Although two months in 2017, February and October, became the warmest on record, the year may be best remembered for the Arctic outbreak that moved in on Christmas Day and stayed locked in place through the first week 2018. It produced the year's coldest reading, 9°, which was reached minutes before the year ended. Other highlights? At the other end of the thermometer, the year's hottest temperature, 94°, occurred on June 13 and again on July 20. In terms of precipitation, the biggest snowfall was 9.4" on Feb. 9; the biggest rainstorm was 3.03" on Oct. 29. Finally, although 2017 was the fifth year of the past six to have below average precipitation, it was the fifth in a row with above average snowfall. What follows are additional highlights of the year, arranged in chronological order.
JANUARY 12 - SUDDEN THAW
A record high of 66° came five days after a snowfall of 5.1" and three days after the coldest day of the winter (high/low of 23/14). This was the warmest reading in January in 10 years. (And on Feb. 24 a high of 70° was the earliest date in ten years for the first 70-degree reading.)
FEBRUARY 9 - A MARSHMALLOW WORLD
The biggest snowfall of the winter, 9.4", buried the City less than 24 hours after the temperature topped out at 62°. This snowfall was even more impressive considering that this would be the mildest February on record.
MARCH 14 - WINTER HANGS ON
An intense late-winter storm dumped 7.6" of snow and sleet on the City but was considered a "flop" since it was expected to dump between 14" and 20". After starting as heavy snow in the pre-dawn hours the precipitation changed to sleet when the storm moved closer to the coast than expected. This nor'easter came in the midst of a six-day period (March 11-16) that had temperatures that were 15 degrees below average (average high/low of 32/20).
APRIL 16 - SUNGLASSES NEEDED AS ACCESSORY FOR EASTER BONNET
The high on Easter Sunday reached 87°, the second warmest reading on record for this holiday.
An early three-day heat wave (with highs of 90°, 92° and 91°) was followed by six days with highs that never got out of the 60s. This heat wave was the first in May of three days or more since 2001.
AUTUMN HAS TROPICAL FEEL
After one of the coolest beginnings to September on record, the next eight weeks were seven degrees warmer than average, including the mildest October on record. This included the latest 90-degree reading since 1970 (91° on Sept. 24) and the latest date on record for a low in the 70s, on Oct. 9. Half of the days in the six-week period between Sept. 21 and Nov. 3 were ten degrees or more warmer than average.
On the five-year anniversary of superstorm Sandy, the biggest rainstorm of the year produced 3.03", besting the deluge of May 5 by 0.01" (the rain on 5/5 poured down in just three hours). The biggest rainstorm in three-and-a-half years, it produced more rain than four of the months in 2017.
NOVEMBER 9 - SHIVER ME TIMBERS!
A record low of 25°, reported shortly before midnight, was the earliest date for a reading this cold since 1976. In addition to this record, another was set the next day, making this the first occurrence of back-to-back record lows since August 1994.
END OF DECEMBER - CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, SERVED CHILLED
The year ended on a teeth-chattering note with six days in a row having highs of 28° or colder, which included the coldest mean temperature in two years (high/low of 18/11 on Dec. 28). Then shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve the temperature dropped to 9°, making it not only the coldest reading of the year, but the second coldest reading to occur during the Times Square ball-drop. This cold streak would continue through Jan. 8, making it the third longest streak on record (two days shorter than a 16-day streak in the winter of 1961 and one day shorter than a streak in the winter of 1881).