Last month was the warmest February in Central Park on recorded history, clocking in at 40.9 degrees Fahrenheit on average. The last three months have averaged out to give way to the second warmest winter on record, behind only the 2001-2002 winter record. By comparison, the coldest February in Central Park recorded history — they started keeping records in 1870 — was in 1934 when temperatures averaged out at 19.9 degrees Fahrenheit. With a little over 20 degrees in change, this is a climatological contrast if we’ve ever seen one.
Photo courtesy of Joe Schumacher/Gothamist.com
Now, before everyone jumps on their “I told you so” climate change bandwagon, let’s not forget that some of the warmest winter months were recorded in times when our fossil fuel addictions weren’t so overwhelming. The warmest January on record in Central Park came in 1932 and averaged 43.2. That’s also not to say that these record temperatures have nothing to do with the current state of our global climate crises, but we’d have to address some climatologists on that conclusion.
In contrast with last winter, when our post-yuletide Snowmageddon literally shut the city down, this winter has been mild or as the New York Times City Blog put it “it has been a Nonwinter“. Previously three Februarys had tied for the warmest on record at 40.6 degrees Fahrenheit; 1984, 1998 and 2002.
“In 1984, we then proceeded to have one of the coldest recent Marches, with a powerful storm towards the end of the month,” Stephen Fybish, a weather historian that lives on the Upper East Side told the New York Times. “I think they wound up with a foot of snow.”