Ladies and Gentlemen of Manhattan, it is time to breathe a collective sigh of relief:
Tomorrow, Thursday March 20th, is the first day of Spring.
“Who cares,” you grumble, burrowing deeper into your snuggie, “it’s still going to be freezing.” Not true! Actually the current forecast calls for some sun and a positively luscious high of 55 degrees!
“I don’t believe it,” you insist, blowing your nose and reaching for the bottle of DayQuil that’s been permanently attached to your nightstand for the past four months. “This winter will never be over. EVER!”
You’re not alone in feeling like this has been New York’s worst winter season you can recall . In fact, it has been, in a number of ways.
- Winter 2013-2014 was the 34th coldest out of the last 119 winters on record for the contiguous United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Assuming we get no snow before tomorrow (fingers crossed), a total of 57.4 inches of snow — nearly five feet! — fell in the Big Apple in winter 2013-2014, the seventh snowiest winter on record. (Incidentally, the worst was 1995-96, when more than 75 inches fell in Central Park.)
- The most any single storm this past winter dumped on Central Park was 12.5 inches, which means it took A LOT of individual storms to make up that total.
- February was particularly brutal: The city got 29.9 inches of snow that month — the second snowiest February in history!
- It snowed about a foot more in New York than it did in Anchorage, Alaska this past winter. (But they can see Russia from their house.)
- Tuesday, Jan. 7th was the coldest day we suffered. The high was 19, and the low was 4 — not including wind chills. Average temps for that day are 27 to 38 degrees. (The lowest-ever temperature record for Central Park, from February 1934, still stands: -15 degrees Fahrenheit.)
- If it felt cold to you in NYC, be glad you don’t live in Ironwood, Michigan, which managed to score the coldest winter in its weather history. Ironwood’s average temperature (including daily highs and lows) was a mere 5.1°F, which is 0.8°F colder than the previous record, set in 1978–79.
But again we repeat: Winter is over tomorrow! Spring is upon us! And though we may still dip into the 20s next week, a warming trend is clearly emerging, at long last. So cheer up, ditch the snuggie (or store it and the rest of your winter wardrobe until next winter), and start your spring cleaning.
Before long, we’ll all be complaining about how hot it is.