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New York Weather Highlights of 1995
New York Weather Highlights of 1997

New York Weather Highlights of 1996

1996

JANUARY

2 - Rain changed to sleet and snow during the evening, accumulating 1.7" by midnight.  This was the most snow to fall on Jan. 2 since 1925 (when a blizzard dumped 11.5").

7 - A crippling blizzard began early in the afternoon and continued until noon the next day (Monday).  It immobilized an area from West Virginia through Massachusetts and dumped 20.2" on Central Park, the third greatest snow total in New York history (13.6" fell today and 6.6" the next day, both records for the date).  At one point five inches fell between 5-7 PM.  Besides the snow and wind, it was also quite cold, with a high/low of 22°/12°. 

8 - An additional 6.5" of snow fell on top of the 13.7" that fell yesterday (accompanied by 40-50 mph wind gusts).  The snow finally ended shortly before 10 AM.  Areas west of NYC reported considerably more snow than the 20.2" measured in Central Park: 32" in Staten Island, 28" in Newark, 26" in Allentown, PA and 31" in Philadelphia.  Temperatures remained quite cold, with a high of 23°/low of 16°.

11 - The past nine days, all with sub-freezing high temperatures, were 12 degrees colder than average (high of 25°/low of 14°).

12 - 2.4" of snow fell during lunchtime before it changed to rain, bringing the City's snow total in the past five weeks to 36.7".  (Fifteen years later this would be topped when an incredible 55" fell in a 33-day period during the winter of 2010-11.)  

19 - 0.86" of rain fell during the afternoon, with most of it (0.64") coming down in just an hour (3-4:00 PM).  Rain throughout the Mid-Atlantic states produced disastrous flooding because it fell on top of the deep snow pack left behind from the blizzard of two weeks ago.

31 - Since 1970 an inch or more of snow has never fallen on this date.  The 0.9" that fell today is the most that's fallen.  It fell upon the arrival of an Arctic front that moved through late in the morning.  Today's snow brought the month's total snowfall to 26.1", making it, at the time, the second snowiest January on record (it's now third).  

 

FEBRUARY

3 - 7.5" of snow, which was over by daybreak, fell in advance of the coldest air of the winter.  This was the the third snowfall of 6+ inches this winter (with one more of that magnitude two weeks later).  I had flown down to Key West for vacation the day before thinking I had escaped, but a few days later the Arctic cold penetrated all the way down to the Keys and it felt like more like fall.

5 - The morning low of +5° was the coldest reading of the winter. (The previous winter's coldest temperature occurred on Feb. 6.)

16 - Snow fell throughout this Friday and 10.7" piled up (9.9" of it today, the rest after midnight) - the fourth snowstorm this winter of 7.5" or more.  It was a fluffy snow with only 0.52" water content.

19 - Morning lows over the past four days were: 22°-21°-22°-21° (today) - eight degrees colder than average.  Then today's high rebounded to 42°, marking the beginning of an extended thaw that would see temperatures average 14 degrees above average between Feb. 20 and 28.

27 - It was a month of wild temperature swings and today was the 17th day in which temperatures were either ten degrees or more above or below average.  Today, with a high of 58°, was the ninth day in a row with temperatures ten degrees or more above average.

 

MARCH

2 - With today's snowfall of 4.6" Central Park set a new winter snowfall record, with 66.3" measured.  It passed the winter of 1947-48 when 63.2" fell (and included, at the time, New York's largest snowfall of all-time).  Even more distance would be created between this and the previous record by an additional ten inches of snow in the next month.

5 - After five days in a row in which high temperatures were between 33° and 35° (10 below average), today's temperature jumped to 61°.

8 - 4.5" of snow fell, pushing the season's snowfall past seventy inches.

9 - It was a very cold day as the high/low was just 24°/11°, twenty-two degrees below average.  The low was a record for the date.

11 - Today was the 17th day in a row (since 2/24) in which no low temperature was duplicated, ranging between 11° and 47°.

19 - 0.46" of rain fell in an hour and 0.75" in two hours (9-11 PM).

29 - Beginning late last night and continuing through this morning, 4.1" of snow fell, the seventh snowfall of four inches+ this winter.  It brought March's snow total to 13.2", making it the snowiest March since 1967.  Besides being snowy, it was also a cold month, the coldest March since 1984.  Today's high/low of 41°/31° was the ninth day this month that was 10 degrees or more colder than average.  

 

APRIL

9 - Hard to believe that today's Yankee home opener wasn't postponed as the temperature was in the upper-30s and wet snow fell throughout the game.  Since the air temperature remained above freezing very little of the snow accumulated (0.3" was measured in Central Park).  Happily, the Yankees beat KC 7-3.

10 - An overnight snowfall of 0.7" was the last snow of the season, bringing the winter's total to a hefty 75.6".  This was 48" above the average winter and came just two years after 53.4" fell.

12 - Yesterday's high temperature was a pleasant 64° and tomorrow's would be a chilly 55°, but today was a brief taste of summer as the high rose to 80° - 20 degrees above average.

16 - 1.04" of rain fell between 1-4 AM and 2.19" overall (including rain from last night that fell after 10 PM).  Most of the rain was over by 9 AM.  This storm's rainfall equaled the amount of precipitation (in liquid form) from the blizzard back on Jan. 7-8.

 

MAY

20 - Today saw the first 90-degree reading of the year.  At 96°, a record for the date, it was also the hottest day of the year.  After today, there would be only two more 90-degree days. 

21 - This was the second day in a row with a record high as the mercury topped out at 93°.  The next 90-degree day wouldn't be for another two months (and it was the only other such day of the summer.)  

 

JUNE

3 - 3.01" of rain fell in a 12-hour period (7AM-7PM), more than fell in the entire month of May.  It was also a record for the date and the biggest June rainstorm since 1984.  Today's high was only 61°, fifteen degrees below average.  The AM low of 54° was the third and last day of the month with a low in the 50s - the fewest in June for the period 1970-2019.  This would also be the last low in the 50s until 9/14, the longest period with lows of 60°+ on record.

10 -  Although it was just a spritz of rain, the 0.01" that fell this afternoon was the first measurable rain on this date in 15 years.

30 -  Rain fell throughout the morning until early afternoon.  Then after a three-hour break in mid-afternoon showers moved in again after 8:00.  Rainfall totaled 0.88", but we were spared flooding rains that hit eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and DC, which received 5-10 inches.  Because of the clouds and rain the high temperature got no higher than 68°. 

 

JULY

13 - Rain and wind from tropical storm Bertha moved in late on July 12 (a Friday) and continued until mid-afternoon today.  About two inches of rain fell and was accompanied by winds of 30-45 mph.  Western New Jersey and the lower Hudson River valley had the heaviest rain, picking up between three and seven inches.   

17 - Although this morning's low of 74° was the mildest low temperature of the year, it tied a few dates in 1976 for the distinction as the "coolest" warmest summertime low in the 1970-2019 period.  Another 74° low would occur on Sept. 10.

26 - 0.46" of rain fell today, mostly in the morning.  This was the tenth time in the past 12 years that rain fell on this date.

31 - Between 9-10 AM 0.56" of rain poured down (and 1.01" fell for the entire day).  The final twelve days of July were all cooler than average, with temperatures six degrees below the norm.

 

AUGUST

4 - Today was the sixteenth day in a row with below average temperatures, the longest such stretch during any summer between 1980-2020.  The mean temperature during these days was close to six degrees cooler than average, with high temperatures ranging between 70° and 81° (normal high is 85°).  This was quite a contrast to the hot conditions of a year ago.

9 - Lunchtime was a soggy one as 0.82" of rain fell between noon-2 PM.  It was the biggest rainstorm of the month.

13 - Most of the month's 1.86" of rain fell in the five days between Aug. 9 and today.

23 - Today's high of 90° was just the third day this summer to have a high in the 90s.  It was also the last 90-degree day this year.  This would be the fewest hot days in a year (going back to 1970) until the summer of 2004, which would have just two. 

31 - An early forecast caused concern today, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, when Hurricane Edouard was predicted to make landfall on Long Island.  However, the storm stayed away and the only effect from the hurricane was heavy surf, especially out in the Hamptons.

 

SEPTEMBER

10 -  Today had the last 80-degree reading of the year, the earliest date of this occurrence since 1913, when it happened on Sept. 8 (and in 1966 it occurred on Sept. 11).  The average date for New York's last 80-degree day is Oct. 4 (based on 1970-1995 period).

14 - This morning's low of 57° was the first that was cooler than 60° since June 3 - the longest stretch of days with lows of 60°+ on record.  (This was nine days longer than the previous record of 93 days in 1966.)  Ironically, the summer of 1996 was cooler than average.

17 - 2.04" of rain fell, the second year in a row with more than an inch of rain on this date (1.11" fell last year).  Although rain fell throughout the day, 0.54" poured down between 8-9 PM.

29 - The 0.18" of rain the fell between 1-4 AM was the first rain on this date in seventeen years.

 

OCTOBER

8 - 1.89" of rain fell, mostly during the afternoon and evening.

19 - Moving in shortly before daybreak, a nor'easter dumped 4.35" of rain, forcing postponement of Game 1 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium between the Braves and Yankees.  Nearly half of the rain came down between 3:30-6:30 PM with 1.07" falling in the hour between 4-5:00.  Not surprisingly, this was a record rainfall for the date.

 

NOVEMBER

8 - Following the 0.06" of rain that fell on the 6th and the 0.07" that fell on the 7th, 0.08" fell today - on the 8th.  Perhaps of greater interest was today's morning low, which at a balmy 62° was nearly twenty degrees warmer than average.

13 - For the 15th day in a row no morning low was duplicated.  During this string of days low temperatures ranged between 30° and 62° degrees.

16 - Today was the sixth day in a row with temperatures 10 degrees or more chillier than average.  Average high of 41°/low of 32° during these days was 13 degrees below normal.  Five days had morning lows of freezing or below.  

26 - 1.91" of rain fell during the morning, a record amount for the date (breaking the previous record from 1900 by 0.01").

28 - A cold, cold day as the temperature stayed below freezing the entire day (high/low of 31°/23°) - the first time that's happened in November in seven years.  Additionally, the first measurable snow of the season dusted Central Park with 0.1".  Despite how little fell the next snowfall wouldn't be for another six weeks, on Jan. 9 (when just 0.9" was measured).

 

DECEMBER

2 - In a 30-minute period (2:46-3:16 AM) 0.53" of rain poured down.  This was the parting shot from a rainstorm that began late on Nov. 30 and produced 1.82" of rain over the course of 32 hours. 

14 - On a rainy day (0.89" fell thru mid-afternoon), today's high and low were just one degree apart (40°/39°).  This was just the tenth time a day had a one-degree variance since record keeping began in 1870.

17 - Light showers through early afternoon amounted to 0.12".  This was the 146th day this year with precipitation, establishing 1996 as the year with the most days of precipitation in the 20th century, passing 1972.  And there would be six more days with precipitation before the year ended.  (The average number days of precipitation per year is 121.)

24 - Today's high was a very mild, and un-Christmas-like, 63° a record for the date - and more typical of holiday weather in Atlanta. 

31 - A cold front moved through during the afternoon and by midnight the temperature had plummeted to 15°, with a wind chill near zero degrees when the ball dropped in Times Square.

 

Chart - 1996 hottest and coldest

 

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

 

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