Winter Warmest on Record Since 1869

It's officially spring but for weather forecasters winter actually ended March 1.

This December ranked as that month's warmest since weather records started being kept in New York in 1869, and January ranked as the eighth warmest, officials said.

February 2002 tied with February 1998 and 1984 as the second warmest on record in Central Park.

The 2001-2002 season ranked as the warmest such season on record since 1869 and sixth consecutive such season of above-normal temperatures. Temperature extremes included 72 degrees on Dec. 6, and 17 degrees on Feb. 5 and 14. There was only one day with a maximum of 32 degrees or lower, the first time this occurred since 1997-98. There was also 45 days with minimums of 32 degrees or lower. The winter was the 13th winter in a row without a reading of 0.

Weather officials also said it was very dry this past winter. In fact, it was the second driest winter on record, behind 1900-01 when only 4.22 inches fell, and the driest ever in Kearny since 1977, records show. The season was behind 1979-80 when 5.02 inches fell. Only a trace of snow hit the ground in February, and in January, totals were at 3.6 inches. The normal for the season is 22.8 inches. During the 1971-72 season, the least amount of snowfall - 2.8 inches - are listed on the records.

Long-range forecasts for March indicate near normal temperatures, falling pretty much within the current pattern. Generally warmer than normal temperatures interrupted a sharp but brief change to colder. Rainfall is expected to be near normal. For spring, warmer than normal temperatures are expected and below normal rainfall. During the next two weeks, a broad trough will cover the nation with high pressure over the East. This will likely cause a continuation in our changeable weather pattern. Overall temperatures and precipitation is expected to average near to above normal.
Jim G. Munley, jr.

Return To Press Release Page

If you have any questions about, or any suggestions for this website, please feel free to either fill out our guestbook, or contact me at