What to Know
- Storm Team 4 expects above-average snow and below-average cold this winter
- December may be a bit warm to start, but arctic air is coming in January and February
- Six of the city's ten largest snowstorms happened in the last 20 years
Those few stray flakes you saw blow through New York City today are just a taste of what’s to come this winter – an above-average snow season with the potential for multiple major storms throughout the tri-state.
Storm Team 4 expects this winter to far outperform last season, when Central Park only saw 20 inches of snow. The average for a winter is 26 inches, and we should be well above that this year.
There are two trends at play. While the average annual snowfall in Central Park is in decline over a very long horizon (going back to the 1870s), it’s actually on the rise if you look at just the last generation. (In fact, six of the city’s top-10 snowstorms happened in the last 20 years.)
For this year, there are no signs of El Nino or La Nina, the Pacific weather phenomena that have such a profound impact on our region.
During such a “neutral” pattern, the northeast is directly in the crosshairs for cold, artic air to move south and mild, moist air to move north.
Where those factors collide, storms happen, especially nor’easters and all of their associated wind, precipitation and coastal erosion.
But it’s not just the snow. The meteorologists of Storm Team 4 expect an unusually cold season as well.
Single-digit wind chills before Thanksgiving are just a taste of what’s to come – and while you might get a little surprise warm-up in December and into early January, prepare for the arctic to come for a visit in late January through early March.