Posted in | News | Climate Change

Northeastern US Experiences All-Time Warmest Years in Two Cities

Throughout the Northeastern United States, December 2023 saw average temperatures soaring above normal at most climate data sites, ranging from 3.6 to 9 ºF. This surge marked 2023 as the warmest year on record for 13 out of the region's 35 major urban areas, among them New York City.

Image Credit: Tavarius/

According to a report released on January 2nd, 2024, by Cornell University's Northeast Regional Climate Center, a striking total of 28 cities in the region experienced one of their top-five warmest years on record.

The year 2023 continues a long stretch of 26 years with above-normal temperatures.

 Art DeGaetano, Director and Professor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Northeast Regional Climate Center

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funds the center.

Not since 1997 has the annual average temperature fallen below the 20th Century average.

In fact, the 10 warmest years since 1895 have all occurred since 1998. It has become increasingly clear that the trend we’ve seen reflects the longer-term pattern of global climate change.

Art DeGaetano, Director, Professor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Northeast Regional Climate Center

According to Climatologist Samantha Borisoff of the Climate Center, this was the warmest year on record for both Binghamton, New York, with an average temperature of 49.8 ºC, and Worcester, Massachusetts, with an average of 51.6 ºC.

The following other Northeastern cities are experiencing the warmest year on record: Dulles Airport, Chantilly, Virginia (2.9 ºC); Williamsport, Pennsylvania (2.7 ºC); Burlington, Vermont (2.4 ºC); Wilmington, Delaware (2.2 ºC); Concord, New Hampshire (2.2 ºC); Islip, New York (2.3 ºC); Albany, New York (2.8 ºC); Newark, New Jersey (3.2 ºC); Baltimore (3.1 ºC); and New York City, Central Park (2.1 ºC above average).

With temperatures ranging from 6 to 12 ºC warmer than average and roughly 10 average temperature warmth records, the exceptionally warm year started in January. It was also warmer in February, April, July, and most of the fall.

The average July temperature in Caribou, Maine, is normally 66.7 ºC; however, in 2023, the average July temperature reached an all-time high of 71.5 ºC.

According to Borisoff, there has been a shortage of snowfall throughout the entire Northeast, with the biggest shortages seen in New England, New York, and northwest Pennsylvania.

According to Borisoff, Worcester and Hartford, Connecticut, had the least amount of snowfall in December, with barely any. Hartford experienced a 10.1-inch deviation from average snowfall, while Worcester experienced a 14.9-inch departure. Syracuse, New York, usually a windy place in the winter, saw 25.8 inches less snowfall in December than usual.

A longer trend of little snowfall was noted in the major Northeastern cities. Since late January 2022, neither Baltimore nor Philadelphia have seen more than an inch of snowfall in more than 700 days, according to Borisoff. These are the longest streaks of snowfall ever recorded.

Both Central Park in New York City and Dulles Airport, situated near Washington in Chantilly, Virginia, have not witnessed over an inch of snowfall since mid-February 2022 and mid-March 2022, respectively, setting record streaks for both locations.


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