Winter 2019-2020: Seventh Warmest on Record in NYC

The spring equinox is still a few weeks away, but meteorological winter (December, January, and February) has officially ended and it tied the winter of 1990-91 as the seventh warmest on record in New York City.

The season, with daily highs ranging from 25°F to 69°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 39.2°F. That is an incredible 4.1°F above normal.

In all, sixty-three out of ninety-one days posted above average readings and every month was warmer than its long-term norm. In fact, February 2020 was the city’s fifth warmest February on record.  

In terms of snowfall, the city received a paltry 4.8 inches in Central Park, which is a staggering 16.5 inches below average. That makes the winter of 2019-2020 the fourth least snowy winter on record for the Big Apple.

This winter’s pattern of prolonged periods of warmth separated by a few short-lived cold snaps 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 with an average temperature of 41.5°F.  Central Park weather records date back to 1869.

Credit: The Weather Gamut

This entry was posted in weather and tagged , , , , , by Melissa Fleming. Bookmark the permalink.

About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.