Jack Frost Chomping at Your Nose


It hasn’t been an easy couple of months for the mid-Atlantic region as snowstorm after snowstorm wiped away memories of more temperate winters of the past few years.

“Last year everyone was screaming that it was so hot and global warming was here. It was the hottest summer on record. And now it’s vice versa. It’s probably going to be one of the coldest winters on record or the coldest February on record—certainly in the last several decades,” said Certified Consulting Meteorologist Howard Altschule.

The National Climatic Data Center reported that the United States broke an estimated 1,597 snowfall records in the past month alone.

GHCN-Daily dataset from the NOAA

New Yorkers saw the brute force of Jack Frost with back-to-back storms hitting last week as snow continued to fall right on top of freshly plowed white hills.

“The polar jet stream has been diving a lot further south than usual,” said Altschule. “What that’s doing is allowing Arctic air to filter into the eastern half of the United States and its been sticking around for a long time. It just keeps reinvigorating itself.”

On Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, the largest snowfall of the year hit with nearly 14 inches of snow adding to the stark landscape across Suffolk County.

“Once you get the combination of two different weather systems moving up the east coast or the mid-Atlantic, that’s your ingredient for a snowstorm with the cold air in place.  Everything’s come together perfectly several different times this winter and we’re just seeing a big bombardment of snow and cold,” said Altschule.

After plowing out his own driveway and his two neighbors, Centereach resident Mario Szczepanski was tired of this harsh winter. “We all help each other out here, but good grief, I’m sick of this snow,” said Szczepanski.

Szczepanski has lived on Long Island for over 20 years and he is no stranger to northeastern winters. But, for some like Bo Wang, 23, who moved to Stony Brook, New York from the sub-tropical temperatures of Guangdong, China it has been a whole new experience.


“I’ve never seen so much snow,” said Wang who commutes to Stony Brook University by foot everyday.

But what Szczepanski, Wang and most New Yorkers want to know is there any hope of an end to this winter wonderland?

“It’s a one-time thing. It’s just a cycle. It’s just the way the weather patterns lined up. It happens,” said Alschule. “We’ll have a brief warm-up but it looks like there will be another Arctic blast coming in about 10 days or less.”

As snowplows gear up for another blustery bout, New Yorkers will be counting down the days until April showers and May flowers.


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