Oh snow! Winter has more plans to unleash icy wrath
What a dump!
The latest wintry blast coated Central Park with 19 inches of snow and turned this January into the whitest in 86 years. And – sorry, folks – at least one more storm awaits before we’re smelling the roses again.
“It’s going to be colder than normal over the next two weeks,” and another storm – though not as bad as this one - is slated for next week, said Joe Bastardi, chief long-range meteorologist for Accuweather.com.
Don’t get your mittens in a twist: Bastardi assures that another February “Snowmageddon” — like last year’s 36.9 — is unlikely. The weather should mellow a bit by the end of February, but we may have “one more river to cross in March or April.” That’s river as in an ocean of slush at the intersection.
Despite a much smoother city response, the latest storm still rattled the Apple’s core. The 311 hotline received 145,000 calls – triple the usual number – between midnight and Thursday morning. Presumably, a few concerned the 30 ambulances that got mired in snow.
The MTA suspended buses citywide overnight. Certain subways with elevated tracks were also stopped to prevent stranded passengers. But about 100 N train riders spent the night on a train in Coney Island, after service was abruptly halted. Transit cops and MTA workers tried to convince the passengers to disembark, but they refused, claiming they had no way to reach their destinations. “It’s clear we could have done a better job communicating with customers,” said an MTA spokesman.
On the bright side, Mayor Michael Bloomberg reported that the city had all primary streets clear by Thursday morning and expected to have all secondary roads plowed by later in the day.
Still, it’s not your imagination if you think winters have gotten snowier.
“For six years now we’ve had snowfalls above 40 inches and the normal is 27 inches,” noted Bastardi. Blame a fluky La Nina, a cooling of the equatorial Pacific waters that influences our weather. “People don’t like to hear this, but when there’s a fight in the atmosphere and it starts cooling down, it snows a lot,” Bastardi said.
(with ERIK ORTIZ and THERESA JUVA)