ITHACA, N.Y. — Just a few days ago, high temperatures in Ithaca hit the lower 50s, about 20 degrees above normal for this time of year. But Thursday morning, windchill left Ithaca feeling below 10 degrees.
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So with such abnormal weather, how is this winter faring against last year’s beast or the average Ithaca winter?
Using historical data from the Northeast Regional Climate Center, we’ve divided facts about our snowy city into two categories for easy reading (Plus one more category for winter news).
1 – Snowfall is way below normal
So far in January, there’s been 3.2 inches of snowfall, .8 of an inch in December and .4 of an inch in November. That’s a cumulative 4.4 inches of powdery white stuff so far.
By this time last year, 29.6 inches of snow had fallen in Ithaca.
The shocking part? The snowfall measured from November to Jan. 13 last year was actually just above normal for Ithaca. The city usually sees about 25.9 inches of snow from November to mid-January.
That means that this winter, Ithacans have seen 25.2 fewer inches of snow than last year and 21.5 inches fewer than usually expected this time of year.
It’s a sad season for snow lovers. (But a happy season for snow haters.)
2 — It’s not your imagination; Temperatures have been a roller coaster
On Jan. 5, the high temperature in Ithaca was only 12 degrees.
Just six says later, Ithaca’s high temperature hit 53 degrees, according to some reports. That’s a record high for Jan. 11.
And the very next day, it was a maximum of 21 degrees.
The normal high temperature for the month of January is 31.3 degrees.
The low temperatures in January have been nothing to ignore though.
On Jan. 5 and 6, Ithaca reached record lows clocking in at 6 degrees. Four days later, the low temperature was 37 degrees.
Normally, low temperatures are 15.4 degrees.
That’s not the only time this winter has been a roller coaster ride.
On Dec. 20, the high temperature was only 28 degrees. By Christmas Day, it was a record breaking 65 degrees!
The normal high temperature for December is 35.8 degrees, but 2015 had a whopping average of 48 degrees for its high.
3– Why has winter been so weird this year?
So what exactly is causing the yo-yo temperatures and minimal snowfall?
A huge part of what was impacting this season’s weather was El Niño.