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Days of 95 Degrees+ and "Super" Heat Waves

Weather Highlights of the 'Roaring Twenties' (1920-1929)

 

Roaring twenties

 

In this post I've compiled more than 100 weather events from the 1920s, grouped by year, that captured my attention.  But before proceeding to each year, here is a summary of the most noteworthy occurrences by season:

 

WINTER - The decade began with one of the coldest winters on record as well as the decade's most ferocious winter storm, a 72-hour onslaught of snow (17.5"), sleet and high winds that crippled the City in February 1920; the winter of 1923 was New York's snowiest until the winter of 1947; January 1925 became the snowiest January on record (at the time), followed next winter by the snowiest February (which featured two blizzards of 10"+ less than a week apart).   

SPRING - The first 80-degree reading in March was recorded in 1921; a week later the greatest one-hour, daily and 24-hour drops in temperature occurred; the coldest reading ever reported in April, as well as on Easter Sunday, took place in 1923.  

SUMMER - The first week of June 1925 had one of the most scorching early-season heat waves on record; the only triple-digit readings of the decade occurred on consecutive days in July 1926; August 1927 became the coolest August on record (which contributed to the summer being the second coolest); 1929 experienced the second driest summer on record; unlike the 1930s, '40s and '50s, no notable tropical storms or hurricanes buffeted the area during the decade. 

AUTUMN - 1921 featured the only September that was warmer than August; the City's longest dry spell lasted 36 days in October-November 1924; the first 90-degree reading in October occurred in 1927; the coldest day in November happened in 1929.

 

-1920-

January 16 - Beginning today, when 1.9" of snow fell during the evening, and continuing for the next seven weeks (thru March 4), at least one inch of snow would be on the ground in Central Park.  Today was also frigidly cold, with a high/low of only 14°/7°.

January 27 - After twelve of the past thirteen day had highs of 32° or colder (the average high was 26°), today's high jumped to 51°, which was the first reading of 50+ in six weeks.

January 31 - In less than 24 hours the temperature dropped from 41°, at 4 PM yesterday, to zero degrees this morning at 10 AM.  Temperatures were in the single digits or colder for 31 consecutive hours - and between +1° and -2° (on 2/1) for 17 consecutive hours.  This was also the tenth day this month to have a low in the single digits or colder - the most of any January (a mark that still stands). 

February 4-7 - One of New York's most extended onslaughts of winter weather of all time brought 72 hours of snow, sleet and freezing rain (beginning after 2 AM on 2/4 and ending around dawn on 2/7).  During this punishing storm, 4.41" of liquid precipitation fell, 17.5" of it in the form of snow (five to six inches of snow fell on 2/4, 2/5 and 2/6); the rest was sleet and freezing rain.  For much of the storm temperatures were in the 20s, and with winds gusting between 35 and 45 mph, the wind chill was in the single digits.

 

Snowy street in nyc in 1920   

 

June 11 - Today's high of 94° came the day after the low was 55°.

June 30 - The day's low temperature of 68° was the mildest minimum reading of the month.   July would also have no lows of 70+, the second and last July to have that distinction (the first was in 1888).  1920's first low in the 70s wouldn't be until 8/9.

July 9 - The high today was 84° and followed three days that had highs of 83° (yesterday), 82° and 81°. 

August 4 - For the fourth day in a row the high was 80°.

August 9 - Today had the year's first low in the 70s, the latest date on record for this occurrence (the typical date is in the first week of June). Not surprisingly, 1920 had the second fewest days with lows of 70+, eight (later tied by 1962), one more than 1920.  This compared to the average number of 30 (in the 50 years before 1920).

August 17 - Today had the last 70-degree low of the year, just nine days after the first 70-degree low was recorded - the shortest span on record between first and last.  During this brief span, eight of the nine days had lows in the 70s.

December 25 - Today had the winter's first high of 32° or colder (there was no white Christmas, but the winter's first measurable snowfall would arrive tomorrow evening).

 

1921-1921-1921

February 20 - The winter's biggest snowfall amounted to 12.5".  Beginning shortly after midnight as rain, it quickly changed over to snow after 1 AM and continued until early evening; it was a very wet snow, with 2.68" of liquid precipitation measured.  Winds gusted to 41 mph.  The temperature fell slowly through the day, from 35° to 22° (on the way to 14° by daybreak on the 21st).

March 21 - New York had its first reading in the 80s in the month of March, as the high reached 84° shortly after 2 PM.  But then a strong cold front passed through around 3 PM, and by daybreak on 3/22 the temperature had fallen to 37°.  Winds gusted to 35 mph during the evening.  Another reading in the 80s would occur one week later.

 

80degrees

 

March 28 - After the temperature jumped from 49° to 82° between 5 AM and 2 PM, New York experienced its greatest one-hour drop in temperature when it plummeted 29 degrees between 4:00 and 5:00, from 81° to 52°.  The strong cold front that ushered in this cold air was accompanied by winds that gusted between 35 and 45 mph.  By midnight the temperature was down to 34°.  This 48-degree plunge is the greatest daily temperature drop on record.  And when the mercury bottomed out at 26° the next morning at 6 AM, the drop in temperature was 56 degrees in sixteen hours.

 

Arrow.down

 

April 6 - For the third day in a row the high reached the upper 70s at a time when the average high is in the mid-50s.

April 28 - With a high of 72°, this was the 13th day this month with a high of 70° or warmer, the most on any April on record (April 1941 and April 1977 had 12 such days).  This April would be the warmest on record until 1941 (it's now ranked sixth).

July 28 - The high today was 94°, and followed three days that had highs of 93° (yesterday), 92° and 91°. 

September 3 - Today's high of 96° was the hottest reading of the year, topping three other days that had highs of 95°.  This was also the last 90-degree day of the summer.  In total there were 15 days in the 90s, three more than average (1890-1920 period).

September 24 - This morning's (and 9/19's) low of 56° was the coolest reading of the month.  (The coolest reading in September is typically in the upper 40s.)  August had a cooler reading than September (55°).  Not surprisingly, this was, at the time, the third warmest September on record (now ranked eighth).

September 30 - This September stands out for being the only one that was warmer than August.  In keeping with the warm conditions, today's high was 87°, then a severe thunderstorm between 4:00 and 5:00 dumped a little more than an inch of rain, and winds gusted to 40 mph.

Unique 

November 19 - This was the second day in a row with a high in the low 70s, about twenty degrees warmer than average.  This followed an extended period earlier in the month (11/4-16) with highs in the 40s, about ten degrees chillier than average. 

December 30 - For the second day this month the temperature dropped to 7° (the first time was on 12/22).

 

1922-1922-1922

January 26 - This was the fourth day in a row with a high of either 21° or 22°.  And three of the four days had lows in the single digits.  Although there were colder days this winter, this was the most sustained stretch of Arctic cold.  However, there was no snowfall.  

January 28-29 - New York was on the northern fringe of a winter storm that became known as the "Knickerbocker Snowstorm" after the roof a movie theater by that name in Washington, DC collapsed from the weight of snow the night of 1/28, killing 98 moviegoers.  And although New York escaped the paralyzing amounts of snow that piled up in Virginia, DC, Maryland and southeastern PA (6.5" fell in Central Park, the biggest snowfall of the winter), gale force winds clocked at between 35 and 50 mph howled for nearly 24 hours, beginning mid-day on the 28th (earlier in the month a nor'easter on 1/11 produced a peak wind gust of 54 mph).  Temperatures throughout the storm were in the 29° to 31° range, with chills in the low teens.

 

New york city winter scene 1920s

(60 years later, on Jan. 13, 1982, another DC-based disaster was tied to a winter storm when a plane crashed after it failed to gain sufficient altitude due to the weight of ice on its wings. That storm brought nearly six inches of snow to New York.)   

February 17 - There were ten days with lows colder than 10° this winter, but today was the only one with a reading that was below zero (-2°).  This tied Feb. 17, 1896 as the second latest date for a sub-zero reading (latest was in the winter of 1873 when a low of -4° was reported on 2/24.)

 

ArcticAir 

 

March 26 - The temperature jumped from 37° to 76° in the span of ten hours.

July 5 - This was the fifteenth day of the past nineteen to have measurable rain (since June 17).  Nearly eight inches fell during these days (average rainfall during this period is close to three inches).  Seven of the days, including today, had more than half an inch of rain.  And with a high/low of 68°/60°, today was the coolest of the days during this rainy spell.

October 5 - Today's high soared to 89° three days after a high of 88°.  (The average high at the beginning of October is in the upper 60s.)  Today's high was a record until 1941 (when the high reached 94°, the hottest reading ever reported in October.)

December 14 - Today's 3.2" snowfall from late morning thru the afternoon was the first of ten snowfalls of three inches or more this winter, a winter that would become, at the time, the snowiest on record (60.4").

 

-1923-

January 1 -This was the rainiest New Year's Day on record, with 1.68" measured.  The day's high of 53° would be the mildest reading of the month and came just two days after December's coldest reading (12°).

January 3-4 - The biggest snowfall of the winter began this afternoon and continued until daybreak on the 4th, accumulating 9.0".  The temperature fell slowly through the storm, dropping from 33° to 29°.

January 14 - Snow began falling after 11 AM and by 6 PM 7.8" had accumulated then it changed to light rain for the next three hours as the temperature rose into the mid-30s.


Snowy street in nyc_1923

 

February 12 - 3.1" of snow fell today, the day after 3.0" fell and two days after 3.3" piled up - all from different low pressure systems (and 6.3" fell on 2/6-7).  This brought the amount of snow that fell in the past seven weeks to 44.2".

March 6-7 - Snow began falling around 10 AM and continued light and steady (along with a mix with sleet and freezing rain after 4 PM) for the next 24 hours, accumulating 7.3".  This was the tenth snowfall of three inches or more this winter.  Besides the snow/ice, winds gusted to 30-35 mph, and temperatures were very cold on the 6th, with a high/low of only 25°/19°.

 

Clip art snowflakes

 

March 10 - Although it was snow of the wet, "junk" variety (today's high/low was 41°/32°), the 0.7" that accumulated brought the winter's total to 60.3", tying it with the winter of 1873 as snowiest on record.  Then nine days later it would claim the title of snowiest when 0.1" fell (it held this title until the winter of 1947 and has since fallen to fifth snowiest).  

March 23 - Three days after a low of 14° today's high soared to 76°, a record.  Then a cold front moved through later in the afternoon and the temperature half that by sunrise on 3/24.

March 29 - It was a bitterly cold early spring day with a high/low of just 32°/10°, twenty-three degrees below average. (And after a respite on 3/30, with a high/low of 42°/30°, 3/31 had a high/low of 34°/14°).  This morning's low (a record that still stands) came six days after a high of 76°.

April 1 - Easter Sunday dawned bitterly cold, with a reading of 12°, making this, easily, the coldest reading of any Easter Sunday (and the coldest reading on record for the month of April).  Winds gusting to 25 mph produced wind chills around -5°.  The afternoon high "recovered" to 36°.  (Three days later the high would reach 70°.)  This was the fourth day of the past five with lows in the teens.

June 6 - Highs today and the previous four days were: 89°-88°-89°-92°-91°(today), sixteen degrees above average. 

August 23 - The morning low was a chilly 51° (which held for three hours), a record for the date (that still stands).  This came a year after a record low on 8/21 (53°).

October 23-24 - Rain began falling at daybreak on the 23rd and by the time it ended in the early afternoon the following day nearly four inches had been measured (3.92").  Temperatures during the afternoon of the 23rd were only in the mid-40s, but then rose after midnight to 67° late in the morning on the 24th before falling into the 50s.

 

1924-1924-1924

January 27 - Yesterday's and today's lows of 7° and 5° came five days after another combination of 7° and 5°. 

February 19-20 - A nor'easter dumped nearly five inches of heavy snow the night of the 19th into the wee hours of the 20th; then it changed to sleet and then rain as the temperature rose into the mid-30s by late morning (precipitation ended around noon).  Winds gusted between 30-40 mph during the rainy part of the storm.  In total, 2.62" of precipitation was measured (2.21" fell today).

 

Oldmanwinter

 

April 1 - It was no April Fool's joke as 8.5" of heavy, wet snow fell mostly from mid-afternoon through 9 PM.  Interestingly, snow fell mostly with temperatures two or three degrees above freezing.  Besides the snow, gale force winds gusted to 35 mph.

May 17 - Today's high of 75° was the first 70-degree reading of the month and the warmest reading of the month - the coolest reading to have that distinction in May (79° is the second coolest warmest reading).  This reading wouldn't be topped until 6/5.

May 21 - On a showery day the high/low was only 50°/47°.  The high was 22 degrees below average.

June 7 - The temperature reached 80° for the first time this year, the latest date on record and six weeks later than the average date for this occurrence.

 

New York City during the 1920s

 

July 12 - For the fourth day in a row the high was 86°.

August 7 - In the midst of a five-day heat wave, today's high reached 99° and the heat index approached 110°. 

August 25-26 - A dissipating hurricane southeast of Long Island, moving in the direction of Cape Cod, brought tropical storm winds and 3.03" of rain to New York.  Rain began the evening of the 25th, when 0.74" fell, and continued thru late morning on the 26th, with 2.29" measured (1.13" fell between midnight and 2 AM).

September 2 - This was the seventh, and last, day of a late summer hot spell, with the last four days in the 90s.  The average high during this week was 90°, eleven degrees above average.  This unseasonable warmth dissipated today after a cold front moved through around 4 PM, dropping the temperature from 92° to 60° by midnight.

October 8 - The only rain this month fell today, 0.28".  At the time this was the driest October and the second driest month on record.  (It's now the second driest October, behind October 1963, and the seventh driest of any month).

November 13 - This was the thirty-sixth day in a row with no measurable rainfall, the longest dry spell on record (a record that still stands).  The previous record was 27 days set 40 years earlier in September 1884.

November 18 - Today and yesterday were 21 degrees colder than average, with highs/lows that would be quite cold even by mid-winter standards: 30°/19° yesterday and 33°/19° today.  (The typical date for the first high of 32° or colder typically occurs in mid-December.)  Tomorrow would see a slight moderation in temperatures, to 37°/21°.

November 27 - Sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 30s greeted those who lined the streets for Macy's first Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The day's high and low were a seasonable 49/34. 

 

1925-1925-1925

January 2 - A blizzard dumped close to a foot of snow (11.5").  Snow began falling around daybreak and lasted until 11 PM.  In addition to snow there were also periods of heavy sleet in the early afternoon.  Temperatures throughout the storm were in the mid-20s, but howling winds gusting between 35-40 mph produced wind chills in the single digits.

 

New yorker toboggan

 

January 26 - Today's high of 45° was the mildest reading this month, and the mildest reading since Dec. 19.  The day also had the year's first low above 32°, and the first since 12/24.

January 27 - The temperature fell steadily throughout the day, dropping from 42° at midnight to 4° twenty-four hours later (bottoming out at -2° at daybreak on the 28th).  This came a few days after lows of 2° on 1/23 and 1/24.

January 29 - The 1.3" of snow that fell later in the afternoon brought January's snowfall to 27.4", making this the snowiest January and the second snowiest of any month (now ranked third and eighth, respectively).  The month had three significant snowfalls: 11.5" on Jan. 2, seven inches on Jan. 20, and 5.1" on Jan. 27-28.  All but 2.2" of the winter's snow fell this month. 

February 12 - This was the fourth year in a row in which an inch or more of snow fell on this date.  This year 1.3" fell; last year an inch accumulated; in 1923, 3.1" was measured; and in 1922 an inch was reported in Central Park. 

April 22 - For the second day in a row the low was 32° (average is mid-40s); today's low was a record which still stands.

April 30 - Rainy and very cool, with a high/low of 45°/42°.  The high was a record for coolest maximum temperature for this date.

May 26 - This was the third day in a row with a low in the low 40s.  The low on the 25th was a record (that still stands).  This came after a high of 91° on 5/23. 

June 7 - Today's high was 96°, the fifth day since 6/1 to have a high of 94° or hotter (the outlier was 6/2, which had a high of "only" 88°).  The highs of June 4-7 were all records - which are still standing.  This is the most intense early June heat wave of all time.  (Highs in the first week of June are typically in the mid-to-upper-70s.)

 

Coneyislandswimmers20s

 

July 31 - The biggest rainstorm of the year produced 2.14".  And although it was an all-day event, much of it fell between 5-10 PM, when 1.41" was measured.  The rain and clouds kept the temperature in the upper 60s all day.

August 11 - Low temperatures from Aug. 7 thru today: 65°-66°-67°-68°-69° (8/11).

October 10 - It was a cold day (high/low of 43°/36°) with howling winds that gusted to 51 mph around mid-day, producing wind chills in the mid-20s.  The high of 43° is the coldest for Oct. 10 and the low was one degree shy of the 1888 record.

October 30 - Today's high of 38° was the earliest date for a maximum daily temperature in the 30s (later topped by Oct. 26, 1962).  And 0.8" of snow fell (and wouldn't be topped until 1/9 when 2.3" fell).  The next day's low of 29° was also a record, and the third day in a row with a low colder than 32°.  And Nov. 1 would be the fourth day in a row with a low of 32° or colder (but it wasn't a record). 

December 1-5 - A large, meandering, extra-tropical system brought rain squalls and gusty winds over the course of five days.  2.76” of rain fell during this period, with the wettest day being 12/3, when 1.63” was measured (but none of the rain was torrential; the greatest two-hour totals were 0.41” from midnight-2 AM, and 0.36” between 8-10 PM.  Wind gusts of 35 mph were common on the 3rd and 4th.  (After today, only 0.54” of precipitation fell for the rest of the month.)

December 27 - Today's high/low was a frigid 16°/8°, twenty-one degrees below average.  The high was the coldest ever recorded on this date, and the day's mean temperature was the coldest in December since Dec. 18, 1919, when the high/low was 11°/-1°. 

 

1926-1926-1926

February 10 - Less than a week after a fierce blizzard brought 10.4" of snow and sleet (accompanied by wind gusts of 40-45 mph) another snowstorm dumped a foot on the City, much of it falling this morning between 3:00 and 9:00 (light snow began last night and accumulated 1.6").  Winds from this storm gusted between 30 and 35 mph.  Temperatures in the morning held steady in the low 20s and then fell slowly during the afternoon, reaching 11° by midnight.  (In a similar fashion, in early February 1994 two snowstorms of 9.2" and 12.8" struck three days apart.)

 

1926 nycsnowshoveling

 

February 23 - Today's snowfall of two inches brought the month's total to 26.3", making this the snowiest February on record (now ranked sixth).  This came one year after the snowiest January on record (at the time).

February 27 - Today's high of 33° was the ninth this winter, tying the winter of 1905 for the most 33-degree highs.

March 5 - Today was frigid, with a high/low of only 25°/13°, eighteen degrees below average.

March 17 - This was the seventh day in a row with highs in the 30s.  The average high during these days was 36°, eleven degrees colder than average.

April 19 - A very chilly day, with a high/low of 44°/30°, sixteen degrees below average.

April 21 - The day after winter's last below-freezing low (28°), today's high was a balmy 75° (and tomorrow's high would rise to 82°).

June 7 - One year after the five days between June 3-7 had highs that averaged 97°, the same five days this year had highs that averaged 65°, ten degrees below average.  And 6/4's low of 48° was a record (that still stands).

July 15 - Less than a week after highs of 96° and 97°, today's high on a rainy day was only 67° (more typical of early May).  Then a week later broiling heat returned with back-to-back highs of 100° on 7/21 and 7/22 - the first time for consecutive highs in the triple digits since 1901.  These would be the only highs of 100°+ this decade.

 

Starlightparkdive

 

August 12 - Heavy rain between 4 PM thru daybreak on 8/13, totaled 3.73".  Much of it poured down at the very beginning, with 2.45" measured from 4-6 PM.  From today thru 8/18, 6.24" of rain would fell.

September 6 - Three weeks after 6.24" of rain fell from 8/12-18, 4.17" fell from 9/2-9/6, with today seeing the most rain, 2.24".  In less than four weeks (8/12-9/6) eleven inches of rain fell.  Four days had rainfall of one inch or more.

 

1920s stormy new york

 

September 25 - After a high of 89° at 1 PM, the warmest reading of the month (and a record until 1970), the temperature fell steadily until it bottomed out at 52° by daybreak the next day.

November 11 - A cold day with a high/low of 37°/28°, sixteen degrees below average.  The low was a record (tied in 1930).  Temperatures were below freezing from 1-10 AM and after 9 PM.

December 5 - 7.9" of snow fell on a very cold day, which had a high/low of 24°/11°.  Snow fell heaviest from 1 PM until 7 PM.  This was the biggest snowfall of the winter and was the snowiest 12/5 until 2003, when 8.0" fell.

December 7 - This was the sixth day in a row with a low in the teens.  And at 10° (a record), today's was the coldest reading of these days.

December 31 - Today's snowfall of 0.4" (which fell after 9 PM) was the eleventh day this month with measurable snow, with all but one of these days getting less than an inch.

 

-1927-

January 27 - The morning low was one below zero, a record for the date (that still stands).  The next day would have a high of 44° and would be followed by seven days in a row with highs in the 40s or 50s.

 

One below zero

 

March 19 - Today was the seventh day in a row with highs in the 60s.  The average high during this week was 65°, at a time of the year when highs are typically in the upper 40s.

April 20 - The day after the high was a pleasant 64°, today's high was a summer-like 90°, 28 degrees above average, and a record for the date (which still stands).  At the time it was the second earliest date for a 90-degree reading (the temperature reached 90° on April 18 in 1896).  However, it would be seven weeks before the next 80-degree reading was reached; and the next 90-degree reading wouldn't be until July 13.

 

Sweltering.hot

 

April 22 - Beginning today, two days after the high reached 90°, the rest of the month would have highs that ranged between 52° and 61°.

May 24 - Today's high/low was only 51°/49°.  It came in the midst of a 48-hour period in which 2.61" of rain fell (from 1PM on 5/23 until 6 AM on 5/25).

June 5 - Today's high of 81° was the first in the 80s (or warmer) since the 90-degree high on 4/20, nearly seven weeks ago.

June 13 - It was a beautiful day for the ticker tape parade held in Lower Manhattan to honor Charles Lindbergh after his non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.  Skies were mostly sunny, the humidity low and the high/low a seasonable of 77°/60°.

 

Charles.lindebergh.parade

 

July 13 - Today's high of 92° was the second reading in the 90s this year, coming nearly three months after the year's first, on 4/20.  The next two days would also have highs of 92°.

July 31 - Today's low of 70° was the last low in the 70s of the year, and the earliest date for the last 70-degree of any year in the 20th century.  (The last 70-degree low typically occurs in the first week of September.)

August 1 - A tremendous rainstorm between 2-3 PM inundated the City with 1.68" of rain.  This was the greatest daily rain total since last September.  Today's high of 83° would be the month's warmest reading.  In addition to today, there would be only seven more days this month with highs in the 80s (and none after 8/17).  Not surprisingly, this became the coolest August on record (a record that still stands).

August 8 - Strong thunderstorms from noon until sunrise tomorrow brought 3.36" of rain.  0.31" fell from 1-2 PM, 0.47" from 4-5PM, 1.34" from 7-9 PM and 0.97" from 11 PM-1 AM.  Also, today's low of 69° would be the mildest reading of the month, making this the second, and last, August to have no lows of 70° or warmer (the other August was in 1920).

September 1 - The year's biggest rainstorm dumped 3.84", mostly between 10 AM and 8 PM.  After this storm the next 30 days would see just 0.43" of rain (followed by an 18-day period between 10/3-20 with nine inches). 

October 2 - Today's high of 90° (following a record high of 88° yesterday) was the first reading in the 90s in the month of October.  It's since happened just five other times - in 1938, 1939, 1941 (twice), and 2019.  After today's summery conditions, the next eighteen days would see nine inches of rain.

October 19 - 48 hours of rain, which amounted to 3.80", ended around noon.  This rainstorm missed being the year's biggest, which was on 9/1, by 0.05".  Incredibly, it was the fourth nor'easter since 10/3, all which dumped more than an inch of rain: 1.60" on 10/3-4; 1.44" on 10/8-9; 2.04" on 10/12-13; and the 3.80" from this most recent one.

 

Rainyday1920s

 

November 23 - Today's high of 70° was the fifth 70-degree reading this month (the others were on 11/1, 11/2, 11/12 and 11/16).  Interspersed among these warm days were four unseasonably cold days, with lows of 32° or colder: 11/7, 11/8, 11/19 and 11/20.

November 24 - Although it was just 0.14", the light rain on Thanksgiving Day fell during the fourth Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The rain put somewhat of a damper on the debut of the parade's famous helium balloons.

December 1 - During the time of the year when highs are typically in the upper 40s, today and the previous two days had highs of 68° (today)-67°-64°.  Yesterday's high was reached shortly before midnight while today's was in the wee hours of the morning, then the mercury began falling steadily, until it was down to 35° shortly before midnight.

December 4 - A major sleet storm, that amounted to 2.1", began around lunchtime.  Temperatures were mostly in the mid-twenties and howling winds gusted close to 40 mph, producing wind chills in the single digits.  In the few hours leading to midnight the temperature approached the freezing mark and rain mixed with the sleet.  In total, 1.07" of liquid precipitation was measured.    

December 8 - After reaching a record 65° shortly after 10 AM, the mercury dropped like a rock and by midnight the temperature was 26°.

 

1928-1928-1928

January 15 - This was the tenth day in a row with highs of 45° or warmer (warmest reading was 58° on 1/7).  The average high during these days was 50°, twelve degrees above average.

February 13 - For the fourth day in a row the high was 37°.  Each day's low, however, was different and colder: 33°-29°-25°-22° (today). 

February 26 - Today, with a high/low of 23°/7°, was the coldest day of the winter (twenty degrees below average).  This was the only day of the winter to have a reading in the single digits (the low was a record).

March 9 - The 5.3" of snow that fell today (beginning late in the morning) was the biggest snowfall of the winter.

 

New yorker snowy street scene

 

April 29 - Low temperatures ranged from 38° to 40° for the past nine days (average low temperatures in late April are in the upper 40s).  Besides cold mornings, this period was also rainy, with slightly more than four inches of rain measured.

June 2 - Today's high of 83° was the second 80-degree day of the year and came nearly two months after the year's first on April 5 (a record for the date).  In the years since 1900 (thru 2021) this 57-day hiatus is the longest on record. 

July 4 - Today had the first 90-degree reading of the year, the third year in a row the first 90 was in July (last year it happened on the thirteenth, the year before that it fell on the ninth).  Typically, the first 90 (in the years between 1870-1927) occurred around 6/14.  Today's high was 90°.

July 5 - The biggest rainstorm of the year began this evening and continued thru daybreak tomorrow, dumping 2.87" of rain.  The rain was heaviest at the onset, when 0.75" fell from 5-7 PM, and then between 3-4 AM when 0.78" fell.

July 20 - High temperatures over the past four days: 90°-89°-90°-89° (today).  Cooler air moved in this evening after a strong thunderstorm dumped 0.74" of rain between 5-6 PM.

September 19-20 - Remnants of the Great Okeechobee Hurricane (which killed 2,500+ in central Florida on 9/17) dampened the City with 1.70" of rain; 1.29" of it fell on the 19th (showers and squalls fell throughout the day, with 0.58" falling between 10 AM-noon), and 0.41" fell in the wee hours of the 20th (with 0.29" falling between midnight-1 AM).   

October 12 - Today's high of 86°, a record, was the warmest reading in six weeks (since the year's last 90-degree temperature on 8/30). 

October 18 - Today's high and low of 82°/69° were both records for the date, as was yesterday's low of 67°.  These readings were twenty degrees above average.

November 15-19 - This five-day period had an average high/low of 69°/54°, which was 16 degrees above average, and more comparable to the beginning of October.  The average low during these five days was two degrees milder than the average high in mid-November.  Two of the days, 11/16 and 11/18, had record highs in the lows 70s (records that still stand).

December 8 - The first measurable snowfall of the winter produced two inches.  The next measurable snowfall wouldn't be until 1/13, and the next snowfall of an inch or more wouldn't be until 2/20.

 

1929-1929-1929

January 31 - This was the seventh day this month to have measurable snow, and like all of the other snowfalls, it amounted to less than an inch.

February 21 - More than half of the winter's 13.8" of snow fell today as 8.0" accumulated between 6 AM and 3 PM.  Temperatures were in the low-to-mid-twenties during the storm.

 

Winter scene

 

March 9-10 - Two days of roller coaster temperatures.  After reaching the low 40s late in the morning of 3/9, the temperature dropped the rest of the day, down to 15° by midnight.  Then, after bottoming out at 12° at daybreak on 3/10, the temperature rebounded to 40° by late afternoon.  The low on the 10th was the coldest reading since 1/14, when it was 8° (the coldest reading of the winter).  

April 7 - The temperature jumped from 46° to 89°, thirty-two degrees above average.  (Yesterday's high was 59°.)  At the time this was the earliest date for a temperature so warm.  The following day's high was equally summer-like (88°), but its mean temperature was much higher as the low was 65°, nineteen degrees warmer than yesterday's.

 

Clipart_happysun4

 

April 12 - Four days after back-to-back days in the upper 80s, today was the beginning of a week-long period with highs only in the low-to-mid-40s (average high in mid-April is in the upper 50s).  Besides a high/low of only 42°/37°, today also featured a cold rain that amounted to 0.98".

May 31 - Today's high was 93°, and was the seventh day in a row in which the high was warmer than the previous day: 65°-72°-74°-76°-77°-84°-88°-93°.

August 4 - Jones Beach opened today, but the passage of a cold front late in the morning made it a cool day for beach goers as the high/low was 75°/63°.  A stiff breeze from the northwest gave a fall-like feel to the air.  It was probably even chillier at the beach, situated on the south shore of Long Island.

 

Jones beach

 

August 30 - Today's rainfall was the last of the month and brought August's total to 1.91", making this the third month in a row with less than two inches.  The June-August total of 4.58" was in stark contrast to the 20" that fell during these same three months in 1928 and 1927.  This was the second driest summer, following 1894 (it has since fallen to third).

September 4 - This was last day of the third four-day heat wave this summer, and it was the hottest of the three, with highs of 95°-96°-99°-97°.  The last two highs were records for their respective dates (which still stand).  Today was also the twenty-first (and last) 90-degree day of the year, the most since 1900.

October 1-2 - The remnants of the season's second hurricane moved through eastern Pennsylvania, producing 2.55" of rain.  2.16" of it fell on 10/2, with most of it falling between 5 AM-3 PM.  This amount was a record for the date (which still stands).   

October 29 - Wall Street's "Black Tuesday", which presaged the Great Depression, was partly cloudy and chilly with a high/low of 49°/37°, about ten degrees chillier than average.

 

Blacktuesday1929

 

November 30 - Today's frigid high/low of 23°/12° made this New York's coldest day in November in the 20th century (based on mean temperature); these temperatures would be well below average even in the dead of winter.  By contrast, the beginning of the month began with highs of 73° on 11/1 and 76° on 11/2.

 

Clipart_frigidcold

 

December 1 - This was the third day in a row with highs that were below freezing.  During these days the highs were: 30°-23°-31°.  The average high this time of year is in the upper 40s.

December 2 - The season's first measurable snow fell during the afternoon into the early evening, accumulating 3.9".  This amount was a record for the date (which still stands), and it was the biggest snowfall of the winter.  Besides snow there were also periods of sleet.  Throughout the afternoon temperatures hovered around 29°.

December 4 - This was the sixth, and last, day of an early cold snap.  The average high/low of 30°/20° was sixteen degrees below average. 

 

To read about weather highlights in New York during other decades:

Late 19th Century (1869-1899)

First Decade of 20th Century

1910s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

 

  

 

 

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Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ken K. in NJ

Hi Rob. Thanks for working on this, fascinating reading. I wasn't aware at all of the storm of February 1920, but from your description I knew it must have been quite a big deal. Indeed, the NY Times had headline coverage for 3 days running. Plus, they did a look-back one month later (3/7/20) coming to the conclusion that the impact was worse than the Blizzard of 1888. One of the main problems was that the post-war economy was doing so well that the "Department of Street Cleaning" had trouble hiring anybody to do emergency snow shoveling.

Rob

I had a feeling from the weather stats that this was quite a storm and, like you, I was surprised that I had never heard mention of it before. This is what I think the storm we had in March was supposed to be like (but not lasting nearly as long). I'll have to read the Times articles you mentioned. Thanks Ken.

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