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February 2018

2018 Weather Highlights in New York

 2018
JANUARY 

1 - The morning low of 7° was the coldest reading on New Year's Day in 100 years (since it was -4° in 1918).  Today was also the seventh day in a row with a high of 32° or colder (the longest such streak since Feb. 2014) and the sixth consecutive day with a high of 25° or colder (the first time since Jan. 1981).  

4 - A powerful coastal storm produced ° 4.0" - and today's accumulation of 9.8" was slightly more than last winter's biggest snowfall (9.4").  Temperatures held in the mid-20s throughout the storm; wind gusts between 35-45 mph produced wind chills in the single digits.  The snow and wind kept LaGuardia Airport closed for much of the day while JFK didn't reopen until the following morning.  Today was also the tenth consecutive day in which the high was colder than 32°, making this the longest such streak since one of 12 days in January 2003. 

6 - Today was the twelfth day in a row with a high colder than 32°, and it was the coldest day of them all, with a high/low of just 13°/6°.  And while Feb. 14, 2016 had a colder mean temperature (high/low of 15°/-1°), today's high was the coldest since Jan. 16, 1994, when it was just 10°.

7 - Today, with a frigid high/low of 18°/5, was the thirteenth day in a row with a high below 32°.  This tied it with another 13-day streak during the winter of of 2001 for second longest on record (in the years since 1900).  This winter's streak, however, had much colder temperatures, with an average high of 22°/13° (sixteen degrees below average) versus 30°/19° for the 2001 streak. 

8 - Today, with a high/low of 31°/17°, was the fourteenth day in a row with a high of 32° or colder, making it the third longest cold streak on record (behind a 16-day streak in the winter of 1961 and a 15-day streak in the winter of 1881).  Today's high was somewhat of a surprise because last week the high forecast for today was 40°, and even today the forecast was for a high of 33°.  The average high/low during these two weeks was 23°/13°, fifteen degrees below average.

12 - The temperature rose to 61°, just five days after a low of 5°.  This mild air streamed in as a storm system approached from the west, bringing periods of rain that amounted to slightly more than a half inch (much less than the two inches that had been predicted).  Temperatures were at 55° or milder from daybreak until early the following morning (on 1/13). 

13 - Between 6 AM and 10 AM the temperature nosedived from 58° to 28°, and by midnight it had fallen to 19° (and by 6:00 AM on 1/14 the temperature had fallen to 15°).  This somewhat mirrored the plummeting temperature on this date 100 years ago.

15 - Today's high of 30° was the nineteenth so far this winter that was 32° or colder, the most by mid-January since the winter of 1981.  (The typical number for an entire winter is seventeen.)  In the past 100 years only three winters have had more freezing or colder high temperatures: 1977 (25), 1918 (23) and 1981 (21).

 

FEBRUARY

4 - Nearly an inch of rain fell tonight, mostly between 5:00 and 11:00 PM.  This was the biggest rainstorm since the end of October when more than three inches fell (the biggest rainstorm of 2017).

10 - The 0.58" of rain that fell today brought February's precipitation to 2.62", which was more than the entire month of January (2.18"), December (2.21") or November (1.58").  Today's rain was the third significant rainfall this week (and more was expected for tomorrow).

11 - Yesterday's rain continued through early evening, adding 1.21" to yesterday's amount for a total of 1.79".  This was nearly the same amount that fell from two storms last week, on 2/4 (0.96") and 2/7 (0.85").  The heaviest rain fell in the early afternoon when 0.35" poured down between 1:00 and 2:00.  Temperatures, which had hovered in the upper 40s since yesterday, jumped from 47° at 1 PM to 62° shortly before 5 PM - the mildest reading since the end of November. 

12 - For the second day in a row the high reached 62° (twenty-one degrees above average), but while yesterday's high occurred in the early evening, today's was reached shortly after 1:30 AM.  Today's high also tied the record for the date.  These were the first back-to-back readings in the 60s since the first week of November.

17 - Despite the temperature going no lower than 33°, a heavy, wet snow accumulated 4.4" between 5 PM and midnight.  This came at the end of a week that had three days with highs of 62° and one with a high of 58° (yesterday).

20 - Overcast skies in the morning gave way to sunshine by lunchtime and the temperature soared to 67°, the warmest reading since Nov. 3.  This was the fourth day this month with a high of 60°, making it the third February in a row with four or more such days - a record streak.  This followed three Februarys in a row with no highs in the 60s.   

21 - Today's high soared to 78°, breaking the previous record by ten degrees.  This was the warmest reading ever reported during the month of February; the warmest reading previously was 75°, which occurred in 1930 and again in 1985.  Lastly, this was only the eleventh time a reading in the 70s was reported in February at Central Park (on average, the mildest temperature in February is around 60°).

25 - This was the eleventh day of the past twelve to have measurable precipitation.  The 0.73" of rain that fell this morning through early afternoon today was the most to fall during this 12-day period (2.01" fell in total).  Today was also the seventeenth day this month with measurable precipitation, the most since December 2012.  Additionally, this number of days tied February 1884 for the most days of precipitation in February.

 

MARCH

2 - The day after March came in like a lamb (high of 60°), a fierce nor'easter battered the area.  Throughout the day the City was lashed by a wind-driven mix of rain and wet snow that amounted to 2.24" (0.38" of it fell last night).  And although Manhattan was spared gale force winds (peak gust was 34 mph), gusts of 50-70 mph were common at the three major airports, on Long Island, the Jersey shore, and southern New England. 

7 - A nor'easter that produced heavy, wet snow left far less in New York than had been predicted, while many suburbs in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley were buried by one to two feet of snow.  (This was the second March in a row to have an under performing snowstorm in the City.)  Despite snow falling steadily from late morning (accompanied by thunder) until 8 PM, just 3.2" was measured in Central Park (but it was the first snowfall of an inch or more on this date since 1969).  This was largely due to temperatures that stayed above freezing for the entire event.  Curiously, the snowfall forecast had been adjusted upward later in the morning to 8-12".  Despite the modest snowfall, the amount of liquid that fell amounted to 1.41". 

17 - Although today's high of 48° was close to average, the morning low was a nippy 27°.  This broke a twelve-day string of days with lows that ranged from 30° to 33°.  It was also the first low colder than 30° in a month (2/17), and the coldest since 2/13 (26°). 

18 - The weekend featured clear skies and very low humidity.  Yesterday afternoon it ranged between 22%-25% while today it was even lower, falling to 15% during lunchtime.  Today was also the twelfth day in a row with below average temperatures.

21 - Snow began falling shortly after daybreak and continued for the rest of the day into the wee hours of 3/21.  By midnight 8.2" had accumulated, making this one of the biggest snowstorms to occur after March 15 (an additional 0.2" fell after midnight).  This was the fourth nor'easter this month, but the first in which the temperature was 32° or colder in New York. 

22 - Less than twelve hours after the last snowflakes from yesterday's snowstorm fell around dawn, skies were clear and the temperature rose to 50°.  Although this was slightly below average, it was the mildest reading since March 1 (when the high reached 60°). Today was also the sixteenth day in a row with below average temperatures; the last time there was a streak this long was in April 2007.

28 - Today, with a high/low of 52°/38° (one degree below average) was the 22nd day in a row with a below average mean temperature, the fifth longest streak of this kind in the years since 1950.  Temperatures during this streak, however, were just 4.5 degrees below average, which is the least below average of any streak of 15 days or longer.

 

APRIL

2 - A heavy, wet snow fell between 5:00 and 10:00 this morning, accumulating 5.5" - the biggest snowfall in April since the blizzard of April 6, 1982 (9.6").  Like the snowfalls of 2/17 (4.4") and 3/9 (3.2"), the temperature during this morning's snowfall remained above freezing.  This was the fifth snowfall of four inches or more this season, each occurring in a different month.  Today's snow brought the season total to 40.9", making this the ninth season in the past sixteen with 40 inches or more (average snowfall is 25.8").  As a result of this snowfall the Yankees home opener was postponed.     

12 - Although today's high of 63° was only slightly milder than average it was the warmest reading since Feb. 21's extraordinary high of 78°.

13 - Today's high of 82° was nearly twenty degrees warmer than yesterday's, and was nine days earlier than the typical date of a year's first 80-degree reading.  And this morning's low of 60° was what the average high should be.

14 - After the temperature peaked at 77° in the middle of the afternoon a back-door cold front moved through and by midnight the temperature had dropped to 44°.  This was the greatest drop in temperature since 1/13 when it plummeted from 58° to 19°.

15 - After two days of summer-like temperatures, today was windy, raw and overcast with temperatures only in the low 40s.  And conditions became even more miserable in the evening when rain moved in and the temperature dropped into the upper 30s.

16 - The steady rain that moved in last night continued through noon today, heavy at times, and was accompanied by winds that gusted to 43 mph.  Total rainfall was 3.29", 2.82" which poured down this morning, with more than half falling in the three-hours between 7:30 and 10:30 (1.54").  This was the greatest 24-hour rainfall in four years, since nearly five inches flooded the city on 4/30 in 2014.  As today's rain exited the temperature jumped fourteen degrees in the hour between 11 AM and noon (from 46° to 60°). 

22 - On a mostly clear day, with afternoon temperatures in the mid-to-upper 60s, the humidity dropped to 13% for a few hours during mid-afternoon.  This was the lowest humidity level in New York since March of last year, when it fell to 12% on 3/5.  Typical afternoon humidity (on a day without rain) is around 45%.

25 - It was a dreary, showery, fog-shrouded day.  The 0.95" that fell (much of it between 6:00-9:00 and then just before midnight) pushed April's total precipitation past the five-inch mark, the third month in a row with five inches or more.  The last time this happened was Sept-Oct 2011, but that three-month period had more than twice as much precipitation (34.43" vs. 16.45").

 

MAY

1 - After muddling through the chilliest April in more than 40 years, conditions on this first day of May were summer-like, with a high of 80° under clear skies.  This was 29 degrees warmer than yesterday's high.  Additionally, the humidity in mid-afternoon dropped to 12%, the lowest level this year (below 4/22's 13% and 3/18's 15%).

2 - It was a clear, dry and hot day, with a record-tying high of 90°.  This was the first 90 of the year, the earliest date for it since 2010 (when it happened on 4/7, the earliest date on record for this occurrence).  Only 11 years (going back to 1869) have had an earlier date for their first 90.  Like yesterday, today's humidity was very low, especially during the afternoon when it dropped to 13% (it bottomed out at 12% yesterday).  As a result, the "feels-like" temperature was a bit cooler than the air temperature, in the mid-80s.

3 - Yesterday's high of 90° tied the record originally set in 2001; today's high of 92°, twenty-four degrees above average, broke the previous record - also from 2001. 

4 - Today's low of 72° was a record-warm reading for the date (twenty-two degrees above average - and four degrees above the day's average high).  Today was the fourth day in a row with highs of 80° or warmer (today's was 84°), the longest such streak since one of seven days in late September.

13 - It was a cool and dismal Mothers Day holiday, with light showers, drizzle and fog throughout the day.  The high of 54° was the coolest reading in eight years on the holiday, and there was just a two-degree difference between the day's high and low.

15 - A very warm and humid afternoon, with a high of 88°, ended turbulently as a fast-moving line of severe thunderstorms struck as the evening rush hour was beginning.  This caused long delays for commuters waiting at Grand Central Station and widespread cancellations for air travelers (like me, trying to return from Pittsburgh).  Wind gusts of 55, 54 and 53 mph were clocked at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports; by contrast, Central Park was protected and a had a peak gust of only 30 mph.  Five persons were killed in the metro area from falling tree limbs.

17 - Light rain during the morning made this the sixth day in a row with measurable precipitation.  This was the third six-day streak this year, joining 1945 and 1919 as the only years with three streaks of six days (or more).  However, the amounts from this year's streaks were unimpressive: 0.90" (Feb 14-19); 1.33" (Apr 24-29) and 1.49" (May 12-17). 

20 - It was a warm and humid day, and today's high of 81° was 25 degrees warmer than yesterday's  (on a showery day shrouded in fog).  This was the reverse of what happened last year on this date, when the high of 65° was 26 degrees cooler than the previous day.

26 - Today, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, was very warm and humid, with a high/low of 89°/72° (the afternoon's heat index reached 93°).  This was the fourth day this month with a high of 88° or hotter, making this the first May with this many days since May 2000.

27 - The temperature fell from 80° at around 1 AM to the upper 50s by evening.  Today's much chillier air was ushered in by morning rain, which amounted to 0.44".  Additionally, the afternoon was breezy, with winds gusting to 27 mph.

 

JUNE

17 - Mostly clear and hot, with a high of 91°, making this the first Father's Day to reach the 90s in twelve years. This high was 36 degrees hotter than Mother's Day! Today's heat was somewhat mitigated by low humidity (24% during mid-afternoon), which produced a "feels like" temperature three degrees cooler than the air temperature.

18 - Today's high was the same as yesterday's but there was a distinct difference between the two days in terms of comfort level because today was much more humid.  As a result, today's heat index rose to 96°, which was nine degrees hotter than yesterday (this afternoon's dew point was in the low 70s while it was only in the upper 40s yesterday). 

24 - This year's conditions during the Gay Pride Parade were similar to last year, with a high/low of 84°/66° under partly cloudy skies.  The one difference was that this year's parade had to contend with humid conditions, with the afternoon dew point peaking at 70° late in the afternoon.  However, despite the high humidity, this was the tenth year in a row in which no measurable rain fell during the parade.

28 - It felt like a day in the tropics as the dew point rose into the low 70s and two periods of rain dropped 1.36" in Central Park's rain gauge.  From 4-8 AM thunderstorms produced 0.43" of rain, and then during the evening rush hour more than twice that amount (0.93") poured down in just about an hour's time (mostly 5-6 PM). Before this rush hour downpour the heat index had reached 90° at 3:00 PM (air temperature was 83°).

 

JULY

1 - Today's high/low of 96°/79° made this the hottest day since Aug. 13, 2016, when it was 96°/81°.  It was also a humid day, which resulted in a heat index of 103° at around 2 PM.  This was just the second time since 1972 that the high rose into the 90s on 7/1 (the other year was 2012).  By contrast, between 1931-1971 a high of 90+ occurred once every three or four years.  Finally, the day's low of 79° was the first low of 75+ on this date since 1968 (when it was 77°). 

3 - This was the fourth day in a row with a high in the 90s, and although the high of 92° was the lowest of the four days, today's heat index was the highest of them all - 106°, which occurred early in the afternoon (the dew point peaked at 77°).  This was three degrees hotter than the heat index two days earlier and four degrees hotter than yesterday's. 

10 - For the fourth day in a row we enjoyed clear skies, but the high temperature rose steadily each day, starting with 78° on 7/7 (six degrees below average), 84° on 7/8, 87° on 7/9, and 93° today (nine above average).

17 - A cold front moving into hot and very humid air triggered severe thunderstorms across the metro area in the middle of the afternoon (as well as a funnel cloud over New York Harbor).  In Manhattan nearly two inches of rain fell between 2:30 and 3:30, which exceeded what fell during the first sixteen days of the month.  Before the storm struck the temperature had risen into the upper 80s and the heat index reached 100°.  For the entirety of the storm 2.22" was measured in Central Park, which was three times as much as what Kennedy Airport had, twice as much as Newark received and 40% more than what fell in the rain gauge at LaGuardia.  In the past six days nearly four inches of rain fell from three torrential rainstorms.

22 - The 0.86" of rain that fell late this afternoon and tonight was 0.03" more than what fell from the coastal storm that lashed area last night and in the pre-dawn hours this morning.  Today's rainfall brought July's total to 5.88", making it the year's wettest month so far (almost all of the month's rain fell since 7/12).  Although today's air temperature stayed in the 70s all day, the air had a very tropical feel to it as dew points during the afternoon/evening ranged between 72°-74°.  

25 - The 0.73" of rain that fell today, most of it during daybreak, brought the month's total rainfall to 6.80", exceeding the amount that fell in May and June combined.  July's total is the most to fall in any month in two years, since July 2016, when 7.02" was measured. 

26 - Although an early morning shower produced just 0.03", it was the sixth day in a row with measurable precipitation, the fourth streak of this length this year.  This joined 1989 as the only year with four streaks of six days or more (two of 1989's streaks were only two days apart and produced more than seven inches of rain).

27 - Thunderstorms rumbled through the area between 4:00 and 8:00 PM, making this the seventh day in a row in which rain fell.  The last time there was a streak this long was in June 2012.  Today's rain amounted to 0.25", which brought July's total to 7.08", making it New York's wettest month since April 2014.  Central Park's rainfall, however, was light compared to Newark and Kennedy airports, which received more than an inch of rain, but it was more than LaGuardia, which reported just 0.06".

 

AUGUST

4 - Heavy showers between 9:00 and 11:30 AM made this the twelfth day of the past fifteen to have measurable rain.  During this period 4.85" of rain was measured in Central Park (0.74" fell this morning).  This was the third extended period of precipitation this year and it, by far, had the most precipitation.  And in the past 30 days 9.03" fell, which is about twice the average amount.

 

Chart - 3 lengthy periods of rain in 2018

11 -  A record amount of rain fell today (2.90"), with most of it pouring down between daybreak and 10 AM.  This amount brought total rainfall since July 12 to 12.36", nearly eight inches above average for the period. 

19 - With a high/low of 72°/67° today was the coolest day in eight weeks (since 6/23).  This was also the first day this month in which the low temperature was below 70°, joining August 1988 as the only two that had lows of 70° or warmer for the first eighteen days of the month.  (The longest streak of 70/80-degree lows is 22 days.)  And although just 0.02" of rain fell today during mid-morning, it was enough to move July-August up to the fifth wettest July-August on record (15.18").  

29 - The day's low of 81° established a new record for the latest date for a low temperature in the 80s, beating the previous record, set in 1985 and equaled in 1988, by 14 days.  (Last October a new record was established for the latest date for a low in the 70s, on 10/9.)  However, the afternoon high was just 92°, making the day's eleven-degree diurnal variation the smallest for a day with a low in the 80s in more than 100 years (there were seven dates between 1876 and 1908 with smaller variations).

30 - Today's low of 78° was the 23rd this month that was 70° or warmer, tying it with Aug. 2005 and 1980 for the most 70°+ lows in the month of August.  (A typical August has 13.)

 

SEPTEMBER

3 - This was just the fourth Labor Day since 1980 with a high in the 90s.  Furthermore, with a high/low of 90°/75°, today had the warmest mean temperature on Labor Day since 1980 when the high/low was 95°/76°.  And what a difference a year makes: The first three days this September had a warmer average LOW than last year's average HIGH for the same three days (71° vs. 69°).

6 - Today, with a high of 93° (and a heat index that reached 104° in the early afternoon), was the end of and eleven-day stretch of unseasonably warm weather that had an average high/low of 88°/75°.  Relief arrived in the evening when a thunderstorm between 6:00 and 7:00 produced 0.36" of rain.  This hot stretch of weather had two four-day periods of hot weather at the beginning and end, each with three days in the 90s and three days with lows of 75°+. 

13 - Overnight showers made this the sixth day in a row with measurable precipitation.  This was the fifth streak of six days or more this year - the greatest number of any year on record.

18 - The remnants of Hurricane Florence, which brought disastrous flooding to southeastern North Carolina a few days earlier, synced-up with a cold front and brought heavy rain during the afternoon (12:30-4:30), producing 1.16".  When the rain began the dew point was at a sticky 74°.  This rain came eight days after the remnants from Hurricane Gordon brought 1.38" of rain (but it fell over the course of nearly 24 hours). 

25 - Close to two inches of rain fell (1.95" to be exact), starting shortly before daybreak and continuing thru early evening.  Nearly half of it poured down in the early afternoon between 1:00 and 2:00.  Today's rain pushed September's rainfall over five inches, the sixth month this year with more than five inches of precipitation, joining 1998 as the only two years in which this occurred.

26 - A new September record was set as the day's low of 69° was the seventeenth low this month that was 67° or warmer, breaking a tie with 1971. 

28 - The 0.77" of rain that fell this morning pushed September's total rainfall past six inches, making this the third month in a row with six inches or more.  This became just the ninth such streak on record (going back to 1869), all of which have occurred since 1971.

 

OCTOBER

10 - With a low of 71° today became the latest date for a daily minimum temperature in the 70s, eclipsing the previous record established just last year (on 10/9).  Additionally, today was the tenth day in a row with a low of 60° or milder, the longest such streak ever recorded in October (and it would extend one more day).  The average low of 64° during these days was eleven degrees above average.  Of these ten days, today was the only one to have a high in the 80s.  Finally, today was the 55th day this year with a low of 70° or warmer, the fourth greatest amount on record (tied with 2010).

12 - After the first eleven days of the month averaged a very mild high/low of 75°/65° (ten degrees above average), fall weather finally arrived as a cold front pushed out the remnants of hurricane Michael early in the morning and the temperature dropped from 68° shortly after midnight to 51° twenty-four hours later (the chilliest reading since June 3 and 4).

20 - Light showers in the pre-dawn hours amounted to 0.06", bringing the year's precipitation to 50.05" - just the seventh year (since 1869) with 50 inches or more thru 10/20.

 

NOVEMBER

2 - For the second day in a row temperatures rose into the 70s, with today's high being 72° after a high of 70° yesterday (normal high is 59°).  But while yesterday was sunny today's skies were overcast and it was more humid.  This year's mild start to November mirrors similar balmy beginning in four of the past five years.

4 - Skies were mostly clear and temperatures a few degrees chillier than average.  The day's high/low of 55°/43° is what the average temperature has been for the Marathons of the 2010s.  The afternoon humidity was around 40%, which was more than 50% lower than that of last year's race.

15 - An out of season snowstorm moved in during early afternoon and by evening 6.4" of heavy, wet snow had piled up, which was much more than predicted, and the earliest date on record for a snowfall this deep (and just the fifth snowfall of six+ inches in November).  When the snow began falling the temperature dropped from 36° to 28°, but then began rising after 7PM and was back at 36° by 10 PM.  Rush hour traffic was snarled for hours and hundreds of trees lost branches, which snapped off from the weight of snow.  As the storm exited winds picked up and gusted to 35 mph (and to 45 mph at the area's three major airports).  It would be three months before the next snowfall of an inch or more (1.2" on Feb. 12, 2019). 

22 - A week after one of the biggest November snowfalls on record (6.4"), today, with a winter-like high/low of 28°/17° (twenty-three degrees below average), was the first Thanksgiving Day with a sub-freezing high since 1996, and the second coldest Thanksgiving on record - only 1871's was colder (high/low of 22°/15°).

23 - For the second day in a row the high was 32° or colder, making this the first November since 1938 to have two days this cold.  And although today's high of 32° was four degrees warmer than yesterday's, its low of 15° was two degrees colder (and one of the coldest readings on record in November).

24 - This was the last day of a 16-day streak with below average mean temperatures, the longest streak of this kind since one of 22 days in March of this year.  However, this month's streak was a lot more below average (-8.5 degrees vs. -4.5 degrees).

26 - Rain fell from late afternoon onward and 0.85" was measured (thru midnight).  This amount brought November's total precipitation to 7.57", making it the wettest November since 1988 (and seventh wettest of all Novembers).  It also brought the year's total precipitation to 58.99", moving it up from eleventh to ninth wettest year (and pushing 1903 out of the top 10).  Lastly, this became the ninth year to have three or more months with seven or more inches of precipitation.

 

DECEMBER

13 - Inconsequential snow showers during the daylight hours of the morning (the temperature was above freezing) and light drizzle/mist in the afternoon amounted to 0.03" and ended a 10-day streak with no measurable precipitation.  Although that's not very lengthy it was the longest streak in this wet year (and the longest since an 18-day streak in Sept/Oct of last year).  

16 - Today was rainy, raw and windy, with temperatures hovering around 40° during the daylight hours.  1.44" of rain was measured, pushing the year's total precipitation over sixty inches, making this the eighth year since 1869 to reach this level (and placing 2018 as the sixth wettest year on record).  Today's rainfall easily topped the 0.91" that fell during the first fifteen days of the month.

17 - Light wraparound showers in the wee hours of the morning (amounting to just 0.03"), remnants from yesterday's rainstorm, made this the 152nd day of the year with measurable precipitation, tying 1996 for the all-time record.  What distinguishes 2018 from 1996 is that its total precipitation for the year is more than five inches above 1996's (with two weeks remaining in 2018).

20 - Light rain moved in during the evening, making this the record-setting 153rd day this year with measurable precipitation.  And there would be five more days of precipitation (all rain) before the end of the year (which amounted to nearly four inches). 

21 - Five days after a rainfall of 1.44" an even greater deluge occurred last night and today (thru early afternoon), with 1.84" measured (1.62" fell today).  Today's rain moved 2018 up to fifth rainiest year on record.  This storm was also accompanied by much milder air than the previous storm, with temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s during the morning and afternoon, peaking at 61° late in the morning.  This was the first reading in the 60s since 11/7.  Besides the rainy conditions the City also had to contend with dense fog.

28 - A steady rain that fell mostly during the daylight hours measured 1.15", bringing December's total precipitation over five inches, the eighth month this year with five+ inches - the most on record for any year.  This was the third rainstorm of an inch or more since 12/16.  Besides the rain, today was also unseasonably mild, with a high of 60° (quite a contrast from last year when the high/low on this date was 18/11).

31 - Light rain moved in mid-afternoon and turned heavy around 7:30 PM.  Not only was this the first New Year's Eve since 1994 in which rain fell during the ball drop in Times Square, it was also the wettest New Year's Eve since 1948.  This was the fourth day since 12/16 to have more than an inch of rain and it brought December's rainfall well above six inches (no measurable snow fell this month), making it the fifth month in the past six to have six inches or more.  Finally, today's 1.02" rainfall moved 2018 up to fourth place on the all-time list of wettest years (65.55", more than fifteen inches above average).

 

Chart - 2018 hottest and coldest

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

 

 


 

 

 


Biggest Snowstorms by Day of the Week

Days of the week

 

Looking at snowstorms of 10" or more by day of the week (there have been 54 since 1900) reveals Friday to be the day most likely to pick up this type of hefty accumulation (nine times).  By contrast, Thursday has never had a snowfall this big; the greatest accumulation has been 9.8", which happened twice - in February 1934 and most recently in the winter of 2018 (Jan. 4).  And although a snowstorm that dumped 20.9" in February 2010 started on a Thursday, less than half of the total (9.4") fell on that day. 

 

Clip art snowflakes

 

About two-thirds of the snowstorms in this analysis started on one day and ended the following day (and one storm in February 1920 had significant accumulations on three days).  Of the snowstorms which continued into the next day, the storm with the most significant accumulation on each day was the snowstorm of Feb. 25-26, 2010, which saw 9.4" fall on Thursday and 11.5" on Friday. 

 

New York's three biggest snowstorms each occurred on a different day of the week (and a different month): The biggest snowfall of all time, in January 2016, occurred on a Saturday; the second greatest accumulation, in February 2006, took place mostly on a Sunday; and the third-ranked snowstorm, in December 1947, buried the City on a Friday.   

 

One calendar date, Feb. 17, is shared by two Monday snowstorms (in 1902 and 2003); another, Feb. 10, is shared by two on Wednesday (in 1926 and 2010); and Feb. 11 has been the date of two Friday snowstorms (in 1983 and 1994).  Finally, there has been a 10"+ accumulation on the same day of the week in consecutive winters just once.  It happened on a Monday during the winters of 1978 and 1979, when 15.5" fell on Feb. 6, 1978 and 12.7" fell on Feb. 19, 1979. 

 

Chart - Snowstorms by Day of Week
 Chart - Two-Day Snowstorms

 

 

 

 

 

 


January 2018 Weather Recap - Early Cold Wave Followed by Three Uneventful Weeks

Snowy streetsJanuary began the way December ended - bitterly cold.  A nearly unprecedented cold wave of fourteen-days, all with highs colder than 32°, began on Dec. 26 and continued through Jan. 8.  But after shivering through the first eight days of the month, which were 16 degrees colder than average (the coldest start of a year since 1968), the remainder of the month was almost five degrees above average (but there were three days with highs of 32° or colder and one with a high of 33°).  This milder stretch of days made the month just slightly below average (-0.9 degree).  For the entire month there were sixteen days that were either ten degrees or more above or below average (there were eight of each), the most in January since 2004.  Finally, not only were the first eight days frigid, but a snowstorm on Jan. 4 dumped nearly ten inches of snow on the City (then just 1.4" fell in the next four weeks).  Here are some other observations: 

 

  • The month was on the dry side, with 2.18" of precipitation measured, comparable to what fell in November (1.58") and December (2.21").  The three months received about half of the typical amount of precipitation (5.96" vs. 11.67").  Additionally, the past seven months have all had below average rainfall.
  • December/January combined were the coldest in seven years, since the winter of 2010-11.
  • Jan. 6 was the coldest day of the cold wave, with a high/low of just 13/6.  And while Feb. 14, 2016 had a colder mean temperature (high/low of 15/-1), 1/6's high was the coldest since Jan. 16, 1994, when it was just 10°.  Then five days after the low was 5° on 1/7 (22 degrees below average), the high on 1/12 soared to 61° (23 degrees above average).
  • On Jan. 15 the high of 30° was the nineteenth of the winter that was 32° or colder, the most by mid-January since the winter of 1981.  (The typical number for an entire winter is seventeen.)  In the past 100 years only three winters had more freezing or colder high temperatures by 1/15: 1977 (25), 1918 (23) and 1981 (21).
  • January and December both had eight days with highs of 50° or milder, but January had more days of 55+ (five vs. three) and 60+ (two vs. one).
  • Although January's temperature was below average this was due to the low temperature being 2.2 degrees colder than average.  The average high was actually 0.4 degrees above average.  This 2.6-degree disparity between the high and low was the greatest since 1994, when it was 3.0 degrees (the high was 4.4 degrees below average and the high was 7.4 degrees below).

 

Chart - Longest Cold Streaks in NYC

 Chart - 12 Coldest Starts of A Year

Here are links to previous January recaps: 

January 2017

January 2015

January 2014