Today in New York Weather History: October 28
Today in New York Weather History: October 30

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 City's 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 to ever 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 to 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. 


This was the third day this month with a low of 47°, which was the chilliest reading of the month - and the mildest reading for this designation in October (the previous record, 45°, was in 1946 and 1971).   October's coldest reading is typically in the upper 30s.  And today's high of 56 was the chilliest high temperature this month, just two degrees shy of the mildest chilliest high for October (in 1971).




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I am shocked to see that halloween 1993 did not make the list here, that was a brutal halloween weekend. Rained all day Saturday the 30th and poured all day Sunday the 31st . Great page tho brings back a lot of memory's of weather days I remember like this one from 93.


I'm surprised I failed to write about it as well! Thanks for pointing out the omission - I don't know how it was overlooked, especially because of its impact on the Village Halloween Parade. I've added it to the recap of Halloween.


2017 - meanwhile, today's low of 60° was the twelfth day this month with a low this mild. tying 2007 for the second most number of such days on record for October. only 1879 has had more when there were 13 of them.


2017's rain was also noteworthy because this was the only day from July 8, 2017 to February 10, 2018 (a span of 218 days) to feature an inch or more of precipitation.

Joseph Daniels

Today, October 29 is the anniversary of an epic rainstorm during my fifth grade year in New Jersey on 1973. That year the date occurred on a Monday, a day which saw students returning to school after a weekend. Since the middle of September in 1973, New Jersey was in a severe drought with just a trace amount of rain. Then we were forecast to have a deluge. As was my custom, and anticipating a day filled with my favorite kind of weather, I listened to the weather forecast on the news radio from New York calling for rain, possibly heavy at times with east to north winds of 15 to 25mph. For someone who loves raincoats and heavy rain storms as much as I, this day by the forecast alone already formed a vivid searing and lasting memory.

In the small city just west of our suburban town, the daily newspaper had a woman meteorologist who gave detailed comments and statistical records for the weather on each day. The eventual record for October 29, 1973 indicated that 4.63 inches of heavy flooding drought-busting rain would fall. Dressing for school at around 8:00 AM, the outdoor temperature was 43°. By the end of the school day the temperature would rise to 61° when in my suburban town the rain would be at its very heaviest driving down in buckets.

Here is my sadness over this day. A raw cold autumnal downpour to start this back-to-school Monday. A near tropical flooding monsoon with rising temperatures to end the school day. For conscientious Moms this forecast presented a dilemma that would make them want to scream on a Monday morning probably hectic enough already. Given the extended drought, this was the first bad weather day now almost two months into the school year. And now these Moms had to quickly pull out coats this morning. And most importantly given the cold morning and progressively wetter and milder finish, mothers had a choice: should the kids wear a winter coat or should we just get them in their raincoats? As I would soon find out that day, most mothers pulled these big raincoats from closets or off coat hooks. For mothers of sons in an elementary or junior high school in 1973, these raincoats were most often long heavy yellow slickers with matching helmet hoods. Totally perfect for a day like this and the largest and longest coat of any kind that these kids owned. Most moms this day would fully cover their young charges in their rubber raincoats sweeping them onto their sons with relish along with the helmet hoods and rubber boots. The more the rain poured, the more these moms loved the Weather-Rite slickers and they smiled admiringly as they sent these boys out the door into a pelting heavy rain: knowing that their sons were dressed to let a monsoon pour down on them with no let-up or relief.

An emerging raincoat option for elementary and junior high boys were the reversible NFL team reversible PVC rain ponchos which were sold by Sears and first appeared in their Christmas 1972 Wish Book. My parents actually bought a green to reversible yellow New York Jets poncho for me to be kept at our vacation home in Maine and there it stayed 400 miles away. The introduction of this NFL licensed raincoat was timely as the years from 1973 to 1977 saw perhaps 25 rainstorms of 2 inch rainfalls or more on school days and Sundays. In the fall of 1973, there were maybe 3 boys who wore the Sears NFL raincoat to school. I am sure these replaced outgrown yellow Weather-Rite or Swell-Wear yellow, green, or black rubber helmet hooded raincoats. These voluminous rain ponchos covered over everything including heavier outerwear. My three fifth grade classmates with these ponchos had monsoon defying rain protection. They had a little over an hour walk to school including a significant period of time waiting outside the school in all weather for the doors to open by teachers who would come out into the rain both morning and afternoon to supervise and line- up students for entry and dismissal. Mothers including mine became enamored of these rain ponchos with their full coverage against rains that ranged from drizzles to downpours including winter sleet. In this October rainstorm, the rains would pound on these enveloping ponchos making a heavy cacophonous drumming noise on the boys sheltered underneath their protection. The ponchos were probably the envy of boys wearing other raincoats and well these ponchos should be as these three boys who wore them stayed driest of all!

High school students frequently wore adult raincoats - balmacaans or trenchcoats - which being just water-repellent would get very wet in heavy rains with the top half of the raincoat especially around the shoulders getting soaked through. In the wind driven rain when an umbrella was useless, both high school and college students along with older adults expected their London Fog raincoats to get very wet. You learned to just rely on your raincoat as best as you could. For girls and women who frequently wore dressier raincoats of lightweight fabrics which were fine for showers, a typical day of heavy rain would see girls and women struggle in these coats and get drenched. Today, the ladies in their raincoats would tussle with umbrellas; the torrential rain was merciless and would soak their raincoats right through. The best choice for females was to wear skirts or dresses with quick drying nylons fitted into boots. Slacks would get hopelessly wet and a lightweight sweater over a dress or blouse made for a makeshift raincoat liner. A plastic rain bonnet or silky headscarf was a necessary substitute for an umbrella.

In my school in the 5th grade and at the age 10, I also wore a dress raincoat and carried a tan leather legal bag that immediately conveyed the image of a little lawyer! But unfortunately at this young age, I was not one to decisively go to the closet and put on my raincoat. Already possessing a raincoat fetish, the forecast and build-up to a rainy day caused anxiety. A day with the forecast torrential rain storm could present a danger of not wearing a raincoat. Since first grade however, this had not been a problem. I wore my raincoat regularly. I had outgrown my knee-length yellow rubber Weather Rite raincoat with a matching helmet hood by this point and was quite chunky in stature. But my tan Briarcliff single-breasted raincoat with the zip-in lining still fit well and armed with the “rain, heavy at times forecast”, I looked forward to and expected to wear my raincoat on that October Monday of all-day heavy rain. I was the proud wearer of that raincoat from my receiving the coat as a gift from my great aunt at Christmas 1971 in third grade through seventh grade in 1975.It stood up to maybe 50 heavy rainstorms over that four year period. But admittedly, this dress raincoat was water resistant but not waterproof.

After asking her about my raincoat, my mom said that I would have to wear my winter coat given that the rain would be wind-driven and heavy. I think my mother was thinking that I needed a hood for the downpour and an umbrella would have been useless in the hands of a kid in high winds. I wish now that I would have creatively suggested pairing off my tan balmacaan raincoat with my knitted ski hat or my vinyl clad bomber hat as my raincoat did not have a hood of it own. In fact, the Naugahyde pile lined black bomber hat with ear flaps was closest thing I had to a yellow rain slicker bell-shaped helmet hood - and grrrr! – the bomber hat would have been the perfect and practical companion to my tan raincoat: secure in the wind and waterproof. Again, I asked my Mom if I could wear my raincoat but she had firmly decided in favor of a hooded winter jacket.

So the nylon pile lined hooded winter parka it was with black waterproof pile lined boots. Any my younger brother was dressed in the same manner. We were driven to school and we got out among a parade of students wearing yellow slickers and helmet hoods going up the sidewalk. The rubber raincoats were already had the added allure of being glistening wet. The rain was blinding and pelting in a downward wind-driven diagonal. Still, the rain was not yet at full force. But taking in the sight of all the students in their long yellow rubber rain slickers and helmet hoods dashing up the sidewalk under the diagonal slanting rain made my heart sink.

It rained increasingly harder that October morning and torrential thunderstorms started at 11:00AM. To make matters worse I was not going home for lunch. No possibility of upgrading to a raincoat during lunch so that I could return to school more happily attired.

Among those who went home for lunch there were examples of raincoat upgrades (morning jacket to an afternoon full-length rubber raincoat) and raincoat downgrades (morning raincoat to an afternoon winter snorkel coat). One male classmate, who had a comparatively short walk home for lunch had worn a black zip-lined single-breasted raincoat much like my own British tan raincoat to school that day. He walked home a block and a half to lunch at 11:45AM. It was now relentlessly torrential: the flooding rains that would shut down our local highway were not going to let up. When he returned to school, he was wearing a winter jacket too. His grandmother had pulled off his soaked raincoat obviously at home. I asked the boy about his raincoat. He said that his grandmother had complained that his raincoat became muddy.

Those who received a raincoat upgrade at home during lunch caught my eye. Girls were in particular need of changing into a heavier or more waterproof raincoat from their typically lightweight and dressier rainwear. A few girls who were tall enough could wear their mom’s raincoat back to school. They looked like young bank tellers sweeping these raincoats off. Most of these raincoats at least the top half soaked through leaving the inner winter pile lining as the last line of downpour defense. One girl in particular caught my eye. She was widely perceived as a tomboy and a terrific athlete. She almost never wore a raincoat. She returned to school on this day of soaking rain in her older brothers olive knee-length olive cloth raincoat bonded to rubber on the inside. These coats were popular among students in the 1960s and 70s and were a variant and longer length version of the Navy swamp coat. What caught my eye was that the drenching rain even served to subdue this girl’s usually defiant tomboy attitude: she looked satisfied and comfortably snug in the completely saturated green benchwarmer raincoat. She had gotten so thoroughly wet on her walk from her mother’s car and up the sidewalk to return to school. Coming back into the classroom her hood was up and she radiated contentment underneath it.

It was a frustrating day. And I was sitting next to my female seat mate upon whom I had a mild crush,, being tortured with the rubber lining of her tan suede rubberized hooded raincoat which she draped to dry over the back of her chair at our paired desks, obviously with the teacher's permission. The lockers were full and the rubber aroma filled the room from the draping wet slickers that were hanging there in the back of the classroom.

I remember this from the end of the school day at 2:45PM. We were just about nearing three inches of rain since the morning – .50 to .75 of an inch per hour throughout the five hour school day. Not only were the Route 22 highway lanes flooding out but other roads as well.

As we lined up getting our coats on to leave school, one boy was commenting on how he liked his black Weather Rite with the brass clasp closures as you could quickly fasten it compared to a zipper.

Just walking down the sidewalk to a waiting school bus - or better yet embarking on a long walk home – any kind of raincoat in this relentless incorrigible downpour quickly appeared shiny and soaking with large wet splotches.

The days when you should have worn a raincoat but didn’t are just as formative as those when you wore your raincoat in an epic torrential rainstorm and enjoyed it thoroughly. For me, the entire experience of this fall of fifth grade rainstorm at age 10 was demoralizing. But October 29, 1973 made its mark on me. It solidified and sealed my bond with raincoats permanently. From that day onward I resolved to always wear my raincoat whenever the weather demanded it. Or even if the weather didn’t. Happily to this day I wear my raincoat anyway.

Harry Mandel

I know this date well as it is my birthday. In fact, the 2017 nor'easter noted twice on here was a milestone birthday for me(50th), and it did put a damper on plans for that day. So I wanted to note a couple of things:

1) In 2000, the rain actually mixed with snow, even Central Park got a trace and it was the first time a trace of snow was recorded in October since October 9, 1979. A light coating covered the ground as close as the northern Bronx.

2) You did not note it here, but after a 21 year gap of ANY snow in October, it took just 2 years to happen again (2002), with snow (again a trace, this time just flurries) AGAIN on this same date.

3) The 2011 snowstorm was the first measurable snow in October at Central Park since October 21, 1952. I was also the first time an inch or more of snow fell in the Park in October (however, on October 26, 1962 while only a trace fell in the Park, somehow LaGuardia Airport got 1.2"!).


Joseph, that was a fascinating first-person account! And what do you remember about the even bigger rainstorms of Nov. 8, 1972 (5.60") and Nov. 8, 1977 (7.40")?


also in 2011, the average temperature of 39° (high/low of 45/33) made this the coldest October day (based on the daily average temperature) since 1976, 1974 and 1972. after today, nine years would pass before the next October day came with an average temperature of 39° or colder. Halloween day 2020 would have a high/low of 46/32.


Joe Rao quoted your events for this day on his Facebook page (he credited you of course!) and did so to note that he feels today is one of the most infamous days (at least in the 21st Century) in the calendar. Imagine if he included the brief snows on this date in 2000 and 2002!

As a weather geek, I love my birthday!


Well, look at that! Thanks for letting me know.

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