Where's Winter?

We're currently on track to have THE latest appearance of snow in New York since they started keeping records. December was mostly above average temperatures (see chart above) and January has so far been above normal as well. The result has been very few days below the freezing point this winter and NO SNOW.

Julianne Warren, 40, a conservation biologist visiting New York from Lexington, Va., is concerned. She said she heard a white-throated sparrow in Central Park and saw an azalea blooming.

“Things seem a little —” she said, and then wiggled her outstretched right hand as if it were an airplane in turbulence. “It may mean the flowers don’t bloom at the right time and birds may not know to migrate at the right time.”

There are indeed reports all over the city of strange bloomings happening around the city: daffodils growing in Morningside Park , something that looks like a cherry tree in Riverside Park. Streetsblog calls it like it is: New York is the New Baltimore.

And it's not just NYC. Most of New England, the Midwest and Europe have significantly less snow pack than normal at this time.

The warmth and lack of snow are also affecting all of Europe. The famed Russian winter that stopped the armies of Hitler and Napoleon has failed to show up this year. Virtually all of Europe has seen the warmest and least snowy December on record, to go with their warmest fall on record. Temperatures in Moscow this December have hit 47 F, a full 87 degrees above the lowest readings recorded last winter. The brown bears at the Moscow zoo have refused to hibernate for the first time ever, thanks to the record warmth.

From local to global, December 2006 to March 2007 looks like it could be the year that winter never came. Stay tuned.

Could it have something to do with El Nino? From what I can tell, it does seem to make things warmer in our neck of the woods when El Nino's active.

But surely the big G-Dub (global warming of course) is only compounding things.

There is a correlation between the El Nino effect and higher ocean temperatures.

Since El Nino is roughly the 'cold current that didn't happen' (off the coast of Peru, you can see how ocean temperature can affect it.

my dad, who lives in iowa, told me they only had about an inch of snow so far this winter, with recent temps in the 50's and low 60's. he said as he was working in the yard the other day he saw a flock birds flying north.

denver on the other hand is completely buried in snow. i have read that with global warming, precipitation will become more intense and localized, leaving some areas with too much, and other areas with too little.

El Nino is certainly correlated with higher temps, but we are daily breaking records or "firsts" in NYC. The two issues must compound each other.

There will be people who point to an azelea bush growing in January and say: "Global warming solves itself. The longer growing season leads to more photosynthesis removing more CO2 from the air. It's nature's way of taking care of this."

A quote from the comments section of a blog I follow.

I worked on my son's '94 Civic in a t-shirt and shorts out in the driveway. 70 degrees F on the 6th of January.

I live in Concord, NH.

Global Warming? Bring.It.On.