Today in New York Weather History: April 15
Today in New York Weather History: April 18

A Look Back at New York City Weather: April 16



In the past six days, 4.58" of rain fell.  Today was the rainiest of the days, with 1.25" of rain measured (most which fell in the morning).  4/11 had 1.10", 4/12 had 0.89", 4/13 had 0.21", and yesterday's rainfall (which fell during the afternoon and evening), amounted to 1.13".   This rainy period accounted for 3/4 of the month's total rainfall.


This was the third day of the past six to have an inch or more of rain (and another day had 0.89").  In total, 4.30" of rain fell.


Today was just one degree below average, but it was the fifteenth day in a row with a below average mean temperature.  During this period temperatures were nearly eight degrees below average.  


It was a glorious day for a baseball game as the high reached 75°, and the Yankees beat the White Sox in their home opener on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning.




1.04" of rain fell between 1-4 AM, and 2.19" overall (including rain from last night that fell after 9:00 PM).  Most of the rain was over by 8:00 AM.  This storm's rainfall equaled the amount of precipitation (in liquid form) from the blizzard back on Jan. 7-8.


Today had the mildest reading of the month, 75°.  This was the last April with no days in the 80s, until 2014.   


Today was the start of a very early four-day heat wave: 92° today; 96° on 4/17; 91° on 4/18; and 89° on 4/19.  At the time, today's temperature was the third earliest date on record for a year's first reading in the 90s.  (I thought I was planning ahead and had my air conditioner taken out of my apartment yesterday to have it cleaned and serviced.)  Interestingly, there was a nearly identical mid-April heat wave back in 1976 that started one day later.  It also lasted four days and had the same four high temperatures, only in different order.  (To read more about 90-degree weather in April, double click here.)




After the temperature soared to 88°, twenty-seven degrees above average, a back-door cold front moved through and the temperature dropped to 51° by midnight.  Today's high wouldn't be topped for ten weeks.


After yesterday's 7.57" of rain, an additional 0.84" fell this morning.  In total, rain fell during a 36-hour period.


A nasty storm system moved in late in the afternoon, buffeting the area with 40-50 mph winds and 1.78" of rain, most of which fell today.  Nearly half of the rain poured down between 7-9 PM. 


It felt like mid-summer, as skies were sunny and the high soared to 88°.  This was the first 80-degree+ day of the year, not far from the typical day of New York's first 80.  However, it was three weeks earlier than the usual date for the first 85°+ reading.  Today was also the ninth day this year with a mean temperature 20 degrees+ above average, well above the typical number for an entire year (four).  




The morning low of 31° was the latest date for a temperature of 32° or colder since 1980, when the low was 32° on April 17.  The last time a temperature was below freezing this late was way back 1943, when the low was 30° - also on April 4/16.  Today's chilly low broke a string of six consecutive Aprils with no lows of freezing or colder, the longest streak on record.  Additionally, the dusting of snow this morning was the latest for a trace of snow since 1997. 




This was just the seventh Easter Sunday to be in the 80s (going back to 1870), and with a high of 87° it became the second warmest Easter Sunday on record (behind 1976).  Today was also the warmest reading in April since 2012, when a high of 88° occurred, also on 4/16.  Today's high came five days after the year's first reading in the 80s.


Melting chocolate bunny


A rainstorm that moved in last night continued through noon today, bringing flooding rains and winds that gusted over 40 mph.  Total rainfall was 3.29", 2.82" which poured down this morning; more than half of it (1.54") fell in the three hours between 7:30 and 10:30.  This was the greatest 24-hour rainfall in four years (since nearly five inches flooded the city on 4/30 in 2014).  As today's rain exited, the temperature jumped 14 degrees in the hour between 11:00 and noon (from 46° to 60°). 









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Ken K. in NJ

Hi. It was 31 degrees this morning (April 16). When was the last time it was below freezing this late in the season? Thanks.

Rob Frydlewicz

Ken, the last time NYC saw a temperature of 32 degrees or colder this late in April was in 1980 when it was 32 degree on 4/17. And the last time the temperature fell below 32 degrees this late was way back in 1943 when the low was 30 - also on 4/16. As far as the snow we had overnight, although it was only a "trace" (accumulation on cars and metal surfaces doesn't count), it was the latest date for a dusting since 1997, when it occurred on 4/18. The last time measurable snow fell in April was in 2006 when 0.1" fell on 4/1.

Ken K. in NJ

Thanks. Impressive, so yesterday (4/16) was the coldest for this late in the season since 1943. Not only that, with the winds, yesterday was bitter. I looked up 4/16/43 on the NYT database and the forecast for that day was "Warmer with Moderate winds" (it was 28 degrees the day before), so it seems to me that yesterday had a lower wind chill.

BTW, the low for 4/16/43 according to the NY Times was 31, not 30, but I believe that was because the "official" records were from The Battery until 1960 or 1961, when all records, even retroactively, were based on Central Park readings.

Rob Frydlewicz

Interesting comment about official site of measurement, but stats such as hottest and coldest temps for NYC both occurred before 1960 and were based on Central Park. Perhaps the Times was using a different source.

Ken K. in NJ

Rob: Just to elaborate a bit on the location for "official" NY records. Until the Winter of 1960 or 61 the official location for weather readings was The Battery. At that point the official location was moved to Central Park. Records had been kept at both places all along.

But since the official records were now from Central Park, all historical records were changed to reflect the Central Park readings rather than The Battery readings. For example NY's all time high temperature became 106 degrees instead of the 102 degrees that had been cited until then based on the Battery records. Similarly the all Time low became minus 15 instead of minus 14.

I was a kid back then, but since I was already a weather buff, I do remember the move, but I'm not sure if it was in 1960 or 1961. I do recall there were articles in the NY papers about it at the time.

Rob Frydlewicz

Ken, this is fascinating. I've seen references to various locations but I never delved into it and how it was carried out. It brings to mind when the Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian Calendar and the shifts that were required. By chance, do you know the difference in accumulation of the big snow from Dec. 1947 between the Battery and Central Park? Thanks again for expanding my knowledge base!

Ken K. in NJ

According to the NY Times of 12/27/47 (i.e. the Day After), the official measurement was 25.8 inches.

BTW, I found an article on the NY Times database from 12/60 about the impending move of the Weather Bureau uptown. It makes a brief mention of the changes in official records. Now that I've read the article I'm fairly positive the move took place in January of 1961. Here's a link:


I'm not sure if you have to be a subscriber to open the link, if you have trouble let me know and I can send it to you via E mail as a pdf file.


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