News Release

Where’s the snow? Northeastern cities see record temps, low snowfall in 2023

Reports and Proceedings

Cornell University

ITHACA, N.Y. - In the Northeastern United States, warming average temperatures for most all climate data sites in December 2023 ranged from 3.6 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit above normal – making 2023 the warmest year on record for 13 of the region’s 35 major locations, including New York City.

A total of 28 cities in the region saw one of their top-five warmest years, according to a report Jan. 2 by the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.

“The year 2023 continues a long stretch of 26 years with above-normal temperatures,” said Art DeGaetano, director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center. “In fact, the 10 warmest years since 1895 have all occurred since 1998,” he said. “It has become increasingly clear that the trend we’ve seen reflects the longer-term pattern of global climate change.”

Northeastern cities seeing their warmest year on record: New York City, Central Park (2.1 degrees F departure above average); Islip, New York (2.3 degrees F); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (2.4 degrees F); Albany, New York (2.8 degrees F); Newark, New Jersey (3.2 degrees F); Baltimore (3.1 degrees F); Dulles Airport, Chantilly, Virginia (2.9 degrees F); Williamsport, Pennsylvania (2.7 degrees F); Burlington, Vermont (2.4 degrees F); Wilmington, Delaware (2.2 degrees F), Binghamton, New York (3.5 degrees F), Worcester, Massachusetts (3.5 degrees F) and Concord, New Hampshire (2.2 degrees F).

The unusually warm year started in January, with temperatures ranging from 6 to 12 degrees F warmer than normal. Higher temperatures also prevailed in February, April, July, and most of fall. The entire Northeast has been running a snowfall deficit, with the largest shortfalls occurring in New England, New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, according to climatologist Samantha Borisoff of the climate center.

Worcester and Hartford, Connecticut recorded their least snowy December, with merely a trace, Borisoff said. Worcester saw a 14.9-inch departure from average snowfall amounts and Hartford had a 10.1-inch departure. Generally a blustery place in the winter, Syracuse, New York had a snowfall scarcity of 25.8 inches below normal in December.

Major Northeastern cities continued a longer trend of little snow. Neither Baltimore nor Philadelphia has recorded more than an inch of snow in more than 700 days (since late January 2022) – the longest such streaks on record, Borisoff said. New York City’s Central Park and Dulles Airport, in Chantilly, Virginia, near Washington, have not seen more than an inch of snow since mid-February 2022 and mid-March 2022, respectively, which are record streaks.

For additional information, read this Cornell Chronicle story.

Cornell University has dedicated television and audio studios available for media interviews.

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