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June 2018 Weather Recap for New York
July 2018 Weather Recap: Hot Temperatures, Followed by Torrents of Rain

Comparing Central Park's Weather to That of New York's Three Major Airports

Central-park-28-weather-station

 

New York City's official reporting site for weather conditions is situated in Central Park, but LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports also collect data, as well as Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey (the airports are 7, 16 and 27 miles away from Central Park, respectively).  Central Park is one of the few reporting sites in the US not located at an airport.  Although the park is surrounded by the "heat island" of Manhattan, its temperatures are influenced by the grass and trees, which retain the humidity more than the concrete surroundings of airports.  As a result, afternoon temperatures in the summertime don't rise as much as they do at the three airports, and nighttime temperatures don't fall as much during the winter or summer. 

I've looked at five statistics, which cover temperatures and precipitation for the 2000-2020 period.  Of the four weather stations, Central Park averages the most days with highs of 32° or colder and receives the most precipitation.  Newark is tops in the number of 90-degree days, lows of 32° or colder and snowfall. 

 

HOT WEATHER: HIGHS OF 90°+

Central Park: Averages 16.0 days. The biggest difference between CPK and Newark was in 2006, when CPK had only eight days, 50% below average, while Newark had 27, an average number for that site.

Newark: The hottest site, with 27.7 days.  It's the site that's reported the most in all but two years; in 2018 its 10-year streak of having the most was snapped.

LaGuardia: 22.8 days.  It was the site with the most hot days in 2007, 2018 and 2020.

Kennedy: 11.1 days.  In 2018 CPK, NWK and LGA were well above their averages, but JFK had a below average number (eight).

 

COLD CONDITIONS: HIGHS OF 32° OR COLDER

Central Park: Averages 16.9 days.  It had the most of the four stations in twelve years, and four first-place ties.

Newark: 15.0 days.  It reported the most in one year (2016), and one first-place tie.

LaGuardia: 15.2 days.  It reported the most in two years (2004 and 2008), and one first-place tie.

Kennedy: 15.1 days.  It reported the most in two years (2005 and 2009), and two first-place ties.

 

COLD CONDITIONS: LOWS OF 32° OR COLDER

Central Park:  An average of 67.6 days.  It's never led in this category.  The closest it got was in 2000, when it had seven fewer days than JFK.

Newark: 80.3 days.  In addition to having the most days with highs in the 90s, it also averages the most cold nights.  It had the most in all but four years, including 2018 and 2020.

LaGuardia: 62.3 days.  Like CPK, it's never led in this category.

Kennedy: 75.1 days.  It had the most in four years, including 2018 and 2020.

 

ANNUAL PRECIPITATION

Central Park:  The wettest site, with an average of 51.16".  Six  of the 21 years in the period reported 55"+, and two years had less than 40"; the wettest station every year but three, which were in the last four years.

Newark: 47.64".  Four years had 55"+; reported the most of the four sites in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

LaGuardia: 46.61".  Eight years had 50"+; it's never reported the most.

Kennedy: 44.67".  Five years had 50"+, five years had less than 40"; it reported the most once, during the dry year of 2012 (when all four stations had less than 40").

 

ANNUAL SNOWFALL

Central Park: 32.1".  50"+ fell in three of the years; it had the most snow in three years, including 2018.

Newark: 33.6".  Four years had 50"+; the snowiest site, it had the most in eleven of the years of the period, and tied with CPK in 2010 (when both measured 59.1").

LaGuardia: 31.1".  Two years had 50"+; it had the most in five of the years.

Kennedy: 27.8".  One year had 50"+; it had the most snow of the four stations in 2016.

 

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William

I'm glad this analysis was published. this answered my long time question as to whether LGA or Newark averages more 90°+ days in a year. also, the fact that Central Park typically receives the most precipitation of the four weather stations doesn't surprise me because of two reasons, first, 1983's malfunctioning rain gauge in which more than eighty inches was measured while none of the three airports have ever measured seventy inches of rain in a year, & second, Central Park's weather records have existed for at least sixty years longer than each of the three airports have.

Harry Mandel

Newark Airport is 27 miles from Central Park? I don't believe so.....

Rob

Hi Harry, this is the distance I got when I Googled, "Distance between Central Park and Newark Liberty Airport."

William

how often does a day occur where Central Park reaches 90°+ but neither LaGuardia nor Newark does so?

Rob

I don't know, but that would be an interesting analysis.

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