What Happened to All the New York City Snow?

By Amelia Tirey | Staff Writer

3 mins read
cityscape with skyscrapers and lake under overcast sky in winter
Photo by Brady Knoll on Pexels.com

When one thinks of New York City in the wintertime, pictures of a white Christmas and snow covering Central Park come into one’s mind. There is no question that snow is associated with wintertime in the city. So why is it that the city has not seen snow in almost a full year? 

cars on the road during winter time
Photo by Pedro Monteiro on Pexels.com

States out west and down south that normally enjoy mild winters are dealing with record-breaking low temperatures this winter. Even upstate New York has seen snow pile up this season. So what is going on within the nation’s largest city? Jan. 29 marked 327 days since the city had any record of snow. The count was cut short that Wednesday night with a small snowfall of under an inch according to CBS News. This broke a 50-year streak that topped the 320-day record all the way back on Jan. 28, 1973. This is not a new phenomenon; the longest recorded lack of snow in the New York City area occurred very recently, with a 332-day streak that was broken on Dec. 15, 2020. So why is it that New York keeps having late snowfall despite the freezing temperatures? 

The New York Times consulted meteorologist Dave Radell from the National Weather Service of New York, who has been tracking the recent winter storms. Radell stated that the cold air is just not hanging around as long as necessary for snowfall. He said that the cold air is farther north and moving west rather than east towards the city. Brian Ciemnecki, another meteorologist from the National Weather Service of New York, stated that the city will not see any consequences from the lack of snow because of the amount of rainfall they’ve experienced this year, almost 2 inches above the normal amount of rain.  The lack of snowfall over the past few years is still a concern for city residents and the nation as a whole. According to scientists from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, since 2014, we have seen some of the warmest winters on record. There is no question that the Earth’s temperature has been steadily increasing, but climate change affects places in vastly different ways. From covering the typically warm south with a polar vortex to withholding snow from a typical winter wonderland, Mother Nature works in unpredictable ways.

Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Amelia Tirey is a sophomore majoring in history and minoring in political science and music.

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