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September 2020

Weather Highlights of the First Decade of the 20th Century (1900-1909)

On the beach_charles hoffbauer

 

The decade started with the first back-to-back triple-digit highs (summer of 1901) and ended with the snowiest Christmas Day (1909).  In between were two of New York's coolest summers (1902 and 1903), and two of its coldest winters (1903-04 and 1904-05).  1904 would also gain the distinction of being the fifth coldest year on record (where it remains).  Other highlights included a tropical storm in October 1903 that flooded the area with more than eleven inches of rain; unusually warm nights during the summers of 1906 and 1908; and, at the time, the hottest July on record in 1908 (until 1952).  Finally, the 1900s is the only decade that had no snowstorms of a foot or more.  

 

- 1900 -

March 16 - The day after a five-inch snowfall, today saw an onslaught of freezing rain.  0.89" of liquid precipitation fell in temperatures that were mostly at freezing or colder (the day's high/low was 33°/22°).

July 4 - Today's high was 91°, making this the third year in a row with a high in the 90s on the 4th of July - the longest such streak for this holiday.

 

Beach 1900s

 

September 6 - Today was the 21st day this year with a high in the 90s, twice the average number.  The next time there were this many hot days wouldn't be until 1929.

 

- 1901 -

February 26 - Today's high of 42° was the mildest reading of the month, and the mildest since 1/22.

March 21 - Although today's high was just 53°, it was the mildest temperature in March and would be the chilliest reading to be the warmest of any March in the 20th century (a distinction that has continued in the 21st century). 

April 12 - A year after the first reading in the 60s occurred on April 6, this year it occurred six days later - the third latest date for this occurrence (behind 4/15 in 1877 and 4/13 in 1891).

June 23 - This month's paltry 1.00" of rain (today was the last day with rain) was sandwiched between four months that each had more than six inches (April, May, July and August).

July 2 - For the second day in a row the high reached 100°, the first time on record there were back-to-back days in the triple digits.  It would be 25 years before this happened again.  (Since then, there have been seventeen occasions with consecutive days, or more, with triple digit readings, with the last time being in 2011).

 

City Baths 1900s

 

November 28 - Today would have been quite cold even by the standards of mid-winter as the high/low was only 26°/19°, making this the coldest Thanksgiving Day of the 20th century (based on mean temperature). 

December 4-6: This three-day period had very similar, very cold highs and lows: 27°/21°, 27°/19°, and 27°/17°.

December 15 - After mild temperatures in the overnight hours, and a hard rain in the morning that amounted to 1.16", the temperature plummeted from 60° to 22 °.

December 16-21 - This six-day period had three pairs of days with identical highs/lows: 26°/20° on Dec. 16 and 17; 28°/20° on Dec. 18 and 19; and 26°/19° on Dec. 20 and 21.

December 23-28 - This six-day period had very similar, slightly above average high temperatures: 42°-43°-43°-42°-43°-44° (today).

 

- 1902 -

January 1 - This morning's low of 13° was the coldest reading of the winter - the first winter since 1871 not to have any lows in the single digits or colder.  A typical winter's coldest reading in this era was typically around 2° or 3° above zero.

July 9 - Today was the only day of the year with a high in the 90s, making this the only summer (going back to 1869) with just one 90-degree reading.  And the mercury went no higher than 90°.

July 28 - An evening thunderstorm between 6:45-8:30 PM flooded the City with 3.08" of rain, with almost all of it (3.00") falling in an hour (and two inches fell in a 30-minute period).  At the time this was Central Park's greatest 60-minute rainfall on record (until a storm on Sept. 5, 1913 dropped 3.31").

August 6 - Just ten days after a tremendous short-duration deluge flooded the City, another one occurred today at daybreak.  Of the 2.21" of rain that fell from 5:15 to 7:45 AM, almost all of it (1.91") was concentrated in a 30-minute period.

September 2 - Today, with a high of 82°, was the last day to report a high in the 80s (or warmer) this year - the earliest date for this occurrence (a mark that still stands).  Typically, the last 80+ reading is during the last week of September. 

September 9 - Today's rainfall of 0.86" was enough to be a record for the date, a record which still stands.  Only one other record daily rainfall is less than one inch (0.91" on April 29, 1909).

November 29 - Today's low of 34° was the coldest reading of the month, making this the first November whose coldest low wasn't 32° or colder.  (A typical November between 1870 and 1900 averaged eight such lows.)

December 9 - It was a bitterly cold day, with a high/low of only 17°/8°, which was 25 degrees colder than average.

 

- 1903 -

January 1-6 - The first six days of the year had very similar high temperatures: 40°-41°-42°-40°-42°-40° (today).  This was slightly milder than average. 

February 16-17 - A snowfall of 9.5" was the biggest accumulation of the winter - and occurred on the same date as the previous winter's biggest snowfall (10").

June 24 - This was the sixteenth day of the past eighteen to have measurable rain.  Nearly seven inches fell during this period, coming after a 15-day stretch with no rain (and just 0.30" fell in the prior seven-and-a-half weeks).  During these wet days there was also an eight-day streak (6/13-20) in which highs were only in the 60s (highs are typically in the upper 70s).

June 29 - A rainstorm that began at daybreak continued until 1 PM and dumped 2.57" of rain (a record amount for the date).  Much of it (1.90") poured down between 11 AM and 1 PM.

July 3 - This was the 20th day of the past 27 (since 6/7) to report measurable rain, totaling 10.37".

September 16 - A category 1 hurricane made landfall on the Jersey shore in the morning and brought a brief period of heavy rain to New York between 11 AM-2 PM, with 1.63" measured.

October 8-9 - A stalled hurricane (that weakened to tropical storm status), and a low-pressure system that formed along an approaching cold front, combined to create a tremendous rainstorm that produced 11.63" over 26 hours.  The deluge started late in the morning of the 8th (4.30" was measured) and continued thru mid-afternoon on the 9th (when 7.33" fell).  Rain fell at a rate of an inch every two hours for a large portion of the storm; at its most intense, 2.54" fell from 9-11 AM on the 9th.  At the time the rainfall on the storm's second day was New York's second greatest daily amount (behind Sept. 23, 1882's 8.28"); it's now ranked fourth.

November 29 - For the fifth day in a row the high was 32° or colder (average high in late November is in the mid-40s).

December 16 - This was the third day in a row with a high of 26°.  Lows on these three days were 21° (12/14), 20° (12/15) and 19° (12/16).  This streak followed a high of 54° on 12/13.

December 20 - Today's rainfall of 1.34" made 1903 New York's wettest year on record, passing 1889 (which had 57.16").  This would remain New York's wettest year until 1972 (it's now fallen to eleventh place).

 

- 1904 -

January 6 - Ten of the past eleven days had highs of 32° or colder.  The average high/low during this time was 25°/13°.  Yesterday had the coldest reading, -4° (the only sub-zero reading of the decade).  And Jan. 2 had eight inches of snow (2.3" of snow accumulated from two other snowfalls in late December).

February 9-19 - One month after an extended cold wave, another one of identical length moved in.  Ten of the eleven days had highs of 32° or colder.  The average high/low during these days was 25°/11°, twelve degrees colder than average.  The coldest reading during this period was 2° on Feb. 16, and two snowfalls produced five inches of snow.

 

Curling-in-Central-Park-photo-Detroit-publishing-900x691

August 20 - Today's 3.63" of rain was a record for the date (that still stands), with much of it falling between 1-10 AM and nearly half (1.73") fell in an hour. 

September 13 - Although it was just 0.01", today's rain broke a three-week dry spell.

September 14-15 - After three weeks in which just 0.01" of rain fell, 3.84" poured down from a hurricane that crossed the eastern end of Long Island and tore 19 barges from their moorings in New York Harbor.  The rain was split pretty evenly between the evening of 9/14 and the following morning.

November 3 - Today's high of 60° would be the last high of 60+ for more than four months (until a high of 67° on March 18).

December 17-18 - Six inches of snow fell four days after a snowfall of seven inches.

 

New-york-winter 1900s vintage photography

 

December 22 - This was the last day of a two-week period with unseasonably cold weather.  The average high/low of 32°/21° was ten degrees below average.  Eight of the days had highs that were 32° or colder. 

 

- 1905 -

January 1 - With a high/low of 53°/42°, this was the first time since 1889 that New Year's Day was completely above freezing.  And the day's high would be the warmest for eleven weeks (thru March 18).

January 25 - Steady snow that began last night continued until 9 PM tonight and accumulated 11 inches, the biggest snowfall since the blizzard of February 1899.  Temperatures fell from the mid-twenties in the early morning to low teens by the time the last flakes fell.  This was the fourth snowstorm of six inches or more since mid-December.

 

1905-Fifth-Avenue-27th-Streeet-cleaning-up-after-snow-photo-Detroit-Publishing-900x721

 

January 28 - With a high of 33°, today was the only day in the two-week period from Jan. 23 to Feb. 5 to have a high above freezing.

February 21 - Today, with a high/low of 41°/33°, was the mildest day of the month (and the only day with a low above freezing).  Not surprisingly, this would be the third coldest February on record (it's since fallen to fifth).

March 18 - Today's high of 67° was the first daily high reading above 50° in ten weeks, since Jan. 7.

September 3 - Today was the fifth day in a row in which the temperature was stuck in the 70s. The high/low of these five days: 77°/71° (on 8/30); 78°/70°; 76°/70°; 75°/70°; and 79°/73° (today).  Another feature of today was heavy rain during the morning that amounted to 2.47", with almost all of it falling between 6 AM and noon. 

September 18 - Today's high/low of 77°/72° was the tenth time this summer temperatures were stuck in the 70s for the entire day - the most of any year (a record that still stands).

October 20 - Six of the past seven days had highs in the 70s (warmest reading was 77°) at a time of year when the average high is in the low 60s.  And four of the days had lows in the 60s (warmest was 68° on the 19th, a record that still stands).  Cooler air moved in later today after the exit of a coastal storm that produced 2.33" of rain between last night and noon today.

November 28 - The first significant rain in the past 38 days fell today, a period when just 0.20" was measured.  0.56" fell during the PM hours and continued into the following day, with an additional 1.01" measured.

 

- 1906 -

March 25 - Since March 13 the average high/low was just 35°/24°, twelve degrees below average, with every day's high colder than 40°.  This winter-like cold was accompanied by two significant snowfalls of 6.5" (mostly on the 15th) and 5" (on the 19th).  Before these snowfalls just 9.5" had fallen this winter. 

July 23 - Despite a sultry low of 80°, today's high failed to reach 90°, peaking at 87°.  This is the only instance in which an 80-degree low was followed by a high that stayed in the 80s.

September 21 - Today's low of 75° was the 61st day this year with a low of 70° or warmer.   No other year has had more (2010 came close, with 60 such days).  This amount was more than double the average of 30 days.

December 4 - The high/low was a bitingly cold 26°/13°.  This compares to the average high/low in the first week of December of 48°/33°.  Only Christmas Eve day would see colder readings this month (20°/12°).

 

- 1907 -

January 4 - For the second year in a row the first reading in the 60s fell on this date, more than two months earlier than the typical date (March 11).  The day's high in both years was 60°.  (At the time only 1876 had an earlier date for a reading in the 60s; since then, nine years have had first 60s on one of the first three days of January.)

February 5 - Since Jan. 17, 26" of snow accumulated from seven days with measurable snow.  Nearly half, 11", fell today.  And nearly the same amount would fall in the next two months (thru 4/9).

April 9 - Today's five-inch snowfall was the seventh of four inches or more in the past three months. 

November 10 - Today's high of 61° was the relatively chilly mildest reading of the month - and there wouldn't be another reading in the 60s until March 26.

December 31 - On the night of the first ball-drop in Times Square, the temperature was in the mid-30s under fair skies.

 

- 1908 -

February 6 - Today's snowfall of eight inches came two weeks after a snowfall of ten inches.

 

1908-New-York-City-horse-streetcar-in-snow-900x718

 

February 10 - This was the eighth day of the past nine with a high of 32° or colder.  The day with a high warmer than 32°, Feb. 6, had eight inches of snow.  The average high/low during these nine days was 27°/13°.

March 11-15 - This string of five days had very similar high temperatures, which were close to ten degrees above average: 53°-55°-54°-54°-55°. 

July 7 - This morning's low was a stifling 84°, close to the average high in mid-July, and the warmest low reading on record.  Another 84° low would occur in mid-August.  It would then be another 87 years before this reading was reached again (and once more in 2011).  Despite such a warm start, the highs on both days this summer reached just 93°.

 

Beach stroll 1900s

August 2 - This was the only day between July 18 and Aug. 17 not to have a low of 70° or warmer.

September 27 - This was the 21st day in a row with no rain.  (The other nine days of the month had rain on three days, which amounted to 1.91".)

October 16 - Today's high of 80° came five weeks and one day after the previous reading in the 80s (Sept. 11).  If that September date had remained as the year's last 80+ temperature it would have been one of the earliest on record for this occurrence.  (1902 holds the record, Sept. 2.)

October 27 - For the fourth day in row lows were in the mid-to-upper 60s, about twenty degrees above average, and warmer than the typical high during this time of year (61°).  Two of the days had record-high lows which are still standing (69° on the 25th, 66° on the 27th).

November 8-11 - The highs/lows of this four-day period were very similar: 56°/49°, 57°/46°, 57°/47° and 58°/47°.  These temperatures were five degrees milder than average.

November 18 - The 0.05" of rain that fell today was the last measurable precipitation of the month.  In total, just 0.71" fell, tying Nov. 1890 as the driest November on record (they've since fallen to third).  This followed a dry October and September, in which just 1.38" and 1.91" of rain fell, respectively.  The four inches of rain that was measured made this the driest fall on record (and the following year would be the second driest).  It would be two-and-a-half weeks before the next measurable precipitation fell (on 12/6).

December 26-28 - The highs and lows of this three-day period were very similar: 40°/35°, 40°/34° and 40°/35°.  And temperatures on 12/25 and 12/29 were somewhat similar as well (42°/36° and 43°/35°). 

December 30 - Today was the last day, and 94th day of the year, with measurable precipitation (0.12" of rain fell) - the fewest number of days on record (later tied in 1941).  The year's total precipitation, 41.01", was slightly below the average of the previous 40 years (43.58").

 

- 1909 -

April 29 - Today's rainfall of 0.91" was enough to be a record for the date, a record which still stands.  Only one other daily rainfall record is less than one inch (0.86" on Sept. 9, 1902).

August 16 - 4.80" of rain fell, but it wasn't from a tropical system.  At the time, this rainfall was tied for third greatest daily amount (it's now tied for 13th).  Rain on this rainy Monday fell heaviest between 10 AM and 9 PM.

August 21 - After 8.50" of rain had fallen in the first twenty days of the month, there would be no measurable rainfall for the next 15 days.

December 13 - A nor'easter produced 3.03" of rain (and an inch of snow at the onset), a record amount for the date, and the most to fall in one day in the month of December (3.25" fell for the entirety of the storm).  Rain fell throughout the day, but significant amounts fell after 11 AM; more than half of the rain fell between 7-11 PM.  

December 14 - Today's high of 53°, which occurred in the wee hours of the morning, would be the last high in the 50s until Feb. 27. 

December 15 - This was the last day this month with a high above 40°.  (The next time the high rose to 40°+ would be on Jan. 2.)

December 25 - Snow began falling mid-afternoon and by midnight seven inches had accumulated (an additional inch fell after midnight).  After 10 PM winds gusted to 30 mph.  This snowfall exceeded the Christmas Day snowfall of 1902 by half an inch to become the snowiest Christmas on record (which still stands).

 

 Hanging laundry

 

To read about weather highlights in other decades:

Late 19th Century (1869-1899)

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

 

 

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August 2020 Weather Recap: A Continuation of Summer's Above Average Temperatures

Isaias august 2020

 

Like June and July, August was warmer than average, but not to the degree of the two preceding summer months.  It was 1.7 degrees above average and the 23rd hottest August on record.  This followed June, which was 16th hottest (2.3 degrees above average), and July, which was 7th hottest (+3.5 degrees). There were no scorching heat waves, but the number of days with lows in the 70s was above average.  Tropical storm Isaias, which struck on the 4th, was August's weather highlight, followed by a thunderstorm on the 12th that was the month's biggest rain maker.  Overall, the month's 5.03" of rain was a touch above average.

 

There were four days in the 90s and six days with highs of 88° or 89°.  Hottest reading of the month was 92°. The two days with the warmest lows (78° on Aug 2 and 77° on Aug 11) failed to have highs of 90+.  There were no heat waves and none of the days in the 90s were back to back.

 

Tropical storm Isaias was largely a wind event, with well under an inch of rain measured.  A gust of close to 50 mph was clocked in Central Park while the area's major airports all had gusts around 70 mph.  By comparison, a severe evening thunderstorm eight days after the tropical storm produced 1.76", more than three times the amount from Isaias (0.55").

 

This was the seventh August in a row with no lows in the 50s (coolest reading was 62°).  There were 19 days with lows in the 70s, which was well above average (13).  Only six Augusts have had more; five others also had 19.  However, the number of days with lows of 75°+ was just slightly more than average, ranking 29th (and tied with six other years).  The fourth longest streak of days with lows of 70+, 20 days, ended on 8/7 (just two shy of the longest streak).

 

Finally, the summer of 2020 was the fourth hottest on record (tied with 1983).  However, it was tied for fourth warmest average low, but 18th hottest average high.  Although rainfall was slightly above average, it was enough to make 2020 the second wettest of the ten hottest Augusts (just 0.11" behind 1983).

 

Chart - 10 hottest summers

 Dog days of summer

 

Here are previous August recaps:

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015