New York City Could Get Its First Significant Snowfall in Nearly Two Years This Weekend

New York City Could Get Its First Significant Snowfall in Nearly Two Years This Weekend

Millions of Americans in the Northeast should brace themselves for snowfall on Saturday evening in what meteorologists are calling a significant storm after a nearly two-year-long snow drought in certain major cities.

The gravity of the storm is still to be determined as the weekend approaches, but experts are keeping a close eye on New York in particular because it has been more than 700 days since Central Park in New York City recorded an inch of snow on one calendar day.

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The storm will begin across the Southern Plains on Thursday, where it will gather moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, before moving towards the Northeast.

While the storm was initially predicted to bring at least 6 inches of snowfall in the interior Northeast, Accuweather meteorologist Tom Kines says about 1-3 inches of snow are expected in New York City before the precipitation becomes rain.

The severity of the storm will vary throughout New York. Residents further west and north from the Big Apple, like those near Interstate 287, can still expect to see more than six inches of snow. Those on Long Island won’t see much snow accumulate, Kines expects.

The effect of El Niño

New York City has experienced little snowfall in the past few years, with 2023 ranking as the year with the “least snowiness,” according to the National Weather Service for New York, with just 2.3 inches of snow.   

The last time Central Park saw more than an inch of snow in a day was on Feb. 13, 2022, when 2.6 inches were recorded. 

Kines says that while the winters haven’t been dry, most of the precipitation has come down as rainfall because there is not much cold air in place. “Even this storm, at least the way it looks right now, there’s not a whole lot of cold air to deal with,” he says. 

El Niño, a climate phenomenon that brings in warm temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, has also headed into winter for the first time in four years, per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That phenomenon tends to bring in more storms across the southern U.S. which can sometimes take a turn to the Northeast, like meteorologists are expecting to see this week.  
That means that there could be more snowfall across the I-95 corridor this winter, though whether or not “the snow materializes is mother nature’s call,” Kines says.

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