cover-january-29-1979
Snow Day (Jan. 29, 1979)

 

Charles-e-martin-the-new-yorker-cover-january-26-1981
Serenity (Jan. 26, 1981)

 

Lonni-sue-johnson-the-new-yorker-cover-december-13-1982
Rush in Slush (Dec. 13, 1982)

 

Eugene-mihaesco-the-new-yorker-cover-february-16-1987
Neither Sleet nor Snow ... (Feb. 16, 1987)

 

Kathy-osborn-the-new-yorker-cover-january-28-1991
Winter Gridlock (Jan. 28, 1991)

 

Eric-drooker-the-new-yorker-cover-march-6-1995
Cold Comfort (March 6, 1995)

 

Brian-stauffer-whiteout-the-new-yorker-cover-march-1-2010
Fashion Statement (March 1, 2010)

 

Christoph-niemann-one-small-step-at-a-time-the-new-yorker-cover-december-20-2010
Cold Reality (Dec. 20, 2010)

 

Jorge-colombo-sunlight-on-twenty-third-street-the-new-yorker-cover-january-23-2012
50 Shades of Gray (Jan. 23, 2012)

 

Otto-steininger-the-new-yorker-cover-march-10-2014
Double Duty (March 10, 2014)

 

 

New yorker - december 22 2014

 New yorker - flat iron building - march 9 2015

 

I've written a similar post about my favorite summertime covers.  Large reproductions of these covers, as well as every New Yorker cover (nearly 5,000), are available for purchase on Conde Nast's website.  (And small versions are sold by street vendors throughout midtown Manhattan.)

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Snowfall Analysis: New York's Snowiest Consecutive Months

Snowplows

 

The snow that piled up in New York during the winter of 2014 made it one of the ten snowiest on record (going back to 1869).  The bulk of the 57 inches fell in January (19.7") and February (28.8").  Their combined total of 48.5" is the second greatest amount of snow to fall in back-to-back months.  Only the winter of 2011 had a combo with more as December picked up 20.1" and January saw 36.0". 

 

Three of the winters found on the chart below had 20" or more of snow for both of the months: Jan/Feb 1978, Jan/Feb 1996 and Dec 2010/Jan 2011.  And three winters make two appearances: 1996, 2010 and 2011.  (If March 2014 sees nine inches or more it will also have two slots on the list.)

 

NEW YORK'S SNOWIEST BACK-TO-BACK MONTHS
(Since 1869)
       
 Months 1st Month 2nd Month Combined
Dec 2010/Jan 2011 20.1" 36.0" 56.1"
Jan/Feb 2014 19.7" 28.8" 48.5"
Jan/Feb 1996 26.1" 21.2" 47.3"
Dec 1947/Jan 1948 29.6" 15.3" 44.9"
Jan/Feb 1978 20.3" 23.0" 43.3"
Jan/Feb 1923 24.5" 18.8" 43.3"
Feb/Mar 1967 23.6" 17.4" 41.0"
Feb/Mar 2011 36.0" 4.8" 40.8"
Dec 1904/Jan 1905 21.6" 18.4" 40.0"
Feb/Mar 1896 9.5" 30.5" 40.0"
Jan/Feb 2010 2.1" 36.9" 39.0"
Feb/Mar 1914 17.4" 21.5" 38.9"
Jan/Feb 1994 12.0" 26.4" 38.4"
Dec/Jan 1996 11.5" 26.1" 37.6"
Dec/Jan 1893 27.0" 10.6" 37.6"
Dec 2003/Jan 2004 19.8" 17.3" 37.1"
       
(Analysis of data from www.NWS.NOAA.gov)

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose: Cold Winter Days (1970 - 2020)

Jackfrost

 

An average New York winter has 18 days with high temperatures of 32° or colder (20% of its days).  Since 1970 the number has ranged from as few as three, in the winters of 2002 and 2020, to as many as 45, in 1977 (half of that winter's days).  Being that it's winter suggests that cold conditions would predominate, when, in fact, there aren't nearly as many of these cold days as there are days entirely above freezing (18 vs. 34).  However, there have been nine very cold winters in which days of freezing weather or colder outnumbered the milder days.  

 

WINTERS WITH MORE COLD DAYS THAN MILD DAYS
(1970-2020)
       
  Cold Mild  
 Winter Days Days  
2014 27 26  
2011 22 17  
2003 30 21  
1996 28 25  
1994 30 22  
1981 30 23  
1978 36 21  
1977 45 17  
1970 27 15  
Typical Winter 18 34  
       

(The winter of 2015 isn't on the chart above because, despite its frigid February, December was the mildest on record, and the winter ended up with 25 cold days and 27 mild ones.)

 

By month, only one January since 1970 had no freezing or colder days, and that was in 1990 (after one of the coldest Decembers on record).  The most such days, 25, occurred in 1977.   Meanwhile, three Februarys had no days of 32° or colder; in December it's happened eight times. 

 

WINTER DAYS W/HIGHS OF 32 OR COLDER 
(1970-2020)
           
  Average Most Year Least Year
Winter 18 45 1977 3 2020*
December 4 17 1989 0 2013*
January 9 25 1977 0 1990
February 5 15 1979 0 2003*
*Most recent occurrence      

 

Finally, although they occur infrequently, November and March (which fall outside of "meteorological" winter) occasionally experience days with highs of 32° or colder.  While March sees one of these days once ever one or two years, in November it happens just once every seven years.  And no November has had more than one of these cold days (with the winter of 2013-14 being the most recent), while in March the most was six, in 1978, and five in 1984 and 2017.  The winters of 1990 and 2009 have the distinction of being the only ones book-ended by days at freezing or colder in both November and March. 

 

Breathing.cold.air

 

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Frost-Free Winter Days: A History (1970 - 2020)

Weathergonemild

 

During a typical winter (Dec. 1-Feb. 28/29), one-third of the days have temperatures that stay above freezing for the entire day.  (Some might be surprised to learn that there are nearly twice as many frost-free days as there are days at freezing or colder - 34 vs. 18).  There have been as few as 15 of these "January thaw" days (winter of 1970) and as many as 58 (winters of 1998 and 2012). 

 

Since 1970 there have been 29 streaks of frost-free days that lasted 10 days or longer; half of the winters have had at least one; seven had two (the most recent was the winter of 2016-17).  The longest lasted 34 days during the winter of 2015-16, lasting from Dec. 1 thru Jan. 3; there was also one of 31 days in the winter of 2006-07, between Dec. 10 and Jan. 9.  December 2015 also had an eighteen-day steak in which the temperature never fell below 45°, and an eight-day streak in which the temperature never fell below 50°.

 

Mild.jet.stream

  Chart - frost free days


 

 


A History of Mild December Temperatures in New York

Clipart_meltingsnowglobe

 

 

  • Since 1970 the warmest reading in December has averaged 60°.  Between 1970-1999 it was 58°; since 2000 it has been 64°.
  • December 1998 and 2001 each had two days with 70-degree highs. And every day of the first week of December 1998 had highs of 60° or warmer (including the two 70-degree highs).
  • In eleven years since 1970 the mildest reading in December has occurred after the first day of winter.
  • Since 1970 six years have had mildest December readings of 55° or lower.  The coolest maximum was 53° in 1989.
  • In 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2015, December's mildest reading occurred just before Christmas (12/23, 12/24, 12/23 and 12/24, respectively).
  • December 2013 is just one of four Decembers since 1970 that had a warmer reading than November.  The other three were in 2006, 1998 and 1983.   
  • Decembers with very mild readings don't preclude significant snowfalls.  For example, 2013's 71-degree reading on 12/22 followed a wintry 10-day period between 12/8-17 which saw 8.6" of snow.  In 1984 a 70-degree day on 12/29 came just two days after 4.8" of snow fell; in 1990 a snowfall of 7.2" came five days after a high of 66° on 12/23; and in 2008 a 4.5" snow event followed a high of 67° five days earlier on 12/15.

 

Clipart_tropical_santa  

 70 in December

 

December Chilliest Max

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New York Weather History: December (1869 - 2020)

Charlie_brown_christmas Highlights:  Snowstorms in 1990 (7"), 1997 (8"), 2000 (12"), 2003 (14"), 2009 (11") and the Christmas blizzard of 2010 (20"); 75° on Dec. 7, 1998; a powerful nor'easter on Dec. 11, 1992 flooded the FDR Drive; 63° on Christmas Day 1982; bitter cold Christmas Days of 1980 and 1983; a frigid December of 1989 with all but one day colder than average (but little snow); December 2015 was the mildest on record, breaking 2001's previous record by 6.7 degrees (featuring a high/low on Christmas Eve of 72/63); the second longest streak with highs of 32° or colder began at the end of Dec. 2017.

 

To see highlights from a December date, double click on any of the dates below:

December 1

December 2

December 3

December 4

December 5

December 6

December 7

December 8

December 9

December 10

December 11

December 12

December 13

December 14

December 15

December 16

December 17

December 18

December 19

December 20

December 21

December 22

December 23

December 24

December 25

December 26

December 27

December 28

December 29

December 30

December 31

 

 

 

 

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