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New York Weather Highlights of 1980
New York Weather Highlights of 1983

New York Weather Highlights: 1981

 1981

JANUARY

3 - Today's air was so dry and cold (high/low of 21°/13°) that 1.5 inches of fluffy snow was produced from just 0.03" of liquid precipitation, an incredible 50:1 frozen-to-liquid ratio (10:1 is more typical for the East Coast).  

7 - Woke up to five inches of fresh snow that fell overnight.  This amounted to almost all of the month's 0.58" in total precipitation - the driest January on record (and the exact amount that fell in December!)

12 - Today's high/low of 15°/+2° made this the coldest day of the winter, 24 degrees colder than average.  Because of consistently very cold temperatures since the last week of December, ice formed on the the East and Hudson Rivers and extended all the way south to Manhattan.

13 - Today's high temperature was 22°, the fifth day in a row in which the high was 25° or colder.

18 - Today was the 20th day in a row with colder than average temperatures - and the 11th in a row with a high of 32° or colder.  The average high/low during this period was 28°/16°, eleven degrees below normal.  Since Dec. 14 two-thirds of the days since had high temperatures at freezing or lower.

26 - Today, with a high of 46°, was the first day since Dec. 13 to have a high above 45°.

 

FEBRUARY

11 - 0.59" of rain fell between 2-3:00 PM.  This was the first measurable to fall on this date in fifteen years.

18 - Today's balmy high of 68° was a record for the date, 26 degrees above the average.  This was four weeks after the Hudson and East Rivers around Manhattan were largely ice covered.

20 - A rainstorm that began yesterday dropped 0.85" in the bucket last night and 1.77" today for a total of 2.62".  This was the biggest rainstorm in seven months.

21 - Just two degrees separated today's high and low of 49°/47°.

22 - This was the seventh day in a row in which the mean temperature was at least 12 degrees above average.  The high/low during these days was 58°/45°, seventeen degrees milder than normal.  This streak came in the midst of 17 days of above-average temperatures (Feb. 14 - March 2). 

27 - In the past twelve days the mean temperature was 14.5 degrees above the average (high/low of 55°/43°).

28 - After an extremely dry December and January, February was the wettest since 1939.  (Interestingly, December and January each received the same meager amount of precipitation - 0.58").  Nearly four inches of rain fell in the past week-and-a-half, more than the previous thirteen weeks combined.  (6.04" fell in total.)

 

MARCH

5 - A heavy, wet snowfall of 8.6" was the biggest snow of the winter and a record amount for the date.  the high was 38°, low was 31°.

 

APRIL

9 - Today was a delightful day for the Yankees home opener as the afternoon temperature topped out at 75°, seventeen degrees above average. 

12 - Today was the 20th day in a row with above-average temperatures.  The mean temperature during this nearly three-week period was 9.4 degrees above average.  The average high/low was 66°/47° and included highs of 77° on 3/29, 81° on 4/3 and 75° on 4/9.

19 - Although the temperature was 11 degrees cooler than yesterday, it was still a beautiful Easter Sunday as the high reached 68° (six above average) under partly cloudy skies.

21 - A late cold snap dropped the morning low to 33°, a year after a low of 32° was reported on April 17.  Interestingly, the warmest temperature this month, 81°, came at the beginning of April.  This morning's frosty low was the coldest reading since March 21.

 

MAY

11 - Rain fell for much of the day and amounted to 1.67".  It was heaviest between 6-8:00 PM when 0.70" fell.

23-25 - All three days of Memorial Day weekend were sunny and summery with highs of 78°-86°-87°. 

 

JUNE

16 - Today's high soared to 93°, the first 90-degree day of the year.  This was the latest date for the summer's first 90 since 1963, when it occurred on June 24.  (The average date is May 31.)  Besides the heat there was unbearable humidity to contend with as the dew point in the early afternoon reached 80°, producing a heat index of 109°.  In the years since 1950 this dew point is the highest on record for Central Park.

27 - This morning's low of 58° was just the second low in the 50s this month, tying June 1899, 1937 and 1939 for fewest number of days.  (The average number in June is ten.)

 

JULY

1 - 0.73" of rain poured down between 2-4 PM.

4 - This was the rainiest 4th of July on record.  Rain began at around 11 AM and continued for much of the day, totaling 1.76".  (Interestingly, no rain fell during prime fireworks time.)   Rain fell on each of the first five days of the month and amounted to nearly three inches, practically the month's entire rainfall. 

9 - This was the hottest day of the summer as the high reached 96° after a morning low of 80°.

13 - Today's high was 93°, the seventh day in a row with a high in the nineties.  With highs ranging between 93-96 during this week-long period, the average high was 94°. 

27 - Between midnight and 2 AM 1.65" of rain fell, with 0.98" of it coming down in the first hour.

 

AUGUST

6 - For the third year in a row both Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 had highs in the 90s.

10 - Today's high of 92° was the last 90-degree day of the year.   Despite the early date for this occurrence (the last 90-degree temperature occurs at the beginning of September), the total number of 90-degree days this year, sixteen, was just two days fewer than average.

 

SEPTEMBER

7 - Between July 28 and today, a period of six weeks, just 0.77" of rain fell.  This was the longest streak of days with less than an inch of rainfall since one of 44 days in Sept/Oct 1973.  (In 2013 there would be a stretch of sixty days during the fall.)  Today was also the fourth consecutive day with a low of 66° (average is 63°).

8 - 1.01" of rain fell between 8-10:00 PM (and 1.55" overall).

14 - Today's high/low of 89°/71° was 11 degrees above average.

 

OCTOBER

14 - This was the fourth day in a row with a chilly morning low of 43° - eight degrees colder than average.

 

NOVEMBER

26 - Between Nov. 20 and today each day's low temperature was colder than the day before, dropping from 50° on  Nov. 19 (ten above average) to 29° today (nine below average).  Today's reading was also the coldest of the month.

 

DECEMBER

14 - The winter's first one-inch snowfall arrived in the late afternoon, but after 1.4" accumulated the snow changed to a steady rain as the temperature rose to 37° by midnight.  In total 1.02" of precipitation fell.

19 - Today was the first day this season completely below freezing, with a high/low of 28°/21°.  

 

Chart - 1981 coldest hottest

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

 

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William

this October had just one seventy degree day (on 10/16, when the high was 71°), the fewest that any October has had in the years since 1900.

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