New York City has been reeling from this first month’s weather in 2018. It started with New Year’s Eve being one of the coldest in the past fifty years. That does not start the year out on a hopeful note which proved correct.
By January 4th the bomb cyclone hit dumping over 9″ of snow with arctic temperatures. It seems we are experiencing weather types that are rare. A “bomb cyclone” is a type of weather condition that is like a hurricane but with cold air instead of warm air. The snow amount set a weather record for this date in the Big Apple.
The high wind blizzard conditions caused chaos with flooding, closings of schools and businesses, also canceling flights due to grounded planes. The snow even found its way into unusual places like underground subway tunnels according to the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/nyregion/new-york-today-a-month-of-weird-weather.
To top this weather disaster cocktail came days of artic temperature. New York is a hardy and robust city but these conditions put most of the city on temporary lockdown. The homeless headed to the subways for warmth. There are over 3,900 people that are homeless in the city. When the weather becomes dangerously cold, the subway cars become temporary shelters. New York’s E-train seems to be the top chosen subway loop for the homeless to take refuge as it stays underground the whole 50-minute trip.
Around 15,000 public housing residents lost their heat in these bone-chilling days in dozens of buildings due to failing outdated boilers. Complaints overwhelmed the Public Housing Authority due to slow response and frequent outages.
The weather rebounded with above average sixty temperatures On January 12 and 23, melting more than 50 upstate ice jams and creating more flooding. Governor Cuomo put the National Guard on standby to assist residents who may be impacted by this natural disaster. He met with over 100 county officials to assess the impact in their areas.
What will February bring? The forecasters are predicting above average temperatures. This could bring some relief to NY residents after January’s hard impact. The remaining question is what does the future hold concerning extreme weather and how to prepare for it?