March 28, 2023

New York in winter conjures up traditional images of Central Park and Times Square blanketed in white. But not this year.

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Not a single snowflake fell on Sunday, the metropolis breaking a 50-year record for the first snowfall of the winter season.

She is also on course to record her highest number of consecutive snowflake-free days.

An unusual situation that disturbs residents whose love/hate relationship with snow is already very complicated.

“It’s really sad,” Anne Hansen, a retired teacher, told AFP. “Normally, we don’t like to see the snow coming. But now we begin to regret it bitterly.

In the metropolis nicknamed “the big apple”, the first snowfalls occur on average in mid-December. Last year, it took until Christmas Eve.

Schoolchildren and employees then appreciate the “snow days” often generously allocated, which allows them to stay at home. The children take out their sledges and the adults put on their cross-country skis, heading to Central Park.

“We stay at home, we drink hot chocolate, the dog loves it,” director Renata Romain told AFP.

But, he hastens to add, “the snow is beautiful to see on the first day, but after that it gets dirty, it melts and it’s filthy”.

Meteorologists count snow starting at 0.1 inch (a quarter of a centimeter) in height in Central Park. A few isolated flakes are therefore not enough.

In 1973, New Yorkers waited until January 29 for snow, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The absence of snow on Sunday therefore means that this duration has been exceeded for the first time since the beginning of the records in 1869.

New York is also approaching its longest series of consecutive days without snow: the record to beat is 332 days. On Sunday, the number of 326 days was reached.

“It’s very unusual,” confirms Nelson Vaz, a meteorologist, to AFP, recalling the recent paradoxical cold spells. One meter of snow fell in December in Buffalo, killing 39 people.

But in New York, 600 kilometers to the south, this historic storm that chilled much of the United States around Christmas resulted in lots of rain and abnormally high temperatures.

You have to go back to 1932 to find a warmer start to January than this year, according to

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