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New York Weather Highlights of 2009
Today in New York Weather History: Leap Year Day (February 29)

New York Weather Highlights of 2011

 2011

JANUARY 

1 - With a high/low of 53°/40°, today was the mildest day of January, fourteen degrees above average.  The year began sunny but gave way to overcast skies in the afternoon.  

12 - Snow that began last night (and accumulated three inches by midnight) was over by daybreak, measuring 9.1".  The 6.1" that fell this morning was a record for the date. 

18 - It was a sloppy day as an inch of snow fell in the wee hours of the morning (when the temperature was in the mid-20s), changed to freezing rain around daybreak and then to plain rain later on.  Total precipitation for the day was 1.27", making this the sixth year in a row in which precipitation fell on this date. 

19 - Today's and yesterday's high temperatures of 41° were the mildest readings between Jan. 3 and Feb. 4. 

24 - A high/low of 24°/6° made this the coldest day of the winter (based on mean temperature).

26-27 - Snow began falling heavily by late afternoon and blizzard conditions developed after nightfall.  By midnight close to 13" had fallen and by the time the snow wound down at daybreak 19" had piled up.  (This was just one month after the post-Christmas blizzard socked NYC with 20".)  Shortly after midnight I ventured outside to snap photos and found traffic mostly at a standstill on Seventh Ave. South in the West Village with taxis pointed every which way.  The quiet usually associated with a snowfall was broken by the sound of spinning tires.  This furious spinning created an odor of burning rubber that pervaded the air.      

The 6.7" of snow that fell before daybreak on the 27th was a record for the date and brought the month's total to 36.0", the most ever in January.  (Just one year ago 36.9" of snow fell in February.)  In the past thirty-three days, beginning with the Christmas blizzard, an incredible 56" of snow fell.  And for the first time New York had two snowstorms of 19" or more in one winter. 

 

FEBRUARY

1 - The 1.1" of snow/sleet that fell today, mostly before daybreak, is the most to fall on this date in the past 50 years.The rest of the day was gray and raw with a high/low of 30°/25°.

24 - This was the first day since Dec. 25 with less than an inch of snow on the ground in Central Park, a span of sixty-one days. 

 

MARCH 

6 - It was a good Sunday to stay indoors as rain began mid-morning and continued for the rest of the day.  It fell heaviest between 4-11:00 PM when 1.30" came down; total for the day was 2.02".  Only four degrees separated the day's high and low of 54°/50°.

18 - Today's record high of 77° was the warmest reading in nearly six months.

24 - An inch of snow fell overnight, the final snow of the winter.  The winter's total snowfall was 61.9" and most of it, 56", fell in just one month's time, between Dec. 26 and Jan. 27.     

31 - This was the earliest date for a Yankees home opener (until 2019) and it was played in raw and damp conditions.  The high was only 43°, twelve degrees colder than average.  After morning showers, no rain fell during game time but showers resumed in the evening.

 

APRIL

1 - 0.18" of rain fell today making this the 13th time in the past sixteen years it's rained on this date. 

8 - The Mets home opener was played in gray and raw conditions with afternoon temperatures well below average (upper 40s).  This was quite a difference from last season's home opener which was played under sunny skies and with temperatures in the 70s.

16 - A nasty storm system moved in later in the afternoon and buffeted the area with 40-50 mph winds and 1.78" of rain, most of which fell today.  Nearly half of the rain poured down between 8-10:00 PM. 

 

MAY

8 - It was a near perfect Mother's Day day as the high reached 74°, five degrees milder than average.  Bright sunshine in the morning gave way to a mix of sun and puffy cumulus clouds during the afternoon.   

12 - This was the last of a seven-day stretch of splendid springtime weather when it's a delight to stroll along the streets of Manhattan.  Under sunny skies temperatures each day were in the low to mid-70s, four degrees above average. 

18 - Today was the fourth day in a row with rain and it culminated with a record for the date as 2.18" fell.  The four-day rain total of 3.91" accounted for 3/4 of the month's total rainfall.  This was the fourth year since 2000 that more than an inch of rain fell on this date. 

30 - For the sixth year in a row Memorial Day (Monday) had an afternoon highs in the 80s.  However, a quick downpour at daybreak was the first rain to fall on this Monday holiday in six years.  

 

JUNE

1 - Today had the first 90-degree reading of the year.

2 - The past ten days were nice and balmy with sunny skies predominating.  Afternoon highs averaged close to 84°, ten above average. 

9 - A day after a high of 93°, today's high reached a sizzling 95°.  Meanwhile Newark, as usual, out-fried New York with highs of 99° and 102°, both which were records. 

14 - A plethora of fives as today was the third day in a row in which 0.05" of rain fell after 0.55" fell on June 11.

17 - Two thunderstorms moved through before dawn and then two more during the afternoon, dropping 1.82" in Central Park's rain bucket, a record for the date (breaking the previous record from ten years ago).  During one 15-minute period between 2-2:15PM, 0.46" of rain poured down.       

 

JULY 

3 - 0.75" of rain fell between 7-9:00 AM and clouds persisted for the rest of the today.  The bleak sky conditions held the high temperature to just 74° - it would be the only day this month not to reach 80 or higher.  Since 1979 only two other Julys had all but one day in the 80s, 1994 and 1983.  A typical July has a half dozen days below 80°.    

18 - Today's high was 95°, the seventeenth time since 1979 the high on this date rose into the 90s.   

21 - This was the fourth morning in a row with a low of 75°, five-and-a-half degrees warmer than average.  (New York's average morning low is 70° for only three days, between July 20-22).  The dew point in the afternoon was in the incredibly uncomfortable 75° to 77° range which, combined with an air temperature of 97°, produced a heat index of 110°.

22 - Today's high soared to an inferno-like 104° (and the "feels-like" temperature was 114°), the hottest temperature in Central Park since another 104° was reached during the summer of 1977.  The only reading hotter than today's was 1936's all-time high of 106°.  And for the first time since the mid-1950s triple-digit heat occurred in consecutive summers.  To our west Newark hit 108°, its highest temperature ever

23 - Although there was a light overcast during the afternoon the temperature soared to 100°, a record for the date.  Despite the cloud cover, no rain fell - the first rain-free July 23 since 2001.

24 - Today was the eighth day of the past nine with a high in the 90s.  (And the one day that didn't reach 90° had a high of 89°.)  During these nine days the average high was 95° (including 104° on 7/22 and 100° on 7/23).

29 - An evening thunderstorm dumped 0.32" of rain in a five-minute period between 6:21-6:26 PM. 

30 - For the 11th year in a row no rain fell on this date.

 

AUGUST 

2 - This was the fourth day in a row with a high in the 90s.  Three of the four days had a high of 91° (today was one of them).  Yesterday was the outlier, with a high of 94°.  This was the fourth four-day heat wave since July 16.

8 - Today's high reached 90°, the twentieth, and last, 90-degree day of the summer, not far from the average number (eighteen).  However, 20 days by this date is well above average.

9 - 2.09" of rain fell mostly around lunchtime, causing subway and street flooding.  This was the first of four days this month that saw more than two inches of rain. 

13 - Today was the 41st day in a row with a high in the 80s, tying the summer of 1943 for the second longest such streak on record (the longest was 59° days during the summer of 1944). 

14 - Nearly six inches of rain flooded the area, more than double what was predicted.  Counting 0.56" that would fall early next morning, total rainfall measured 6.37".  East of New York, areas around Long Beach, on the south shore of Long Island, received eleven inches of rain. 

19 - A severe thunderstorm rumbled through between 7:15-8:15 PM, dumping 1.24" of rain.  At its most intense 0.43" fell in a 5-minute period between 7:30-7:35.  This was the the third time this month that an inch or more of rain fell in less than an hour.  Today's rain pushed August's total over ten inches, the 11th month with this much precipitation since 1979.   

27 - The wind and rain from Hurricane Irene began lashing the area in the evening as it slowly made its way north from the North Carolina and Virginia coasts.  By midnight 2.88" of rain had fallen - with much more to come.  As a precaution New York's transportation system was shut down at noon and 350,000 of the City's residents were evacuated from low-lying areas. 

28 - Between yesterday afternoon and this morning tropical storm Irene dumped 6.87" of rain (2.88" yesterday and 3.99" this morning), one of the greatest 24-hour rain totals in NYC history (and just two weeks after more than six inches rain fell from another monsoon-like rainstorm).  Irene brought August's total rainfall to 18.95" - the most to fall in any month.  In addition to the flooding rains, winds gusted between 50-70 mph (a 60 mph gust was recorded at Central Park), downing more than 2,000 trees on City streets and in parks. 

 

SEPTEMBER

5 - This was the eighth year in a row in which no rain fell on Labor Day, the longest such streak since one of ten years between 1958-1967.  This was also the mildest three-day weekend since 1983, five degrees warmer than average. 

8 - Over the past three days 5.33"  of rain fell from the combination of a cold front and remnants of tropical storm Lee.  Since Aug. 9 Central Park received an incredible 23.16" of rain - normal is 4.32".  During this 31-day period there were four major rainstorms: 2.09" fell on August 8; 6.37" on Aug. 14-15; 6.87" on Aug. 27-28 (from Hurricane Irene) and 5.33" between Sept. 6-8 (including 0.25" in a 5-minute period today between 5:44-5:49 AM).  So much rain had fallen this year that the 55 inches measured in the Park was already five inches above its annual average.  Even if no more precipitation fell for the rest of the year, 2011 would still be New York's wettest year since 2008.   

20 - The 0.06" of rain that fell during late AM showers was the first rain on this date in ten years.  This was also the third day in a row with a high of 68°, six degrees cooler than average.

21 - Today's 0.06" of rain in the early evening was the same amount that fell yesterday and, also like yesterday, it was the first time it rained on this date in ten years.

23 - Heavy rain fell, mostly in the two hours between 11AM-1PM, totaling 2.62".  Since Aug. 3 more than twenty-seven inches of rain fell.  This was more than what fell during the entire drought-stricken year of 1965 when just 26.09" was measured. 

28 - For the past seven days the morning lows were between 68° and 70°, twelve degrees above average and more typical of mid-August.  The high during these days averaged 77°, five above average. 

 

OCTOBER 

1 - Today's rainfall of 0.39" brought the year's total precipitation above 60 inches, making 2011 the sixth wettest year on record - with three months remaining.  (Unlike most other weather pundits, I don't count 1983 as the wettest year since it was revealed that the rain gauge in Central Park was broken, thus invalidating that year's rainfall totals.)   

10 - Today's high of 81° was the latest date for an 80-degree reading since 1995 when it occurred on Oct. 13.

12 - A thundershower between 11:30 PM-midnight dumped 0.43" of rain. (It actually occurred between 12:30-1:00 AM on 10/13, but the National Weather Service uses Standard Time all year round, which occasionally results in this type of peculiarity during Daylight Saving Time.) 

14 - Between 1:00 and 2:00 AM a thunderstorm dumped 0.85" of rain, most of which poured down in a five-minute period.  Between 1:37-1:42 AM 0.63" fell, making this the heaviest five-minute downpour in the 1979-2013 period (topping the 0.54" which fell on June 2, 2006).

25 - This was the third day in a row with a morning low of 50°. (And the AM low on 10/26 would be 51°.)  Although the high temperatures on these days weren't identical, they were very similar: 59°, 61° and 62°.

26 - The streak of 50-degree lows was broken today - with a low of 51°.

29 - An intense nor'easter lashed the area with high winds and outrageously early snowfall.  The 2.9" of heavy, wet snow that was measured in Central Park was the most to ever fall in October (5.2" fell in Newark and over a foot buried northern NJ, parts of NY state, CT, western MA and NH). 

Since the temperature never fell below freezing there was mostly just slushy accumulation on City streets.  However, the day's low of 33°, which occurred in the early afternoon, was the coldest reading in October since 1988.  Total liquid precipitation from the storm was two inches.  Remarkably, twelve weeks would pass before the next measurable snowfall occurred (4.3" fell on Jan. 21, 2012).  

 

NOVEMBER 

15- Today was the first overcast day since Oct. 29, the day of the Northeast's freak snowstorm.  Between that day and today we had more than two weeks of delightful fair skies. 

16 - Today was the first dreary and rainy day since the area's freak snowstorm two-and-a-half weeks ago.  Rain fell for much of the day and amounted to 0.75".

18 - The morning low of 36° was the chilliest reading of the month (along with Nov. 5).  This was the first time since 1988 that November's coldest reading was higher than October's (33° on 10/29 and 10/30).  This was also the third year in a row in which November had no reading of 32° or colder.  This 36° low joined Nov. 1998 as the mildest chilliest ever reported in November.

19 - Today would be the last day for three weeks (until Dec. 10) with colder than average temperatures.

22 - With today's rainfall 2011 became New York's wettest year ever, passing 1972. With thirty-nine days remaining in 2011 67.88" of precipitation had fallen.  (Although 1983 had 80.56" of precipitation this was invalidated when it was revealed that Central Park's rain gauge had been broken for much of the year.)  

28 - Today's high of 70° was twenty-one degrees above average and a record for the date.  It was the warmest reading in seven weeks, since a high of 73° on Oct. 11.  In the past three weeks temperatures have been six degrees above average and eight days had highs of 65° or warmer.

30 - November was 4.2 degrees milder than average and was the eighth month in a row with above-average temperatures. 

 

DECEMBER 

6 - This morning's low of 56° was twenty-two degrees milder than average.  With a high of 62°, the day's mean temperature of 59° was the mildest of the month (and wouldn't be topped for three months). 

7 - Today's rainfall (more than one inch) brought the year's total precipitation past 70 inches - more than 20 inches above a typical year.

10 - Although the temperature fell to 33° back on Oct. 29 and 30 (during the Northeast's freak snowstorm), Central Park's first freezing temperature of the season didn't occur until midnight tonight when the temperature dropped to 32°.  This was the latest first freeze in ten years (when it occurred on Dec. 16) and the fourth latest on record.

11 - Today was the first colder than average day in three weeks as the high/low of 39/29 was five degrees below average.  Between Nov. 20 and yesterday temperatures were 7.4 degrees above average.

18 - Today's high/low of 31°/22° (ten degrees colder than average) was the first day completely below freezing since Feb. 10 when it was 29°/22°.  This morning's low would end up being the coldest reading in December.  It was the "mildest" minimum temperature for December since 1984 when the lowest reading was 25°.    

27 - For the the second year in a row I had difficulty returning to New York after visiting my mother for Christmas in Pittsburgh.  Last year's trip was impacted by the blizzard.  This year New York was lashed by a rainstorm (1.02" fell) with high winds between 5-9:00 PM that delayed my 5:30 flight to JFK until 9:30.  With a high of 57°/low of 38°, the day was 14 degrees above average, the eighth day this month with temperatures 10 degrees+ milder than average. This was also the 24th day this year with an inch or more of precipitation, the second most of any year, breaking a tie with 2007 and 2010 (the greatest number of days was in 1983, which had thirty).  

31 - The year ended on a mid note with a high of 54°/low of 46°, the tenth day of the month in which temperatures were ten degrees or more above average.  Today was sixteen degrees above the norm.  The month was the fourth mildest December on record - and the third to have no measurable snowfall or a "trace" of snowfall.  It was also the ninth month in a row with above-average temperatures.  This followed 2010 which also had nine consecutive months with above average temperatures (between March and November).

 

Chart - 2011 hottest and coldest
 

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

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