SNOWLESS IN THE CITY: NYC’s nearly two-year streak continues after weekend storm proves more wet than wintry

You call this a winter storm?

Despite all the hype, New York City’s nearly two-year snowless streak remains in tact after this weekend’s storm produced an anemic amount of the white stuff before changing over to plain-old rain.

Just 0.2 inches of snow fell upon Central Park on Jan. 6, well short of the 1 inch of recorded snowfall needed to snap the wintry dry spell. Whatever snow did fall quickly melted away Saturday night during the rainy changeover. 

Meanwhile, areas north and west of New York City wound up getting a heavier snow event, with some northern suburbs seeing 6 inches or more of the white stuff. But for the five boroughs, the temperatures just weren’t cold enough for the snow to fall or stick to the ground for long.

Forecasters had initially indicated a worst case scenario of 1 to 4 inches of snow from this low-pressure system, prompting the city to make preparations for wintry travel.

The Sanitation Department had mobilized its fleet of more than 700 salt spreaders across the five boroughs to keep the roads clear in anticipation of any snow or ice. The city’s Emergency Management department “conducted coordinations calls and briefings” and launched its watch command to provide surveillance and rapid response. 

While handling weather-related issues on Metro-North Railroad in the far snowier northern suburbs, the MTA reported few issues related to the storm in the subway system.

And while rainy and snowy conditions continued Sunday, the National Weather Service’s forecast indicated there was “little to no snow accumulation expected.”

A New Yorker walks past a smokestack during a rainy, not snowy, day in Manhattan on Jan. 7, 2024.

Saturday marked the 692nd consecutive day without a genuine snowfall in New York. The last time Central Park reported a snowfall of at least one inch was back on Feb. 13, 2022, when 1.6 inches of the white stuff fell. The ongoing snow drought is the longest since Central Park began keeping weather records in 1868. 

With intermittent storms that left trace amounts of snow, the National Weather Service recorded just 2.3 inches of snowfall in the winter of 2022-23 — the lowest on record. It was also one of the warmest winters on record; January 2023 saw above-average temperatures every day of the month, another first for the city. 

Nevertheless, AccuWeather believes New York is in for a far snowier winter this year, thanks to changing weather patterns from the re-emergence of El Niño in the Pacific, where waters are warmer than average. 

But the chances of New York finally breaking the snowless streak this week are highly unlikely.

Forecasts call for temperatures to rise into the low- to mid-50s by midweek, when a heavy rainmaker is expected to arrive in the Big Apple. Early forecasts indicate that system could bring between 2 and 4 inches of rain, and potential flooding issues.

New Yorkers might want to be thankful that storm will fall at a warm point in the month; generally, one inch of rain is equal to about 13 inches of snow, the National Severe Storms Laboratory reported. 

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