June 2020: Warm & Dry
July 2020 Is Seventh Hottest; Drought Eases Up

A Look at New York City's Hottest Weekends of All Time




On the one hand, if you work a Monday-Friday schedule and have access to a beach or pool, a hot weekend can be delightful.  On the other, if you don't have access to a body of water hot weather can be brutal, especially if you have outdoor plans or a wedding to attend.  This summer, the weekend of July 18-19 had highs/lows of 91°/72° and 94°/77°.  Hot, yes, but far from the most torrid weekends of all time in New York.  This analysis looks at conditions in two ways - by mean temperatures and by high temperatures.  In order to qualify, both Saturday and Sunday had to have highs in the 90s or hotter and lows in the 70s or warmer. 


Looking at mean temperature, the two hottest weekends were Aug. 13-14, 1988 (highs/lows of 96°/79° and 99°/80°) and Aug. 8-9, 1896 (95°/79°, 98°/82°).   Last summer (2019) had the third hottest weekend, with highs/lows on July 20-21 of 95°/82° on Saturday and 95°/80° on Sunday.  Focusing on high temperatures reveals that the five hottest weekends are different from the top-five based on mean temperature, with the hottest occurring on July 3-4, 1966 (highs of 100° and 103°), followed by July 20-21, 1991 (100° and 102°).  These are the only weekends in which both days saw highs in the triple digits; four other weekends had one day of 100°+.


Hot weekend


And here are a few other findings of note. 

  • The second earliest and latest scorching hot weekends occurred in the same year - 1895 (in the before-air conditioning era).  On June 1-2 the highs/lows were 96°/77° and 96°/76°; on Sept. 21-22 the highs/lows were 95°/77° and 95°/75°.   The earliest torrid weekend, in 1987, occurred two days earlier than 1895's, on 5/30 and 5/31 (with highs/lows of 97°/74° and 94°/76°).
  • Besides 1895, 1953 also had two sizzling weekends. The most consecutive summers with a hot weekend were in 1943, 1944 and 1945.


Chart - summer 1943 1944 1945


  • The weekend of July 20-21 has been very hot in three summers: 1957, 1991 and 2019.
  • Finally, the first weekend with lows in the 80s on both days occurred in 2019 (82° and 80°).  However, the weekend of July 23-24, 2011 had the warmest low of these select weekends - 83° on Saturday.


 Chart - 10 hottest mean temps in july


Chart - 10 hottest highs in july

 Scorching hot

Here are other heat-related posts:

Revisiting New York's Hottest Summers

"Super" Heat Waves (95°+)

Hot, Wet New York Summer

Low Temperatures of 70° or Warmer

The Heat is On: New York's "Hell Week"


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Ken K.in NJ

Nice research. I remember the 1966 weekend. It was, of course, 4th of July weekend. My Mom & Dad were having their usual 4th of July Extended Family cookout. My Dad bought a 19 inch portable TV so he and my Uncles (and a few Aunts) could watch the baseball games outside. It must have weighed 75 pounds. Little did I know until now it was the hottest NYC weekend ever. Thanks for the memory jog!


what was the warmest May weekend of all time? I ask cause May 21 and May 22 of 2022 are both expected to be at or above 90°. it’s a real shame this wasn’t able to happen a week later on Memorial Day Weekend.


The hottest May weekend on record was in 1987, on May 30 and 31, when the high/low on Saturday was 97°/74°, and the high/low on Sunday was 94°/76°.

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