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March 2014

Comparing Weather Conditions of Yankees & Mets Home Openers (1970 - 2019)

Yankees_mets

 

In two previous posts I summarized game-day weather conditions for each Home Opener of New York's Yankees and Mets.  This post, however, brings the two teams together with a side-by-side comparison, found below, of each year's first home game, going back to 1970.  First, some key takeaways:

 

  • Looking at average high temperature, there has been a three-degree difference between the home openers of the Mets (59°) and Yankees (56°).  For the Yankees it's ranged from 35° (twice) to 76°, while for the Mets the temperature range has been from 40° to 90° (twice).  However, over the five decades, there has been a shift.  In the '70s and '80s home openers of the Yankees were five degrees warmer than those of the Mets (60° vs. 55°), but the last three decades home openers were in favor of the Mets (61° vs. 53°)  
  • Both teams have had to contend with precipitation during six of their home openers, about once every seven or eight years.  The Yankees, however, are the only team to play in snow.  It's happened three time, in 1982, 1996 and in 2003 (the 1982 opener was postponed because of a blizzard that dumped nearly ten inches of snow.)  For the Mets, snow fell during the morning on the day of their 1974 home opener but it was over long before the first pitch.

 

Snow_yankee_stadium 

 

  • Temperatures have been in the 70s for the Yankees six times; they all occurred between 1976 and 1988.  The Mets had the last home opener with temperatures in the 70s, back in 2010. 
  • The 1970s was a decade of cold home openers for the Mets.  Afternoon temperatures were in the 40s for seven of them between 1970 and 1978.  The Yankees had consistently chilly/raw conditions between 1996-2005.
  • There have been six seasons in which the two teams' home openers were played in very different weather conditions.  The greatest contrast was in 1977 when the temperature was in the mid-40s for the Yankees while the mercury climbed to 90° for the Mets five days later.  Not far behind was 1991 when the Mets once again started the season on a day the temperature soared to 90°; a week later the Yankees home opener was played in rainy conditions with a temperature of 50°.

 

Hot.cold

  • Six seasons have had home openers with bad weather for both teams while five had good conditions for both, the most recent being last year (when both teams played on the same day, April 1).

 

 
Mets_yanks 1970_1989
 Mets_yanks 1990-_2019

 

 

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Weather Analysis: The First 60-Degree+ Reading of the Year

60

 

There are a number of ways to gauge how cold a winter has been: mean temperature; the number of days with sub-freezing highs or single-digit lows; streaks of days with below average temperatures; or a dearth of mild readings.  For instance, after the brutal winter of 2015 New York didn't experience its first 60-degree day until March 26.  That's more than seven weeks later than the average date for this occurrence (Feb. 3) - and the latest date since 1982.  Here are more interesting tidbits about the first reading of 60+:

 

  • In the 19th century (1869-1899) the average date of the first 60+ reading in Central Park was March 8, and then between 1900-1970 the average date moved up to Feb. 23.  Since 1970 the average date has been three weeks earlier.
  • Between 1900-1970 the first 60+ day occurred on March 1 or later in half of the years, but since 1971 it has occurred after March 1 just 20% of the time.
  • Since 1900 the first 60-degree day has occurred on New Year's Day five times: 1919, 1966, 1973, 1979 and 2005.  (In 1966 the year's first 60+ reading followed 1965's last 60+ reading on New Year's Eve.)
  • Looking at all years the latest date for the first 60+ reading was April 15, in 1877.  And nine other years had their first reading in the 60s between April 5 and April 13 (see chart below); the most recent year to have a date that late in 1970 (April 8). 
  • Once every 10 years the first 60+ reading has occurred in the first three days of January, while once every 23 years the first 60 occurred on April 1 or later.
  • In 2007, not only was the first 60-degree reading of the year very early (Jan. 5), it was followed the next day by the year's first high in the 70s (72°), the earliest ever. 
  • In 1997 and 1998 the first 60+ temperature occurred on the same date, a very early Jan. 3.  And 1906 and 1907 had their first 60s on Jan. 4 while 2017's and 2018's  was on Jan. 12 (in 2020 it fell on Jan. 11).  At the other end of the spectrum, 1962 and 1963 both shared March 25 as the date of their first 60.
  • For four years in a row, 2005-2008, the first 60-degree reading occurred in the first nine days of the year.
  • In 1943 the year's first 60-degree temperature, 63°, came just five days after the morning low was 8° below zero.
  • The coldest temperature to occur on the same day as the first reading of 60+ was in the winter of 1957 when an Arctic front knocked the temperature down to 20° after the mercury reached 60° earlier in the day (on Jan. 23).
  • The biggest jump in temperature from the day before the first 60+ reading was 25 degrees, in 1954, when the high jumped from 44° to 69° the next day.  The biggest increase in temperature the day following the first 60+ was 21 degrees, and it happened in 1917, when the high reading the day after rose to 83°.  Lastly, the biggest drop in temperature after the first 60+ was 33 degrees and it happened in three years: 1957 (from 60° to 27°); in 1939 (62° to 29°); and in 1913 (63° to 30°).
  • The date of the first 60+ reading in five years was also the date of the first 70+ reading: in 1987 (March 7); 1969 (March 18); 1964 (March 5); 1963 (March 25) and 1893 (April 1).  Nine other years had their first 70+ reading the day after the first 60+, the last time being in 2007.

 Chart - earliest_latest first 60s


New York's Snowiest 30-Day Periods

Snowy.street

 

In the winter of 2010 New York experienced its snowiest month of all time when 36.9" of snow fell in February.  Then, the following winter, January 2011 had 36.0", making it the second snowiest month on record.  Although these are the record amounts for calendar months, there has been a 30-day period that crossed months that had more snow - during the winter of 2014, when, from Jan. 20 thru Feb. 18, 42.1" of snow piled up.  Here are some additional points of interest:

 

  • The winter of 1914 also had a hefty 30-day period of snow as 35.2" fell between Feb. 10 and March 11.
  • Although not large enough to make the top-10 list below, the 25.3" of snow that fell between March 12 and April 8, 1956 is worth noting because of its late date.
  • In the winter of 1923, 26.4" of snow fell between Jan. 3 and Feb. 2 and then four days later another 30-day period of excessive snow began, with 26.1" falling between Feb. 6 and March 7.
  • Three winters had overlapping 30-day periods of excessive snowfall (30 inches or more).  The winter of 1948 had three while the winters of 2011 and 2014 each had two.  In these cases only the period with the largest amount is included in the top-10 chart. 

 

MOST SNOW TO FALL IN 30 DAYS
(Since Winter of 1902)
    # of
Snowfall Dates Snowfalls
42.1" Jan 21 - Feb 19, 2014 9
38.2" Jan 28 - Feb 26, 2010 5
37.9" Dec 26, 1947 - Jan 24, 1948 6
37.6" Jan 7 - Feb 5, 2011 7
36.0" Jan 13 - Feb 11, 1978 4
35.2" Feb 10 - March 11, 1914 7
34.1" Jan 15 - Feb 13, 1961 5
33.0" Dec 19, 1995 - Jan 17, 1996 6
30.8" Dec 15, 1948 - Jan 13, 1949 3
29.6" Jan 26 - Feb 24, 1994 6
(Analysis of NOAA's monthly Local Climatological Data reports)