The spring equinox is still a few weeks away, but meteorological winter (December, January, and February) has officially ended and it was the sixth warmest on record in New York City.
The season, with daily highs ranging from 23°F to 70°F, felt like a temperature roller coaster. But in the end, the warmth came out on top. The city’s average temperature for the season, according to the NWS, was 39.3°F. That is an incredible 4.2°F above normal.
In all, fifty-three days posted above average readings and every month was warmer than its long-term norm. In fact, February 2017 was the city’s warmest February on record.
In terms of snowfall, the city received 20.5 inches in Central Park, which is only 0.5 inches below average. Of this total, 9.4 inches fell during February’s single, quick hitting nor’easter when conditions were briefly cold enough to support snow.
This winter’s pattern of prolonged warm spells separated by a few short-lived blasts of cold air was largely driven by the North Atlantic Oscillation’s positive phase occurring more often and lasting longer than its negative phase.
The city’s warmest winter on record was the 2001-2002 season when the average temperature soared to 41.5°F. Central Park weather records date back to 1869.