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New York Winter
Snow on the Trees
Background on New York Winters
There are actually people who like winter. Let me correct that, there are actually people who love winter! I know, since I live in New York you would think I am one of them, but I'm not. However, let me tell you about New York winter.
First, let me tell you a little bit about New York. New York State that is. New York is 54,560 sq miles. Out of that area, 47,213.79 is land area, ranking it as number thirty in the United States for land area and number seven in the United States for water area. It happens to be number seven for population as well. The thing is, when most people hear New York they think New York City, but there's lots more to New York than just New York City, as you can see from the land and water areas.
For those of you who don't know, though I don't see how, New York is located in the Northeastern section of the United States. The 'north' part should give you an idea we're heading toward some cold weather here.
On the shores of Lake Erie, lies Buffalo, N.Y. Buffalo is a 'snowy city', but Wikipedia tells us it is not the snowiest in New York. Snowfall here can range between eighty and one hundred and sixty inches.Though that's a lot of snow, the area between Watertown and Syracuse receives an average of two hundred inches a year so I think it wins the prize for snowiest. Sorry guys, but I am happy to say I don't live near either of these places.
Just so you know, the average snowfall in New York City is twenty eight inches and here in the Hudson Valley it is forty-two. So you can see the average snowfall for New York State is all over the map, so to speak.
Of course snowfall puts you in mind of winter and that's what we're here to look at, winter in New York and what its really like. As you can see from the snowfall numbers things vary across New York State. Just as snowfall rates vary, temperatures vary.
The Northern Plateau of the state can average minus thirty five degrees while New York City's coldest temperatures average around five degrees, and just like the snow, the Hudson Valley is somewhere in between. Different temperatures depending on different conditions and different locations throughout the state.
New York State
This is New York State, located in the Northeast of the United states
Old Time Snow Storms
Just Enough Snow
Winter in New York
So, without leaving the State of New York, on the same day you can experience a mild winter day or go skiing on snow covered mountain tops. Without getting into a discussion about Global Warming, it is still safe to say, winters in New York are milder than they used to be.
Not that I'm that old, but I remember when. When? Well, when I was a little girl (back in the fifties) I remember lots of snow falling and I lived in Queens. Even when I first got married, we came back from our honeymoon after a lovely summer-like wedding day and had a full blown blizzard. However, what was a full blown blizzard to me, didn't even reach the record of New York snowstorms. It was bad enough to ground planes and keep people home from work as they tried to shovel out from under. In February of 1969, New York State saw anywhere from 10 to 20 inches of snow in a snowstorm that is on the records. February 1978 saw another snowstorm dumping between twenty and thirty inches across New York State. Notice I am not getting into the details of Northern New York because these 'small' amounts of snow don't effect them up north at all. At that time, when I was a little girl, it was always colder and snowed more in Upstate New York.
Oh, all the days of building snowmen, having snowball fights, sledding, freezing while trying to ice skate, and so many other winter pastimes. But, what happened to them? It seems they are becoming a thing of the past here. New York winters are not what they used to be. The winter of 2012 has seen very little snow and the temperatures have been very mild. As a matter of fact, some spring flowers have been fooled into thinking its time to shoot up! We've had cold weather, twenty degrees with a wind child factor of five, but we've had more warm days than cold if you average them out. They say the temperature is dropping .5 degrees per decade.
Last winter was dubbed the warmest winter on record, I wonder where this one will come in.
More Snow Pictures or NotClick thumbnail to view full-size
This year, as in recent past years, skiing has taken a beating. Resorts offering skiing have even had problems making their own snow due to the weather. Rain and 'wetter' snow has also had an adverse effect on skiing.
Ice skating was always a family sport with us. We haven't done it in years because the ponds and small lakes freeze and re-freeze. The 'new ice' is then bumpy and not good for skating or its just too darn warm and the water isn't frozen down deep enough.
But all is not lost. We still see winter snowbirds, who either visit for the winter or have stayed through the summer. Skiing is not out altogether but the season is shorter. Of course if you are interested in New York City, the holidays in winter, make NYC even more appealing. Who doesn't love The Rockettes or Rockefeller Center with its huge Christmas tree?
Did I mention the Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New York? Though that was in 1980, Olympic State Park has over thirty miles of trails, and you can try your skill at a bobsled ride!
Winter Weather Terms
- Winter Storm Watch - heavy snow with an accumulation of 1/2 in 24 to 36 hours.
- Winter Storm Warning - heavy snow with an accumulation of 1/2 expected in 16 hours.
- Winter Weather Advisory - Snow/sleet/ freezing rain or any combination expected in 12 hours.
- Blizzard Watch - 35 mile per hour winds with 1/2 mile visibility.
- Blizzard Warning - 35 mile per hour winds, 1/4 mile visibility and should persist for 3 hours.
- Ice Storm Warning - heavy accumulation of ice - 1/2 inch thick.
Mohonk Mountain House
The cold has not gone away. There is still a New York Winter. Last week temperatures were frigid all over the State. Why, for an entire week New York City wasn't above thirty three degrees. Can you imagine the temperatures as you move further north?
Winter hasn't gone away. Cold weather still visits New York, sometimes pulling up a chair and staying a while. There are weather alerts and advisories on the radio, TV, and of course the Internet to keep people apprised of what's coming their way.
We've looked at all the bad things about a New York Winter, except for a visit to New York City. What can you do outside of New York City in the winter? Well, do you like whipped cream, ice cream, or marshmallows in your hot chocolate? Hot chocolate must be the patron drink of winter.
You have to admit you can get some beautiful pictures in winter as ice forms in strange and hanging places. Many cities in New York State have fascinating attractions, from Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame to Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights. If you've never been to the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, winter might be a time to try it. There are places in northern New York State like Old Forge and Newcomb, that turn into snowmobile heaven in the winter (providing they have snow of course). The have dedicated streets for snowmobiles. Snowtubing? You can go to western New York's largest tubing park at Kissing Bridge.
Winter and cold temperatures aren't the end of the world, (I have to keep telling myself that) especially in New York State where there's so much to see and do both inside and out. New York winter is just a cold weather pleasure trip to a great state.
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