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Why 2011, Not 1983, Should be Crowned as New York's Wettest Year
New York Weather Highlights of 1980

New York Weather Highlights of 1979

 1979

JANUARY

21 - 3.45" of rain fell on Super Bowl Sunday, but most of it fell before 7 AM.  This was the most rain to ever fall in a 24-hour period in the month of January.

24 - Most of the today's 2.18" of rain fell during the afternoon.  It was the second record-setting rainfall in three days.  With today's rain, this became the wettest January on record, passing last January's total of 8.27".  The month would end up with 10.52".

 

FEBRUARY

8 - Today's high was 34°, the only day with an above-freezing temperature between Feb. 4 and Feb. 19.

14 - This morning's low temperature of 3° above zero was the sixth consecutive day with a low in the single digits.  During these days the average low was 5° above zero.

18 - This morning's low of zero degrees was the coldest reading in February since 1943 (until there was a low of -1° on Feb. 14, 2016).  It was also the eighth day of the past ten with a low in the single digits.  During these ten days the low averaged a brutal +6°, twenty-two degrees colder than average.

19 - A fast-moving snowstorm on Presidents' Day dumped 12.7" of snow between 4 AM-noon.  However, the storm's deepest snows, between 18-24", fell in Virginia, DC, Maryland and Delaware.  Besides the snow, today was the fifteenth day of the past nineteen with a high temperature at the freezing mark or lower.  Including today's snowfall, 20.1" of snow fell during these nineteen days.  Another President's Day storm with even more snow (19.8") would bury NYC in 2003.

24 - For the third time in the past five years more than an inch of rain fell on this date.  1.54" fell this year, 1.69" in 1977 and 1.21" in 1975.  Today's rain washed away the remaining snow on the ground from the President's Day snowstorm of five days ago.

 

MARCH

6 - An all-day rain dumped 2.63", a record for the date.  Temperatures were well above average, with a high/low of 56°/49°, fifteen degrees above average.

11 - A rainy morning (0.75" fell) preceded passage of a cold front that dropped the temperature from 49° in the early AM to 25° by midnight - the coldest reading in nearly three weeks.

15 - One day after the high temperature reached 64° at noon, today's afternoon temperatures were only in the upper 20s.

16 - The morning low of 20° (fifteen degrees below average) was the coldest reading since Feb. 19, when it was 17°.

30 - Today's high of 76°, twenty degrees above average, was the first 70-degree reading of the year.

 

APRIL

9 - A coastal storm lashed the area with rain (0.68") and gale force winds during the afternoon.  The high temperature was only 41°, seventeen degrees below average.  This fine day happened to be the first day at my first job out of college, in the Media department at ad agency Scali McCabe Sloves (on 3rd Avenue).   

14 - It was a rainy and chilly Easter Saturday.  1.10" of rain fell (ending late in the afternoon) and the high/low was 45°/40°.

18 - Today's low temperature and that of the previous three days was one degree higher than the day before: 45° (today)-44° (4/17)-43° (4/16)-42° (4/15).  And the lows on 4/14 and 4/13 were 40° and 42°.  These readings were very close to the seasonal average.

23 - Today's high reached 81° under clear skies, the first 80-degree day of the year. 

 

MAY

9 - Today's high reached 94°, twenty-five degrees above average.  This was the first 90-degree temperature of the year, a record for the date.  It came three weeks earlier than New York's typical date for its first 90. 

10 - For the second day in a row the high temperature was a record 94°. 

23 - It was a very soggy day as 2.70" of rain fell, the rainiest day of the month and a record for the date.  Between 8-9:00 PM 1.10" poured down. 

 

JUNE

12 - The day started off chilly with a low of 48°, fourteen degrees below normal, and a record for the date.  This was the latest date for a reading in the 40s since 1950.

24 - Today was the chilliest Gay Pride Day of the 1970-2019 period as the afternoon high was only 65°, seventeen degrees below average.

26 - For the second day in a row a record low was set.  Yesterday's was 54°, today's 56°. 

 

JULY

3 - Today, with a high of 87°/67°, was the only day between June 19 and July 11 (23 days) to have an above-average mean temperature.  Temperatures during this period were five degrees below average.

5 - The morning low of 53° was the coolest reading in July since a low of 52° back on July 1, 1943.  (Today's low would be matched nine years later.)  And the day's high recovered to just 69°, fourteen degrees below average.

6 - This was the second morning in a row with a record low; today it was 54°.

12 - Today was the first day to reach 90° since May 10.

16 - For the third day in a row the afternoon high topped out at 87°.

18 - An inch of rain fell today, the rainiest day during two dry months in which only 3.32" fell.  0.69" of today's rain came down between midnight and 2 AM.

26 - Although the morning low was a stifling 79°, ten above average, the high went up to just 87° because of a thick haze.  The last time a day with a low this warm didn't have a high of 90°+ was during the summer of 1908, when it happened twice (and it would happen again during the summer of 2016).  This was the warmest low temperature of the summer.

 

AUGUST

1 - With a high of 93°/low of 78° the day's mean temperature was 85.5°, hottest of the summer.

5 - This was the sixth day in a row that had a low of 75° or warmer. 

10 - Today's high was 95°, tying July 13 as the hottest reading of the year.  In the past 30 days temperatures were 4.4 degrees above average, with all but two warmer than average.  Twenty-three days had highs of 87° or warmer and thirteen were 90+.    

12 - Two days after a high of 95° today's high was only 64° (after a chilly AM low of 57°).  The day was also a wet one as 1.68" of rain fell; this was on top of 0.87" of rain that fell last night.  

17 - At a chilly 56°, this morning's low was a record for the date.  Today was also the seventh in a row with cooler than average temperatures.

18 - Over the past eight days temperatures were nearly eight degrees below average.  Today's high was just 68°, fourteen degrees below average. 

 

SEPTEMBER 

4 - Today's high was 90°, the nineteenth, and last, 90-degree day of the year.  The summer of 1979 has the distinction of having the most days in the 90s without having a heat wave (three or more days in a row with highs in the 90s).

6 - The remnants of tropical storm David moved through between 3 AM and daybreak with 50-mph winds and 1.22" of rain.  While it was a hurricane David was one of the most powerful on record, the only category 5 storm to strike the Dominican Republic, where it killed thousands.  By the time it made US landfall in Georgia it was considerably weaker.  In addition to the storm, today's low of 76° was very warm by September standards (lows since 9/3: 73°-74°-75°-76°).

7 - Over the past two weeks (since Aug. 25) temperatures averaged eight degrees above average (high/low of 87°/73°).  Every day but one had a high of 85° or warmer, and today was the 12th consecutive day in which the low temperature was in the 70s. 

20 - The morning low was a chilly 45°, fourteen degrees below average - and one degree shy of the record low. 

21 - Of the 1.88" of rain that fell today 0.54" came down in the hour between 11 PM-midnight. 

24 -For the third day in a row the afternoon high was 70°.

29 - The morning low was a summer-like 71°, fifteen degrees above average.  This was the latest in 20 years (when it occurred on 10/1 in 1959) and would be the latest date for a morning low in the 70s until 2005, when that year's last 70-degree low temperature fell on 10/7 - and then 2010's occurred on 9/28; 2015's on 9/29; 2017 had 70-degree lows on 10/8 and 10/9; and in 2018 it was on 10/10. (The average date for the occurrence is Sept. 11.)  

 

OCTOBER

3 - A morning downpour met Pope John Paul II as he traveled down Fifth Avenue from St. Patrick's Cathedral on his way to Madison Square Garden.  He was going to the Garden to attend a children's reception.  I saw him pass by in his "pope mobile" as I walked to work.

5 - 0.79" of rain fell between 6-8 PM. 

10 - Morning snow flurries fell after a low temperature of 37°.  Combined with an afternoon high of just 47° the day was 19 degrees colder than average.

12 - Rain fell on nine of the past fourteen days, amounting to 4.45" - but then rain fell on only one other occasion for the rest of the month.   

21 - Today was the running of the New York City Marathon and it would be the marathon with the warmest conditions as temperatures were in the 70s throughout the race and topped off at 80°, twenty-three degrees above average. 

22 - We experienced a summer flashback as the temperature soared to 88°, twenty-seven degrees above average. This was the warmest reading in October since 1959 (and there wouldn't be a hotter reading in October until 2019 when the high on 10/2 reached 93°).  However, despite today and yesterday's summer-like conditions October would end up being cooler than average by 1.4 degrees (without these two warm days the rest of the month was 3.2 degrees below average).

26 - After the scorching high of 88° on 10/22, afternoon highs took a steady tumble for the next four days: 88°-78°-67°-57°-50° (today).

 

NOVEMBER

25 - Today's morning low was a balmy 63° and the afternoon high reached a May-like 72°, resulting in a daily mean temperature that was a whopping 25 degrees above average.  

26 - Mild and very windy (gusts to 40 mph) with periodic downpours through early evening that amounted to 1.26".

28 - Today was the ninth day in a row in which the mean temperature was 10 degrees or more above average.  The high/low during these days was 66°/53°, sixteen degrees above normal - more typical of late April.

30 - The mildest November on record (until 2001) ended on a cold note, with a high/low of 41°/29°, six degrees below average.  Skies were clear.


DECEMBER

12 - Sunny and mild with a high/low of 65°/50°.

18 - With a high of 30°, today was the first day of the season with a high of 32° or colder.  

19 - 3.5" of snow fell, the first snowfall of the winter.  It would be the winter's largest accumulation until mid-March.  Today was also the coldest day of the month, with a high of only 26° after a low of 20°.

25 - It was a very mild holiday that started off on a rainy note as 0.87" fell, mostly at daybreak (5-8 AM).  While the day's high of 61° was the mildest since Christmas Day 1940's 62°, the morning low of 50° was the mildest ever on December 25.  Today's high/low was nearly identical to that of this year's mild Thanksgiving Day (61°/50° vs. 60°/51°) - and it was milder than this year's Easter Sunday (55°/42°).

 Chart - 1979 hottest coldest

To read highlights from other years between 1970 and 2019 double click here. 

 

 

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