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Very interesting. Where do you get the detailed historical weather reports for NYC?


I make my observations based on the data found in the monthly weather recaps provided by the National Climatic Data Center, which gathers daily conditions for every weather station in the US. Another good site is Weather Underground, but NCDC provides most everything I need. I used to subscribe to its monthly reports for New York but now the reports on their website are free (since 2012).

Joe Cummo

There was a three month period of below freezing temps in NYC probably in the early 1970's. Temperatures - day or night - never got above 32 degrees. I think it started late December and ended late March. Mounds of black frozen snow stayed on the street corners in Manhattan for weeks. Do you know when that was?


Hi Joe, your description brings to mind a number of very cold winters. Although they didn't have non-stop days of sub-freezing highs, the winters of 1970 and 1971 were quite harsh. The same can be said of the winters of 1968, 1977 and 1978. Of course, this is based on temperatures in New York City. If you lived in the suburbs you likely would have experienced more days with highs below freezing and lows that were in the single digits or sub-zero.


I make my observations from NOAA Online Weather Data (NOW Data) which, in my opinion, is so much better than Weather Underground because the website is riddled with errors and only provides data from this century. NOW Data does a much more efficient and faster job at helping the user search for what he/she wants to search for. the website is as accurate and excellent as NCDC is.


Studying abnormally brutal cold waves in NYC history, three periods stand out to me.

November 30, 1875 - The high/low on this day was just 14/5; this remains the coldest November day on record. What is particularly striking is that this day was significantly colder than any other cold wave in November.

December 28, 1917 to January 4, 1918 - This eight-day cold wave set seven record lows that are still standing. December 30, 1917, with a high/low of 2/-13, stands as New York City’s coldest day on record. I was curious if there were any days that stayed completely below zero; the answer is no, but this day was the closest to doing that.

The entire month of February 1934 - This is NYC’s coldest month of all time. Every single day of the month was below average. This month featured NYC’s coldest reading of all time: -15 on February 9.

Temperatures this cold are practically unheard of for a Mid-Atlantic city, and are much more common for an Arctic place like Alaska or Northern Canada. However, once every few years, there is an occasional day or two that enters the single digits. The most recent case of this happened in January 2019, which had three such days.

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