When you think of winter weather around New York Harbor in February, most people would think of snow, sleet or freezing rain. Spring often seems so far away, especially around President’s Day weekend. Many past historic snowstorms seemed to have taken place either a few days before or a few days after the holiday. Remember the Presidents' Day Snowstorm of 2003, which dumped 25.6" of snow at JFK Airport or the Blizzard of 2006 around February 12 with 26.9" of snow.
Maybe in an ever-warmer world we need to re-think our thoughts about winter in February. Spring arrived, at least for a weekend. Sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to high 60s made many communities around New York Harbor feel the warm embrace of spring today.
So warm in fact, many sites around or near the harbor broke records. According to the U.S National Weather Service, the following places experienced record warmth:
LaGuardia Airport: 66, breaks the old record of 65 in 1997.
JFK Airport: 68, breaks the old record of 66 in 1997.
Newark Airport: 69, breaks the old record of 66 in 1997.
Long Island MacArthur Airport: 65, breaks the old record of 60 in 1997.
Stratford, CT: 63, breaks the old record of 61 in 1997.
All climate sites except Central Park broke a record. Yet, in those places that did, it took just 20 years for these high temperature records to fall.
With high temperatures around 69 degrees F near Sandy Hook Bay where I live, it was warm enough to open up the windows for the first time since the fall. Around town many people were wearing short-sleeved shirts and shorts. Beaches and boardwalks were packed with people taking in the sun and spring air.
Yesterday too had above normal temperatures with many places experiencing highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s. It’s an amazing stretch of warm weather when you think normal high temperatures for this time of year should be between 40 to 43 degrees F.
It looks like February could follow January as an overall warm month of winter. NOAA recently declared January 2017 as the 3rd warmest on record for the globe. North America had its fourth warmest January on record.
January’s average global temperature was 1.58 degrees F above the 20th century average of 53.6 degrees, according to the analysis by scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. This was the third highest for January in the 1880-2017 record, behind 2016 (highest) and 2007 (second highest).
This rise in temperature effectively follows a report released September 27, 2013, by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which stated that scientists are more certain than ever of the link between human activities and global warming. More than 197 international scientific organizations agree that global warming is real and has been caused by human actions.
One of the most direct and obvious effects of global warming as stated in the report is the increase in temperatures around the world. The average global temperature has increased by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) over the past 100 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).