Today in New York Weather History: January 20
Today in New York Weather History: January 22

Today in New York Weather History: January 21



Until today it had been a colder than average January, with temperatures averaging three degrees below average.  But then for the rest of the month a big January thaw got underway, and temperatures averaged 15 degrees above average (high/low of 55°/39°).


This morning's low of 15° was the coldest reading of the winter.  Only one winter since 1960 has had a milder temperature for its coldest reading - the winter of 2002, when the coldest temperature was 20°.  However, based on the mean temperature (average of high and low), two days in February were colder than today.


3.45" of rain fell on Super Bowl Sunday, with most of it falling before 7 AM.  This is the most rain to fall on one date in the month of January.




This was by far the coldest day of the winter.  The low was 2° below zero, and the high just 9° above zero, the coldest high temperature since Feb. 15, 1943, when it was 8°.  (And it's the last time a day's high was in the single digits.)  Meanwhile, down in Washington, ceremonies for President Reagan's second inauguration were forced indoors because of the bitter cold.




High temperatures over the past seven days ranged between 37° and 39°, which was right around the seasonal average of 38°.


A quick-moving snowstorm dumped six inches of snow this Sunday morning, a record for the date.  The flakes stopped falling by 8 AM.




Twelve weeks after the Northeast's freak pre-Halloween snowstorm on 10/29, Central Park finally had its next measurable snow as 4.3" fell during the morning.  The accumulation would have been even higher if sleet hadn't mixed in.  (Coincidentally, 4.2" fell on this date last year.)  Today's high was 29°, making this the eighth year out of the past ten in which the high was 32° or colder on 1/21.


After a week-and-a-half respite, winter returned with a vengeance as wind-driven snow and plunging temperatures snarled the City.  By midnight temperatures had fallen into the low teens (wind chill was at zero degrees) and nearly 11" of new snow was on the ground (breaking 2001's record).  The timing of the snow couldn't have been worse for commuters as it began around 9 AM and continued until 10 PM.


This was one of the coldest days of the past 25 years, with a high/low of just 14°/4°.  Gusty winds that raked the area throughout the day produced wind chills in the -5° to -15° range.  And while there have been 12 days since 1994 with colder low temperatures than today's, only two have had colder highs (10° on Jan. 19, 1994, and 13° on Jan. 6, 2018).  Lastly, today's frigid temperatures brought to mind very cold conditions that also fell on holidays in recent years (today was Martin Luther King Day) - New Year's Day 2018, with a high/low of 19°/7°; Valentine's Day 2016; which had a high/low of 15°/-1°; and President's Day 2015, which had a high/low of 21°/3°.


Chart - coldest days of past 25 years





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did 2012 set some kind of record for the longest gap (84 days) between a season's first and second measurable snowfall?

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