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New York Weather Highlights of 2001
New York Weather Highlights of 2003

New York Weather Highlights of 2002

2002

JANUARY

7 - The first snow of the winter fell today, a light snow that accumulated 0.5" during the afternoon.  This was the fourth winter of the past eight in which the first measurable snow didn't occur until January (average date is Dec. 14).   

19 - The typical snow season in New York lasts about three months (from mid-December to mid-March), but this winter it was less than two weeks.  Today's 3-inch snowfall was the last measurable snow of the season and came thirteen days after the first (when 0.5" fell).  For the entire winter just 3.5" fell, the second least of any winter (the least was during the winter of 1972-73 in which 2.8" fell.) 

29 - The afternoon high soared to 69°, thirty-one degree above average, and a record for the date. 

30 - For the fourth day in a row the high temperature soared into the 60s (highs on those days: 62°, 60°, 69°, and 61° today).  This stretch of days was 17 degrees milder than normal (high of 56°/low of 42°), making it feel more like Dallas or Atlanta.  It was also the ninth consecutive day in which the mean temperature was 10+ degrees above average. 

 

FEBRUARY

5 - The morning low of 19° was the coldest reading of the winter, later tied on 3/5.  This was relatively mild for the coldest temperature since, on average, it is 9°.

27 - Light showers late in the AM amounted to 0.05" and brought February's precipitation total to 0.71", making it the driest February since 1901 and third driest on record.  (This February would also tie 1998 and 1984 as the mildest on record - later eclipsed in 2012).  

28 - The very mild temperatures in January and February were as mild as those in 1998.  In both years the mean temperature was 40.0 degrees in January and 40.6 degrees in February.  

 

MARCH

5 - With a high/low of 35°/19°, this was the first day this year with a mean temperature 10 degrees colder than average - and the first such day in five months.  The morning low tied 2/5 for the coldest reading of the winter.

6 - Today's high of 59° was one day after a morning low of 19°.

 

APRIL

3 - The temperature nosedived from 77° (twenty-one degrees above average) to 42°.  This temperature drop was accompanied by 30-40 mph wind gusts.

5 - For the third season in a row, the weather for the Yankees' home opener was very chilly, with a high of only 45°, twelve degrees colder than average.  

16 - Today was the beginning of a very early four-day heat wave, with the following high temperatures: 92° today; 96° on 4/17; 91° on 4/18; and 89° on 4/19.  This was the third earliest date for a year's first 90-degree day.  (And talk about bad timing, I had my air conditioner taken out of my apartment yesterday to have it cleaned and serviced.) 

17 - Today's high was a sizzling 96°, tying April 18, 1976 as New York's hottest day ever in April.  Today's departure from the norm was +35 degrees, one of the greatest departures on record.  Furthermore, this morning's low of 74° was the earliest date ever for a low in the 70s.   

18 - The morning low was a stifling 76°, which would be uncomfortable even in the middle of the summer.  This was 15 degrees warmer than the average high for the day.  And although the high was 92°, it wasn't a record.  The record was 96° set in 1976.

19 - The four-day summer heat wave that Mother Nature cut & paste in the middle of spring resulted in an average high/low of 92°/71°, which was 26.5 degrees above normal.  After highs in the 90s the previous three days, today "cooled down" to 89°.  The next 90-degree day wouldn't be for another two months (June 26).

25 - A steady rain, amounting to 0.55", fell during the afternoon - the first rain on this date in 12 years.  One week after a heat wave with temperatures 30 degrees above average, today was chilly, with a high/low of 52°/43°.

 

MAY

4 - Today was the fourteenth day in a row with below-average temperatures (five degrees below average).  This was in stark contrast to mid-April's heat wave in which seven days had temperatures that averaged 23 degrees above normal.

14 - The 0.05" of rain that fell between midnight and 1:30 AM was the first precipitation on this date in 11 years.

20 - This morning's chilly low of 43° was a record for the date.  (Yesterday had been even colder, at 41°, but it wasn't a record.)  

21 - This was the last of four consecutive days with morning lows in the chilly low 40s, well below the average low of 55°. 

 

JUNE

6 - 0.32" of rain poured down in just 10 minutes between 7:50-8 PM.

 

JULY

2 - Today's high reached 95°, the first of a dozen 90-degree days this month.

3 - After a very uncomfortable morning low of just 82° the steamy afternoon high topped out at 95°.  This was the earliest date for a low in the 80s since the summer of 1952.

4 - Although four other 4th of Julys had high temperatures that were hotter (in 1966, 1955, 1949 and 1911), today's mean temperature of 88.5 degrees (based on a high/low of 96/81) was the hottest of any 7/4.

19 - Half of the month's rain poured down in an hour during the early evening as 0.52" fell between 5-6 PM.

 

AUGUST

2 - Today was the fifth day in a row with a high temperature of 95° or hotter.  During an evening thunderstorm 0.42" of rain fell in just 15 minutes (7:15-7:30 PM).  This brought relief after a blistering high of 97°.

13 - With a high of 98°, today was the hottest day all summer. 

19 - This was the third day in a row in which the high hit 94° (yesterday and today set new records).  It was also the seventeenth 90-degree day since July 29, a three-week period that had heat waves of eight days and nine days.  The average high during these two heat waves was 94°, ten degrees hotter than average.

29 - 2.68" of rain fell, a record amount for the date.

31-Sept 2 - With an average high of just 68° (11 degrees below average) this was the coolest Labor Day weekend between 1980-2019.  And Labor Day itself was a washout with 1.63" of rain falling.

 

SEPTEMBER

10 - Today's high of 90° was the 32nd, and last, 90-degree day of the year.  This was the most 90-degree days in nine years and is tied for seventh most with three other years.  (The most such days, 39, occurred in 1991 and 1993.)  

 

OCTOBER

11 - An all-day rain dumped 3.06" of rain on the City, a record for the date. 

12 - Rain fell for 51 consecutive hours beginning the night of the 10th and continuing until 9:00 this evening.  In total 4.51" fell, with 1.06" measured today.  

 

NOVEMBER

17 - Although it was a relatively modest amount, today's 1.42" of rain was enough to be a record for the date (the old record was 1.37" in 1937).  Half of the rain fell between midnight and 7 AM, the other half from 3 PM-midnight.  It was all part of a nor'easter which moved in yesterday afternoon (with 0.66" of rain).  Winds gusted to 35 mph.

 

DECEMBER

4 - Today's high of 32° (after a low of 20°) made this the first day of the winter with a maximum temperature of 32° or colder, two weeks earlier than normal.

5 - One year after a day of record warmth six inches of snow fell, the biggest snow so early in the season since 1957 (when eight inches fell on 12/3-4).  

9 - Today's mean temperature of 24.5 degrees (high of 30°/low of 19°) was the coldest of a very mild year.

11 - Fourteen of the past fifteen days were colder than normal, with temperatures eight degrees below average (high of 38°/low of 27°).  This afternoon a cold rain fell, measuring 1.11".

25 - A sloppy winter storm produced the most precipitation ever measured on Christmas Day (1.30") and the most snow (five inches) since 1909 when seven inches fell (the most ever).  Morning/afternoon rain changed to snow later in the afternoon.  This was the first Christmas snowfall of one inch or more in thirty-three years - and the last time measurable snow fell on the holiday (through 2019).

 

Chart - 2002 hottest and coldest

 

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

 

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Ian

Surprised you didn't mention a really interesting stat: On October 7, Central Park, JFK, and LaGuardia all had their last 70-degree reading of the year, the earliest date on record for the occurrence at LGA and JFK, as well as the earliest in over a century (2nd earliest all time) at Central Park.

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