March is the New February


Well, we only had to wait three-and-a-half months for winter to come back. For those of you outside NYC, we were hit with a late-fall snowstorm (November 15: first day of basketball tryouts!), and hadn’t seen appreciable snow since.

Until this past weekend. Two quick-moving systems targeted the NYC area. Winter’s last gasp? Harbinger of another snowy March to come? Of all the winters this decade, six of them have featured more snow in March than December. The other four Marches, however, were WELL warmer than average. This, to me, is a clear signal of climate change’s impact on volatility and variability. Rather than drag out that fucking groundhog again, maybe we should start lowering carbon emissions.


So, yeah, okay, this blog post is kind of a plug for my Facebook weather personality; I’m pasting a review of last night’s storm. But because dissemination of accurate, up-to-date forecasting is essentially nonexistent, I’m framing this as a philanthropic public service, and will be writing this off come tax day.

While last night's storm wasn't quite as snowy as I'd hoped, Central Park still managed to hit the lower end of my range with 5 inches. Up here in Harlem we got a bit more, and though much of it melted on concrete, from 11PM-1AM it was going gangbusters and managed to pile up for a bit.

I'm going to start a storm rating system, which will be scored as compared to expectations for the storm. Since it is March -- and though March is the new February -- I will give this storm a bit higher grade than normal because it's really hard to get accumulating snow at this time. Also, March snow is super pretty to look at.

However: I took Rosetta on a jeb walk (a walk in the snow per American Wx Forums) just as the last heavy bands seemed to be moving through. Looked like we had a good chance of getting a few more inches as the storm moved out -- until, halfway through our walk, it all changed to sleet. This wasn't expected -- not this far north.

Because I did think we had a shot at higher totals, and because the mix line went more north than hoped...

Storm score: 5.2

Edit: Going to also include my prediction rating. Here was my FINAL CALL:

Harlem: 5-9" (localized up to 11")
Central Park: 4-8" (localized up to 11") 
Brooklyn/Queens: 3-7" (localized up to 10")

In general we hit the lower ends of those ranges. However, because NYC is a concrete jungle, only about half of what fell ended up sticking, and there was more sleet/freezing rain than anticipated, especially in southern areas of my network.

It was by no means a bust, but not quite the impact I was anticipating.

Prediction score: 7.0


Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter — this month I’ll be doing a look back on all my Facebook posts regarding the snowstorms I tracked over the winter. Also, as usual, I’ll include an excerpt from my novel, Emerald City, forthcoming from Dead Rabbits Books!