Whether it be extremes of heat or cold, blizzards or hurricanes, drought or wind, each year has some noteworthy weather events that make it memorable. Below are top-line summaries of each year's highlights (1970 thru 2017). For more highlights in any given year double click the hyperlink, all found below.
2017 - Headlines: February and October were the mildest on record; record lows on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 were the first back-to-back record lows since August 1994. The year ended with the beginning of a 14-day streak with sub-freezing highs that started on Dec. 26, the longest such streak since the winter of 1961.
2016 - Headlines: The blizzard of 1/23 buried the City under its biggest accumulation on record (27.5"). The low of -1° on 2/14 was the first sub-zero reading of the century (and since 1994). March 8 and 9 had highs of 77° and 79°, followed one month later by the coldest reading in April since 1995. For just the third time, there were three days in a row in the 80s after 10/15. Every month was warmer than average.
2015 - Headlines: A year that began with the second coldest February of the past 100 years (11.4 degrees below average) ended with the mildest December on record (13.3 degrees above average). In between May was the second warmest, August was the third warmest, September was the warmest and November was also warmest on record. March had the most snow since 1956; high/low on Christmas Eve was 72/63.
2014 - Headlines: A harsh winter was highlighted by nearly 42 inches of snow in a 30-day period in Jan/Feb; March was the coldest in 30 years but just 0.1 inch of snow falls; Five inches of rain fell on 4/30; latest first 90-degree day since 1985.
2013 - Headlines: The heat wave of July 16-22 had the highest mean temperature of any heat wave of seven days or longer; during a seven-week period in May and June 18 inches of rain fell, then between Sept. 23 and Nov. 21, a span of 60 days, less than an inch of rain was measured - the third longest such streak since 1950; the first full-day of winter had a springlike high of 71°.
2012 - Headlines: By 0.1 degree, 2012 became the warmest year on record; February was the mildest on record and the winter of 2012 was the second mildest; with just 0.96" of precipitation, March was the driest month in NYC since Feb. 2009; a high of 100° on July 18 was followed by a severe thunderstorm accompanied by hail; hurricane Sandy struck on Oct. 29 and produced a record storm surge that caused extensive flooding in Manhattan; 4.7" snowfall on Nov. 7-8 was the earliest snowfall of 4-inches+ on record; for the first time since 2001, less than 40 inches of precipitation fell.
2011 - Headlines: 55 inches of snow fell in five weeks; wettest March on record; 104° on July 22; nineteen inches of rain made August the rainiest month ever; tropical storm Irene dumped nearly seven inches of rain; an unprecedented pre-Halloween snowstorm.
2010 - Headlines: Two snowstorms dumped 20+ inches of snow, one in February, the other the day after Christmas; February's 36.9" of snow was the most on record for any month; a powerful nor'easter struck in March; April 7 was the earliest date for a 90-degree reading; July tied July 1999 as hottest month on record; 103° on July 6; a ferocious tornadic storm swept thru Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens in September; for the first time since 2002 less than 50 inches of precipitation fell.
2009 - Headlines: An early heat wave in late April was followed by one of the coolest summers on record; snowstorm on Dec. 19-20 dumped 10.9".
2008 - Headlines: With just a trace of snow January tied 1933 as the least snowy January on record; six-day heat wave in July; tropical storm Hanna dumped 3.54" of rain on Sept. 5-6.
2007 - Headlines: 72° during first week of January; coldest Easter since 1940; 8.41" of rain fell during April nor'easter; tropical storm Barry passed thru in early June; pre-dawn tornado struck Brooklyn in August; warmest October on record.
2006 - Headlines: 26.9" snowfall on Feb. 11-12 is NYC's biggest snowstorm of all time (until 2016); fourth winter in a row with 40 inches+ of snowfall; driest March on record; last 90-degree reading occurred on Aug. 3.
2005 - Headlines: 13.8" snowstorm on Jan. 22; the latest date on record for a low in the 70s occured on Oct. 7; 17 inches of rain fell in less than three weeks in October.
2004 - Headlines: Ten inches of snow from late January snowstorm; two days in January had lows of 1° above zero, the coldest reading in ten years; no 90-degree days in July and only two all summer; tropical storms Frances, Ivan and Jeanne all in September.
2003 - Headlines: President Day's blizzard; April snowstorm of 4"; coolest May in 36 years; rainiest June on record; 12 days in a row with rain between July 31 and Aug. 11; two-stage snowstorm in early December dumped 14".
2002 - Headlines: Just 3.5" of snow during winter of 2001-02 made it the second least snowy winter of all time; mildest February on record; a four-day heatwave in mid-April was similar to that of 1976; summertime heat waves of eight and nine days; snow fell on Christmas Day (five inches) for the first time in 33 years.
2001 - Headlines: 103° on Aug. 9; mildest November and December on record; the driest year since 1970.
2000 - Headlines: A 13-day streak with high temperatures of 32° or colder was the longest since 1961; a foot of snow fell on Dec. 30.
1999 - Headlines: 11-day streak of 90-degree days; hottest and driest July on record; tropical storm Floyd floods area with five inches of rain in September.
1998 - Headlines: Just half an inch of snow falls in Jan/Feb.; one of mildest winters on record; the last five days of March all have highs in the 80s, 26 degrees above average; 75° degrees on Dec. 7 comes three days after a high of 74°.
1997 - Headline: Out-of-season nor'easter in July.
1996 - Headlines: Jan. 7-8 blizzard dumps 20 inches of snow, paralyzing the region for days; 77 inches of snow during the winter is most ever; just three 90-degree days all summer; nor'easter rains out Game 1 of World Series at Yankee Stadium; 1996 passes 1972 as the year with the most days of precipitation in the 1962-2012 period.
1995 - Headlines: Nearly all of the winter's snow falls from an 11" snowstorm in early February; 102° on July 15; just 0.18" of rain falls in August.
1994 - Headlines: 2° below zero on Jan. 19; 22 inches of snow falls from two storms three days apart in early February; a hot June.
1993 - Headlines: March Superstorm; thirty-nine 90-degree days ties all-time record set two years earlier; twenty 90-degree days in July; very dry May-June-July; 80° degrees on Nov. 5.
1992 - Headlines: Cool summer; ferocious nor'easter strikes on Dec. 11.
1991 - Headlines: Warmest May on record; thirty-nine 90-degree days is most ever; 102° on July 21.
1990 - Headlines: Mildest January on record; 85° on March 13 is earliest 80-degree reading on record; 10 inches of rain falls in a 10-day period in August.
1989 - Headlines: One of wettest years on record; 4.7" of snow on Thanksgiving Day; one of coldest Decembers on record, but very little snow falls.
1988 - Headlines: Thirty-three 90-degree days; AM low of 5° above zero on Dec. 12.
1987 - Headlines: Late January snowstorm; heat wave during late May; 1.1" of snow falls on Veteran's Day.
1986 - Headlines: Last snowfall of the winter is on Feb. 14; coolest 4th of July morning on record; last 90-degree reading at end of July; four very chilly mornings at the end of August.
1985 - Headlines: 2° below zero on Jan. 21; 75° degrees in late February; 1st 90-degree reading not until July 14; Hurricane Gloria strikes in late September; a dry year overall.
1984 - Headlines: March is one of coldest ever; strong nor'easter in late March; early June heat wave; two 3-inch rainfalls within a week between June 30 and July 7.
1983 - Headlines: Snowstorm on Feb. 11-12 buries NYC under 17.6" of snow, the most since blizzard of '78; a hot summer with thirty-six 90-degree days culminates with 99° on Sept. 11; a frigid Christmas Day with a high/low of 13/+4; more than 80 inches of precipitation falls during the year, an all-time record later called into question because of a malfunctioning rain gauge in Central Park.
1982 - Headlines: A very cold January; early April blizzard dumps 9.6" of snow the week before Easter; the summer's eleven 90-degree days concentrated between July 8-27; Christmas Day tied Christmas 1889 as mildest ever.
1981 - Headlines: Hudson River is ice-choked in 1st half of January; driest January on record.
1980 - Headlines: Hottest August on record; thirty-two 90-degree days, the last of which is on Sept. 22; 1° below zero on Christmas morning.
1979 - Headlines: Wettest January on record; a very cold February, including zero degrees on Feb. 18; President's Day snowstorm; tropical storm David in early September; 88° on Oct. 22; Christmas Day is milder than Easter Sunday.
1978 - Headlines: For the first time since the winter of 1961 two snowstorms dump more than a foot of snow, including the Blizzard of Feb. 1978; twelve days in a row with high temps at freezing or colder; 38° on May 1 is the last time a temperature fell into the 30s in May; 4th of July is rainy and cool.
1977 - Headlines: 2° below zero on Jan. 7; a frigid six-week period during the winter averages ten degrees below average; nine-day heat wave in July averages 97°, including 104° on July 21; 9.19" of rain falls on Nov. 7-8.
1976 - Headlines: 1° below zero the morning of Jan. 23; hottest Easter on record, with a high of 96°; Hurricane Belle makes landfall on Jones Beach the night of Aug. 9; driest November on record; 9° above zero the morning of Dec. 3; first snow of the winter falls on Christmas night.
1975 - Headlines: Wind shear during a severe thunderstorm on June 25 is responsible for downing Eastern Airlines Flight 66 at JFK; nearly twelve inches of rain falls between July 3-25; four days in a row had an inch or more of rain in late September; 83° on Oct. 14; coldest day of the year falls on Christmas Eve.
1974 - Headlines: A high of 66° on Jan. 27; 4th of July is hottest day of the year (95°), and 40 degrees warmer than Memorial Day; a very early sub-freezing AM low on Oct. 20; 81° degrees on Nov. 1.
1973 - Headlines: Just 2.8 inches of snow fell during the winter, making it the least snowy on record; an eight-day heat wave occurred between Aug. 28- Sept. 4; 77 degrees on Nov. 15; a huge ice storm immobilized the region on Dec. 16-17; December was the wettest on record.
1972 - Headlines: The temperature dropped from 86° to 43° in 24 hours on April 19-20; High of 92° on Sept. 17; two huge rainstorms in a 4-week period in the fall - 4.09" on Oct. 7 and 5.60" on Nov. 8.
1971 - Headlines: 6.4" of snow fell on New Year's Day; tropical storms Doria and Heidi dumped a combined ten inches of rain within three weeks of each other late in the summer; AM low of 67° on Nov. 2.
1970 - Headlines: The temperature fell from 54° to 9° in a 17-hour period on Jan. 25-26; four inches of snow fell on Easter Sunday (March 29); with a high of 93°, Mother's Day was the hottest on record; a high of 91° on Sept. 26 was the fourth day in a row of 90-degree temperatures.