Warm weather, lack of snow a concern for Central Park Conservancy

Dani Beckstrom Image
Monday, January 30, 2023
Warm weather, lack of snow a concern for Central Park
The Central Park Conservancy says they're concerned about the warmer weather and snowless streak in New York City because lawns have less time to rest. Dani Beckstrom has the story

CENTRAL PARK, Manhattan (WABC) -- Many people were out enjoying the spring-like weather on Monday, but for some like the Central Park Conservancy, the warmer weather and lack of snow is a cause for concern.

The birds were chirping, trees were budding, and daffodils were sprouting on Monday, a 50-degree day that felt more like spring in New York City than the middle of winter.

"It's great, I mean I don't even need this coat really, it's too heavy," resident Joe Hong said. "I'm doing my usual walk in Central Park, it's very comfortable."

Comfortable, yes, but normal? Not even close.

January 2023 will likely go down as the warmest January on record in New York City, coming in above average every single day so far. The warm winter weather is leading to the other big climate headline: the city's streak of snowless days, which is currently at 327.

ALSO READ | NYC's snowless streak breaks 50-year-old record for latest measurable snowfall

Meteorologist Lee Goldberg said it's even a little bit warmer than a typical February.

Since records began back in 1869, Central Park has never made it this late in the season without measurable snow.

The previous record was January 29 set back in 1973, and each day moving forward will set a new record until Central Park finally looks a little more like a snowy paradise.

"I love the snow and I love to see the kids out playing and I do think that's important, but I'm not complaining," resident Ellie McGuire said. "But yes, I do think we all have to be very aware that something's going on."

The lack of snow isn't just a worry for those concerned for our climate, it's also a concern for the Central Park Conservancy. The higher temperatures mean higher foot traffic during what should be a slower season, allowing the lawns to rest and recuperate.

"When we have snow, we have snow on the lawns, so that means the lawns are kind of resting and the grass is dormant so people don't get to use them so that will help," said William Quansah, Assistant Manager of Section 1 Central Park Conservancy. "But because we haven't had snow, that opens up and more people are using it so that means it's being torn up."

ALSO WATCH | Weather or Not: What happened to winter? And will snow and cold finally show up?

We had that cold shot around Christmas, but otherwise winter has been pretty scarce this season. Lee examines whether snow and cold will finally show up.

The conservancy is confident their crews will be able to compensate for the lack of snow-induced help this winter by over-seeding and aerating, but that does mean a more labor-intensive process to prep for the spring season. So, the question on everyone's mind now is, will winter ever make an appearance?

"You tell me, you're the weather person so you let me know," Hong said.

New York City has never had a snowless winter in recorded history, so climatologically speaking, we should see snowflakes pile up at some point.

A big drop in temperatures is coming this weekend, but for now, no snow is in sight.


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