New York City endures longest wait for winter's first snow

New York has broken its record for the longest wait for its first winter snowfall Monday, and the forecast remains bare for snow for at least the next several days. A second record for the longest snowfall drought also remains in jeopardy and is likely to fall in the coming days as well.

NEW YORK From the Thanksgiving Day Parade to the ice skating at Rockefeller Center to the confetti-strewn celebrations in Times Square as the crystal ball dropped at midnight to ring in 2023, winter traditions abound in New York City.

Except for one missing item: snow.

Those who live in the Big Apple have never had to wait this long in the winter to experience their first measurable snowfall, breaking the 50-year-old record for the latest first snow on Monday. In the winter of 1972-73, New York didn't get any measurable snow until Jan. 29, when 1.8 inches finally coated the "city that never sleeps" with its first snow. In 2023, it's now at least Jan. 31 – and counting.


While there have been a few occasional sightings of snowflakes in Manhattan this winter, the official measuring station in Central Park has yet to observe at least 0.1 inches of snow, which is needed to be considered "measurable" snow and counted as a snowy day in the record books.

"At this point, I don't even want a big snowstorm, I just want a tenth of an inch," said FOX Weather meteorologist Jane Minar, who is based at FOX Weather headquarters in New York City. "Just enough to record (the snowfall). That's about the width of two dimes … that's just about nothing."


New York snowless record will stretch into February

How long will New Yorkers have to wait for measurable snow? It'll either be several hours, or several days. 

Newer forecast models are now giving the city a chance of passing snow showers in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning. Any snow looks very light, but it won't take much to count. 

If measurable snow fails to materialize, the snowless streak will last well into February.  While long-range outlooks are indicating another cold snap toward the end of this week and the start of the weekend with temperatures dropping well below freezing, there doesn't appear to be any moisture to match.

After Wednesday morning's possible showers, the FOX Forecast Center currently isn't predicting any next significant chance of precipitation until the middle of next week, and by then, temperatures will have once again warmed into the 40s and 50s to keep whatever falls as rain.

New York City 10 Day Forecast
(FOX Weather)


The snow drought looks to set a second record for the longest stretch of days with no measurable snow, currently at 332 days set between Jan. 19 and Dec. 15 in 2020.


New York currently sits in second place at 328 days through Tuesday and would break the record on Feb. 5.