It’s official: NYC hasn’t seen snow like this in 130 years
The snow has been falling all day in New York City.
For most New Yorkers, the snow was probably a drag. For a record seeker like myself, this late season snow storm allowed me to catch my snow white whale.
This marks the fifth consecutive season that at least 30 inches of snow have fallen in New York City. The only other recorded time it snowed this much, for this long a period, was back in the 1880s (records begin in the 1869-1870 season). That five-year stretch occurred mostly during the presidential administration of Chester A. Arthur, another president who made a name for himself in New York.
As of 8 p.m., 6.7 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park in Manhattan, the official measurement site for snow in Manhattan. More snow has fallen since then, but that alone put New York over 30 inches of snow for the season. Before the storm, New York City had only 27 inches of snow recorded for the season.
Another way of looking at it is that the average snowfall per season since 1869 has been 28.8 inches.
There have been only two five-year stretches now where each season featured above average snowfall. This latest five-year stretch and the aforementioned one in the 1880s.
The last five years of winter have been notable for other reasons as well. The largest snowstorm in New York City history — of 27.5 inches — occurred in January 2016. That same season also featured the only subzero temperature since 1994.
In other words, if you’re a New Yorker who thinks that the last few winters have been brutal to some degree, you’re exactly right. If you’re a New Yorker of the belief that winters just don’t live up to the old days, you’re wrong.
Interestingly, it isn’t too brutal to have a snowstorm this late in the season in New York. While the last measurable snow in the median year would have fallen a few days ago, the last snow often times seeps later in the year. In fact, there are numerous examples of significant snowstorms occurring in April in New York.
But even for a lover of snow like myself, April snow is a bit much.