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July 2020

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, especcially 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 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°. 
  • 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"

June 2020: Warm & Dry

Hello summer2


June's temperatures rebounded after a chilly April and May (2.7 and 2.1 degrees below average, respectively).  At 2.3 degrees above average, it was the warmest June in 10 years (and 16th warmest overall).  Fourteen days were five degrees or more above average.  Besides being warmer than average, June was also on the dry side, with the least rainfall in 21 years (and 22nd driest overall).  The month had 1.76" of rain, which was very similar to May's 1.65" (like June, May was the 22nd driest).  This was just the sixth time (since 1869) that May and June both received less than two inches, and the first time that consecutive months had less than two inches of precipitation since April and May 2016 .  


Based on average temperature, June had the biggest warm-up following May since 2008.  And out of all of the years of measurement, it was the 12th biggest warm-up after May (tied with two other years).


Although the number of days of 80°+ was close to average (18, including the final twelve days of the month), it was well above average for days of 85°+.   13 days had highs of 85° or warmer, with 11 between 85° and 89°.  The two other days had highs of 90° (on June 22 and 28).  At one point there was a streak of seven days in a row with highs of 85°+, the longest streak in June since 2010.  Furthermore, the month's 11 days with lows in the 70s was more than double the average for June.  Only three other Junes have had more lows of 70°+ (2010, 2005, and 1943 had 12; June 1895 had the same number as June 2020).

85 plus
Through 6/26 it appeared the month would easily be among the ten driest Junes as just 0.98" had fallen.  Beginning 6/12 there were 15 days in a row with no measurable rainfall (the longest dry streak since the fall of 2017, which had a streak of 18 days).  Then 0.78" fell in the next three days.  The 0.58" that fell on 6/29 (in less than an hour) made it the rainiest day of June (and a wind gust of 47 mph was the highest of the month). 


Finally, the first half of 2020 was the driest since 1995 (16.15" was measured in Central Park, eight inches below average), and among all years it was the 17th driest first half of any year (tied with 1957).




Below are links for previous June recaps: