Today in New York Weather History: March 21
Today in New York Weather History: March 23

Today in New York Weather History: March 22

 70s 2


Based on the period between 1980-2020, the average date of a year's first reading in the 70s in Central Park is March 22.  During these years it has occurred as early as January 6 (in 2007) and as late as April 26 (in 1984).  In 2012 there had already been seven days that were in the 70s by March 22.   



Today's snowfall of 2.9" followed a snowfall of 2.1" yesterday and was the sixth snowfall of two inches or more in the past three weeks (there were eleven days with measurable snowfall this month).  This was also the fourth storm to have significant sleet.  In total, snow/sleet amounted to 25.5" this month, making this New York's second snowiest March, after March 1896.  (It would also be the fifth coldest March on record, and the coldest of the 20th century.)


The second half of March was extraordinarily mild, with an average high of 70°, but today was an outlier as the high only reached 40°, (but the low was a seasonable 35°).  Winds were from the northeast, skies were overcast, and light showers fell throughout the day.


Two days after the high reached 71°, temperatures this afternoon were only in the upper 20s.


A heavy, wet snow fell between 9 PM on 3/21 and 4 AM this morning, accumulating 4.9".  Temperatures during the snowfall ranged from 32° to 34°.  The temperature then rose close to 50° later in the afternoon.  This was the fourth snowfall of four inches or more this winter.


One of New York's latest snowstorms dumped 9.8" thru mid-afternoon (0.8" of it fell late last night).  The day's high of 32° was 20 degrees below average.  This storm came three days after a morning low of 8°, the latest date on record for a reading in the single digits.  Additionally, in the past 45 days (since Feb. 6) 41.0" of snow fell, with accumulating snow falling on twelve of the days (including 12.5" on Feb. 7).




A hard, cold rain fell, amounting to 3.44"; most of it poured down between 10 AM-3 PM.  This was the year's biggest rainmaker until the monster storm of Nov. 6-7 that flooded the area with nine inches of rain. 


Just three days after 6.2" of snow fell, another quick moving system dropped 3.2" during the evening.  These two snow events were responsible for most of the winter's 13 inches of snow.  During this evening's snowfall, a USAir Flight 405 slid off the runway at LaGuardia Airport and landed in the waters of Long Island Sound; 27 passengers died. 


It appeared this winter was going to have the least snow on record, with just 0.5" measured.  Then a surprise five-inch snowfall occurred overnight, and the winter of 1998 ended up as the fourth least snowy (behind the winters of 1973, 1919 and 1932).  It would fall to fifth place four years later when the winter of 2002 had just 3.5", and to sixth place when the winter of 2020 had 4.8". 





Less than twelve hours after the last snowflakes from yesterday's 8.4" snowstorm fell around dawn (0.2"of it  fell after midnight), skies were clear and the temperature rose to 50°.  Although this was slightly below average, it was the mildest reading since March 1 (when the high reached 60°).  Today was also the sixteenth day in a row with below average temperatures; the last time there was a streak this long was in April 2007.


Like last year, a coastal storm impacted the area but this time it was an all-rain event.  Rain began at daybreak yesterday and continued until late this morning.  In total 1.43" fell, with about two-thirds of that amount falling last night through the pre-dawn hours today (0.75" was measured yesterday, 0.68" today).  Besides the rain, gusty winds also raked the area, with peak gusts of 35-45 mph.


Rainy day in new york


On average, relative humidity in March between 2PM and 9PM is in the 55%-60% range, but today it was between 11% and 13%.  Only four other dates in the 21st century have had lower readings (see chart below).   Skies were sunny and temperatures were above average for the ninth day in a row (high/low of 58°/43°).  This was the fifth day in the past four weeks to  have an hour or more with humidity at 25% or lower. 

Chart - 5 dates with lowest humidity









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2020 is the only year on record with 0.0" of snow from February eighth to March 22. 1878, 1886 and 2002 each had a trace of snow fall within this date range at some point.

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