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Most Severe Winter Month: February 1934 - Eastern US Weather Forums

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Most Severe Winter Month: February 1934


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#1 William

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:09 PM

"They don't make winters like they used to."

The catch phrase is often thrown about casually by old-timers, sometimes too casually. But the slogan certainly has merit if we refer to the 1933-34 winter, or at least specifically February 1934.
Records are kind of sparse from back then, but I looked at the data from three stations: NYC Central Park, Setauket (which is a small town on the North Shore of central Long Island) and Cutchogue (a hamlet way out east on the North Fork of L.I.).
All three stations recorded that month as their coldest on record...and snow was plentiful. There were three major storms: February 1st-2nd, 19th-20th, and 25th-26th. The one on the 19th - 20th is the most famous as the barometer fell to 28.73" on Block Island, resulting in howling northeast winds. It put down even heavier amounts in Connecticut (generally in excess of 20 inches along the south coast), save for extreme SE New London County which had a changeover to rain...as Groton measured but 3 inches of snow. The South Fork of L.I. apparently also saw a changeover, and the North Fork likely also did not see an all snow event. Here is some data from that month:

Mean Temperature:
NYC Central Park: 19.9 F
Setauket: 18.9 F
Cutchogue: 18.4 F

Extreme Minimum (All on 2/9/34):
NYC Central Park: -15 F
Setauket: -11 F
Cutchogue: -10 F

Total Monthly Snowfall:
Setauket: 37.6"
Cutchogue: 34.0"
NYC Central Park: 27.9"

Snowfall from the 3 Major Storms:

February 1-2:
Cutchogue: 12.0"
NYC Central Park: 9.8"
Setauket: 8.2"

February 19-20:
Setauket: 18.1"
Cutchogue: 8.0"
NYC Central Park: 7.6"

February 25-26:
Setauket: 11.0"
Cutchogue: 11.0"
NYC Central Park: 9.3"

#2 Allsnow

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:52 AM

Lets do it again this winter... :thumbsup:

#3 uncle w1

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:59 AM

Feb...1934 at Battery Park in lower Manhattan...
day...high...low...precip..snow....sc.8pm Pk Gust/Dir
01.....35.....30.....0.98"....9.6".....6.5"...34/sw
02.....31.....11........0........0........9.0"...34/nw
03.....23......4.........0........0........8.4"...22/n
04.....27.....15.....0.01"....0.1".....7.1"...28/nw
05.....29.....17........0........0........6.0"...25/nw
06.....20......5.........0........0........5.5"...27/n
07.....31.....13........T........T........5.0"...29/w
08.....21.....-7.........0........0........4.8"...30/n
09.......8...-14.........0........0........4.7"...32/nw
10.....27.....-2.........0........0........4.3"...27/n
11.....33.....12........0........0........3.4"...22/sw..
12.....39.....25........T........T........2.5"...16/w
13.....34......8......0.10"....1.1".....2.6"...50/nw
14.....21......3.........0........0........2.4"...35/nw
15.....41.....21........0........0........1.9"...27/n
16.....26......9.........0........0........1.4"...23/n
17.....28......9.........0........0........1.0"...22/n
18.....41.....18........0........0........0.5"...19/s
19.....42.....26.....0.42"....5.8".....1.6"...23/n
20.....27......9......0.24"....3.4".....8.6"...41/nw
21.....35.....10........0........0........8.0"...26/nw
22.....43.....27.....0.12".....0........6.0"...15/n
23.....36.....10........T........T........5.3"...51/nw
24.....18......6.........0........0........4.7"...44/nw
25.....21......9.....0.32"....3.2"......6.4"...21/ne
26.....25.....13....0.61"....6.9".....13.8"...34/nw
27.....20......9.........0........0.......13.4"...35/nw
28.....27......7.........0........0.......12.4"...21/nw
tot..28.9..10.8....2.80"...30.1"...........

#4 A-L-E-X

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 12:19 PM

View PostAllsnow, on 04 October 2010 - 08:52 AM, said:

Lets do it again this winter... :thumbsup:


That was a strange winter, as all the snow was concentrated in November and February, but we'll take it!

#5 green tube

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 01:35 PM

View Postuncle w1, on 04 October 2010 - 08:59 AM, said:

Feb...1934 at Battery Park in lower Manhattan...
day...high...low...precip..snow....sc.8pm Pk Gust/Dir

tot..28.9..10.8....2.80"...30.1"...........



i'd still take feb 2010 over feb 1934.


40" of snow and lower heating bills. yay 2010.

#6 uncle w1

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 02:03 PM

View PostA-L-E-X, on 04 October 2010 - 12:19 PM, said:

That was a strange winter, as all the snow was concentrated in November and February, but we'll take it!

December 1933 had an 11" snowstorm and a -6 degree cold wave after Christmas...

#7 SEC

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 06:53 PM

View Postuncle w1, on 04 October 2010 - 08:59 AM, said:

Feb...1934 at Battery Park in lower Manhattan...
day...high...low...precip..snow....sc.8pm Pk Gust/Dir
08.....21.....-7.........0........0........4.8"...30/n
09.......8...-14.........0........0........4.7"...32/nw
10.....27.....-2.........0........0........4.3"...27/n



Would this be the coldest three-day stretch in City history?

#8 uncle w1

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 07:07 PM

View PostSEC, on 04 October 2010 - 06:53 PM, said:

Would this be the coldest three-day stretch in City history?

December 29-31 1917 was the coldest...
29th...8 -6
30th...2 -13
34st...6 -7

#9 Alpha5

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 07:33 PM

View Postuncle w1, on 04 October 2010 - 07:07 PM, said:

December 29-31 1917 was the coldest...
29th...8 -6
30th...2 -13
34st...6 -7

:arrowhead:

Not going to see that again with todays UHI

#10 Sundog

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:55 PM

View PostA_S, on 04 October 2010 - 07:33 PM, said:

:arrowhead:

Not going to see that again with todays UHI

I think the very low highs can still be achieved but those lows would be tough to pull off. We've had a bunch of days where we stayed in the low to mid teens over this past decade. The day of PDII for example. I just think we haven't seen an airmass cold enough to support highs in the single digits and that's the only reason why we haven't seen it lately.

#11 Isotherm

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:00 PM

How many times have we had highs in the single digits in NYC?

That Feb 1934 outreak produced the coldest temp on record for my area of Monmouth county: -20F. Remarkable. Hopefully we can see more extreme cold in the coming years, as recent winters have seen fairly high minima.

#12 Allsnow

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:02 PM

View PostIsotherm, on 04 October 2010 - 10:00 PM, said:

How many times have we had highs in the single digits in NYC?

That Feb 1934 outreak produced the coldest temp on record for my area of Monmouth county: -20F. Remarkable. Hopefully we can see more extreme cold in the coming years, as recent winters have seen fairly high minima.


I think the last real brutal cold air for our area was late january 2007 into febuary.....Does anyone have the stats for that

#13 uncle w1

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:11 PM

NYC's coldest maximums...
day...max...
2 12/30/1917
4 2/5/1918
4 12/30/1880
6 12/31/1917
6 1/24/1882
7 1/3/1879
7 2/10/1899
7 2/17/1896
7 12/20/1884
7 2/5/1886
8 1/12/1886
8 1/13/1912
8 2/5/1895
8 2/9/1934
8 2/15/1943
8 12/29/1917
8 12/20/1942
9 2/11/1899
9 2/12/1899
9 2/2/1881
9 1/21/1985

#14 William

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:33 PM

View Postuncle w1, on 04 October 2010 - 10:11 PM, said:

NYC's coldest maximums...
day...max...
2 12/30/1917
4 2/5/1918
4 12/30/1880
6 12/31/1917
6 1/24/1882
7 1/3/1879
7 2/10/1899
7 2/17/1896
7 12/20/1884
7 2/5/1886
8 1/12/1886
8 1/13/1912
8 2/5/1895
8 2/9/1934
8 2/15/1943
8 12/29/1917
8 12/20/1942
9 2/11/1899
9 2/12/1899
9 2/2/1881
9 1/21/1985


I would have thought January 1977 or January 1982 might have had a sub +10 F maximum...maybe at a suburban station?

#15 Dark Energy

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 11:53 PM

we must have had a nice PV sitting over us in Feb 1899. That or deep snow cover. Nice 3 day stretch.

#16 A-L-E-X

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:33 AM

View PostSundog, on 04 October 2010 - 09:55 PM, said:

I think the very low highs can still be achieved but those lows would be tough to pull off. We've had a bunch of days where we stayed in the low to mid teens over this past decade. The day of PDII for example. I just think we haven't seen an airmass cold enough to support highs in the single digits and that's the only reason why we haven't seen it lately.




On Reagan's inauguration day, we had the coldest high Ive ever experienced-- I think it was 9 degrees, so pretty close to Feb 1934.

#17 A-L-E-X

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:35 AM

View PostDark Energy, on 04 October 2010 - 11:53 PM, said:

we must have had a nice PV sitting over us in Feb 1899. That or deep snow cover. Nice 3 day stretch.


That happens when Cape May NJ gets a 35 inch snowstorm ;)







#18 A-L-E-X

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:37 AM

View Postuncle w1, on 04 October 2010 - 02:03 PM, said:

December 1933 had an 11" snowstorm and a -6 degree cold wave after Christmas...


I must have it mixed up with a different winter then.

#19 uncle w1

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:50 AM

View PostA-L-E-X, on 05 October 2010 - 08:37 AM, said:

I must have it mixed up with a different winter then.

you were probably thinking 1898-99...

#20 uncle w1

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 08:53 AM

View PostWilliam, on 04 October 2010 - 10:33 PM, said:

I would have thought January 1977 or January 1982 might have had a sub +10 F maximum...maybe at a suburban station?

January 1977 had highs of 10 and 12 for the low max's...January 1982 had a max of 18 around midnight and near zero by nightfall and into the next morning...The next day's high was 15...





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