Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Will Winter Storm Niko Affect Your Running in Central Park?

There's a winter storm warning on the horizon as Niko comes for a visit to New York City and Central Park on Thursday, February 9. 

The snow may arrive in Central Park as early as 1 AM on Thursday morning and seems certain to be falling steadily by 5 or 6 AM. It will be a quick storm, but not a light one. Forecasters are predicting that anywhere from between 6 and 10 inches could fall in Central Park, but with the snow lasting for only about 10 hours from start to finish that projects for some pretty heavy snowfall at times. 

So what does that mean for your run in Central Park in the next couple of days? Well if you head out on Thursday morning, you are likely to be running in some pretty heavy snow. But it should also be a fresh new snow, which means that the reservoir path is likely to be runnable tomorrow morning before it gets iced over from too many footsteps and too deep from the snow. Presumably the park drive will be pre-salted and some form of plowing will be ongoing. Given the rate of the snowfall, however, and the timing of the storm, I'd expect to run in at least a couple of inches of snow wherever you head in Central Park tomorrow morning. So be careful of your footing!

While the snow should stop by the early afternoon, temperatures are going to drop for the rest of Thursday and even hit the teens into early Friday morning. That means that whatever has fallen on Thursday morning is likely to stick around. Presumably by late Thursday morning and into Friday, the reservoir running path will be quite deep in snow or even a bit icy and pot marked from many footsteps. 

So if you're heading out for a run on Thursday evening or Friday morning, your best bet will be to stay on the park drive. There's unlikely to be too much icy re-freeze since the temperatures are not supposed to climb above freezing at any point after the heaviest of the snowfall. There is a high likelihood, however, that the park drive will be somewhat slick and inconsistent in its snow cover since a lot of snow will have fallen in a short period of time and there won't be much melting going on. 

The possibility of slick conditions will likely persist into Saturday since the temperatures will remain in the 20s all day Friday and into Saturday morning. With a high temperature of 39 on Saturday, there might be some melting but probably not a ton. 

With overnight rain Saturday into Sunday but temperatures struggling to reach 40 degrees icy or possibly slick conditions could persist in some form until at least Monday when the high will reach 48 degrees.

In other words enjoy the park this week and weekend but be careful of your footing!

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