Does the NYSE Close for Snow? Rare, but Yes

[This story was updated Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015] New York Stock Exchange weather-related closures are rare. Indeed, even with New York declaring a state of emergency today (Tuesday), it was business as usual for the NYSE.

Even with blizzard warnings remaining in effect for large swaths of the Empire State, and the Big Apple bought to a standstill, the NYSE opened for trading.

does the NYSE close for snowNew York snowfall amounts ranged from 7.8 inches in Central Park to more than two feet in eastern Long Island. NYC's LaGuardia airport reported 11 inches of the white stuff.

"This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio cautioned Sunday at a news conference.

However, the NYSE opened on time Tuesday and made it clear the Floor would be open all day. Volume will likely be light with only a skeleton crew available for banks and brokerages across the tri-state region.

The last time weather forced the Big Board to close was in October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the east coast. The NYSE closed on Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. It was the storied exchange's first two-day, weather-related shutdown in 124 years.

It also marked the first time in 27 years (since Hurricane Gloria in 1985) that the Big Board closed for an entire day due to weather conditions.

Snow, however, is the most common cause of NYSE weather-related closures. Just take a look at how many times it has disrupted trading...

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When Snow Has Shuttered the NYSE

March 12-13, 1888: The Great Blizzard of 1888 forced the NYSE to close for two days. One of America's most severe recorded blizzards ever, some 60 inches of snowfall blanketed parts of New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut on that Monday and Tuesday. Sustained winds greater than 45 mph created snowdrifts 50-plus feet high. More than 400 people lost their lives in the storm. Some 200 of those deaths were in NYC.

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Jan. 3, 1948: The year started off with harsh weather cutting a frozen swath from Texas to the Eastern seaboard. The massive Saturday storm dropped mountains of snow on NYC, downed power lines and caused icy roads. The NYSE, which was open on Saturdays until Sept. 29, 1952, closed for the day.

Feb. 7, 1967: A Feb. 7 snowstorm caused a delayed 10:15 a.m. opening and early 2 p.m. close. Some 15.2 inches of the white stuff covered NYC, causing the disruption.

Feb. 10-11, 1969: The NYSE was closed all day Monday, Feb. 10, and opened at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, after 15.3 inches carpeted NYC. The snowsquall was given the moniker the "Lindsay Storm." Then Mayor John Lindsay took some serious heat after sections of NYC went unplowed for a week.

Feb. 12, 1975: This Wednesday snowstorm led the NYSE to close the trading floor at 2:30 p.m.

Jan. 20, 1978: This Friday snowstorm resulted in the NYSE calling for a delayed noon opening.

Feb. 6 & Feb .7, 1978: The NYSE closed early at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, and opened at 11 a.m. Feb. 7 after heavy snow slowed the city to a crawl.

Feb. 11, 1994: This Friday snowstorm gave traders a jump start to the weekend. The NYSE closed at 2:30 p.m. due to snow.

Jan. 8, 1996: The Big Board delayed opening 'til 11:00 a.m. thanks to snow. Three hours later, as the storm intensified, the exchange closed for the day.

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