Winter is here! Over the weekend the temperature fell to the freezing mark and it won't escape the 30s for most of the week ahead.
There's not much to this week's forecast. An upper-level trough of low pressure has established itself over the western Atlantic and it is not letting any less worthy weather systems move eastward. In fact, the trough is pushing a surface low backwards from the Canadian Maritimes toward Quebec. That system is what is giving us the cold, nasty winds and scattered flurries (don't worry, not this much snow). Look for both to continue through tomorrow. High pressure will manage to replace the storm with clear skies on Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday morning could be really cold if the wind calms down. More seasonable temperatures are expected by the time next weekend rolls around.
This year the temperature in Central Park reached 32 degrees on December 4th. That's keeping with the general trend of later and later dates for the first freeze over the past forty years. First freezes in the 00s occurred about two weeks later than in the 70s (though the error bars are going to be pretty large with only ten years of data). The median date of first freeze is November 18th or 19th, depending on whether it is a leap year. Despite what it says on the chart (it was late!), the earliest freeze was on October 20th, 1974. The latest freeze occurred on December 22nd in both 1998 and 2001.