New York

2011-12 New York's Second Warmest Winter In History, Warmest February Ever

Yup, it's official: February was the warmest New York February since people started keeping track back in 1870. At a balmy average of 40.9 degrees, this February ties the 1984 record and caps off a remarkably warm three months, the "second warmest climatological winter on record, trailing only 2001-02," according to Gothamist. By contrast, the coldest February occurred in 1934, when temperatures averaged only 19.9 degrees, a staggering 21 degree difference.

Global warming? Sure. But something else too. From CBS:

According to Arthur DeGaetano at the Northeast Regional Climate Center, the primary cause of this past month’s cozy temperatures is due to a phenomenon called Positive Arctic Oscillation, in which low air pressure in the Arctic region creates a jet stream that blocks cold air from leaving.

“The jet stream acts like a fence or wall that confines the air … and doesn’t allow the cold to come down over most of the [United States],” he told CBSDC.

This has meant very little snow in New York, and now means early blossoms, early allergies and more crime.

How's the beginning of March shaping up? Expect showers and a thunderstorm Friday night with a warm, wet Saturday in the 50s, clearing up for a slightly colder Sunday.