NEW YORK (PIX11) – The winter storm set to hit the New York area on Thursday brings with it something positive, along with snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. Positive, that is, if you’re a weather statistician. The storm offers a chance to challenge some long established winter weather records. That’s small solace, however, for a metro area that’s grown weary of getting battered again and again by weather that’s severe, even for this season that’s supposed to be cold and snowy.
Another week, another major winter storm. Literally that’s been the case in 2014, a year that is exactly six weeks old. Thursday’s forecasted winter storm will bring to six the number of major storms this year, according to the National Weather Service. It seems that everybody is groaning about it, except for people like Stephen Fybish.
“I am looking forward to it in an intellectual sense,” the hobbyist weather historian told PIX11 News. “In my case [that’s] also an emotional sense, because I like to see records challenged.”
Fybish, 77, wants Thursday’s storm to hit the New York area as hard as possible, because that would increase the season’s mounting snowfall totals. In fact, average snowfall in New York during the entire winter season is 28.3 inches. The average for this point in the season is about 20 inches. So far this season, though, New York City is well above that, at 41.5 inches, and Thursday’s storm is sure to raise that amount noticeably.
While snowfall then may put the Tri State area close to a record for the number of winter storms this far into a year, it won’t come close to breaking a record for snowfall. That doesn’t bother the weather historian, who simply likes to update his many records.
Something else does bother him, however. “I’m not looking forward to [the storm],” said Fybish, “as a good New Yorker who doesn’t want to think about the extra discomfort for myself and my fellow metropolitan inhabitants on top of [the snow] we’ve already got.”
In other words, the weather historian is like all of the rest of us.
“I want the spring to come,” said Jennifer Mullane, a physical therapist PIX11 News encountered on the Upper West Side while she ran errands. “Everyone’s complaining!”
Indeed, they are. One man who wouldn’t give his name simply surveyed the seemingly impenetrable, waist-high snow and ice mounds on West 86th Street and summed up the scene in two words: “Butt ugly.” He elaborated, “The dirt, the dog pee, the fact that the streets haven’t been cleaned in two weeks, this is not the New York I like.”
Another passerby, Sheri Feldman, said that while she doesn’t mind the season, this year it’s been particularly hard. “I can’t remember a winter like this in a really long time,” she said about the number of storms on pace to break records, and about the unusually high amount of snow that has come with them. “It makes it diffIcult to park, difficult to walk in the streets, its icy, so you really have to be careful. And it slows me down!”