72° in New York City; Avalanche rips Colorado highway

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:12 PM GMT on January 06, 2007

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The heat is on in New York City! The temperature soared to 72° at New York's Central Park Saturday, tying their all-time warmest January temperature ever. New York City has hit 70 degrees in January only twice before since record keeping began in 1869--on January 4, 1932 (70°), and on January 26, 1950 (72°). The 72° reading is a full 34° above their normal high of 38. Records were smashed all over the Northeast today. Philadelphia reached 73° and Newark hit 72°. The all time record for January warmth was 74 °in both cities, set on January 26, 1950. Hartford, Connecticut hit 72,° besting their warmest January temperature ever--70, °set on January 14, 1932. How unusual is this winter? La Guardia airport broke their all-time record for the date (59) °at 6am this morning, when the minimum temperature is usually measured! La Guardia went on to post their warmest January temperature ever, 72°. New York City has not seen a single flake of snow this winter, surpassing the winter of 1877-1878 for the longest stretch without snow (a trace of snow was finally measured on January 4, 1878 that winter). New York City averages 22.4 inches of snow per year. While the current weather forecast does show some colder air moving into New York and most of the U.S. over the next week, no snow is forecast for New York City for at least another week.

The reason for the warmth? A moderate El Nino event is adding a tremendous amount of heat to the globe this winter, and has helped displace the jet stream farther to the north than usual. Global warming is also partly to blame, along with natural variability in the Earth's weather. I also believe that the on-going melting of the Arctic Ice Cap may have contributed to this winter's warmth, although it is difficult to know how much so without doing detailed model studies. Record low levels of sea ice in the Arctic in November and December have exposed much larger areas of open water than usual. The open ocean water provides a tremendous source of heat to the atmosphere, and the extra moisture from the open ocean areas creates cloud cover that insulates the surface. This has allowed less cold Arctic air than usual to form over the Northern Hemisphere. However, now that we are well into the coldest part of winter, the Arctic sea ice has frozen up more. This, combined with the natural cooling due to the 24-hour darkness that continues over the pole, is allowing a large area of cold air to form over the pole. The latest runs of the GFS computer model show that this Arctic air will plunge southwards over North America during the next two weeks, bringing near-normal winter conditions to the U.S. and Canada during the second and third weeks of January. However, exceptionally warm conditions will continue over most of Europe and Asia during this period.

Colorado's tough winter continues: huge avalanche buries cars
Denver's third major snowstorm of the winter brought up to 8 inches of snow to the Denver area today. The heavy snow triggered a major avalanche 60 miles west of Denver that buried a 200-foot wide section of U.S. Highway 40 to a depth of 15 feet. Two cars plunged over the edge, but all eight people inside were rescued. The avalanche occurred near 11,307-foot-high Berthoud Pass. Colorado has had a lot snow, thanks to a kink in the jet stream that has put the predominant storm track over the state. However, the weather has not been very cold--the average temperature in Denver during December was 1.4° above normal, thanks to warm weather that moved into the region before and after each major storm. About 95% of the U.S. had above-normal temperatures in December.

2007 to be warmest year on record?
There is a 60% chance that 2007 will be the warmest year on record, according to a forecast issued by the United Kingdom Meteorological Office on January 4. The forecasters cited the combined influence of the continuing global warming trend, and the presence of a moderate El Nino event. "Even a moderate (El Nino) warming event is enough to push the global temperatures over the top," said Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research unit at the University of East Anglia. The warmest years on record were 2005 and 1998, when the global average temperature was 1.2°F higher than the long-term average of 57°F. Given the remarkable warmth across not only North America this January, but also Europe and Asia, I think that a 40% chance of a warmest year ever is a reasonable forecast, but 60% might be too high. Not all El Nino events create a big increase in global temperatures.

I'll talk more about the amazing warmth of this winter on Tuesday afternoon, when the National Climatic Data Center releases their U.S. statistics for December of 2006.

Jeff Masters

Where is Winter? (CarmelHillHopson)
Daffodils coming up, temperatures 30 degrees above normal, and spring like thunder showers. Not bad for the 15th day of winter.
Where is Winter?
Where is Winter? (CarmelHillHopson)
Daffodils coming up, temperatures 30 degrees above normal, and spring like thunder showers. Not bad for the 15th day of winter.
Where is Winter?
January daffodils (wsmorris)
I know some daffodils bloom early, but I've never seen them bloom outdoors on January 7!
January daffodils

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394. Patrap
11:06 AM CST on January 09, 2007
A countdown to H season..thats different.Im not sure its a look forward to thing along the Gulf Coast..never is.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
393. weatherboykris
5:01 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
crickets chirping
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
392. weatherboykris
5:00 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
echo
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
391. weatherboykris
3:34 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Only 142 days Link
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
390. Frozencanuck
1:47 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
Howdy there Grizz...its cold here this morning too but nothing to compare with what you get. We are at a balmy 28F and clear skys. Green grass here with a tinge of white frost. Not bad for January when we usually have snow up to our knees.

Be blessed and keep warm.
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389. AKGrizzly
4:44 AM AKST on January 09, 2007
Welcome to my Frozen Neck of the woods. Snow coming again wednesday night. 22 plus inches in my yard in one 24 hour period. Guess where I live?

Max Temperature Min Temperature
Normal 19 F 7 F
Record 42 F (2002) -14 F (1990)
Yesterday -2 F -15 F* Record Breaker


Welcome to Chugiak Alaska!

Anchorage Airport has never shutdown because of snow. Matter of fact the only time Anchorage ever shutdown was 911. Pretty good record I'd say. 8^)

Have a Great Day All! Keep shoveling you'll find the sidewalk and those in the east enjoy all that nice warm weather from the big El~.

- Alaskan Grizz
Disabled American Veteran
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388. Patrap
7:43 AM CST on January 09, 2007
Florida..cold?...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
387. turtlehurricane
1:42 PM GMT on January 09, 2007
The cold front has cleared Florida this morning. Read more on my blog or

Florida Weather
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386. TayTay
10:39 AM GMT on January 09, 2007
Something forming off Hawaii?

t

t
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385. LowerCal
10:12 PM PST on January 08, 2007
lightning10, Malibu fires in January doesn't seem very El Nio either.
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383. lightning10
5:43 AM GMT on January 09, 2007
90 degrees less then 2 inches of rain since July? Sounds like El Nino in So Cal alright!
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381. StormMan
3:32 AM GMT on January 09, 2007
Anyone check out these two lows in the east pacific?

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/epac/loop-wv.html

how common are these types of lows? they almost look tropical

-StormMan
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380. jitterymoose
3:03 AM GMT on January 09, 2007
Winter is hanging out at my house where it's -28.9F up here on the ridge, and -39F already in Fairbanks (and probably colder in North Pole, AK). Forecast is for -50F tonight (that's not windchill, that's air temp). The power's still on, so I'm thankful. Have a great night. JM
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379. hurricane23
9:36 PM EST on January 08, 2007
Over 50-70 knots of windshear in some places across the the atlantic.Everything looks quite calm atleast for the next 3-4 months.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
378. Patrap
7:02 PM CST on January 08, 2007
My scanner dosent do it justice,Im having the Original Negs digitized to disc.And will use them for that blog in April.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
377. Patrap
7:01 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Another..6
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
376. Patrap
7:00 PM CST on January 08, 2007
As the 10th anniversary of HAle -Bopp comes around..Ill be posting the whole roll.Made a bunch of sales of 8 x 10s and 20 X 30s too,back then.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
374. Patrap
6:59 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Was best roll of Film I ever shot..2 locations that night.One earlier nearer to Dusk..and that location.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
372. Patrap
6:57 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Interstate 55..with brake lights trailing.Was cold for April..too.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
370. Patrap
6:56 PM CST on January 08, 2007
1000spd Royal Gold..Canon Ae-1..30 sec-xposure.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
369. Patrap
6:55 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Comet Hale-Bopp April 97 here..my Photo. 8
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
366. Patrap
6:51 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Put down the phaser and come back to Earth....
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
365. Patrap
6:50 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Ya need to read more relavent material cyclone...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
364. Patrap
6:50 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Current & future Comets..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
362. pottery
8:39 PM AST on January 08, 2007
Weatherboy, I,ve been reading yr blog, and want to clarify :- The Sahara dust may not be as pronounced this tear as compared to last, due to moister ground conditions in Africa. But bear in mind that if the ground is moist (relatively speaking ) we could still get masses of HOT DRY air coming into the Atlantic. The dust is the visible aspect of the phenomenon. Yes ? Its the Dry air that ate the tropical waves. Yes ?
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361. Patrap
6:46 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Heres the comet from another view. Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
360. Skyepony (Mod)
12:40 AM GMT on January 09, 2007
Birds Delay Migration Due To Warm Weather

There's my Robins.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38172
357. Patrap
6:44 PM CST on January 08, 2007
Comet McNaught in Western Sky..6
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128657
353. pottery
8:38 PM AST on January 08, 2007
But it has suddenly become rather banal.
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349. pottery
8:19 PM AST on January 08, 2007
Greetings, everyone. A good discussion going on......
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347. weatherboykris
11:58 PM GMT on January 08, 2007
see my blog,I have an in-depth forecast with lndfall probabilities for 7 regions
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
346. hurricane23
6:50 PM EST on January 08, 2007
I hope your not right on that perdiction!Remember its all about timeing with tropical systems.I expect an above average season with 15/9/4.Hopefully troffiness will be present and will shove everything out to sea like in 06.In a few months the GFS will once again begin with its fantasy storms that most of the time never actually develope.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804
345. weatherboykris
11:43 PM GMT on January 08, 2007
That dry air will prevent cloud cover...that lack of cloud cover will warm the seas by june...those warm seas will evaporate and moisten the air...storms will form and the stronger than normal Bemuda High will steer them in to Florida...See my blog for details
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
344. hurricane23
6:39 PM EST on January 08, 2007
Besides highly unfavorable conditions Here is a view at the bone dry air that's in place across entire caribbean and parts of the atlantic.It takes alot more than warm SST'S for developement of a tropical cyclone.I think 2006 showed that.


Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13804

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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