2020 was 2.4 degrees above average and became New York's second mildest year, behind 2012. Only two months during the year, April and May, were chillier than average. November became the mildest on record, July the seventh hottest, and February and March each became the eighth mildest. January finished just outside the top 10, ranking eleventh, and June made it to sixteenth. The summer was the fifth hottest (tied with 1983). Despite 2020's warmer than average theme, there were some moments of chilliness worth noting:
- April had no highs in the 70s or 80s for the first time in 80 years.
- For the first time since 1978, May had readings in the 30s, and the low of 34° on the 8th was the coldest reading in May since 1891.
- The year's last reading of 80° or warmer was on Sept. 10, which was the earliest of any year with 20 or more days with highs of 90°+. A typical 90s/100s season lasts about three months (late May through late August), but in 2020 it was two months long (late June through late August). However, the number of days in the 90s in 2020 was slightly more than average (20 days).
- Later in September, the low of 49° on Sept. 21 was the the earliest for a low in the 40s since 1993.
- Halloween had its first low of 32° or colder since 1988.
- The first half of the year was dry as the 16.15" measured was eight inches below average (the seventeenth driest first half on record). The second half, however, had nearly twice as much precipitation, with 29.20" measured (three-and-a-half inches above average). May and June both had less than two inches of rain, the first time since 1993 that these months were this dry. Overall, 2020 had 45.35" of precipitation, 4.59" below average.
- Jan. 10 and 11 had record highs of 69° and 68°, respectively. Meanwhile, chilly April's warmest reading was 68°, the first time since 1940 that April's mildest reading wasn't 70° or warmer.
- The winter of 2020's last measurable snowfall was on Jan. 18, the earliest date on record for a last snowfall (breaking 2002's record by one day). At the end of the year December's snowstorm produced more than twice as much as the previous winter.
- Four tropical systems moved through the area. The year's biggest rainmaker was from the first, tropical storm Fay, on July 10, which produced 2.54" of rain, most of it falling in a three-hour period during the afternoon. While Fay brought the rain, tropical storm Isaias on Aug. 4 delivered ferocious winds, with 65-75 mph gusts common outside of Central Park (which had a peak gust of 48 mph).
- July's coolest reading of 67° was the mildest coolest reading of any July. Furthermore, July 2020 had the most lows in the 70s or warmer of any month (26). This helped July become just the seventh to have an average temperature of 80° or above.
- November had its first streak of six days with highs in the 70s (Nov. 6-11). Later in the month, Thanksgiving Day's high of 65° tied for third warmest, and its low of 55° was mildest ever on this holiday. The 0.79" of rain in the morning was the seventh greatest amount for Thanksgiving.
- The 10.5" snowstorm of Dec. 16-17 was the biggest December snowfall in 10 years and the 13th during the month of 10 inches or more. And at 1.7 degrees above average, December 2020 was the second mildest to have more than ten inches of snow.
- An intense storm system on Christmas Day morning dumped the third greatest amount of precipitation on the holiday (0.92"). The day's high of 61° was the eighth reading in the 60s on the holiday. The temperature dropped 32 degrees by midnight, which was the biggest daily drop in temperature all year. 2020 became just the second year (2015 is the other) to have highs in the 60s on Christmas Day (61°), Thanksgiving Day (65°) and Easter Sunday (63°).
- Finally, the temperature profiles of 2020's first and last month were nearly identical. However, December had more than twice the amount of precipitation than January and nearly five times as much snowfall. Despite their similar temperatures January's was much more above average.
Other annual recaps: