New York City snowfall has never been this late in 154 years

No white Christmas to set a festive mood in Rockefeller Center. No snow to greet New Year's Eve revelers in Times Square for the first full-blown celebration since the start of the pandemic. New York City has hardly looked like winter over the past couple of months due to a lack of snowfall. The Big Apple's snowless streak has not only been turning heads, but it has also officially become record-setting.

Since records began in 1869, the latest first measurable snowfall in New York City was recorded on Jan. 29, 1973, but that changed on Sunday. As Jan. 29 came and went this year, no snow was recorded at the official weather station in New York City's Central Park. And each day without snow will continue to break the record. Last week, the Big Apple surpassed the second-place record, which was set in 1966 and 2000 when snow was not measured until Jan. 20.

While the city has received precipitation since the winter season officially began, it has primarily come in the form of rain instead of snow due to abnormally high temperatures.

"The lack of snowfall this season is not for a lack of storms," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist David Dombek said. "There have been precipitation events, [but the] temperatures were just too high for snow."

People crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on Jan. 25, 2023, and Jan. 7, 2022. (Photos by Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Overall precipitation for the month of December was more than 2 inches above average, but the vast majority of that fell as rain instead of snow. So far, January is also on track to have more precipitation than normal, with the total nearly an inch above average, Dombek said.


As for snowfall, New York City is significantly below average for season-to-date snowfall. From Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, the city typically receives 13.5 inches of snow.

Although the city has been cold enough for snow throughout this winter season and some flurries have been spotted, the most the city has recorded at its official location in Central Park is a trace of snow. But a trace amount of snow does not count as measurable snowfall, which meteorologists define as 0.1 of an inch of snow or greater.

This combination of pictures created on January 27, 2023, shows people in the Dubo neighborhood of Brooklyn on March 14, 2017 (top) and on January 25, 2023 (bottom) in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

As of Sunday, Jan. 29, New York City's season's snowless streak stands at 328 days. In fact, no snow has been measured in the Big Apple since March 9, 2022, when 0.4 of an inch fell. The longest snowless streak in the city lasted 332 days and ended on Dec. 15, 2020.

AccuWeather forecasters say there is a high likelihood that this year could climb into the number one spot as the city continues to miss out on snow opportunities.

Barring some sort of sneaky surprise, there is very little or no chance of measurable snow in New York City for at least the next week to 10 days, if not longer, Dombek said.

A cold front narrowly missed bringing measurable snow to Central Park on Tuesday. Up to 0.2 of an inch fell on parts of Long Island, but the official observation site in Manhattan only registered a trace.

This time last year painted a much different picture for the Big Apple. A powerful winter storm brought strong winds and heavy snow to the Northeast from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30. The storm dumped 8.3 inches of snow in Central Park.

Blizzard conditions were reported at the Islip National Weather Service (NWS) office, which is located just outside New York City, on Long Island.

Most of the snow from this storm fell across the New York City metro area on Jan. 29, which broke the daily snowfall records at least six weather stations across the area. In Islip, a daily snowfall total of 23.5 inches was recorded on Jan. 29, breaking the 2014 daily record of 1.5 inches.

In Central Park, the storm dumped 7.3 inches of snow on Jan. 29 alone, breaking the 1904 daily record of 4.3 inches. Daily snowfall records were also broken at John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Newark, New Jersey, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, on Jan. 29, 2022.

Correction: A previous version of the graphic labeled "Record Late Start to Snow Season" listed December of 1870 in the third place for the latest starts of snowfall. AccuWeather meteorologists confirmed that the National Weather Service (NWS) report that listed no accumulation until Jan. 21, 1871, was an error. An NWS meteorologist confirmed that 3 inches of snow fell in December of 1870.

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