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August 2012

New York Weather History: August (1869 - 2021)

Dogdays_of_summerHighlights:  August 1995 was the second driest of any month; the 103° high on Aug. 8, 2001 was the first triple-digit reading in August since 1955; a severe thunderstorm on Aug. 18, 2009 destroyed more than 500 trees in Riverside and Central Parks; nearly seven inches of rain fell from tropical storm Irene on Aug. 27-28, 2011; back-to-back 50-degree mornings in late August 1986; August 2011 was the wettest month of all time, with nearly 19 inches measured in Central Park;  August 2015 was the third hottest on record, but it was pushed to fourth by August 2016, which was 0.2 degrees hotter.

 

August 1

August 2

August 3

August 4

August 5

August 6

August 7

August 8

August 9

August 10

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 14

August 15

August 16

August 17

August 18

August 19

August 20

August 21

August 22

August 23

August 24

August 25

August 26

August 27

August 28

August 29

August 30

August 31

 

 

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Today in New York Weather: August 31

 

1911

This was the seventh day in a row to have rain.  3.76" poured down today, more than the combined amount of the previous six days (3.57").  Today's high/low was a very cool 59°/55°.  This would be the only day in August with a high in the 50s until 2007.

1954

Hurricane Carol made landfall on the eastern end of Long Island, and brushed the City with gale force winds and 1.71" of rain, which began last night and continued today through late morning.

 

Hurricane carol

1972

This was the tenth day in a row (and twelfth of the past thirteen) with a high of 85° or warmer.  The average high during these ten days was 89°, eight degrees above average.

1976

The morning low was a chilly 50°, fifteen degrees below average and a record for the date.  The last time it was this chilly was on June 3, at the beginning of meteorological summer.

1983

After a morning low of 72°, the day's temperature rose only five degrees.

1996

An early forecast caused concern, on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, when Hurricane Edouard was predicted to make landfall on Long Island.  However, the storm stayed away and the only effect from the hurricane was heavy surf, especially in the Hamptons.

2010

Today's high of 96° was a fitting way to end New York's hottest summer on record, topping the previous hottest summer, in 1966, by 0.5 degrees.  (Note, this is "meteorological" summer, which is June 1 thru Aug. 31.)

 

Hot and cold

2012

Through the first eight months of the year 24.59" of precipitation was measured in Central Park, eight inches below average and the least to fall since 1995.  It was also half the amount that had fallen by this date last year.  Today's high of 91° tied 8/5 for hottest reading of the month, and came the day after the month's coolest reading (61°).

2014

Meteorological summer ended on a hot and sultry note, with a high/low of 90°/73°.  With dew points in the low 70s, the heat index during the afternoon rose into the mid-90s.  In the late afternoon 0.63" of rain fell during a heavy downpour, mostly between 4:30-5 PM.  This was the most rain to fall on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend since 2000.  

2015

This was the first August on record in which every day had a high of 80° or warmer.  (A typical August has seven days with highs in the 70s or 60s.)  It joined July 1944 as the only other month with highs of 80+ on every day.  Today's high reached 91°, the eighth 90-degree day of the month, which is double the usual amount.  Overall, this was the third hottest August on record.

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Looking Back at New York's Weather: August 30

 

1871

This was the eighth day in a row with measurable rain, which totaled 3.85".  Two of the days (8/25, 8/26) had about an inch. 

1929

Today's rainfall brought August's total to 1.91", making this the third month in a row with less than two inches measured.  The June-August total of 4.58" was in stark contrast to the 20" that fell during these same three months in 1927 and again in 1928.  This was the second driest summer, following that of 1894 (it has since fallen to third).

1931

For the fourth day in a row 0.05" of rain fell in Central Park.

1960

Although July 12 and Aug. 27 had hotter high temperatures (91°), today, with a high/low of 89°/76°, had the year's highest mean temperature.  The temperature was prevented from rising into the 90s by a strong thunderstorm that dumped 1.05" of rain between 3-4 PM.

1973

With a high/low of 98°/78°, today was the hottest day of the year, fifteen degrees above average (both temperatures were records, which still stand; the record low was tied in 2018).  It occurred on the third day of an eight-day heat wave (Aug. 28 - Sept. 4). 

 

Nycskyline_sunset

1980

Today was the start of Labor Day weekend and it would be the second hottest of the 1970-2020 period (behind 1973).  Highs on the three days were 86°-90°-95°. 

1985

On the Friday of Labor Day weekend, a brief, but vicious, thunderstorm struck in the middle of the afternoon.  I was walking home after seeing the movie Back to the Future on E. 34th St., when the skies opened.  I sought refuge under the awning of an apartment building in Gramercy Park to escape the heavy rain, hail, and gale force winds, but it offered little protection, so I retreated inside the lobby of the building.  The storm was a brief one, about 15 minutes, but many trees in Washington Square Park suffered damage.  It turned out the storm was very localized as areas north of 34th St. weren't hit nearly as hard (Central Park measured just 0.16" of rain).  At the time this was the worst storm I'd experienced in my years living in New York.    

 

Clipart_severe_thstorm2

1986

Today was the start of Labor Day weekend, and the morning low of 51° was the chilliest reading of any day during Labor Day weekends between 1970-20209. The entire holiday weekend would be cool, with temperatures averaging eight degrees below average.

1995

This was the twenty-fourth day in a row with no rain.

 

Dry

 

2000

Today's rain amounted to just 0.01", but it was the first to fall on this date in fifteen years.  This was also the seventh day in a row in which the mean temperature was one degree above or below average, tying a streak of similar length three years earlier (the longest such streaks in the 1980-2020 period.)

2006

Rain fell for the seventh day in a row.  During this streak 3.32" fell; the high/low during these seven days was 74°/65°, four degrees cooler than average.

2008

2.18" of rain fell today, most of it falling at dawn (5-7 AM).

2018

Today's low of 78° was the 23rd time this month a low was 70° or warmer, tying it with Aug. 2005 and 1980 for the most 70°+ lows in the month of August.  (A typical August has 13.)

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Today in New York Weather History: August 29

90degrees

 

Since 1970 (thru 2020) August 29 has been the average date of the last 90-degree reading.  It's happened as early as July 26 and July 27 (in 1986 and 1982, respectively) and as late as October 2 (in 2019).  However, in the years of the present decade the average date for the last 90 has been September 6.

 

1940

Today was the end of a six-day streak of chilly conditions in which the high/low averaged 68°/55° - twelve degrees below average.  Winds were mostly out of the northeast, and rain was reported on five of the days, amounting to 2.34".  This stretch of fall-like weather contributed to this becoming the tenth coolest August on record (now ranked eleventh).

 

Cool-and-drops

1959

Today was the end of a two-and-a-half-week period that had twelve days in the 90s (including today), and an average high/low of 89°/72° (seven degrees above average).  This hot spell, at the time, helped make this the fifth hottest August on record (it's since fallen to seventeenth).  And although temperatures wouldn't be quite as hot after today, unseasonably warm conditions would persist through Sept. 10. 

1986

This morning's low was a chilly 50°, more typical of mid-October.  It tied a number of years for the coolest reading ever reported during this month.  The last time it was this cool in August was in 1976.

 

Sweater weather 

1987

There was a gradual increase in the low temperatures of the past five days: 57°-58°-59°-61°-62° (today).  High temperatures, however, didn't exhibit a similar pattern.

1997

0.83" of rain fell between noon and 2 PM.

2002

2.68" of rain fell, mostly during the morning, a record amount for the date.

2014

The last work week of the summer was a delight as skies were sunny, humidity low, and high temperatures very summer-like: 88°-89°-90°-82°-80° (today).

 

Sunny new york

2017

It was a dreary, cool, and damp day, with a high/low of only 68°/61°.  The day's high, which was reached shortly before noon, was the first high cooler than 70° in August in seven years.  It was also the coolest day since 6/8 (based on mean temperature).  

2018

The day's low of 81° established a new record for the latest date for a low in the 80s, beating the previous record, set in 1985 and equaled in 1988, by 14 days.  However, the day's high was just 92°, making the day's eleven-degree diurnal variation the smallest for a day with a low in the 80s in more than 100 years (there were seven dates between 1876 and 1908 with smaller variations).

2019

The past six days were five degrees cooler than average (high/low of 75°/64°), which followed six days in a row that were five degrees warmer than average (89°/73°).  And today was "just right", with temperatures at seasonable levels (81°/66°).

 

Just right

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Looking Back at New York's Weather: August 28

 

1948

For the third day in a row the high reached triple digits.  Today's high was the "coolest" of the three, with a high of 100°.  The other two days had highs of 103° and 101°.  These inferno-like highs were 20 degrees above average.  There has been only one other instance of three consecutive days in triple digits - in July 1993.

 

Hot outside

1953

In the midst of a 12-day heat wave, today (which was the fifth day of the heat wave) was the first of six days in a row with highs of 97° or hotter.

1962

Hurricane Alma brought rain that fell in three stages: in the pre-dawn hours today, when 1.35” fell (0.81” of it in a two-hour period), then lighter amounts after 7 PM through 8AM  tomorrow,  and then a mid-afternoon downpour (0.12”).  In total, 1.95” of rain was measured.

1971

After a break of about four hours, a second round of rain from tropical storm Doria occurred between 1:00 and 7 AM.  1.80" fell, with more than half (1.11") falling in the hour between 4-5 AM.  In total, Doria produced 5.96" of rain.      

1973

This was the first day of an eight-day heat wave in which temperatures ranged between 93° and 98°.

 

Flames

1980

A late summer heat wave persisted as today's high reached 95°.  This ensured the month would go down as New York's hottest August on record.

1983

2.59" of rain fell in just an hour and twenty minutes (7:10-8:30 PM).  During this period, 1.65" of rain thundered down in half an hour, 1.05" in fifteen minutes, and 0.60" in five minutes.

1986

This was the first of four mornings with unseasonably chilly morning lows in the low-50s.  Temperatures during these mornings were: 52° (today), 50°, 51° and 54°.  These readings were well below the average low of 66° and more typical of mid-October.

1993

The 5.41" of rain that fell this month was more than what fell in the previous three months combined.  0.53" fell today, the last rain of the month, and it poured down in just one hour, between 5-6 PM.

2004

Today was only the second day this summer to have a high temperature in the 90s.  It was also the last day to see a 90-degree reading (the first was back on June 8).  This was the fewest number of 90-degree days since the summer of 1902, which had just one.  A typical year sees eighteen.

2011

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 the City's history.  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 along City streets and in its parks.

 

Fallen_tree_central_park

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Looking Back at New York's Weather: August 26

 

1924

A dissipating hurricane southeast of Long Island, on its way to landfall on Cape Cod, brought tropical storm-force winds and 3.03" of rain to New York.  Rain began the evening of the 25th, when 0.74" fell, and continued thru late morning today, with 2.29" measured (1.13" fell between midnight and 2 AM).

1941

For the second day in a row, strong thunderstorms brought torrential rain.  Yesterday's struck between 2-6 PM, amounting to 1.83".  Today's rainfall measured 2.30" and came from storms between 4-6 PM.  They moved through after a high of 93° was reached (yesterday's temperatures stayed in the 70s).  By the time the storms moved out, the temperature had fallen into the upper 60s.

1975

Today had the year's last low in the 70s, the earliest date for this occurrence in the years since 1970 (later tied in 2009).

1976

This was the seventh day in a row with a high of 85° or warmer.  The average high during these days was 89°, seven degrees above average.  Three of the days were in the 90s.

1978

Today and yesterday's morning lows of 60° degrees were the coolest readings of the month, making this the first August since 1970 to have no reading in the 50s.

1980

It was a hot, late summer day with a high of 95°, fourteen degrees above average.  There would be four more days with highs 95°+ in the next week.

1987

This was the sixteenth day in a row with no rain.  However, the month overall had nearly five inches of rain as 2.74" fell between 8/3-10 and 2.15" would fall in the last five days of the month.

1992

Today's high was 90°, the last 90-degree day of the year.  In total, the year had just nine 90-degree days, the fewest since the summer of 1985, which also had nine (and no year had fewer since 1975, which had eight).

1997

This was the ninth day in a row in which the high temperature was cooler than 80°, one of the lengthiest strings of "cool" days of any summer in the 1970-2021 period.  During these days the average high was 76°, seven degrees below average.

1999

A torrential two-hour downpour during the morning rush hour paralyzed traffic and caused a system-wide shutdown of the subway.  While 1.53" of rain was measured in Central Park, other parts of the City were flooded with between two-and-a-half and four inches.  Today's rain was the most to fall since the same amount fell three months earlier, on 5/24. 

 

Flooded_subway

2009

This morning had the last low in the 70s this year - tying 1975 for the earliest date for this occurrence in the years since 1970 (there were four earlier dates in the 1960s).  The average date for the last 70-degree reading is around Sept. 11.

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Today in New York Weather History: August 25

 

1936

Today's high of 92° was the 25th 90-degree+ day of the year, the most of any year, surpassing 1896's total (and there would be one more 90-degree day, on 9/8).  Since then, however, seventeen years have had more 90+ days than 1936, led by 1991 and 1993, both which had 39.  But 1936 still lays claim to the hottest reading on record - 106°

1982

1.53" of rain fell between 8-10 AM, with 0.91" falling during the second hour.

1987

For the seventh day in a row, the high temperature was lower than the preceding day, cooling from above average to below average: 94° (Aug. 18)-89°-88°-87°-84°-78°-77°-76° (today).

1993

0.44" of rain fell in the hour between 5-6 AM.  This was followed by a hot and steamy day, which had a high of 94°, the first day of a four-day heat wave.

2005

This morning's low temperature of 65° was the coolest reading of a hot month.

2010

For the third day of the past four, an inch of rain fell; one inch fell today, 1.02" on the 23rd and 1.69" the day before that.  Today's fell mostly in the morning.  The amount that fell during these days, 3.71", accounted for 90% of the month's total rainfall.

2013

It was a beautiful late summer weekend, perhaps the nicest of the entire summer as Saturday and Sunday both had mostly clear skies, low humidity and seasonably warm temperatures.

 

Clipart_happysun_

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Looking Back at New York's Weather: August 24

 

1893

Just four days after a hurricane lashed the City, a tropical storm passed to the west and dumped 3.61" of rain.

1944

Today's high was 76°, making this the first day since June 25 not to have a high temperature of 80° or warmer.  This 59-day streak came just one year after the previous record streak was established - 41 days (and it would be broken in the summer of 2015).  The average high during these days was 89.7°, with 30 days in the 90s (thirteen had highs of 94°+).

 

59degrees

1953

Today was the first day of a record twelve-day heat wave.  It followed a seven-day heat wave in mid-July.

 

Weather_hotweather.pinterest

1961

Today was the start of an extended late summer hot spell in which mean temperatures were above average for 22 consecutive days (thru Sept. 14).  During this three-week period fifteen days would have highs of 88° or hotter, with nine in the 90s.  Today, with a high of 85°/70° (four degrees above average), was one of the "cooler" days of this unseasonably warm stretch. 

1974

Today's high of 91° was the last 90-degree reading of the year.  In total, the year had 17 such days, which was close to the average amount (18). 

1975

A nighttime thunderstorm between 10-11 PM dumped 0.69" of rain, the most of any day this month.

1978

Today's high of 90° was the last 90-degree reading of the year, the same as in 1974.  In total, the year had eleven days in the 90s, well below average.

1988

Half of the month's rain fell today in two hours, when 1.11" fell between 5-7 AM.

1995

In the midst of a near rain-free August, the worst brush fires in sixty years ravaged parts of the Hamptons.

 

Brushfire_thehamptons

1997

This was the seventh day in a row in which lows were in the 60°-62° range, and it followed eight days in a row in which lows were 70°-72° (Aug. 10-17).  By contrast, high temperatures weren't in this narrow, consistent range.  (Average low during these two weeks of August is in the upper 60s.) 

2006

0.82" of rain fell today, with all of it but 0.07" pouring down between 6-7 PM.  This was also the first of seven days in a row with measurable rain (which totaled 3.32").

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Today in New York Weather History: August 23

 

1923

The morning low was a chilly 51° (which held for three hours), a record for the date (which still stands).  This came a year after a record low on 8/21 (53°).

 

51Degrees_Logo

1933

A rainstorm of 2.37" came just two days after an even bigger rainstorm dumped 3.28".  Most of today's rain fell after 4 PM.  The amount of rain that fell from these two storms in the span of three days is the usual amount that falls in six weeks.

1939

Seven of the past eleven days had highs in the 90s, with six of them, like today, topping out at 90°.

1970

The 1.95" of rain that fell between 4 AM and 3 PM accounted for much of the month's rainfall (2.47").  It was also greater than what fell in the past six weeks.

1976

Today's high was 90°, the last 90-degree day of the year.  In total, the year had fifteen 90-degree days, three fewer than average.

1982

0.70" of rain fell from 2-3 PM during a strong thunderstorm; within that hour, 0.45" poured down in a five-minute period (2:45-2:50 PM). 

1996

Today's high of 90° was just the third day this summer to reach the 90s.  It was also the last 90-degree day this year, the fewest hot days in a year since 1902 (which had only one; 2004 would have only two).

2016

The morning low was a refreshing 61°, six degrees below average, and the "chilliest" reading since June 18.  This was in contrast to an average low of 75° between Aug. 10-21.

 

Weather.sunnyskyline 

2021

The last spasms of what was once hurricane Henri produced 1.07” of rain shortly before daybreak (when 0.93” fell), and during lunchtime (when the dew point rose to 75°, the peak reading during Henri's "visit").  This was the third day in a row to have more than an inch of rain, just the tenth time this has happened, and the first time since Oct. 12-14, 2005.  In total, 8.19” of rain fell.  This brought August’s rainfall to 9.65”, and July-August’s total over 20 inches – just the fifth time a pair of consecutive months has received this much rain.  Finally, August 2021 is now the fifth rainiest August on record (following July, which was the third rainiest).

Chart - 3 consecutive days 1-inch of precip

 

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Looking Back at New York's Weather: August 22

 

1955

Today was the 25th, and last day, this summer with a high of 90° or hotter.  All but one of the readings occurred in July and August.  Although there have been 16 summers with more days in the 90s/100s, 1955 has the distinction of having the most days with highs of 95°+, sixteen.  (Today's high, however, was 90°.)

1970

Today was the 15th day of the past seventeen to have highs of 85° or warmer.  The average high during these days was 87.4°, five degrees warmer than average.

1976

Although April 18 had the year's hottest high temperature (96°), today, with a high/low of 94°/74°, had the year's highest mean temperature - 84.0°.  (On 4/18 the low was 70°.)

1993

For the 16th year in a row, no rain fell on this date.   Additionally, this morning's low of 60° was the coolest reading of the month.

 

No rain 

1994

Rain that began yesterday during the late afternoon continued for the entire day today, and amounted to 3.02" (1.85" fell today on top of yesterday's 1.17").  This was New York's biggest rainstorm since last August, when 3.20" fell on the 16th and 17th.  It was also the first time rain fell on this date since 1977 (when 1.22" fell).

2003

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

2007

Today was the sixth day this month with a low in the 50s, tying August 1989 for the most morning lows in the 50s during August (going back to 1970).

 

50s 

2009

0.40" of rain fell between 3-4 AM, and 0.74" in total.  A lot more rain fell in New Jersey and areas north of Westchester County.   

2010

It was dreary and humid, with a number of heavy downpours during the afternoon and evening that amounted to 1.69".  (Half of the rain came down in a 90-minute period from 8-9:30 PM). This was the rainiest day since the end of March.  

2016

After two weeks of oppressive conditions, relief arrived overnight, and the daytime hours had pleasant temperatures (upper 70s), and low humidity, under clear skies.  The day's high/low of 79°/69° ended three streaks: a 16-day streak of lows in the 70s, a 19-day streak of high temperatures of 80+, and a 16-day streak with above average mean temperatures (the longest above-average streak since one of 34 days in Dec. 2015 - Jan. 2016).

 

Weather_hot_sun2

 

2019

Today, with a high of 90°, was the sixth day in a row with a high of 87° or hotter, the longest such streak since another one of six days in August 2016 (8/11-16).  However, the streak in 2016 was 3.5 degrees hotter (average high of 92.2° vs. 88.7°).  Shortly after sundown, the approach of cooler air triggered strong thunderstorms that dropped 1.02" of rain between 8:30 PM and 1AM.  (I was at a work-related cocktail party at a rooftop bar that, fortunately, ended shortly after 8:00.)

2021

A second round of heavy rain from tropical storm Henri began shortly after daybreak, as the storm headed to Rhode Island, where it made landfall early this afternoon.  Although today’s soaking rain wasn’t torrential, like it was last night (when 4.45” poured down), the 2.67” that fell today was enough to establish a record for the second day in a row.  (This followed back-to-back record rainfalls last month, on 7/8 and 7/9).  The rain fell heaviest between 2-5 PM, when 1.49" was measured. 

The 24-hour rainfall total of 7.04” (between 8 PM yesterday and 8 PM today) was the greatest amount to fall in this amount of time since April 2007, when 7.80” fell between 2AM on 4/15 and  2AM on 4/16.  Although Henri produced record rainfall in NYC, one saving grace was that that there were no gusty winds to contend with.

Henri
       

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