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Easter Sunday Weather Highlights for New York

 

Easter.sunday

 

Because Easter can fall as early as March 22 and as late as April 25, weather conditions can vary greatly from year to year, so it's somewhat meaningless to talk about what the average conditions are.  Temperatures have ranged from 12° to 96°, and four Easters have had accumulating snow.  A number of Easters have been colder than Christmas Day.  Since 1870, Easter mornings with a low of 32° or colder have occurred in 18 years, with the last time being in 2008.  Afternoon highs of 75° or warmer have been recorded 16 times, the most recent being in 2017 (when the high reached 87°).

 

1915 (April 4)

Many spent Easter Sunday digging out from a 10-inch snowstorm that buried the City yesterday.  However, by afternoon temperatures rose into the low 50s, twenty degrees warmer than yesterday, greatly promoting melting.  And skies were mostly sunny.

1923 (April 1)

The day dawned bitterly cold, with a reading of 12° at 6 AM, making this, easily, the coldest reading of any Easter Sunday (and the coldest reading on record for the month of April).  Winds gusting to 25 mph produced wind chills around -5°.  The afternoon high "recovered" to 36°.  (Three days later the high would reach 70°.)

 

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1940 (March 24)

With a high/low of 31°/17°, this is the only Easter Sunday to be completely below freezing.  This came just three years after a high/low of 35°/28° on Easter.

1947 (April 6)

Today's high of 79°, a record for the date (which still stands), made this the warmest Easter Sunday since 1887, when the high also reached 79°.

1957 (April 21)

This was the first Easter Sunday since 1871 with a high in the 80s, and at 85° it was the warmest on record (until 1962).  By contrast, yesterday's high was in the mid-60s as would be tomorrow's.

1958 (April 6)

2.19" of rain fell today, making it the rainiest Easter Sunday.  Most of the rain fell between 9 AM and 4 PM.

1970 (March 29)

Rain that began before sunrise changed to sleet and snow after 10 AM.  When it ended late in the afternoon, four inches had piled up - a record amount for an Easter Sunday.  And it was the only snow to fall in March.  (I was growing up in Pittsburgh at the time and we, too, had four inches of snow but it fell around daybreak.  It prevented us from going to Easter Mass.)  This is the last time accumulating snow fell on the holiday.

 

Snow_easter

1973 (April 22)

With a high of 86°, the reading tied 1962 as New York's warmest Easter Sunday (until 1976) - which, coincidentally, also fell on 4/22. 

1976 (April 18)

Under clear skies temperatures sizzled, and were more appropriate for frying eggs on the sidewalk rather than dying them, as the high soared to 96°.  This was 35 degrees above average and the hottest temperature ever reported in April (later tied in 2002).

1978 (March 26)

It was a miserable, raw day as rain fell between 9 AM-3 PM (0.62" was measured) and afternoon temperatures were only in the mid-30s.

1979 (April 15)

After a cold and rainy Saturday (high/low of 45°/40°, with 1.10" of rain), today was gray and cool with a high/low of 55°/42° along with some light rain/drizzle between 4-6 AM.  Today would be chillier than Christmas Day 1979, which saw a mild high/low of 61°/50°.

1981 (April 19)

Although the temperature was 11 degrees cooler than yesterday, it was still a beauty of a day, with a high of 68°  (six degrees above average) under partly cloudy skies.

1983 (April 3)

Close to two inches of rain fell during the morning, making this the second wettest Easter on record (the rainiest was 25 years earlier).  Besides the rain it was also quite chilly, with a high of only 46°.

1986 (March 30)

Although Easter fell early this year, it was the warmest since 1976 as the high hit 78°, twenty-four degrees above average.

 

Easterbunny

1987 (April 19)

A high of 76° this year after last year's high of 78° made these the first back-to-back Easters with highs of 75°+.  (It would happen again in 2010 and 2011, when the highs were 76° and 80°, respectively.)

1990 (April 15)

Although 1.47" of rain fell, it was over by 8 AM so the "Easter Parade" along 5th Avenue wasn't washed out.

1996 (April 7)

Chilly and raw (high of 48°/low of 34°) with 0.69" of rain, most of which fell during the afternoon.

2002 (March 31)

This was the fourth year in a row in which some rain fell on Easter.  This year showers fell between 5-8 AM and again in the evening, totaling 0.28".

2007 (April 8)

With a high of only 41° after a frosty low of 30°, this was the coldest Easter Sunday since 1940 (based on mean temperature). 

 

Marshmallow_peeps

2008 (March 23)

For the second year in a row Easter dawned with a frosty low of 30° (but Easter came 17 days earlier this year).  This was the first back-to-back Easters with sub-freezing lows since the Easter Sundays of 1950 and 1951.

2011 (April 24)

With a high of 80° (sixteen degrees above average), this was the warmest Easter Sunday since 1976 (and just the sixth Easter with a high of 80° or warmer).  However, showers between 6-9 PM put somewhat of a damper on the day.  The 0.50" of rain that fell was the most since Easter 1996.   

2012 (April 8)

Sunny and pleasant with a high of 67°, nine degrees above average.

2017 (April 16)

This was just the seventh Easter to have temperatures in the 80s (going back to 1870), and with a high of 87° this was the second warmest Easter Sunday on record (behind 1976's astounding 96°).  Today was also the warmest reading in April since 2012 when a high of 88° occurred, also on 4/16.

87 

2021 (April 4)

Despite starting out overcast, it turned into a beautiful Easter Sunday as skies cleared late in the morning, and the temperature rose to 65°.   The air was also quite dry, with the relative humidity falling to 23% late in the afternoon.  

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Comments

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Ira Langsam

Hi Rob:
I read your weather blog and enjoy it, as I share your interest in NYC weather history and obscure, and not so obscure, weather trivia. Not to be picky, and I'm sure it was just an unfortunate typo, but Easter Sunday 1957 fell on April 21st not the 24th, as posted -- a fact which has probably already been pointed out to you.
In any event, thanks for all your info. As a native New Yorker who recalls a cooler overall pattern which existed in the 1960s, and was particularly marked by a series of brisk, refreshing autumns -- as opposed to the extended summers which now prevail -- I hope not solely for reasons of aesthetic preference but for the good of humankind that global warming/climate change can be reversed (without, of course bringing on another ice age).

Rob

Thanks for your message. It turns out that you were the first to bring this error to my attention - thanks very much for pointing it out (the temperature information, however, does reflect the correct date).

Harry Mandel

The 1970 Easter snowstorm was memorable in my family as my sister was born 8 days earlier and due to some minor complications my mother and her had stayed in the hospital and this was the day they were released, providing a memorable ride home.....

Henry

I have many good memories of Easter. One noteworthy Easter that you missed on this list was April 4, 2010 (high of 76). This was the first of five days in a row with summer-like temperatures (76, 75, 78, 92, 80), quite more typical of a pattern in late May. I am sitting outside exactly eleven years later on a seasonable day by comparison. This is a great site; keep up the good work.

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