New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, December 22, 2008

Deep Freeze

As one of the readers of this website commented on a previous posting, New York City has a climate tempered by its coastal location. I got quite absorbed this morning reading about climate classification systems with names like Köppen, Strahler and Thornthwaite. I was somewhat shocked to learn that according to the Köppen climate classification system, New York City is considered humid subtropical (a subclassification of the Temperate group) - this is the same classification as most of Florida. Others say this classification is debatable and some say the term subtropical is a misnomer and a mistranslation of the original German.
The classification as temperate is a stretch for me. With summer days often in the 90s and winter days like today of 14° F (without windchill), temperate is not the word that comes to mind. Today's photo was taken in Washington Mews with what appears to be frozen aloe vera - I have no idea if these plants survive a winter like this.
Many New Yorkers spend a significant part of their work commute on foot to and from public transportation, or like myself, have the privilege of walking to work. On non-work days, most of us will find the majority of our needs met and errands to be done in a walking distance within our neighborhoods. So the weather in New York City really affects lifestyles, habits and decisions regarding activities.
In my case, I have a 3/4 mile, 15-minute walk to my office. I appreciate this luxury, which on most days is a pleasant way to both exercise and enjoy the city streets. However, in the case of a driving rain or frigid weather with a howling wind, that 3/4 mile can be an unpleasant trek. Juggle some packages and an umbrella simultaneously in a rainstorm and you can easily become envious of the comforts of suburban car culture with automatic garage door openers. Certainly preferable to a deep freeze ...

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel like NYC's climate is anti-tempered by consistent exaggeration of the media and its residents. Don't we all know better then to complain about 14 degree weather. Thats not that cold, and its capable of being getting much colder.

Brian Dubé said...

I certainly agree the media exaggerates the situation. My family is from northern Maine and my father used to laugh at how the media made such a big deal out of a little snowfall. In NYC, you see TV reporters asking motorists what they think of inclement weather.
I also think some of the summer warnings are crazy - that on a hot day we are told to drink liquids and wear light clothing.

Jarart said...

This does look cold to me but if we didn't have the cold, we wouldn't enjoy the warm as much, I think.

kawa said...

You are lucky to have snow during xmass time! In place where I leave it's nearly fall, yesterday it was raining all day and now it's about 5 degrees C...Awful!

K said...

Must tell you how much I am enjoying discovering NYC through your blog! Thanks and a Merry Christmas to you!

Mercer2789 said...

I wouldn't trade in walking or even a subway ride for suburban car culture, even on the bad weather days. I'm surprised by the humid subtropical classification, maybe they are looking to the future and global warming.