Comparing Weather Conditions of Summer's Three Big Holidays
Previously, I've published separate posts about weather conditions over the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends and for the 4th of July. This post compares the three side-by-side, looking at them as single-day holidays (i.e., the Mondays of Memorial Day and Labor Day, and the 4th of July) for each year going back to 1970 (thru 2022).
Because of where they fall on the calendar, you'd expect the 4th of July to be the warmest of the three holidays and Memorial Day the coolest, but that's happened in just one-third of the summers. (On average, the high on Memorial Day is 75°, on 4th of July it's 84°, and 81° on Labor Day.) Memorial Day has actually been the warmest of the three holidays in five of the years (the last time was in 2014; and tied with 4th of July in two other years), while in fifteen years Labor Day was the warmest (including 2021 and 2022; and tied with 4th of July in two other years). And July 4th had the coolest high temperature in six years (most recently in 2014 and 2015).
|YEARS IN WHICH MEMORIAL DAY WAS THE WARMEST SUMMER HOLIDAY|
|Mem Day||4th of July||Labor Day|
|YEARS IN WHICH 4TH OF JULY WAS COOLEST SUMMER HOLIDAY|
|Mem Day||4th of July||Labor Day|
The summer of 1999 has the distinction of having the warmest three-holiday average temperature, 10 degrees above average, while the summer of 1982 was the coolest, eight degrees below average (with 1992 close behind, at 7.5 degrees below average).
|WARMEST 3-HOLIDAY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE|
|Summer of 1999|
|4th of July||96||79||87.5|
|COOLEST 3-HOLIDAY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE|
|Summer of 1982|
|4th of July||77||60||68.5|
The holidays during four summers - 1972, 1986, and 2016 had nearly the same high temperatures. In 1972 the high was 78° on Memorial Day, 79° on 4th of July and 77° on Labor Day, while in 1986 the highs were similar to 1972's, but in a different order (76-77-78). And 2016's were all in the 80s, with a high of 82° on Memorial Day and 84° on both July 4 and Labor Day. On the flip side, the greatest variations in high temperatures occurred in the summers of 1974 (55-95-73) and 2003 (56-92-69).
In the years covered by this analysis there has never been a summer in which all three holidays had highs in the 90s. In fact, there has been only one year, 1983, in which two of the three holidays had 90-degree readings (95° on 4th of July, 91° on Labor Day). Looking at cool temperatures, three summers saw all three holidays fail to reach 80° (1972, 1986 and 2001).
Labor Day 1986 has the distinction of having the "coolest" high temperature that was the warmest reading of the summer holidays of any year - 78°. And in 1972 and 2001 the warmest reading of the three holidays was 79° on 4th of July in both years.
Fifteen summers (i.e., about one out of four) were rain-free across all three holidays. The last time this happened was in 2021. Conversely, just three years saw rain on each holiday, in 1979, 1984, and 1998. Although in 1984, the 4th of July had just 0.01", but the other two holidays picked up ore than an inch.
I believe in 2007 Columbus Day was warmer than all three summer holidays. Wasn't there a period of time when there was a string of several warm Columbus Day's in a row?
Posted by: Mark Chelchowski | 12/03/2016 at 02:38 PM
Hi Mark, that's a great observation. Yes, the Monday-holiday Columbus Day that year (10/8) was very warm, with a high/low of 87/67 (18 degrees above average). And that high was a record for the date. FYI, the high/low on the original Columbus Day, 10/11, was 67/59. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
Posted by: Rob | 12/03/2016 at 03:53 PM