Central Park had warmest February ever recorded, NWS says

Too darn hot?

This February, Central Park had the warmest recorded average temperature on record – 41.6 degrees – “since records have been kept, in 1869,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Pollina.

“It’s been an incredibly warm February,” Pollina noted. While the park’s one-day February record was established in 1985 when the mercury soared to a freakish 75 degrees on Feb. 24, this Feb. 24 hit 70 degrees, Pollina noted.

Is this proof positive of climate change? “To look at whether anything is affected by climate change, you have to look at a series of months and years,” not just a single month, said Pollina. Yet, this February marks “the 20th consecutive month of higher than normal temperatures in the park,” Pollina observed. “The trend is generally warmer.”

The second warmest February was in 2012 (40.9 degrees) and three years — 1998, 2002 and 1984 — tied for third place at 40.6 degrees.

Warmer temps in February could conceivably prompt early greening of plants, said the NWS meteorologist.

The coldest February in Central Park was in 1934, when temps were at an average of 19.9 degrees.

Precipitation for the month — 2.48 inches — was 0.61 inches below the 30-year average. February snowfall — 9.4 inches — was 0.2 inches above normal. “Normal” keeps changing, Pollina noted, as more recent years replace older ones that are used to establish the average.

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