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2016 Weather Highlights

 2016

JANUARY

2 - With a high/low of 40°/32°, today's mean temperature was the coldest in more than nine months, since late March.  And the morning low was the first to fall to 32° since November (on 11/24).  Still, the day's mean temperature was three degrees above average, making this the 33rd day in a row with above average temperatures - the longest such streak on record.  The previous record occurred in December/January 2007. 

4 - Winter finally tried to assert itself as temperatures fell through the day, from 37° to 15°.  Gusty winds at night produced a wind chill around zero degrees.  This cold sweep of Arctic air broke a 34-day streak of above average mean temperatures that began on Dec. 1.

10 - A record amount of rain fell, with much of it falling between 4-10 AM.  The 1.80" that was measured in Central Park was a record for the date, topping the old record from way back in 1881 by 0.08".  Besides the rain, temperatures were very mild as the high reached 59° degrees in the early afternoon.

17 - Snow showers during the afternoon brought the first accumulating snow of the winter, which amounted to 0.4".  This was about one month later than the average date of New York's first snowfall, and the sixth latest date on record.  (All of the other dates occurred between 1966 and 2007.)

23 - A blizzard of epic proportions dumped 27.5" of snow and stopped the City.  Starting late last night, snow and strong winds (peak gust at Central Park was 42 mph) lasted for 24 hours.  This accumulation was the greatest on record, surpassing the 26.9" that fell ten years earlier on Feb. 11-12 - and was more than double the amount predicted as the storm's snow shield moved further north than expected (snowfall amounts of 20" to 30" extended from DC northeastward to the NYC metropolitan area).  The City instituted a traffic ban on all streets; all Broadway shows cancelled their performances.  (At the time of the storm it was reported that 26.8" had fallen but at the end of April the National Weather Service revised the amount upward by 0.7".)

 

FEBRUARY

4 - This was the third day of the past four to have a high temperature of 59° (19 degrees above average).  The high on each day, though, occurred at a different time of the day.  On Feb. 1 it was reached in the early afternoon, on the 3rd it happened at 9:30 PM and today it occurred just before daybreak.

5 - Rain in the overnight hours changed to snow in the wee hours of the morning and accumulated 2.5" by the time it ended shortly before 11 AM.  This would be the biggest snowfall of the month.

13 - The coldest air of the winter moved in and the temperature fell slowly through the day, from low 20s shortly after midnight to the single digits by 8 PM.  Wind chills by evening were between -5° and -15°.  The was the second year in a row to have a low in the single digits on this date.

14 - The morning low of 1° below zero broke the record from 100 years ago.  This was the first below zero reading since January 1994; the first sub-zero reading in February since 1963; and the latest date for such a frigid reading since 1934.  Until today the coldest temperature this century was 1° above zero, which occurred twice in the winter of 2004.  Later today a second record was set as the high of 15° was the coldest for the date.  The day's mean temperature was 28 degrees below average, the most below mean temperature in New York in the years since 1950.  Finally, this would be the last day this winter with a high of 32° or colder.

16 - Just two days after a record low, and one day after 1.4" of snow fell, today's temperature jumped to 54° as a storm system moved up from the southeast.  It brought occasional downpours (1.01" of rain fell) and culminated in a squall line that moved through at around 2:30 in the afternoon, with winds gusting between 40 and 50 mph. 

20 - After four near-misses on 1/10, 2/1, 2/2 and 2/4, when the highs reached 59°, today saw the year's first reading of 60°+.  Although this was 18 days later than the average date for the first 60, it was far earlier than last year when it occurred on 3/26, and on 3/11 the year before that.  Today's high was 62 degrees above the AM low of -1° six days ago.

 

MARCH

9 - It was a day in which coats or jackets weren't required as the temperature soared to 77°.  Not only was this a record for the date, it was also the earliest date for a reading this warm.  (The earliest 75-degree days occurred in late February of 1930 and 1985 and there was a high of 76° on March 8, 1987.)  Today's high, reached at 2 PM, was a 33-degree jump from the AM low set just seven hours earlier (the biggest daily temperature change in more than two years).  And while the temperature in Newark warmed to 82° (its earliest 80-degree reading on record), the temperature got no higher than 61° at JFK Airport due to a breeze off the ocean. 

10 - For the second day in a row the area basked in record-breaking warmth (but today saw more clouds than yesterday).  Today's high/low of 79°/63° was 31 degrees above average and was comparable to temperatures in mid-June.  Central Park was one degree shy of having its first 80-degree reading in March since 1998 and the earliest 80-degree reading ever (the record is March 13).   

11 - Although today's afternoon temperatures in the mid-60s were well above the average high of 48°, it felt like a brisk October day after the previous two days' highs in the upper 70s.

21 - After beginning as light rain late last night, the last snowfall of the season fell in the wee hours of the morning, accumulating 0.5".  This snow brought the winter's total snowfall to 32.8".  Although this was above average, all but 5.3" came from the big blizzard of 1/23.

28 - Although it was just 0.38", the rain that fell this morning (as a cold front approached) made this the rainiest day of the month.  (Between Feb. 25 and yesterday, a span of 32 days, less than an inch of rain fell.)  Then late in the afternoon very high winds began buffeting the area with gusts between 40 and 60 mph that continued overnight.

31 - The fourth mildest March on record came to a fitting end as the temperature this afternoon rose into the low 70s.  This was the fifth day this month in the 70s (and seven other days had highs in the 60s).  Besides being mild it was also the sixth driest March, with just 1.17" measured - the driest month in two-and-a-half years, since 0.39" was measured in October 2013.

 

APRIL

1 - Today felt like a day in early summer as the air felt a bit sticky and the high/low was a warm 79°/61°, which was more typical of the second week in June.  After a mostly cloudy morning the sun broke through in the afternoon and this made for balmy conditions.  Despite today's unseasonably warm temperatures, March 10, with a high/low of 79°/63°, had a higher mean temperature (which was 31 degrees above average). 

2 - Afternoon temperatures were in the seasonable mid-50s but this was a 25-degree drop from yesterday's June-like warmth. (Perhaps it was Mother Nature's April Fools prank?)

4 - Raw and rainy with afternoon temperatures in the chilly mid-40s (0.47" of rain fell).  These poor conditions forced postponement of the Yankees home opener - their first Opening Day rain out since 2008.  While New York was too warm for snow, four to six inches of snow fell in Connecticut, Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts. 

5 - After experiencing June-like warmth on 4/1 (high/low of 79°/61°), today's temperatures were more like those of mid-February.  This morning's low of 26° was the coldest temperature since 3/3 - and the coldest reading in April since 1995.  And after being rained out yesterday the Yankees played their rescheduled home opener today in the chilliest conditions since Opening Day 2003.

12 - Although rain fell during nine of the month's first twelve days, it amounted to just 1.16".  Today, showers fell in the pre-dawn hours, amounting to 0.20".  Then skies cleared, making this the first day of a two-week stretch in which every afternoon had either sunny or clear skies and unusually low humidity. 

18 - For the second year in a row this date had the first 80-degree reading of the year.  This was also the sixth day in a row with mostly clear skies and very low humidity.  In fact, today's relative humidity was below 20% from 11AM until 5PM and dropped to as low as 13% - the lowest its been since March 12 of last year when it dropped to 12%.

20 - Today was the seventh day in a row with clear skies and unusually dry conditions, with relative humidity in the 10% to 20% range during the afternoon and early evening (normal is in the low 40-45% range).  And today saw the lowest humidity level of all the days when it bottomed out at 9% at 6 PM. 

22 - After experiencing very low humidity the previous eight days, today felt oppressive as the humidity jumped to 50% with the approach of a frontal system that produced showers after midnight.  It was also very mild, with a high/low of 79°/62°, sixteen degrees warmer than average.

28 - Three months after a blizzard stopped the City with 26.8" of snow (0.1" shy of the all-time record), the National Weather Service today announced that it had revised the total upward to 27.5", making this New York's biggest snowstorm of all time.

 

MAY

3 - The 0.61" of rain the fell today, mostly before daybreak, made this the rainiest day in ten weeks (since 1.21" fell on 2/24).

6 - Today was the sixth day in a row with overcast skies (more than we had in the entire month of April) and raw conditions.  It was also the 11th day in a row in which temperatures were below average, the longest such streak since last year's bitterly cold February.  (I was asked to comment about this chilly/damp start to May on this evening's 5:00 and 6:00 newscasts on PIX11.)

8 - After having highs of 70° or warmer during the previous five Mother's Days (four which were in the 74°-83° range), today's fell back to a cooler than average 65°, which made it the chilliest MD since 2010 (when the high was only 52°).  However, after a period of rain around daybreak the sun broke through late in the morning and the afternoon was nice and sunny, breaking a week-long streak of overcast skies.  And although today's high temperature was four degrees below average, this was the warmest reading since 4/25.

9 - For the first time since 4/23 the temperature rose into the 70s.  And with a high/low of 72°/53° today ended a thirteen-day streak with below average temperatures.  During these days the average high/low was 59°/47°, which was five degrees below average (however, the high was eight below average while the low was just three below average).

26 - Under sunny skies the temperature reached 90°, the year's first 90.  It came the day before the average date of the first occurrence of this temperature.  However, because afternoon humidity was around 25% the "feels-like" temperature was 86°.  Interestingly, last May, which was the second warmest on record had eighteen days in the 80s (including ten between 85° and 88°), but not one 90-degree reading.

29 - Today was the fifth day in a row with a high temperature of 87° or warmer and a mean temperature that was ten degrees or more above average (two days were in the 90s).  Temperatures during this five-day period were 14 degrees above average.

30 - Moisture from tropical storm Bonnie produced a few periods of heavy rain before 9AM that amounted to 1.65", making this the second rainiest Memorial Day on record (rainiest was in 1948 when 2.49" fell).  This amount was more than what fell in March (1.17") or April (1.61"), and was the most precipitation from one storm since the big blizzard on 1/23 (when 2.37" of liquid was measured).  Despite this impressive amount the area was spared more heavy rain in the afternoon, which stayed offshore.  As a result the sun broke through and temperature rose into the low 80s, making this the tenth Memorial Day of the last eleven to have a high in the 80s. 

31- Sunny and warm with a high of 85°, the seventh day in a row with temperatures in the 80s.  This was in stark contrast to the first week of May, which was characterized by overcast skies and cool temperatures.  The average high that first week was 57° (12 degrees below average) while the average high during the last week of the month was 87° (13 degrees above average).

 

JUNE

8 - Strong storms moved through during lunchtime and by the time the rain was over, at around 2:30, the temperature had fallen to 52° - the chilliest reading in two-and-a-half weeks (typical mid-afternoon temperature this time of the month is 77°).  However by early evening the temperature, although still cool, had recovered to 60°.

19 - It was a beautiful, beautiful Father's Day, with a high/low of 88°/66° under deep blue skies.

26 - Gay Pride Day had similar conditions as Father's Day, with a high/low of 87°/67°.

 

JULY

2 - Today's low of 63° would be the coolest reading in July, making this the seventh year in a row in which July had no lows in the 50s.  This was a new record, breaking a tie with a six-year stretch from 1966 to 1971.  (And the streak has continued through 2020.)

3 - This was the third day in a row with highs in the pleasant 70s, the first time since 1960 that the first three days of July had highs below 80°.  The average high for July 1-3 is 83°.

4 - It was seasonably warm and skies partly cloudy until after 5:00 when clouds moved in, then light showers began around 8:00.  However, despite the rain Macy's fireworks extravaganza went off as planned as steadier rain held off until after 10:00 and then about an inch fell through 4 AM on 7/5.  (The 0.49" that fell before midnight was the most to fall on 7/4 since 1981.)

14 - The air was thick with humidity and the dew point was in the 70s all day.  Although the temperature failed to reach 90° (the high was 88°), the wicked humidity produced heat indexes in the mid-90s.  Some relief came when a strong, but brief, thunderstorm moved through between 4:00 and 4:30 PM, dumping 0.62" of rain in about 15 minutes.  However, it didn't dissipate the humidity as the dew point rose to an unbearable 76° around 7 PM.

15 - In the past 100 years there have been 32 days with lows of 79°, with the average high on these days being 96°. Today's low was also 79°.  However, with a high of 88°, it joined July 26, 1979 (high of 87°) as the only two days with lows of 77°+ not to have a high in the 90s.

18 - Today's high reached 93° on the date most likely to experience a high in the 90s.  This was the 44th year in which a 90-degree reading occurred (since 1870).

23 - The high/low of 96°/80° made this the hottest day of the year (until 8/13).  However, because the humidity was low (around 30% mid-afternoon) the "feels like" temperature was a few degrees lower than the air temperature. 

28 - With a high of 95°, this was the seventh day of the past eight to see a high in the 90s (the one day not to have a high in the 90s, 7/26, had a high of 89°).  The average high during these eight days was 93°.  Today was also the 13th day of the past fifteen to have a high of 88° or hotter.

31 - For the third time in the final week of July an inch or more of rain fell.  Almost all of it (0.77") fell in a five-minute period between 8:39 and 8:44 PM - the greatest five-minute total in the years since 1970.  Today's rain brought July's total to 7.02", making this the rainiest month since April 2014.  And it was also the wettest July since 2009 (when 7.11" fell).

 

AUGUST

11 - The air was thick with humidity, and for the second day in a row the dew point peaked at a very oppressive 77° (today's occurred during the evening, yesterday's was during mid-afternoon).  Combined with today's high of 91° the heat index reached 102°.  Additionally, today's dew point was 74° or warmer between 8 AM and 8 PM.

12 - For the the third day in a row the metro area suffered through sauna-like humidity, with each day more uncomfortable than the previous.  Today's high of 93°, combined with a dew point that was at 78° in the early afternoon, produced a heat index of 105°.  For six consecutive hours the heat index was 100°+ and the dew point was 74° or higher for 12 hours in a row.  The last time the dew point was below 70° was late on 8/9.

13 - Today's high was 96° and the heat index reached an inferno-like 110°.  By comparison, on 7/23 the high also reached 96° but because the humidity was at comfortable levels the heat index was two degrees below the air temperature.  Additionally, today's record of 99°, set in 2005, occurred in lower humidity than today, and its "feels like" temperature was 105°.  With a high/low of 96/81, today's mean temperature was the hottest of the year (0.5 degrees hotter than 7/23).

15 - Today was the fifth day in a row with a high in the 90s, making this the second five-day heat wave of the summer.  Although this summer was far from the hottest, the last time NYC had two heat waves of five days or more in one summer was in 2002.  That summer had heat waves of eight and nine days that were separated by six days.  New York's hottest summer, in 2010, had six heat waves: three that were three days in length, two that were four days and one that lasted five days.

16 - Today was the first time since Aug. 15, 1908 that the high didn't reach 90° or hotter after the day started with a low of 78°.  This was also the fourth day in a row in which the low was 77° or warmer (tomorrow would be the fifth).

21 - This was the tenth day of the past twelve to have measurable rain (and the sixth day in a row).  A quick downpour occurred around 8:30 AM and there was a period of light showers between 4:00 and 7:00 associated with a cold front.  The total rainfall from these ten days of rain was modest, 1.90".  Incredibly, with today's rain the year's total precipitation reached 26.92", which was the exact amount that had fallen last year thru 8/21!

22 - After two weeks of oppressive conditions relief arrived overnight and the daytime had pleasant temperatures (upper 70s) and low humidity under clear blue skies.  The day's high/low of 79°/65° ended three streaks: 1) a 16-day streak of lows in the 70s; 2) a 19-day streak of high temperatures of 80+; and 3) a 16-day streak with above average mean temperatures (the longest above-average streak since one of 34 days in Dec. 2015-Jan. 2016).

23 - The morning low was a refreshing 61°, six degrees below average and the "chilliest" reading since June 18.  This was in contrast to an average low of 75° between Aug. 10-21.

 

SEPTEMBER

5 - Today was Labor Day and the high of 84° was the same as 4th of July and two degrees warmer than Memorial Day.  This was just the third year since 1970 in which the three summer holidays had similar highs.

9 - It was hot and humid with a high of 91°, the 20th 90-degree day of the year - which was the same date as last year's 20th 90-degree day.  The low this morning was just 81° which, if it held for the rest of the day, would have been the first time for an 80-degree low in September.  However, after showers moved in after 10 PM, the temperature tumbled from 85° to 75° before midnight.

10 - Today was hot and humid with dew points in the low 70s, producing a mid-afternoon heat index of 101°.  Today's high of 90° was the twenty-first 90-degree reading of the year - the most since 2010 (the hottest summer on record). 

14 - Today's high reached 91°, the latest date for a 90-degree reading since 1995 (when the date was also 9/14).  Half of this year's twenty-two 90-degree highs were either 90° or 91°; only three were 95° or hotter.  Today's heat was brought to heel by a brief thunderstorm that struck around 5 PM and dumped 0.56" of rain in about an hour. 

17 - This morning's low of 59° was the first cooler than 60° since June 14, making this the second longest period on record without any lows in the 50s (94 days, compared to 103 days in the summer of 1996).

30 - It was a gray day, with persistent drizzle and winds out of the northeast.  These conditions kept the temperature in the upper 50s all day.  The high of 59° (eleven degrees below average) was the first high in the 50s in September in fifteen years.

 

OCTOBER

17 - After nine days in a row with highs in the seasonable 60s, today's high jumped to 81°, the first 80-degree reading since 9/23, and the first reading in the 80s in October in three years.  This was also the 100th day this year to have a high of 80° or warmer, just the seventh year to reach this threshold.  It came one year after the record for the most 80-degree days was set, 114.

18 - For the second day in a row it was sunny with a high of 81°, making this the first October since 1979 to have two 80-degree days after 10/15.  (Average high on this day is 63°.)

19 - Today's high reached 85°, a record for the date, and the third day in a row with a high in the 80s.  With this streak, this October became just the third in the past 100 years to have three 80-degree days after 10/15, joining 1963 (which had five) and 1947 (which had four).

 

NOVEMBER

6 - Conditions were nearly perfect for the running of the NYC Marathon, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s for the bulk of the race (thru late afternoon).  Breezy conditions (20-25 mph gusts) was the only fly in the ointment.

8 - Today's high of 66° was the mildest reading on a Presidential Election Day since 1940.  Ranked by high temperature, this tied it for fourth place (going back to 1872), but ranked by mean temperature it fell to tenth because of a chilly low of 41°.  By contrast, the previous presidential election was the chilliest on record, with a high/low of 41°/30°.

15 - Heavy rain that fell mostly between 7 AM and 1 PM amounted to 1.81".  This was the most precipitation to fall in one day since the record-setting blizzard on Jan. 23 (which produced 2.31" of liquid).  It was also the biggest rainstorm of the year, beating Jan. 10 by 0.01".  The last time more rain fell was on July 30, 2015 when 1.95" fell during afternoon thunderstorms.

29 - It was a mild (high of 60°) and rainy day.  The 2.20" that fell, in the twelve-hour period between 9 AM and 9 PM, was a record for the date.  No day in the last ten days of November has ever had this much rain.  Today's amount was the most in a 24-hour period since Dec. 9, 2014.  With today's two+ inches this became the wettest November in ten years (when 7.34" fell in 2006). 

 

DECEMBER

9 - The season's first 32° reading was reached this evening, three weeks later than average, and the fifth latest date on record. (Six of the occurrences on Dec. 1 or later have been since 2001.)  Today, with a high/low of 40°/30°, was also the first day in two weeks with a colder than average mean temperature.

11 - The first measurable snow of the winter fell this evening as 0.4" accumulated.  This was the same amount as last winter's first snowfall (which didn't occur until Jan. 17).  Today's high/low of 35°/28° was the same as yesterday's.

16 - This morning's low of 17° was the coldest reading in December in seven years.  And with a high/low of 27°/17° (fifteen degrees below average), today was the first completely below-freeing day since Feb. 14, when the high/low was a frigid 15°/-1°.

17 - Six days after the first measurable snow of the winter, today saw the first snowfall of one inch or more as 2.8" accumulated between 4-8 AM.  Then it changed to sleet and freezing rain, all of which was over by noon.  (By contrast, last winter's first one-inch snowfall wasn't until 1/23 - the blizzard that buried the City under its biggest snowfall on record.)

25 - At 43° today's mean temperature (eight degrees above average) was identical to that of Thanksgiving Day (one degree above average).  However, the high/low were slightly different, with today's high of 50° two degrees warmer than Thanksgiving Day and the low of 36° two degrees colder.

 

Chart - 2016 hottest and coldest

 

To read highlights from other years between 1970 and 2019 double click here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

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William

January had five days of measurable precipitation. this was the second fewest number of such days of any January on record. only two Januarys have had fewer (they both had four), 1896 and 1981. however, despite this, this January is far from the top ten driest on record because there were two days in which over an inch and a half of precipitation fell.

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