Pedestrians walk along Port Jefferson’s Main Street as a mixture...

Pedestrians walk along Port Jefferson’s Main Street as a mixture of snow and rain fell from the Nor’easter that passed over Long Island on March 14. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Those dreaming of a winter wonderland in New York City anytime soon may have to wait a bit longer as Central Park eclipsed 650 days last weekend without at least 1 inch of snowfall, according to the National Weather Service.

With no snow in the forecast through the first week of December, Central Park continues to shatter the previous record of 383 consecutive days of less than an inch of snow through 1998. The last snowfall of at least 1 inch in Central Park was recorded Feb. 13, 2022, according to the weather service.

Long Island ended its snowless streak Feb. 27 when 1.8 inches of snow fell at Long Island MacArthur Airport after 354 days without at least 1 inch of snow, meteorologist David Stark said at the weather service’s office in Upton. On that same day, Central Park measured 0.9 inches of snow. Surrounding airports, including Kennedy and LaGuardia, topped an inch.

“It was nothing that unusual. The snow just came late last year,” Stark said about Long Island’s snow accumulation in the winter of 2022-23. “The snowfall season is variable. We average 30 inches of snow per year and some seasons have less than others.”

Nevertheless, last year marked one of the least snowy years ever, said Jase Bernhardt, director of Hofstra University’s meteorology program. He said snowfall over the past decade had been closer to normal or above normal on Long Island.

This year, the volatile El Niño system, a global weather pattern that affects the jet stream and ocean temperatures, is in play, after years of La Niña systems. That generally indicates a warmer, wetter winter with more coastal storms — storms that, meteorologists warn, could still potentially could turn into snowfall if they coincide with a shot of arctic air. 

“All it takes is one of those storms close enough to us and if there’s enough cold air, all is forgotten with one of those 1- to 2-foot storms,” Bernhardt said. “Even if it is a warmer and less snowy winter, it’s always possible during El Niño with a coastal storm.”

Nevertheless, he acknowledged, “The outlook is trending for a less snowy winter …[El Niño] usually affects the Mid-Atlantic. We’re on the edge here and can lower our odds for a snowy winter.”

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has forecast slightly above normal temperatures through Dec. 22 for Long Island and normal chances of precipitation, according to an outlook issued Friday, along with slightly above normal temperatures for January and February.

NOAA does not predict seasonal snowfall accumulations. But NOAA’s forecast of the impact of El Niño predicted higher chances of normal precipitation for Long Island and New York City.

Despite unseasonable cold this week on Long Island, it’s not expected to come with precipitation until Friday's rain, after temperatures are forecast to warm up again.

Some weather models show the possibility for a trace amount of snow on the South Fork, but most of Long Island has no snow in the forecast for the next two weeks.

Storms last winter generally brought rain to the region. Long Island recorded less than 5 inches of snow last year between its only significant storm in February and other light snowfall earlier in the season, Stark said.

He noted that Central Park’s streak of little snowfall "doesn’t have too much significance, but as a statistic, it’s eye catching. … It could be a completely different scenario this winter.”

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