Warm September Mornings in New York
New York Weather History: September (1970 - 2021)

Today in New York Weather History: Labor Day Weekend (1970 - 2021)




On average, Labor Day weekend is about five degrees warmer than Memorial Day (high of around 80° vs. 75°).  However, hot temperatures on Labor Day itself aren't overly common.  Since 1970 the afternoon high has topped 90° just five times (most recently in 2015 and 2018).  In terms of inclement weather, chances are 2 in 5 that the entire weekend will be dry, better odds than Memorial Day weekend's 1 in 3 chance.  Tropical systems have brushed the area twice (Edouard in 1996, Ernesto in 2006).  What follows is a recap of 20 holiday weekends that had weather conditions worthy of note.


  • 1973 (Sept. 1-3) - This Labor Day weekend has the distinction of being the hottest of the 1970-2019 period - and the only one in which each day's high was in the 90s (95°-94°-96°).  Overall, temperatures averaged thirteen degrees above average.  Saturday's heat had a tropical component to it, which fueled late-afternoon thunderstorms that amounted to 0.25".




  • 1980 (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) - This was the second hottest Labor Day weekend of the period as highs reached: 86°-90°-95°.  After a stifling low of 76° on the morning of Labor Day, the high topped out at 95°, the hottest reading for the holiday since 1973, when it was 96°.   
  • 1983 (Sept. 3-5) - Monday's high was 91°, the last Labor Day to get into the 90s until 2015 (highs in 1996 and 1998 reached 89°). 
  • 1984 (Sept. 1-3) - The weather was good all weekend until the evening of Labor Day when 1.20" of rain poured down during a thunderstorm after 8 PM.
  • 1986 (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) - Saturday's low of 51° is the chilliest reading of any day during Labor Day weekends of the 1970-2019 period.  The entire weekend was cool, with temperatures averaging eight degrees below normal.




  • 1991 (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) - Monday's morning low of 53° tied 1976 and 1883 as the chilliest reading on Labor Day.  
  • 1994 (Sept. 3-5) - This was one of the coolest Labor Day weekends on record, with temperatures seven degrees below average.  It is also one of two Labor Day weekends between 1980-2019 in which each day's morning low was in the 50s (the other was in 1986).    
  • 1996 (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) - There was cause for concern on 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 out in the Hamptons.  Although Sunday's conditions were somewhat overcast, Saturday and Labor Day were spectacular (Monday's high reached 89°).
  • 1998 (Sept. 5-7) - The long holiday weekend ended with severe thunderstorms on Monday afternoon and again later that night.  2.07" of rain was measured, making this the second rainiest Labor Day on record, topped only by 1926, when 2.24" fell. 




  • 2000 (Sept. 2-4) - Each day of the extended holiday had above average temperatures as well as a thunderstorm.  In total, these storms produced nearly two inches of rain.  In the 1980-2019 measurement period this is the only Labor Day weekend to have rain fall on each day.
  • 2002 (Aug. 31-Sept. 2) - With an average high of just 68° degrees (11 degrees below average) this is the coolest Labor Day weekend between 1970-2019.  And Labor Day itself was a washout, with 1.63" of rain falling.
  • 2003 (Aug. 30-Sept. 1) - For the second year in a row the temperature never got out of the 60s on Labor Day.  And like the previous year it rained, but not nearly as much fell (0.59"). 
  • 2006 (Sept. 2-4) - The extended weekend started off cool and wet as tropical storm Ernesto moved through, dropping 1.24" of rain; the day's high was just 66°, thirteen degrees below average.  Sunday and Monday, however, were very nice, but cooler than average (mid-70s). 
  • 2011 (Sept. 3-5) - 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. 



  • 2012 (Sept 1-3) - After a sunny and hot Saturday (the high of 91° was the first 90-degree reading during Labor Day weekend since 1998), Sunday and Monday were overcast - but Labor Day's dry streak continued.  The three-day weekend's mean temperature was six degrees warmer than average, the most above average LD since 1983.      
  • 2013 (Aug 31-Sept 2) - Conditions all weekend were sultry with hazy sunshine and uncomfortable levels of humidity.  Scattered thunderstorms occurred throughout the area on every day, but Manhattan was spared until Monday afternoon when rain fell for a few hours - the first rain to fall on Labor Day in ten years.  The overnight hours were especially warm, with AM lows of 73°-75°-74° averaging nine degrees above average.  However, the diurnal variation was just ten degrees. 
  • 2014 (Aug. 30-Sept 1) - This was the warmest Labor Day weekend since 1983 (and fourth warmest since 1970).  The weekend started out mostly overcast with seasonable temperatures (high/low of 80°/65°) but hot and humid air moved in overnight and Sunday and Monday saw highs/lows of 90°/73° and 88°/75°.  On Sunday a half-hour downpour late in the afternoon dumped 0.62" of rain.
  • 2015 (Sept. 5-7) - Sunny and warm throughout with each day warmer than the next (highs of 83°-87°-92°).  Labor Day's high was the first in the 90s since 1983.
  • 2016 (Sept. 3-5) - It was a rain-free weekend, with highs of 75° on Saturday, 80° on Sunday and 84° on Labor Day - which was the same high as 4th of July (and Memorial Day wasn't far behind, with a high of 82°).  It was a nice surprise that the holiday weekend ended up being so nice since earlier forecasts predicted tropical storm Hermine would stall off the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday and Monday, but it moved further east and posed no threat.  
  • 2017 (Sept. 2-4) - After a cool and mostly overcast Saturday and Sunday (which included 1.27" of rain on Saturday evening thru early Sunday AM), Labor Day turned out beautiful, with mostly clear skies and seasonable temperatures.  All told, this was the coolest Labor Day weekend since 2004).
  • 2018 (Sept. 1-3) - After close to seasonable temperatures on Saturday and Sunday, Labor Day featured summertime heat, with a high/low of 90°/75°.
  • 2020 (Sept. 5-7) - Cookie cutter conditions prevailed as each day of the extended weekend was sunny, with comfortable humidity and temperatures that were slightly above average (+2 degrees).  Each day had very similar highs/lows: 80°/65° (Saturday), 82°/66° (Sunday), and 79°/66° (Labor Day).












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why don’t you have 2019’s Labor Day weather (even though you have the Labor Day weather in all the other years from 2011 onward)? are you going to eventually post what Labor Day’s weather was like in 2019?


Like most of my posts that report daily observations, I focus on the years when interesting conditions occur. I didn't find Labor Day weekend 2019's weather to be particularly interesting. And although I may have made observations for the consecutive years 2011-2018, for the entire Labor Day Weekend post, 29 of the 51 years in the 1970-2020 period had no observations.

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