Friday, July 16, 2010

NEQ Friday Review, V.11

NYC 2010 (so far) – ‘Extreme’ly Record Setting

If 2010 is any indication of the diversity of seasons the northeast United States experiences, I don’t know what is! But wait, maybe 2010 isn’t a good example – it’s been a year of weather extremes and records, especially for cities like New York. But nonetheless, it’s made for an interesting first seven months of the year and this week’s NEQ Friday Review, takes a look back at the Big Apple’s weather (since that is where I’m blogging from) from January through July – through my eyes, as a storm watcher, blogger and photographer.

After a record-breaking blizzard in late December, New York kicked off the year with a significant snowstorm along Long Island, which I dubbed the “
Palindrome Nor’easter,” having occurred on 01-02-2010 (which backwards is configured the same).

After a downright cold, nasty start to January, the polar jet retreated back into Canada, thus allowing a nice mid-January thaw, embraced by many New Yorkers as depicted in
this video blog post.

The thaw wouldn’t last long as February approached. The month was literally snow and blizzard extreme! Cities from Washington, DC to New York, including Baltimore, Philadelphia and Wilmington, all saw record-breaking snowfall.

By Wednesday, February 3
snowstorm extravaganza was upon us and the next several weeks looked ominous. As the first week of the month progressed it became more evident a blizzard was to take shape and surely it did just that. But it didn’t stop there! As we moved into the second week of the month another blizzard took shape, smacking the Big Apple with heavy snow and wind, and the storm was epic! However, only a couple weeks would go by before the big daddy “Snowicane” would for nearly three days straight deliver a historical blow to the NYC-metro! Keep reading…

It all came to fruition on February 24 as
computer models defined a tricky forecast ahead. A complex storm was developing and NYC sat on the edge of what could be a heavy rain or a crippling blizzard event. Well, by just a few miles (yes, literally only a few) we were in the snow... and boy did it snow! While the city was enduring a raging snowstorm, Nassau County, Long Island was experiencing a heavy, windswept rain spiraling in from the Atlantic – the Snowicane had begun, and just 12 hours into the storm the expected snowfall totals were upped by the hour. The next day the snow continued and with 17” of snow on the ground in 24 hours, we were only half way into the storm, but records were already starting to break! By the end of the storm it proved historic, and as we rounded out the month, it was among the top four greatest snowfalls NYC ever recorded!

March was no quieter as it came in like a lion when NASA’s Terra satellite captured this
image of early spring snow cover in the northeast! The first of somewhat warmer-core nor’easters moved onshore near NYC on March 11, which I dubbed the “Daylight Savings Nor'easter.” The storm was so fierce that the constant easterly fetch off the Atlantic brought the ocean onshore and raised wave heights to near 20 feet, while coastal communities experienced damaging hurricane force winds knocking down power and flooding many. And to add to the misery, another major coastal deluge took shape towards the end of the month as the March lion still roared.

Record-heat surged northward in early April, forcing the mercury into the 90s for cities from Washington, DC to New York. The mini heat wave was even responsible for
pushing DC’s cherry blossoms into early peak. By the end of the month it was recorded as the warmest April ever!

May and June were relatively calm months, storm-wise... and boy did we deserve it. But by the time the period closed out, more record warmth was recorded and the entire year had thus far been classified as the hottest in history!

July began on a hot note too – a very, very, very hot note! Beginning 4th of July weekend and continuing through the first full week of the month, a massive and oppressive heat wave literally began
choking the mid-Atlantic and northeast. By Tuesday, July 6, high temperatures of up to 103 degrees in the New York City area broke or tied ALL records set back in 1999 at ALL National Weather Service climate reporting sites. The Big Apple was literally baking, sizzling and frying, and by Thursday, July 8 the heat wave began winding down, and in its wake shattering over 300 daily weather records across the northeast.

Well, there you have it! An ‘extreme’ly record setting 2010 for not only NYC, but for the entire northeast and mid-Atlantic. What does the rest of the year hold? Time will tell but you can bet more extremes are in store for someone, someplace!

Have a great weekend!

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