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




New York City's official reporting site for weather conditions is situated in Central Park, but LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports also collect data, as does 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 years 2000 to 2022.  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.  Of the five measures, days with highs of 32° or colder and snowfall are the closest among the four sites.



Central Park: At 16.4 days, it ranks third behind Newark and LaGuardia, but ahead of JFK. 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.  2022 and 2021 also had very wide disparities, with CPK reporting 25 and 17 hot days compared to 49 and 41 at Newark.

Newark: The hottest site, with 29.2 days.  It's the site that's reported the most in all but three years (LGA led in those years).

LaGuardia: 23.2 days.  It was the site with the most hot days in 2007, 2018 and 2020.

Kennedy: 11.3 days.  In 2018 CPK, NWK, and LGA were well above their averages, but JFK had a below average number (eight). In 2003 and 2006 JFK had more 90-degree days than CPK.



Central Park: Averages 16.5 days, which is the most of the four reporting sites. In the 23 years since 2000 it's had the most of these cold days in 13 and had four first-place ties.  In 2022 it was in a three-way tie with Newark and LGA with 18 (and JFK was at 17).

Newark: 14.8 days.  It reported the most in one year (2016), and one first-place tie.

LaGuardia: 14.9 days.  It reported the most in two years (2004 and 2008), and one first-place tie.

Kennedy: 14.9 days.  It reported the most in two years (2005 and 2009), and two first-place ties.



Central Park:  An average of 67.4 days.  It's never led in this category (or come in second).  The closest it got was in 2000, when it had seven fewer days than JFK.

Newark: 80.0 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: 61.9 days.  Like CPK, it's never led in this category.

Kennedy: 75.0 days.  It had the most in four years, including 2018 and 2020.



Central Park:  This is CPK's area of strength as it has been the wettest site in 20 of the 23 years since 2000, averaging 51.31".  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: 47.68".  Four years had 55"+; reported the most of the four sites in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

LaGuardia: 46.60".  Eight years had 50"+; it's never reported the most.

Kennedy: 44.23".  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").



Central Park: 31.3".  50"+ fell in three of the years; it had the most snow in three years, including 2018.

Newark: 33.0".  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: 30.7".  Two years had 50"+; it had the most in five of the years.

Kennedy: 27.5".  One year had 50"+; it had the most snow of the four stations in 2016.


 Chart - cpk nwk lga jfk







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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.....


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


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


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

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