New York City is experiencing its fourth-longest period with no measurable snowfall — and is on track to break a record set in 1871 for the latest-arriving snow of the season, according to the National Weather Service.
Manhattan’s Central Park has been without measurable snowfall — 0.1 inches or more — for 313 days as of the beginning of this week, the agency said in an email Tuesday. The longest period without snowfall ended on Dec. 15, 2020, after 332 days.
Although New Yorkers may have noticed light dusting this weekend, those flurries don’t count, according to John Cristantello, a lead meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
“You really can’t even measure it as we typically measure it on the snow boards. It hasn’t even been a tenth of an inch," he said.
There are no signs that the streak will be broken in the city within the next seven days.
“It looks like any precipitation that we do get — at least over the next seven days — looks like it’s going to be rain,” Cristantello said.
New York is also fast-approaching the record for the latest-recorded snowfall in Central Park’s history — Jan. 29, 1973. The second latest snowfall was recorded on Jan. 21, 1871, when 0.4 inches of snow accumulated over Central Park, is facing the more imminent possibility of being broken, should current conditions persist.
“There have been a handful of times since the 1800s that we’ve had our first measurable snow this late in the season,” Garett Argianas, a public radio meteorologist, said. “It has occurred before, but typically at this point, we would have had some kind of snow.”
Winter temperatures have also been mild, with this January ranking Central Park’s third-mildest since NWS started keeping records. The mean temperature from Jan. 1 to Jan. 16 has been 43.9 degrees Fahrenheit, nearly 10 degrees above the average for this time of year.
New York is one of several major northeastern cities experiencing a prolonged absence of measurable snow, just as California faces an onslaught of flooding and mudslides brought by a deluge of rain.
New York state was battered by a mixture of severe weather conditions heading into the holiday weekend in December, with places like Buffalo seeing the worst winter storm in decades. But downstate, New York City did not amass any measurable snowfall, though it saw a dangerous swing in temperatures that at their lowest point landed well below freezing.
“Short of that one shot of cold around Christmas time, temperatures have largely been above normal,” Argianas said.