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October 2012

New York Weather History: October (1869 - 2021)

GourdsHighlights:  The high winds and storm surge of hurricane Sandy brought NYC to a standstill on Oct. 29, 2012; record-setting early snowfall on Oct. 29, 2011; three weeks of flooding rains in 2005 between Oct. 8-25; Game 6 of 1986 World Series (Oct. 27) and Game 1 of 1996 World Series rained out (Oct. 19); the "Perfect Storm" nor'easter of Halloween 1991; 88° on Oct. 22, 1979; October 2016 was only the third to have three days in the 80s after 10/15; the latest date for a low in the 70s (10/10) occurred in 2018, one year after the previous latest 70 on 10/9; the 93° high on Oct. 2, 2019 was the first high in the 90s in October since 1941.


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Oct 31





Today in New York Weather History: Halloween (October 31)



Today's high of 76° was the warmest reading since 10/1 and occurred less than a week after there were two days with morning lows of 32°.


Today's weather was an absolute treat as the temperature soared to a record 81°.  This followed yesterday's record high of 82°.


Today's chilly high of 47° was the first day this month with a high below 60°.  Ironically, 10/1 had the month's first, and only, low in the 30s (today's low was 44°).


2.41" of rain fell, making this the rainiest Halloween on record (3.30" rain was measured at LaGuardia Airport).  And although the bulk of the rain occurred between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM, when 1.74" was measured, rain was still falling in the evening hours (0.33" was measured between 7-11 PM).  Until today October had received just 1.20" of rain.


Partly cloudy and chilly with a high/low of 48°/35°, eleven degrees below average.  When the kiddies were out at 7:00 PM ringing doorbells and collecting their treats the temperature was a brisk 42°.  This was an appropriate end to the most below average October (-4.8°) since 1925.


A very chilly October (4.6° below average) ended on a mild note with a high/low of 70°/60°, 11 degrees above average.  This was the only day with a low of 60° or milder.  At peak trick-or-treat time (7:00 PM) the temperature was still a pleasant 66°.




Sunny and cold, with a high of 50°/31°, eleven degrees below average.  When trick-or-treaters were out and about the temperature was a nippy 43°.  The morning low was the first temperature of 32° or colder this fall, a few weeks earlier than usual.


Temperatures during the past two weeks were 10 degrees above average.  Half of the days had highs in the 70s, including today which topped out at 72° (average high is around 60) .


This morning's low of 31° was the earliest sub-freezing reading since 1976.  And it matched the 31° low of Halloween 1975.


A rainy Halloween.  Over a 12-hour period (11:00 AM-11:00 PM), 0.89" fell.  On the positive side, it was the sixth day in a row with temperatures ten degrees or more above average. Today's rain was the first to fall on this date since 1976.


An intense nor'easter (made famous by Sebastian Junger's book The Perfect Storm) brought gusty 30-40 mph winds but stayed far enough offshore that NYC received just a a trace of rain.  




Rain that began yesterday morning continued thru 11:00 tonight.  During this day-and-a-half of inclement weather, 1.68" of rain fell, 0.71" of which fell today.  For the entire event the rain came down hardest during the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade as 0.25" fell between 8-9 PM.


Today's high of 73° made this the warmest Halloween since 1961 (when the high reached 76°).


This October tied October 1947 as the mildest on record, a whopping seven degrees above average.  And today was one of the twenty-five days this month with above-average temps (high/low of 64°/49°, +five degrees).


It was a very mild day (high of 71°) but light rain began falling just as the Greenwich Village Halloween parade was getting underway.  Although just 0.17" fell over five hours, this was the first rain to fall on Halloween night in 14 years.    


In 2011 many of New York's suburbs postponed or cancelled trick-or-treating because of power outages caused by an unprecedented snowstorm two days earlier.  This year, most Halloween festivities were once again cancelled, this time due to power outages caused by superstorm Sandy which struck two days earlier.  And for the first time in its 39-year history Greenwich Village's Halloween parade was cancelled.  The day itself was chilly and mostly overcast, with a high of 50°. 




The 0.06" of rain that fell from showers during lunchtime and after 11 PM was just enough to keep this month from becoming one of the ten driest on record.  With 0.36", October 2013 ranked twelfth and was the driest month since August 1995 (when 0.18" was measured).


As the warmest October on record came to a close, today had the chilliest high temperature of the month.  But at 57° it was only two degrees chillier than average.  And it was a beautiful day with clear skies. 


It was a very mild day, with the warmest readings occurring after dark.  The day's high of 71°  didn't occur until close to midnight.  This was the mildest reading since 10/14 and the mildest reading on Halloween in ten years (another high of 71°).  Besides being so mild (the low was 60°) it was also uncomfortably humid, with the dew point in the mid-60s and humidity in the 85-90% range.  Luckily for trick-or-treaters, showers that produced 0.54" of rain were over by noon.  (Also, a strong cold front that triggered some violent storms didn't reach the City until after midnight.) 


This morning's low was a frosty 32°, the first reading of freezing or colder in October since 1988 (which also occurred on Halloween).  This was three weeks earlier than the average date of the first low of 32° or below.  And it was the coldest reading this year since March 1 (when the low was 25°). 







Today in New York Weather History: October 30



At the time, today's high of 38° was the earliest date for a maximum daily temperature in the 30s (later topped by Oct. 26, 1962).  And 0.8" of snow fell (an amount that wouldn't be topped until 1/9 when 2.3" fell).  The next day's low of 29° was also a record, and the third day in a row with a low colder than 32°.  And tomorrow would be the fourth day in a row with a low of 32° or colder (but it wasn't a record).


Sweather weather 1920s  


For the sixth day in a row the area basked in temperatures in the 70s.  This stretch of days, which included four with highs of 76+, averaged 15 degrees above average.




The 0.01" of rain that fell between 11 PM and midnight was the first measurable rain to fall on this date since 1976.  (It should be noted that the National Weather Service uses Standard Local Time year-round for its records, but this rainfall actually fell between midnight and 1AM  on 10/31 based on Daylight Saving Time, which was still in effect on this date.)


Today's high of 75°, fifteen degrees above average, was the warmest reading of the month and the mildest reading in five weeks.




Today in New York Weather History: October 29



Wall Street's "Black Tuesday", which presaged the Great Depression, was partly cloudy and chilly with a high/low of 49°/37°, about ten degrees below average.




One day after a high of 77°, today's reached 78°, a record for the date (and 19 degrees above average).  This was the mildest reading since Sept. 16. 


A heavy, all-day rain amounted to 3.67", a record for the date.  Up until today just 0.03" had fallen in October (and it fell twenty-seven days earlier).


Today and the past three days had unseasonably warm high temperatures that were very similar: 77°-76°-77°-76° (today).


Although it was just 0.01", the rain that fell today was the first on this date since 1984 (when just 0.02" fell).


Until yesterday it had been a dry month, with just 1.26" of rainfall measured.  Then 3.62" fell in the past three days, including 1.63" that fell today.


An intense nor'easter lashed the area with high winds and outrageously early snowfall.  The 2.9" of heavy, wet snow that was measured in Central Park was the most ever to fall in October (5.2" fell in Newark and over a foot buried northern NJ, parts of the Hudson valley, Connecticut, western Massachusetts and New Hampshire).  Since the temperature never fell below freezing, there was mostly just slushy accumulation on City streets.  However, the day's low of 33°, which occurred in the early afternoon, was the coldest reading in October since 1988.  Total liquid precipitation from the storm was two inches.  Remarkably, the next measurable snow wouldn't be for another twelve weeks (when 4.3" fell on Jan. 21, 2012).




Unbelievably, an even more devastating storm than last year's nor'easter - hurricane/nor'easter Sandy - struck between noon and midnight.  And it more than lived up to its hype.  Although rain wasn't the issue (less than an inch fell), its 60-80 mph wind gusts and record storm surge wreaked havoc on New York's transportation system and power grid.  Not only did the storm surge strike at high tide, but also during a full moon, resulting in flooding never before experienced in Manhattan.  




On the five-year anniversary of superstorm Sandy, an intense nor'easter lashed the area with gusty winds and an all-day rain that amounted to 3.03".  This was more rain than fell in the past 60 days, and the biggest rainstorm of the year, passing the rainstorm of 5/2 by 0.01".   


The remnants of hurricane Zeta (which struck the Gulf Coast last night) combined with the energy from a winter storm that struck the southern Rockies and Plains earlier in the week, resulting in rainy and raw conditions in the Mid-Atlantic states.  Rain began here around 7 AM and continued until mid-day on the 30th.  1.53" fell today, 0.64" the next morning.  The rain fell heaviest from 10 AM until 3 PM today, with nearly an inch measured.  After the rain became lighter gusty winds of 25-30 mph moved in. 



Today in New York Weather History: October 28



Today's high of 83° was a record, and 24 degrees warmer than average.  However, a strong cold front moved through later in the day, dropping the temperature to 48° shortly before midnight (which was the average low for the date).


Today was the tenth day since 10/14 with a high of 77° or warmer.  (Typical highs during the second half of October are in the 60°-64° range.)  Not only was it unseasonably warm but dry as just 0.01" of rain fell during this fifteen-day period.  Not surprisingly, this would become the mildest October on record (later tied in 2007) - which, ironically, began with a record low.   


Today's 0.10" rainfall (during the morning and afternoon) made this the rainiest day of the month, a month that would be the second driest on record (behind June 1949, which had 0.02").  Only one other day this month had rain and it was more than three weeks ago, when 0.04" fell on Oct. 3.  


Today was the 26th day in a row with no measurable precipitation, the longest dry spell since before 1960 - and it wouldn't be topped until June 1999.  Furthermore, from Sept. 15 thru today, a total 44 days, just 0.91" of rain fell.  Not only was this the longest streak with less than an inch of rainfall since a 45-day streak in Jan/Feb 1968, it exceeded by two days a streak of 42 days that ended on Sept. 13 of this year.  


For the second morning in a row the low was 29°.  Today's low was a record.  This was also the end of a 12-day period in which temperatures averaged 10 degrees below average.  This streak was instrumental in making this October the coldest since 1925. 


On the day of the NYC Marathon, the City basked in a balmy 79° degrees, the warmest reading of the month.  (In a case of flip-flop, the month's chilliest reading occurred at the beginning of the month.)  Later tonight heavy rain fell between 11 PM and 1AM, with 0.28" of rain fell during a five-minute downpour (11:45-11:50 PM) and 0.88" overall.




It was a gloriously sunny and and mild day (high of 68°), perfect for the ticker tape parade in lower Manhattan celebrating the Mets World Series championship the over the Red Sox.  The sunny skies were particularly welcome after being preceded by three damp and gloomy days.


Mets 1986 world series victory parade


Today's high of 77° tied 10/26 as the warmest temperature of the month.  This was also the sixth day in a row with highs in the 70s.


1.21" of rain fell in the morning, the fourth rainfall this month that exceeded one inch.  Each storm occurred about a week apart and produced a total of 7.13".  0.86" of today's rain poured down between 5-6 AM.


A nor'easter that moved in last night dumped 2.54" by the time it exited around 2:00 this afternoon.  Shortly before the last raindrops fell a final rain band dumped 0.33" in a five-minute period between 1:32-1:37 PM.



Two inches of rain fell, with the greatest amount (0.87") falling between 10 AM-noon.  Besides the rain it was also unseasonably chilly, with a high of only 47° and a low of 39°. 


1.29" of rain fell thru mid-afternoon, making this the third year of the past four to receive more than an inch of rain on this date.


The entire Mid-Atlantic region was feverishly preparing for the worst as hurricane Sandy approached.  For the second time in 14 months New York City's entire transit system was shut down (the first time was for hurricane Irene).  To add insult to injury, today was the sixth day in a row with overcast skies.        




Showers and downpours that fell throughout the day amounted to 1.40".  Today's rain accompanied a warm front that pushed temperatures into the upper 60s by nightfall (the day's high was 69°, at around midnight).  More than an inch of rain also fell in the three previous years rain fell on this date (in 2009, 2008 and 2006). 





Hurricanes & Tropical Storms That Have Lashed New York City Since 1970



Since 1970 (thru 2021), more than thirty hurricanes and tropical storms have made their presence known in the New York City area, with the most serious being Gloria in 1985, Floyd in 1999, Irene in 2011,  Sandy in 2012, and Ida in 2021.  And 2004 was noteworthy for having three tropical storms that flooded New York in the month of September (2020 had three, but over the course of 13-1/2 weeks).  These tropical systems have lashed the area as early as the first week of June and as late as late October, but September is by far the month when the majority have struck.  The longest stretch with no tropical systems visiting the area is five years (1986-1990) 

Although tropical systems often cause flooding and wind damage, nor'easters can wreak as much, if not more, havoc.  When tropical storms reach this far north they are in the process of weakening, while nor'easters are usually gaining strength at this latitude.  To read about some of New York's memorable nor'easters click here.  The hurricanes and tropical storms discussed below are listed in chronological order.  (Please note that three named storms that had no impact on New York are included because they were originally expected to affect us.)



Rain from tropical storm Doria moved in shortly before daybreak on Aug. 27, 1971, and continued through early evening.  Rain was heaviest between 1:00 and 3:00 PM, when 1.76" poured down.  In total, 4.16" was measured - a record for the date.  Wind gusts of 40-50 mph accompanied the rain.  Then, after a break of about four hours, a second round of rain moved in on Aug. 28 between 1-6 AM.  1.80" fell, with more than half (1.11") falling in the hour between 3-4 AM.  In total, Doria produced 5.96" of rain in Central Park.  Rainfall amounts were even greater in New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania.     


On Sept. 14, 1971, less than three weeks after Doria, tropical storm Heidi brought heavy rain to the area.  Between 4-9 AM and 2-4 PM, 3.76" of rain poured down.  Today's amount was 0.06" shy of the record for the date.      


Rain and gusty winds from the remnants of what was Hurricane Agnes moved through the area on June 22, 1972, mostly between 7 AM-7 PM.  By the standards of tropical systems, rainfall wasn't particularly heavy as just 1.19" was measured.  This paled in comparison to the catastrophic rains of 8-12 inches that Agnes dumped on parts of New York state and Pennsylvania.  Although the main thrust of the storm was today, wraparound rain would fall tomorrow and on the morning of June 25, delivering an additional 1.39".   


Hurricane Belle made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Jones Beach around midnight on Sunday, Aug. 9, 1976.  A little more than four inches of rain fell, much of it between 10 PM and midnight, when 2.37" poured down.  This deluge is memorable for me because it happened on the evening my brother and I drove from Pittsburgh to New York for my first visit to the Big Apple - and we were clueless about the hurricane.  I remember being alarmed by the blinding sheets of rain as we made our way through northern New Jersey.  Fortunately, because the eye was 75-100 miles to the east, we escaped any high winds.    


The remnants of tropical storm David moved through between 4 AM and daybreak on Sept. 6, 1979, with 50-mph wind gusts and 1.22" of rain.  When it was a hurricane, David was one of the most powerful on record, the only category 5 storm to strike the Dominican Republic, where it killed thousands.  By the time it made US landfall in Georgia, it was considerably weaker. 


Rain from tropical storm Dean moved through during the early morning of  Sept. 30, 1983.  2.64" fell between 3-8 AM, but the bulk of it poured down in the hour between 6:30-7:30, when 2.05" was measured.  Today's rainfall was comparable to the amount that fell between Sept. 1-29. 


Hurricane Gloria made landfall on Long Island near the Nassau/Suffolk county line on Sept. 27, 1985, and dumped heavy rain in NYC during the morning (3.13", a record for the date), with most falling between 8:30-11:30.  The sky cleared around 1:00 and the rest of the afternoon was beautiful.  The bountiful rain helped put a dent in the year's rainfall deficit.  (To read my first-person account of the storm double click here.) 


Powerful category 4 Hurricane Hugo made landfall near Charleston, SC overnight on Sept. 22, 1989, and the New York metro area was prepared for 5-10 inches of rain when the storm's remnants moved up the coast.  However, the region was spared when the storm moved inland instead and stayed well to the west.  This was a big relief since six inches of rain had already fallen between Sept. 14-20.  What the City did experience was warm and humid conditions.


Hurricane Bob struck the eastern end of Long Island on Aug. 19, 1991, and then struck southeastern New England and Cape Cod.  The impact on New York City was heavy rain, mostly between 3 AM-noon, that amounted to 2.53".


Rain and wind from tropical storm Bertha moved in late on July 12, 1996 (a Friday), and continued until mid-afternoon on July 13.  About two inches of rain fell and was accompanied by winds of 30-45 mph.  Western New Jersey and the lower Hudson River valley had the heaviest rain, picking up between three and seven inches.    


An early forecast caused concern on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend in 1996 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.


On July 24, 1997 the remnants of hurricane Danny dumped 3.75" of rain, the rainiest 24-hour period on record for the month of July in New York.  (Rain that fell after midnight brought the storm's total rainfall to 4.62".)  Rain was heaviest between 8:21-9:21 PM when 0.94" fell.  With winds out of the east/northeast, it was also a very cool day; the high of 68°/low of 58° was fifteen degrees below average. 


Tropical storm Floyd flooded the area with 5.02" inches of rain on Sept. 16, 1999, forcing many businesses to close early and causing service on some subway lines to be suspended because of track flooding.  Today's rainfall, a record for the date, was an inch more than we had for the entire summer.  More than half of it fell between 8 AM and 1 PM, but an additional 0.76" fell from a final band of heavy rain that moved through between 6-7 PM.  Rainfall in Newark and Philadelphia exceeded seven inches.  Floyd produced historic flooding in North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey and was one of the ten most destructive natural disasters in US history.    


Heavy rain (3.77") from tropical storm Frances flooded the area on Sept. 8, 2004 shortly before the morning rush hour (most fell between 4-7 AM).  1.76" fell between 5-6 AM.  Frances' effects were felt here three days after it made landfall as a slow-moving category 2 hurricane on Florida's east coast.  


2.18" of rain fell during the morning of Sept. 18, 2004, most of it between 8-10 AM, as the remnants of Hurricane Ivan moved through.  Ivan's rainfall was much heavier in Pennsylvania and upstate New York.  Damage -wise, the storm was one of the five costliest hurricanes (until 2010's Hurricane Irene pushed it down to sixth).  


Three weeks after the remnants of Frances, and ten days after Ivan, the remnants of a third tropical storm, Hurricane Jeanne, moved through on Sept. 28, 2004.  By the time its rain ended the following morning, 4.66" had fallen, the most from a storm system since tropical storm Floyd dumped 5.44" in 1999.  The rain that fell today, 3.84", was a record for the date and brought the month's total to 11.41" making this the rainiest September since 1934.  


Sept. 2, 2006 was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, and it was 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 a bit cooler than average (mid-70s).  


After beginning the night before, nearly four inches of rain was dumped on the City as the remnants of tropical storm Barry moved through on June 4, 2007.  The rain was over by noon.  The amount that fell from the storm was twice as much as fell during the entire month of May. 


Tropical storm Hanna dumped 3.54" of rain on Sept. 6, 2008, mostly between 3-9 PM.  Rain was heaviest between 5-6 PM when 0.97" poured down.  As a hurricane, Hanna devastated Haiti and killed more than 500.  It made landfall in the US near Myrtle Beach, SC.  The rainfall Hanna dumped on New York was the biggest 24-hour soaker of the year, and the most in sixteen months.  It was also a record rainfall for the date. 


Hurricane Earl brought only overcast skies and muggy conditions to the New York area, but it lashed the Eastern end of Long Island on Sept. 3, 2010.  Then, as a downgraded tropical storm, it made a direct hit on Cape Cod.  


During the evening of Aug. 27, 2011 wind and rain from Hurricane Irene began lashing the area as it slowly made its way north from the North Carolina and Virginia coasts.  By midnight, 2.88" of rain had fallen, and 3.99" fell the morning of the 28th.  As a precaution, New York's transportation system was shut down at noon and 350,000 residents were evacuated from low-lying areas. 

Irene dumped a total of 6.87" of rain, one of the greatest 24-hour rain totals measured in Central Park.  This tropical deluge 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 gust of 62-mph was recorded at Central Park), downing more than 2,000 trees along City streets and in parks. 


A week and a half after Irene, the moisture from tropical storm Lee, combined with a cold front, dropped 5.33" of rain over the three-day period Sept. 6-8, 2011.  Rainfall amounts of up to ten inches flooded Maryland, central and eastern Pennsylvania, and much of the same terrain in New York State flooded by Irene.


One year after a pre-Halloween snowstorm crippled the area, superstorm Sandy struck on Oct. 29, 2012 between noon and midnight.  It lived up to its advance hype - and then some.  Although heavy rain wasn't an issue (less than an inch fell), 60-80 mph wind gusts, and a record storm surge wreaked havoc on New York's transportation system and power grid.  The storm surge struck not only at high tide (8:30 PM), but during a full moon, creating flooding that Manhattan had never experienced before.    


A soaking rain fell throughout the day on June 7, 2013 as the remnants of tropical storm Andrea moved up the coast.  Rain came down especially hard after dark.  In total, 4.16" fell, a record for the date - and the second greatest June rainstorm on record (an additional 0.43" fell after midnight on 6/8).  This was the second earliest tropical system to affect New York in the 1970-2020 period; the earliest was tropical storm Barry on June 3-4, 2007.  Because of the rain and cloud cover, today's high only reached 63°, thirteen degrees below average. 


Although hurricane Arthur put somewhat of a damper on the 4th of July in 2014, New York was on the northwest fringe as the system raced northeastward from the North Carolina coast.  Through mid-afternoon skies were gray with light showers, but just 0.14" was measured.  (By contrast, severe thunderstorms on the evenings of 7/2 and 7/3 produced 2.74" of rain.)  It was a breezy day, with winds occasionally gusting to 30 mph.  By the time Macy's fireworks exhibition began skies were clear.  However, conditions further east, on Fire Island and in the Hamptons, were worse.    


The remnants of Hurricane Florence, which brought disastrous flooding to southeastern North Carolina a few days earlier, synched-up with a cold front and brought heavy rain during the afternoon of Sept. 18, 2018, producing 1.16".  When the rain began the dew point was at a sticky 74°.  This rain came eight days after the remnants from Hurricane Gordon brought 1.38" of rain (but it fell over the course of nearly 24 hours). 


This was the second tropical system named Barry to visit the New York area.  Its moisture arrived during the evening of July 18, 2019, producing 1.82" of rain between 8 PM and midnight, with more than half of it pouring down in the initial hour (this was more rain than had fallen in the previous three weeks).  Before the rain arrived, the afternoon had been hot and steamy, with a high of 93°, dew points in the low-to-mid-70s and a heat index of 105°.  Barry 2.0's rainfall was half the amount that fell from Barry 1.0 in 2007. 


The northernmost bands of showers from hurricane Dorian moved through the City during the afternoon and early evening of Sept. 6, 2019, with most of the minimal rainfall pouring down between 3-4 PM (when 0.27" was measured).  With the storm situated to the south-southeast of the metro area, winds were from the east-northeast (peak gust in Central Park was 29 mph), drawing in unseasonably cool air.  Before the rain moved in at lunchtime the mercury rose to 67°, but then dropped to 58° by evening.  This was the first time since mid-June that a high and low were in the 60s/50s.


Hurricane dorian


This quickly developing tropical storm zipped from North Carolina to the Jersey Shore on July 10, 2020, soaking New York with 2.54" of rain, with most of it pouring down between 1:30-4:30 PM.  This amount was a record for the date, and the greatest one-day rainfall since May 2018.  The temperature and dew point were in the 70s all day long, giving the air a pronounced tropical feel.  This was the fourth "F"-named tropical system since 1970 to affect NYC, but it was the only one that didn't strike in September. 


After making landfall late last night in North Carolina as a hurricane, Isaias sped through the mid-Atlantic on Aug. 4, 2020.  Because the center of the storm moved further west than was anticipated, New York City was spared heavy rain, but winds gusted to 48 mph in Central Park and 78 mph at Battery Park City in lower Manhattan (and 68, 69 and 70 mph at Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports. respectively).  There were extensive power outages caused by downed trees.  While just 0.55" of rain fell from daybreak to lunchtime in Central Park (most between 11 AM-noon), four inches+ flooded eastern Pennsylvania.  And although it wasn't associated with Isaias, a severe thunderstorm late last night dumped the same amount of rain in about 30 minutes as fell this morning.


Hurricane isaias


Moisture from the remnants of hurricane Delta moved into the area on Oct. 12, 2020 and produced a steady, but light, all-day rain that amounted to nearly one inch (0.96"); an additional 0.34" fell the following day.  Winds out of the northeast, gusting between 25-30 mph, kept the temperature unseasonably cool.  The high of 57° (which occurred shortly after midnight) was the first maximum reading in the 50s since 5/9.


12 hours after the City was flooded by a torrential downpour during yesterday’s evening rush hour, heavy rain from the remnants of hurricane Elsa made this morning's commute a challenge (July 9, 2021).  1.79” of rain fell this morning, largely between 3-9AM.  (Elsa produced significantly more rain over Long Island, largely in the 3-4” range.)  By afternoon, the sun broke through and the temperature rose into the mid-80s.  This tropical system moved through the area one day before the one-year anniversary of tropical storm Fay lashing the metro area.


Hurricane Henri was a huge rainmaker for the New York area.  In fact, the City received much more rain than areas that were closer to the storm’s center.  Between the evening of Aug. 21, 2021, when the rain first arrived, through early afternoon on Aug. 23, 8.19” of rain fell.  All three days had more than inch of rain (4.45”, 2.67”, and 1.07”), with more than half of the total falling in the storm's first five hours (when Henri was still a few hundred miles to the southeast, and 16 hours away from landfall in Rhode Island).  The rain was made a bit more bearable, due to the fact that there were no winds of tropical storm strength.  Henri's rainfall was the most from a hurricane/tropical storm since the "Great Atlantic Hurricane" of Sept. 12-14, 1944 flooded Central Park with 9.40".


Although Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana four days ago as a category 4 storm, had weakened to a tropical depression when it arrived in the Mid-Atlantic on Sept. 1, 2021, what energy remained packed quite a punch as New York was flooded by extreme rainfall and lashed by tropical storm-force winds (causing more disruptions than Hurricane Henri did less than two weeks ago).  After a first round of moisture brought light showers shortly after sunrise, there was a lull until 5 PM when heavy rain moved in, becoming torrential a few hours later.  By midnight, 7.13" had been measured in Central Park – comparable to seven weeks of rain, and two-and-a-half inches more than a typical September sees in its entirety. 

At its most intense, between 9-10 PM, more than three inches poured down.  Because of this excessive rate of rainfall, the National Weather Service issued, for the first time, a Flash Flood Emergency for NYC, and subway service was suspended throughout the City.  Shockingly, thirteen residents died from flood-related causes in the five boroughs (and 25 in NJ).  Unlike Henri, which wasn’t a wind producer, Ida’s visit was accompanied by winds that gusted between 35-50 mph.  




Today in New York Weather History: October 27



For the fourth day in row lows were in the mid-to-upper 60s, about twenty degrees above average and warmer than the typical high during this time of year (61°).  Two of the days had record-high lows which are still standing (69° on the 25th, 66° on the 27th).


The morning low of 28° was the coldest temperature ever recorded in October (a record that still stands).  And for ten consecutive hours the temperature was 32° or colder (from midnight thru 10 AM).  Under clear skies the afternoon high struggled to get to 43°, producing a daily mean temperature that was 16 degrees below average.




Today's high was a record 82° and followed three days that had highs in the upper 70s.  The average high during these four days was 18 degrees above average.  Today was the seventh day this month with a high in the 80s and the sixteenth day with a high of 75° or warmer.


Today's high of 70° was the mildest reading this month (it also occurred on 10/1 and 10/22), making it the coolest maximum temperature in October of any of the years since 1900 (thru 2020).


The 0.19" of rain that fell, mostly between 1-2 AM, was the first rain to fall on this date since 1959 (when 0.19" also fell).


1.82" of rain fell tonight between 7 PM and 2 AM.  As the rain wound down, one last heavy band delivered 0.63" between 11 PM-midnight (it actually took place between midnight-1AM but the National Weather Service doesn't recognize Daylight Saving Time in its record keeping).  It was a record rainfall for the date, later broken in 2003 when 1.88" fell.




Although skies were mostly cloudy the high reached 75°, fifteen degrees above average.  This was the sixth day in a row with a high in the 70s.


The 0.36" of rain that fell during the morning was the last rainfall this month and brought October's total to 2.10" - the same amount that was measured in September.  This was the fifth time for this type of phenomenon, joining May/June 1917; Nov/Dec 1945; Dec. 1980/Jan. 1981; and June/July 1985.  (And there have been nine instances of back-to-back months being 0.01" apart.)


After a very mild low of 65° (nineteen degrees above average), the afternoon temperature hit a balmy 75°, making this the warmest day of the month.  Showers fell in the pre-dawn hours and in the middle of the afternoon, amounting to 0.19" - the fifth year in a row that rain fell on this date.


For the third time in the past four years more than an inch of rain fell on this date.  This year it amounted to 1.38"; in 2018 1.27" was measured and in 2016 1.41" fell.  Most of this year's rain fell between 10 AM and 1 PM.




Today in New York Weather History: October 26



The center of circulation from a dissipating hurricane got very close to New York as it moved northeastward, dropping 1.56" of rain.


A nor'easter dumped 3.40" of rain, the biggest rain producer of the year and a record for the date (which still stands).  Rain fell throughout the day, but it came down heaviest after 5 PM, with two periods of torrential rain between 5-6 PM, when 0.72" fell, and between 11 PM-midnight, when 1.05" was measured (in reality, this rain fell from midnight-1 AM on the 27th, but since the the National Weather Service uses Standard Time all year round it was credited to 10/26 rather than 10/27).  There was a peak wind gust of 41 mph.


Noreaster formation


Periods of cold rain accompanied winter-like temperatures as the high/low was just 39°/34°.  This high was 21 degrees below average - and it was the earliest date on record for a high in the 30s.  In addition to rain in the morning and afternoon showers (amounting to 0.32"), a trace of snow was also reported.


Today's high of 78° tied the record set just one year ago, and came two days after a low of 33°.  Skies were clear.


After a scorching high of 88° on Oct. 22 (27 degrees above average), afternoon highs took a steady tumble over the next four days: 88°-78°-67°-57°-50° (today).


Conditions for this year's NYC Marathon couldn't have been more different from last year, when temperature rose to 80° and skies were sunny.  This year, runners had to contend with temperatures in the 40s throughout the day and winds gusting between 25-40 mph.


A steady light rain during the daylight hours (amounting to 0.64") forced postponement of Sunday's Game 7 of the World Series at Shea Stadium.  This followed the incredible comeback by the Mets last night in Game 6 when a ground ball went through the legs of Red Sox 1st baseman Bill Buckner in extra innings, giving the Mets an improbable win.




High temperatures over the past five days were well above average, and very similar: 72°-72°-71°-70°-71° (today).


It was a chilly day (high/low of 50°/38°, ten degrees below average), with rain moving in after 5 PM.  The 0.36" that fell thru midnight was the first rain on this date in 11 years. 


After the three previous days had morning lows of 50°, the streak was broken today - with a low of 51°.


Although it was just 0.01", this was the first measurable rain to fall on this date since 2007.  (Earlier this month a 17-year rain-free streak on 10/6 ended with another rainfall of 0.01".)




Today in New York Weather History: October 25



1.76" of rain fell today, with 1.15" of it falling between 10AM-1PM.


Today's high temperature and those of the past two days: 72°-71°-70° (today) - well above the average high of 61°.


In less than three weeks (Oct. 8-25) nearly 17 inches of rain fell, making this the wettest October on record (and, at the time, the second rainiest month overall; it's since dropped to third).  During these two-and-a-half weeks of deluges, seven days received an inch or more of rain.  In stark contrast, September had just 0.48" of rain, making it the driest September since 1963.




Today's high was 57°, the first day this autumn with a high temperature below 60° - the latest date for this occurrence in the 1970-2021 period (average date is Oct. 7).  This balanced the 8/21 high of 59°, which was just the second time a high cooler than 60° occurred in the month of August.


Mostly light rain fell between 4-9 PM, but then 0.62" fell in the hour between 9-10 PM.


This was the third day in a row with a morning low of 50°.  Although the high temperatures on these days weren't identical, they were somewhat similar: 59°, 61° and 62°.






New York City Marathon Weather Highlights (1970 - 2020)



The New York City Marathon is one of the highlights of autumn in New York.  On Marathon Sunday the day's high/low has averaged 62/47, with the temperature at the start of the race typically in the low 50s.  Temperatures have warmed into the upper 60s or higher during fifteen of the races, and they've been in the cold low 40s or colder at start time in half a dozen years.  (Many runners consider temperatures in the 45°-55° range optimal.)  Rain has rarely been a factor as it's fallen during the race only five times - the last time was in 2017 (but it was a light mist that amounted to just 0.01") 


The average temperature on race day masks a difference between earlier and more recent races.  During the race's first 25 years the average high/low was 65/51, but since 1995 temperatures have been considerably cooler, averaging 56/43.  This is largely due to the fact that early races were held in September and October; now they're run in the first week of November.  What follows are weather highlights of past races:   


  • 1970 (Sept. 13) - The first New York City Marathon took place under sunny skies and warm temperatures.  Although the morning low was a refreshing 58°, when the race got underway the temperature had risen into the low 70s.  During the afternoon it warmed to 80°, which was a few degrees above average.
  • 1974 (Sept. 29) - This was the first Marathon to see rain as thundershowers produced 0.32" of rain between 2-3:00 PM and 0.10" between 4-5:00 PM.  It was also a warm day, with a start-time temperature of 74°.
  • 1975 (Sept. 28) - Runners breathed a sigh of relief as the City dried out from a string of rainy days that produced 8.50" of rain over eight consecutive days, ending Friday.  This included an unprecedented four days in row in which more than an inch of rain fell.  Today, however, was sunny with near seasonable temperatures (high/low of 69°/57°). 
  • 1976 (Oct. 24) - A raw, gray and damp day.  When the race started the temperature was in the upper 40s and light showers moved in after 2:00 PM.  This was the first race to go through each of NYC's five boroughs - and the first time the race was held in late October.




  • 1977 (Oct. 23) - A cold front moved through during the early afternoon, dropping the temperature from 56° at 1 PM to 44° at 4 PM.
  • 1979 (Oct. 21) - This was the marathon run in the warmest conditions, with temperatures in the 70s throughout and topping off at 80°, twenty-three degrees above average.  (At least it was cooler than the next day when the afternoon high soared to 88°.)
  • 1980 (Oct. 26) - Quite a contrast from last year's race.  Although it wasn't rainy like yesterday morning, when 1.76" fell, runners had to contend with temperatures in the 40s and winds that gusted between 25-40 mph.
  • 1983 (Oct. 23) - Rain moved in shortly before noon and 0.69" had fallen by 6:00 PM (and continued through the night).


  • 1984 (Oct. 28) - With a high/low of 79°/62°, today was the warmest day of October and one of the warmest Marathon Sundays on record.  Besides the warm temperatures it was also on the humid side.
  • 1990 (Nov. 4) - Following a Saturday that had an unseasonably warm high of 78°, today was also very mild, with a high/low of 73°/58° - fifteen degrees above average.  Skies were a mix of sun and clouds.  
  • 1992 (Nov. 1) - With a high/low of 51°/40°, seven degrees below average, today was the chilliest Marathon Sunday in ten years.  It was also breezy, with winds coming off the ocean. 
  • 1993 (Nov. 14) - Although this was the latest date of any Marathon, the day was very mild, with a high/low of 72°/54° - 15 degrees warmer than average.  (The following day the high soared to 80°.)
  • 1994 (Nov. 6) - Although just 0.01" of rain fell, it came just as the winner of the mens' race, German Silva of Mexico, was running his last mile.
  • 1995 (Nov. 12) - This was the race with the coldest conditions as the temperature at race time was 40° and only went up a few degrees as the race went on.  Winds gusting between 30-45 mph produced wind chills in the upper 20s.
  • 1997 (Nov. 2) - A hard rain fell between 1:30-2:30 PM, amounting to 0.52".  This was the last time rain fell during the race until 2017 (but only 0.01" was measured).
  • 2003 (Nov. 2) - Today's high of 68° made this the race with the mildest temperature since the 1994 Marathon.  But although today's high was ten degrees above average, it was considerably cooler than yesterday's and tomorrow's respective highs of 77° and 79°.




  • 2005 (Nov. 6) - This was the third year in a row in which temperatures rose into the upper 60s (ten degrees above average).  Temperatures wouldn't rise into the 60s on race day for another ten years. 
  • 2010 (Nov. 7) - The morning low was 36°, six degrees colder than average.  Only three race days have started out chillier.
  • 2011 (Nov. 6) - One week after a record-breaking early season snowstorm (2.9" fell), conditions were perfect for the race, with bright blue skies and temperatures in the optimal 45°-55° range.



  • 2012 (Nov. 4) - Controversy arose over this year's race as a result of it falling a week after Hurricane Sandy struck the region.  It was finally cancelled two days before race day.  If it had been held runners would have experienced weather similar to the previous two years with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 40s.
  • 2013 (Nov. 3) - Sunny and brisk with temperatures steady in the upper 40s throughout the race (10 AM thru 4 PM).
  • 2014 (Nov. 2) - Runners were buffeted by high winds, with gusts of 30-45 mph, depending on the neighborhood they were running through.  These winds resulted in the slowest times for the winners since the 1984 event (when conditions were warm and humid).  Besides the high winds it was also chilly, with a starting time temperature at 43° and wind chills in the mid to upper 30s.
  • 2015 (Nov. 1) - Weather conditions were great for runners as skies were lightly overcast and temperatures ranged from upper 50s at the start of the race to mid-60s by 4:00.  The last time temperatures were this pleasant for the event was ten years ago.   
  • 2016 (Nov. 6) - Near-perfect conditions greeted runners, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s for the bulk of the race (thru late afternoon).  Breezy conditions (20-25 mph gusts) was the only fly in the ointment.


2016 marathon


  • 2017 (Nov. 5) - The race was run in gray, foggy conditions with light drizzle moving in shortly before noon (just as the top women and men runners were finishing their races).  Temperatures held steady in the upper 50s throughout the race, with afternoon humidity above 90%.  And although it was only 0.01", this was the first measurable rain to fall in 20 years during the race (between 10 AM-4 PM).
  • 2018 (Nov. 4) - Skies were mostly clear and temperatures a few degrees chillier than average.  The day's high/low of 55°/43° is what the average temperature has been for the races of the 2010s.  The afternoon humidity was around 40%, which was more than 50% lower than that of last year's race.  The following year's conditions on race day (11/2) were very similar but a few degrees chillier (high/low of 53°/40°).
  • 2020 (Nov. 1) - For the second time in the past nine years the race was cancelled.  This time it was because of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation.  If the race had been run the elite runners would have been happy because most would have completed the course before rain moved in early in the afternoon (0.40" fell).  Temperatures were good for running as they were in the low-to-mid 50s.


Chart - marathon temp trend Chart - warmest chilliest nyc marathons