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July 2012

New York Weather History: July (1970 - 2021)

Clipart_overheated_sunHighlights:  Heat wave of July 14-20, 2013 had the highest mean temperature of any heat wave of seven days or longer; 104° on July 22, 2011; 103° on July 6, 2010; July 2013 had just the second three-day streak with highs in the triple digits; severe thunderstorms disrupted Diana Ross' free Central Park concert on July 21, 1983; 3.75" of rain fell on July 24, 1997 - the greatest 24-hour rain total in July; twenty 90-degree days in 1993, but no such days in 1996, 2000, 2004 or 2009; 2.09" of rain fell in one hour the night of July 17, 1995. 

 

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July 31

 

 

 

 

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Looking Back at New York Weather: July 31

 

1925

The biggest rainstorm of the year produced 2.14".  And although it was an all-day event, much of it fell between 6-11 PM, when 1.41" was measured.  The rain and clouds kept the temperature in the upper 60s all day.

1927

Today's low of 70° was the last low in the 70s of the year, and the earliest date for the last 70-degree reading on record - a record that still stands.  (The last 70-degree low typically occurs during the first week of September.)  The year had nine days with lows of 70+, which was well below the average of 28 days.

1939

This July and the previous two all had the same average temperature - 76.6°.  However, 1937 had eight days with 90+ highs (two in the triple digits), 1938 had three, and this year had four.  Also, this July had just 0.99" of rain (at the time the fourth driest July) while the previous two had more than five inches.

1950

Today's high of 94° was the the last reading in the 90s this year, the earliest date for this occurrence since 1903, when it fell on 7/30 (1934 and 1904 also had their last 90 on 7/31).  In total, there were only six 90-degree days this summer. 

1954

This was the second day this summer with a high of 100° (the other occurrence was on 7/14).  Today, however, had the warmest mean temperature of the year as its low was 77°, compared to 69° on 7/14.

1985

The 0.06" of rain that fell between 4-7 PM brought the month's rainfall to 4.41", which was the same amount that was measured in June.  This joined similar occurrences in May-June 1917 and Nov.-Dec. 1945 (later joined by Dec. 1980-Jan. 1981 and Sept.-Oct. 1997).

1992

0.24" of rain fell in a five-minute period ending at 6:00 PM.

1993

This was the twentieth 90-degree day of the month, the most of any month.  (The average number for July is eight.)  July's average high was 90°, five-and-a-half degrees hotter than average.  Despite this record number of hot days, there are five Julys that have been hotter, and their number of 90+ readings ranged between 14 and 18.

Clipart_frying_pan 

1994

Today was the twenty-fifth day this month with a high of 85° or warmer.

1996

Between 10-11 AM, 0.56" of rain poured down (and 1.01" fell for the entire day).  The final twelve days of July were all cooler than average, with temperatures six degrees below the norm.

1998

The 0.33" of rain that fell this morning brought the month's paltry total to 1.09", making it one of the ten driest Julys on record.  This followed a very wet first half of the year in which 36 inches of precipitation fell - 60% above average.  (The following July would be even drier, in fact, the driest ever, with just 0.44" measured.)

 

Clipart_drought 

2000

One year after the hottest July on record, this July was the coolest since 1914, four degrees below average.

2003

This was the first of twelve consecutive days in which measurable rain fell.  0.12" fell today, beginning at 10 PM.  During this streak (which lasted through Aug. 11) 5.57" of rain would fall.

2010

Today was the seventeenth day in a row with a high temperature of 85° or hotter, the fourth longest streak of its kine since 1980 (the summers of 1988 and 1995 each had streaks of twenty-four days; and 2012 would have one of twenty-one days).  The average high during this streak was 90°, five degrees above average. Additionally, today was the second day in a row with a high/low of 85°/66°, and followed another pair of days with the same high/low on July 28-29 (89°/74°).  This was just the third time for back-to-back pairs with the same highs/lows (joining Aug. 17-20, 1906 and March 3-6, 1952). 

 

85degrees

2012

At one point in the month, it appeared the month had a good chance at becoming the hottest July on record, as temperatures were 5.4 degrees above average thru July 18.  However, the rest of the month was 1.8 degrees cooler than average, and the month ended up tied as New York's 18th hottest (since 1869). 

2016

For the third time in this final week of July an inch or more of rain fell.  Much of today's 1.08" (0.77") fell in a five-minute period between 8:39 and 8:44 PM - the greatest five-minute total in the years since 1970.  Today's rain brought July's total to 7.02", making it the rainiest month since April 2014.  And it was also the wettest July since 2009 (when 7.11" fell).

 

Weather_torrential_rain

2020

A new record for July was established this morning when the day's low temperature of 70° was the 26th day this month with a low of 70° or warmer, breaking the previous record from ten years ago.  However, for a while the record seemed like it might be in jeopardy when the temperature dropped from 74° to 70° during heavy rain showers after 1 AM. 

 

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Revisiting New York's Hottest Summers

 

Although summer officially falls between June 21 and September 21 (give or take a day, depending on the year), for the purposes of this analysis the meteorological definition of summer is used, which is June 1 thru August 31.

 

Summer_heatwave 

 

  • New York's five hottest summers (since 1869) have all occurred since 1960: 2010, 1966, 1993, 1983 and 1999.  The fact that just one of the years is from this century may surprise some since these years were so warm worldwide.  
  • The summer of 1966, New York's second hottest on record, has the honor of having the hottest average monthly high temperature.  Although July 1999 was the hottest month on record based on mean daily temperature (average of the day's high and low), the average high in July 1966 was hotter than July 1999 by 0.1 degree, 90.3° vs 90.2°.  However, July 1999's average low was 3.5 degrees warmer (72.6° vs 69.1°) and that's what easily put it on top.      
  • Although 1991 and 1993 had the most 90-degree days for a calendar year, each with 39, 1993 had the most during the summertime period.  It had 35, followed by 1966 with 34 and 2010 with 32.  1991 had 31, ranking fourth.

 

Heatwave5

 

  • July 2010 missed tying July 1999 as NYC's hottest month on record because of a 0.1 degree difference in average high temperature.  However, 2010's consolation was that it become New York's hottest summer on record because June and August were hotter.  
  • Eight Julys have had a a mean temperature of 80.0° or higher (the most recent was in 2020).  The first time it happened was in 1952.  (July 2011 and 2010 are the only back-to-back Julys with mean temperatures above 80.0°.)  A monthly temperature this warm also occurred once in August, back in 1980. 
  • Two of New York's five hottest summers were also extremely dry.  1966 had the the driest summer on record, with every month receiving less than two inches of rain (1.17" in June; 1.25" in July and 1.89" in August).  The summer of 1999 was the fourth driest and featured the second driest June (0.59") and the driest July on record (0.44").  The combined rainfall of those two months was barely more than one inch (average rainfall in June and July is close to eight-and-a-half inches).

 

Other posts about summertime:

The Heat is On: New York's "Hell Week"

Unbearably Warm Summer Nights

Ranking Hot New York Summer by Concentration of 90-Degree Days

New York's Hottest Weekends

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Today in New York Weather History: July 30

 

1949

Today was the thirteenth day in a row with a high temperature of 89° or hotter.  Of these days, eight were in the 90s, including today, which had a high of 95°.  This was one month after an eight-day streak of highs of 88°+.

 

Firehydrantsummer

1960

Three days after 1.50" of rain fell, the biggest rainstorm in five years (since Hurricane Connie) dumped 3.56" in a 12-hour period between 1AM and 1PM.  This heavy rain was produced by tropical storm Brenda, which moved over NYC on its way to New England.  At the time this was the second greatest daily amount in the month of July (it's now ranked third).

1966

Today, with a high of 77°, was the only day this month to have a high cooler than 80° (on average July has six such days).  It was also the first day with a high in the 70s in six weeks, a period in which highs averaged 91°, eight degrees above average.  Twenty-three of the days had highs of 90° or hotter.  Besides the heat, there was very little rain, with just 1.29" measured.

1971

Three inches of rain fell, most of which came down between 6 AM-3 PM.  At its heaviest, 1.04" fell in the hour between 9-10 AM.  Because of the thick cloud cover there was little change in temperature, with the high of 75° just three degrees above the day's low.

1975

With a high of 87°/66°, today was the 14th day this month with a mean temperature at seasonable levels - the most of any month in the 1970-2020 period. 

1988

Today's high topped out at 98°, a record for the date.  Later in the day I escaped the heat by leaving on vacation in the Canadian Rockies (where, four days later, a few inches of snow fell near Lake Louise inside Banff National Park).

 

98degrees

2000

The 0.23" of rain that fell today (mostly from a shower in the pre-dawn hours) would be the last time rain fell on this date until 2015.

2006

This was the third day in a row with a high of 89°.

2015

A series of tropical downpours during the afternoon dumped 1.95" of rain - the first rain to fall on this date in fifteen years.  Today's amount was comparable to the rainfall of the past four weeks and was the biggest rainstorm since Jan. 18 (when 2.10" fell).  During one 20-minute period (between 1:25 and 1:45 PM) nearly an inch of rain poured down.  It was a very muggy day, with dew points in the low 70s and a high of 87°.

 

Wet umbrella 

 

 

 

 

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Today in New York Weather History: July 29

Summer downpour

 

In all of the years that weather records have been kept in Central Park (since 1869), July 29 and March 12 have the distinction of being the dates most likely to have rain.  Through 2020, measurable rain has been reported on both dates in 68 years, for an incidence rate of 45%.  At the other end of the scale, Sept. 5 has had rain in only 28 years.  (On average, for any given date, precipitation has fallen in 50 years.) 

 

1892

Today was the end of a five-day heat wave that saw the last two days reach highs of 97°.  The average high/low during these five days was 95°/76°.  (The two days preceding the heat weave had highs of 89°). 

1914

Today's low of 59° is the only time a low was in the 50s on this date, the only date in July to have this distinction.  (For history buffs, today was the day after WWI began.)

1963

Today was the sixth day in a row with a high in the 90s, with all days featuring clear skies.  This was the third heat wave in the past five weeks.  And although there were fifteen 90-degree days during this period (including a record 98° on the 27th, and eleven other days with highs of 94° or hotter), there was also a stretch of nearly two weeks, July 3-15, that was five degrees cooler than average (including a record low of 54° on 7/9).

 

90s

1980

A monsoon-like rainstorm dumped 3.47" of rain during the latter part of the morning (9 AM-noon), with 1.38" pouring down between 10-11 AM.  This was the greatest daily rainfall in July since 1960 (later topped on July 24, 1997 when 3.75" fell).  Today's rain topped a record deluge earlier this year on April 9 by 0.05", making it 1980's rainiest day.

 

Clipart_flood_sign

2010

Today's low of 74° was the 25th low of 70° or warmer this month, the most of any July (breaking a tie with 1999 and 1908) and the most of any month on record (this record would be broken in July 2020).  These lows were all concentrated in the 26 days between 7/4 and today.  (A typical July averages 14 lows in the 70s/80s.)  Looking at high temperatures, not only did this July have sixteen days in the 90s (double the typical number), it also had five days with highs of 89° - and today was the last of those 89-degree days. 

2011

An evening thunderstorm dumped 0.32" of rain in a five-minute period between 8:21-8:26 PM.

 

Clipart_severe_thstorm

2015

Since 7/19, four days briefly had the hottest temperature of the year: 93° on 7/19; 94° on 7/20; 95° on 7/28; and 96° today.  However, despite today's high, the hottest mean temperature of the summer was on 7/19, with a high/low of 94°/82°.  (Today's low was five degrees cooler than 7/19's.)  

2016

Slightly more than an inch of rain fell overnight thru 11 AM, bringing the month's rain total to 5.69", making this the rainiest month since December 2014.  It was also the wettest July in seven years.  (An additional 1.33" would fall on 7/30 and 7/31.)

2021

Three days after July became the 27th month to have 10+ inches of rain, today it became the 15th to have more than 11+ inches, as a little under half-an-inch fell during thunderstorms between 5-9 PM.  The City escaped turbulent conditions that affected parts of NJ and eastern PA, where a number of tornadoes touched down.  And the thunderstorms that moved through the City weakened as they moved over Manhattan, reducing the predicted amounts of rain.  This was the 18th day that measurable rain fell in July; only July 1871 had more days (20).  However, July 2021 had twice as much rain.

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Today in New York Weather History: July 28

 

Four

 

July 28 is one of two dates (the other is July 30) with four years sharing the record high - the most of any date.  The record of 97° has been reported in 1999, 1949, 1931 and 1892.  (There would be fewer ties if daily temperatures, like monthly averages, were reported to one decimal place.)   

 

1883

The 0.08" of rain that fell today was the last rainfall of the month, bringing the month's total to 3.21", which was the same amount as last July.   Since then, it's happened two more times: Dec. 1916 and 1917 both had 4.25", while Dec. 1960 and 1961 both had 3.04".

1898

Today was the second day in a row with a high/low of 80°/74°.  Coincidentally, last year also had a pair of consecutive days with the same high and low on July 27-28 (67°/64°).

1902

An evening thunderstorm between 6:45-8:30 PM flooded the City with 3.08" of rain, with almost all of it (3.00") falling in just an hour's time (and two inches fell in a 30-minute period).  This was Central Park's greatest 60-minute rainfall on record (until a storm on Sept. 5, 1913  dropped 3.31").

1921

The high today was 94° and followed three days that had highs of 93° (yesterday), 92° and 91°.

Feeling hot hot hot
1982

2.18" of rain fell today, with half of it pouring down in a in the hour between 5-6 PM.  And within that hour 0.55" fell in the fifteen minutes between 5:00-5:15.

 

Clipart_hardrain

1985

Today was the 13th day this month with a seasonable mean temperature (average of high/low), the second greatest number of any month in the 1970-2020 period (July 1975 had 14).   

1988

Rain fell during twelve of the past fourteen days, amounting to 7.44" (and during fifteen of the past twenty days, measuring 8.13").  It was a tropical wetness, as eight of the 20 days between 7/9 and today had highs in the 90s (all between 7/9-18), and four others had a high of 88° or 89°.

1999

This was the eleventh day this month with a high of 95° or hotter.  And at 97°, today's high tied the record for the date (with three other years).

 

Clipart_broiling_sun

2008

The morning low of 66° was the coolest reading of the month (also reported on 7/11 and 7/25), the mildest coolest reading in July on record (until 2020, when the coolest reading was 67°).

2009

Today was the first day this month with an above-average mean temperature (high of 85°/low of 71° = mean of 78°) - and it was just one degree above average.

2015

Today's high of 95° was the hottest temperature on this date since 1999, when the record for the date, 97°, was reached.

2016

With a high of 95°, this was the seventh day of the past eight to see a high in the 90s (the one day not to have a high in the 90s, 7/26, had a high of 89°).  The average high during these eight days was 93°.  Today was also the 13th day of the past fifteen to have a high of 88° or hotter.

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Looking Back at New York Weather: July 27

 

1951

Yesterday and today were the hottest days of the year, with both having a high/low of 94°/69°.

1977

Six days after a high of 104°, this morning's low was 57°. 

1981

Between 1 AM and 3 AM, 1.65" of rain fell, with 0.98" of it coming down in the first hour.

1982

Today was the last 90-degree day of the year.  It came one month earlier than the usual date for this occurrence, and was the sixth earliest occurrence on record (the five earliest occurrences were between 1871-1902; 1982 would fall to seventh after the summer of 1986).  This summer's eleven 90-degree days were concentrated in the past twenty days.  During this nearly three-week period the average high/low was 89°/73°, five degrees above average.

 

Heatwave6

1997

Today's 0.09" of rain was the last rainfall during the wettest July (8.36") since 1975.  (There wouldn't be a rainier July until 2021, when more than ten inches of rain fell.)

2004

1.36" of rain fell between 5 PM-1 AM.  Under overcast skies, the day's high reached only 71° (fourteen degrees below average), after a seasonably warm low of 68°.

2018

Thunderstorms rumbled through the area between 4-8 PM, making this the seventh day in a row in which rain fell.  The last time there was a streak this long was in June 2012.  The rain amounted to 0.25", which brought the month's total to 7.08", making it New York's wettest month since April 2014.  Central Park's rainfall, however, was light compared to Newark and Kennedy airports, which received more than an inch of rain, but it was more than LaGuardia, which reported just 0.06".

 

Chart - Rainy Streaks of 7+ Days

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Today in New York Weather History: July 26

 

1966

Today's high of 97° was the twentieth day of the past thirty to have a high of 90° or hotter (four highs were in triple digits).  The average high during this period was 92°, seven degrees above average.

 

Solar flares

1979

Although the morning low was a stifling 79°, ten degrees above average, the high, because of thick haze, only went up to 87°.  The last time a day with a low this warm didn't have a high of 90°+ was during the summer of 1908, when it happened twice (and it would happen again during the summer of 2016).  This was the warmest low temperature of the summer.

1985

1.19" of rain fell during the morning hours between 3 AM-noon.  Then, after a dry afternoon/early evening, an additional 0.99" fell after 8:30 PM, lasting until 5 AM.  

1986

Today's high of 90° was the last 90-degree day of the summer (and eleventh overall).  This was the earliest date for a year's last 90-degree reading since 1902 (and one day earlier than 1982).  During a mid-afternoon thunderstorm, 0.73" poured down in the 60 minutes between 2:54-3:54 PM.

1989

This was the hottest day of the summer, with a high/low of 96°/75°.

1991

In just 30 minutes, 1.10" of rain flooded the area in the middle of the afternoon (3-3:30PM).  During this half hour, 0.33" fell in five minutes, and 0.73" in fifteen minutes.  For the entire five-hour rain event (between 2:30-7:30 PM), 1.85" fell.

1996

0.46" of rain fell today, mostly in the morning.  This was the tenth year of the past twelve to have measurable rain on this date.

2000

The biggest rainstorm of the year soaked the City with 4.37".  Of that amount 3.24" fell today (a record for the date), and the rest fell on 7/27 thru 9 AM.  Today's high was just 69°, sixteen degrees below average.

 

Weather_torrential_rain 

2006

Today was the 13th day this month with a seasonable mean temperature (the average of the high/low).  This tied July 1985 for the second most such days in a month (in the 1970-2020 period).

2009

In just five minutes time, 0.46" of rain fell between 6:23-6:28PM, and 0.99" fell in the half hour between 6:12-6:42PM.

2018

Although an early morning shower produced just 0.03", it was the sixth day in a row with measurable precipitation, the fourth streak of this length this year.  This matches 1989's four streaks of six days (two of which were only two days apart during the month of June).

 

Chart - 6-Day Rain Streak

2021

For the second day in a row there was a heavy period of pre-dawn thundershowers; yesterday’s downpour produced 0.49”, today’s amounted to 0.78”.  Today’s amount brought July’s rainfall over ten inches, joining 26 other months that have exceeded the amount (out of 1,831+ months, going back to 1869).  This was the first time a month had ten inches or more of precipitation since June 2013, and the most in any month since August 2011’s 18.95” (rainiest month on record in Central Park).  The 10.48” that has fallen so far this month made it the third wettest July on record.

10+
 
 

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A Look Back at New York City Weather: July 25


1972

Twelve of the past fifteen days had highs of 88° or hotter, and nine of those were in the 90s (including today's high of 91°).  During these days, temperatures were close to five degrees above average.  Additionally, all fifteen days had lows in the 70s.

Weather.summertime

1975

An intense rainstorm dumped two inches of rain between midnight and 2 AM today.  These were the fifth and sixth days in the past three weeks to receive more than an inch of rain.  Additionally, fourteen of the past twenty-three days had rain, which amounted to 11.77", enough to make this the second rainiest July on record.  Since no more rain fell for the rest of the month it would remain second, falling just 0.12" short of the 1889 record.

Clipart_flood_sign

1995

For the third year in a row the high was in the 90s on this date.  Today's high was 90°, last year's was 92° and the year before that it was 90°.

1997

Six inches of rain fell in the past five days, about 50% above the month of July's average rainfall.

1999

Today's high of 97° was a record for the date and came in the early days of an 11-day heat wave that began on 7/23.

2001

Today's high was 94° after a low of 77°, making it the hottest day of the month.  This was just the fifth (and last) day with an above average mean temperature in July.

2010

Today was the 22nd day in a row with a low of 70° or warmer, tying another such streak in the summer of 1980 as the longest in the years since 1950 (thru 2020).  This summer's streak included nine days with lows of 75°+, and three of 80°.

2013

Just four days after a torrid seven-day heat wave ended, today's high was only 68° (after a refreshing morning low of 64°).  This was the first time in eight years that a day in July had a high temperature in the 60s (and the next time it happened was eight years later, on 7/3/21).  It was the result of overcast skies and an easterly wind coming off the ocean as a nor'easter-like disturbance organized well off shore. 

2015

Today's high, and those of the previous three days: 85°-86°-87°-88° (today).  The streak was broken the following day when the high reached 90°.

2018

The 0.73" of rain that fell today, most of it at daybreak, brought the month's total rainfall to 6.80", exceeding the amount that fell in May and June combined.  July's total was the most to fall in any month in two years, since July 2016, when 7.02" was measured. 

 

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Days With Significantly Above or Below Average Temperatures in New York City

Up_down_arrows

Like most places, a typical year's weather in New York is comprised of regular swings in temperature, with occasional periods that vary significantly from the norm.  In the years since 1970, a typical month experienced five or six days in which the mean daily temperature (the average of the high and low) was ten degrees or more above or below average.  Of these days, a solid majority (61%) fell into the above-average column.  This analysis provides some perspective about years that were more extreme. 

 

  • Days that are 10 degrees or more warmer or colder than average have a decided seasonal skew.  42% of such days have occurred in the winter, 26% in the spring, 22% in the autumn and just 10% during summertime.  January typically sees a dozen days that are either much milder or colder than average while July experiences just two such days.  
  • There have been ten years in which days with significantly below-average mean temperatures outnumbered those that were above average.  The four most recent years in which this has happened were in the present century: 2000, 2003, 2009 and 2014.  1978 was the year with the coldest skew, with 68% of its days that were +/- 10 degrees being colder than average.  
  • Eight years had more than 80% of their significantly above/below average days come in at above average: 1990, 1991, 1998, 2001, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2016.  91% of 1991's much above average days were on the warm side of the equation. 
  • 1991 had the most days that were 10 degrees or more above average, 76, while 1976 had the most days that were 10 degrees or more below average, 52.  2015 had the most total days of that were +/- 10 degrees, 94, with a little less than two-thirds of these days falling into the above average column. 
  • 1978 was the year with the fewest days that were 10 degrees or more above average, with 20 (more than half the typical amount), while 1991 and 1998 had the fewest days 10 degrees or more below average, with eight (one-third the norm).  The year with the fewest combined +/- 10 degree days was 2009, with 50 (2019 had 52).
  • 18 days in December 1989 were 10 degrees or more colder than average while at the other end of the spectrum December 2015 had 18 days that were 10 degrees or more milder than average.  In January 2000 and 2018 there were eight days of 10 degrees+ above average and eight days of 10 degrees+ below average. 
  • Since 1970 the most consecutive days with temperatures 10+ degrees warmer than average has been ten, which occurred between Oct. 6-15, 1990.  The longest streak of temperatures that were 10+ degrees colder than average has been eleven days, between Feb. 9-19, 1979.  
  • Looking at even more extreme variances from the norm, 1990 had the most days with mean daily temperatures 20 degrees above or below average, with thirteen.

 Chart - ten above or below average

 

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