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New York Weather Highlights of 2002
New York Weather Highlights of 2004

New York Weather Highlights of 2003

 2003

JANUARY

1 - The year began on a rainy note as 1.52" fell, making this the rainiest New Year's Day since 1923.  The rest of January would be very dry so today's rain accounted for two-thirds of the month's total precipitation.  

6 - For the eighth day in a row precipitation fell, amounting to 2.20".

13 - Today's high of 40° was the mildest reading during the twenty-two days between Jan. 11- Feb. 1.  During this three-week period temperatures were ten degrees colder than average.

25 - Today was the twelfth day in a row in which the high temperature failed to rise above freezing.  The average high during these days was 27°, eleven degrees colder than normal.

28 - Fourteen of the past fifteen days had high temperatures that were below freezing.  However, despite this cold snap just 2.6" of snow fell.

29 - In the past four days very cold and dry air produced 2.5" of powder/fluffy snow from just 0.04" of liquid precipitation.  Today was the eighth day this month with measurable snowfall, which was notable since only 4.7" of snow fell during the month. 

 

FEBRUARY

1 - Only three degrees separated today's high and low of 37°/34°.

7 - 5.3" of snow fell, more than fell in all of January (4.7") and the third snowfall of five inches or more this winter.

16 - This was the coldest day of the winter, with a high of just 15° and a low of 8°, twenty-two degrees below average.  After nightfall a fierce blizzard moved up the coast and by midnight 3.5" of snow had fallen.  Winds gusted over 40 mph producing below zero wind chills.  

17 - The brunt of the Presidents' Day blizzard kicked in this morning and dumped an additional 16.3", making this New York's fourth biggest snowfall on record.  (Since then four snowstorms during the winters of 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2016 have surpassed it.)  40 to 50 mph winds created snow drifts of 3-5 feet. The day's high/low was just 26°/14°. 

18 - Eight of the past thirteen days had highs at freezing or colder and twenty-six inches of snow fell.  Temperatures were nine degrees below average during these thirteen days. 

21 - Today's and yesterday's highs of 50° were the mildest temperatures during a very cold month (the coldest since 1979).

22 - Five days after the big blizzard a cold (high/low of 42°/36°), hard rain fell from mid-morning until late afternoon, with 1.49" measured.  This was the same amount of liquid precipitation measured on 2/17 (when 16.3" of snow piled up).

 

MARCH

3 - This morning's low was a biting cold 11°, a record for the date and the coldest temperature in March since a reading of 10° in 1980.   

13 - The past twelve days were seven degrees colder than average.

21 - 0.61" of rain fell this evening with 0.17" of it pouring down in a 5-minute period between 6:21-6:26 PM.  

31 - In 1998 the Mets were wildly lucky when their home opener on March 31 was played in record warmth (86°).  Their luck didn't hold out this year.  Although the game was played under clear skies the temperature hovered around 40° and a biting wind created a "feels like" temperature of 30°.  No surprise that this was the coldest Opening Day in the 1970-2015 period.  To make it even worse they were destroyed by the Cubs by a score of 15-2. 

 

APRIL

7 - The four inches of snow that fell today, the last snowfall of the winter, was the biggest April snowfall in twenty-one years.  This brought the season's snowfall total close to 50 inches.  Today's snow forced postponement of the Yankees' home opener.

8 - Yet another cold start to the Yankees' season.  This game tied the snowy one of 1996 as the coldest home opener in the 1970-2015 period and was played one day after four inches of snow fell.  The temperature at game time was just 37°, twenty-one degrees below average, and more typical of mid-winter.

9 - For the ninth year in a row precipitation fell on this date, a cold rain that amounted to 0.30".  The high/low of 39°/35° was thirteen degrees below average.  This was the third day in a row with a high only in the 30s, the most in April since 1881, when there were five (all in a row as well) .

11 - Since March 30 (a span of thirteen days) the mean temperature was nine degrees below average, with a high/low of 46°/34°.  Today was the eighth in a row with a low temperature in the 30s, the longest such streak during the spring since one of thirteen days in 1975. 

12 - The day before the 13-day streak of chilly weather began on March 30, the high reached 69°.  And today, the day this chilly spell ended, the temperature once again topped out at 69°.

16 - The afternoon high soared to 88°, twenty-seven degrees above average.  Then a back-door cold front moved through and the temperature dropped to 51° by midnight.  Today's high wouldn't be topped for ten weeks.

17 - After a back-door cold front dropped yesterday's summery temperatures nearly 40 degrees, today's temperature fell slowly throughout the day and was down to 36° by midnight.  This was one year after the high reached a broiling 96° on this date. 

28 - After today's 80-degree high (the third 80-degree reading of the month) it would be six weeks before the next 80-degree reading occurred.

 

MAY

26 - We were stuck in an unseasonably cool pattern similar to one we had two years ago in May.  Today and the previous four days were 11 degrees cooler than average.  Two days had a high/low of 56°/50° and two others were at 56°/51°.  Not only was today cool but rainy as well, with 1.28" of rain measured (the most precipitation in a 24-hour period since the big snowstorm on President's Day).  Unfortunately, this coincided with Memorial Day weekend (5/24-26).

30 - Today's high of 79° was the warmest temperature of the month and only the second time in twenty-five years that May had no readings of 80° or higher.  (It would happen again in 2005.)

31 - This was the coolest May since 1967, 0.8 degrees cooler than the chilly May of 1997.  Much of the month's 3.40" of rain fell since May 21, including today's 0.59".

 

JUNE

4 - 2.75" of rain fell, a record for the date.  Shortly before the rain ended 0.66" fell in the hour between 8-9 PM.  The high temperature was just 57°, nineteen degrees below average.

7 - Nearly eight inches of rain fell since May 21, with rain falling on thirteen of these eighteen days.  And every day but one had cooler than average temperatures.  Today's rainfall totaled 0.90" and fell largely between 11 AM-7 PM.  Five more inches of rain would fall in June, which became the rainiest on record with 10.26" measured.

9 - Four of the past five days had a low of 57°; the other day had a low of 58°.  Also, twenty-eight of the past thirty days were cooler than average.

21 - Periods of heavy rain amounted to 1.19".  Today's rainfall brought the month's total to 9.89", passing 1972 as the wettest June on record. 

23 - Today was the 17th day this month with a low in the 50s, passing June 1965 as the June with the most such days in the years since 1960.

24 - Today, with a high of 93°, was the first 90-degree reading of the year, coming more than three weeks after the typical first 90.  It was also the first day of a four-day heat wave.

26 - The AM low of 79° degrees, thirteen degrees above average, tied June 10, 1984 for the warmest low temperature in the month of June since a low of 81° on June 26, 1952.  And today's high of 93° was the third 90-degree reading in a row, making this the fourth year in a row to start its 90-degree readings with a heat wave, the longest such streak on record (going back to 1872).

29 - With today's 0.05" of rain early this morning, June's record rainfall totaled 10.26".

 

JULY

5 - Today's high of 94° degrees, the hottest reading of the month, followed yesterday's low of 63°, which was July's coolest reading (and 7/3's high was just 72°).

6 - Despite a sultry morning low of 77°, the high failed to reach 90°, topping out at 89°. 

10 - Overcast skies, winds off the ocean and periods of drizzle kept the temperature in the 60s all day (high of 69°/low of 66°). 

22 - 0.24" of rain fell in a five-minute period between 1:38-1:43 PM.  Rain fell sporadically throughout the day and totaled 1.36".

31 - This was the first of twelve consecutive days in which rain fell.  0.12" fell today, beginning at 9PM.  During this streak 5.57" of rain would fall.

 

AUGUST

1 - 0.55" of rain thundered down in the hour between 4-5 PM.

4 - 1.98" of rain fell today, with much of it coming down between 2-5 PM.  An additional 0.77" fell between 4-5 PM.  

7 - 1.19" of rain fell between 8 PM and 2 AM.  Not only was it the eighth day in a row with some rain, but the first time in 10 years that it rained on this date.

9 - During the first nine days of August 5.42" of rain fell, but then just 0.36" was measured for the remainder of the month. 

11 - Rain fell for the twelfth consecutive day, the longest streak on record.  5.57" of rain fell during this span, but just 0.01" today and 0.02" yesterday.

14 - It was sunny and hot (91°) when the power went out late in the afternoon throughout New York, New York's third major blackout.  For much of the City the electricity remained off until the following afternoon.

22 - Today's high was 90°, the eighth, and last, 90-degree day of the year (a typical year has eighteen).

27 - Today's low of 72° was the last 70-degree low of the year, more than two weeks earlier than the average date of Sept. 11 - and just one day later than the earliest date for this occurrence (set in 1975 and later tied in 2009).   

 

SEPTEMBER

1 - For the second year in a row the temperature never got out of the 60s on Labor Day.  And like the previous year it rained, but not nearly as much fell (0.59" compared to 1.63"). 

14 - Today was one of four days this month in which the high reached 80°, the warmest reading of the month - and the coolest maximum temperature for any September in more than 50 years.  However, the month's overall temperature was slightly above average (+0.5°). 

 

OCTOBER

6 - The first six days of the month had chilly highs in the 57° to 60° range, which is more typical of the last few days of October/first week of November (average highs in the first week of October range from 67° to 69°).

29 - Up until Oct. 27 this had been a very dry month, with just 1.26" of rainfall measured.  Then 3.62" fell in the past three days, including 1.63" that fell today.

 

NOVEMBER

1 - Today's high was a balmy 77°, eighteen degrees warmer than average, and the first 70-degree day on this date since another 77° high back in 1982.

2 - The NYC Marathon was held today and the afternoon high of 68° (10 degrees above average) was the mildest temperature on race day since 1994, when the high reached 70°.

3 - Today's high temperature of 79° was twenty-one degrees above average.  Besides being the warmest day of the month it was also the warmest day in 6-1/2 weeks since it was 80° on Sept. 20. 

19 - A downpour dumped 0.80" of rain between 7:30-8:30 PM.  For the entire day (a rainy morning and evening, but a dry afternoon) 1.80" fell.

 

DECEMBER

3 - Today was the first day with a high of freezing or colder this winter, one day earlier than last year.  And today's high/low of 31°/21° was very similar last year's first freezing-or-colder day (32°/20°).  

5 - Snow fell during the afternoon and lasted into early evening, accumulating eight inches, coming one year after six inches fell on the same date (and the fifth time in the past twenty years that the first snow fell on Dec. 5).  This was part of a two-stage storm that brought more significant snowfall the following day.

6 - The City was under a blizzard warning for much of the day as an additional six inches of snow fell on top of yesterday's eight-inch snowfall.  The high temperature was only 28° after a low of 23°.  Just a week into the month and this was already the snowiest December since 1960 when 19.8" fell.    

14 - 5.8" of heavy snow fell between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM before changing to a wind blown rain as the temperature rose into the lower 40s.  Total precipitation from the storm was 1.59".  Today's snow (a record for the date) brought the month's total to 19.8", the most in December since 1948 when 25.3" fell.  Four weeks would pass before the next snowfall (0.5" on Jan. 12).  

24 - It was a rainy Christmas Eve as 1.42" fell during the daylight hours (5 AM-6 PM), a record for the date.  The day's mean temperature of 51° was the mildest of the month (high of 56°/low of 46°).

31 - The last ten days of the year were close to 10 degrees milder than average (high 51°/low 38°).

 

Chart - 2003 hottest and coldest

 

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

 

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