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February 2021 Recap: New York Trudges Through One of Snowiest Februarys On Record
A Taste of Summer: The Year's First High of 80+

2021's Weather Happenings

 

 2021JANUARY

January 26 - The 0.1" of snow that fell was the first measurable snow since the 10.4" snowstorm of Dec. 16-17, nearly six weeks ago.  Today's high and low were just three degrees apart (34°/31°).

January 31 - Until this evening, the month was set to become one of the five least snowy Januarys on record, with just 0.1" measured.  However, the opening volley of snow, from a snowstorm that would bury the City tomorrow, moved in this evening, and by midnight two inches had accumulated.  This was the most snow to fall on this date since 1898 (when five inches piled up).  The 2.1" that fell this month made this the third January in a row with well below-average snowfall (Jan. 2019 had 1.1", Jan. 2020 had 2.3").

 

FEBRUARY

February 1 - A monster snowstorm that moved in last night buried the City today, and largely exited by daybreak the following day.  In total, 17.4” of snow was measured, with 14.8” of it piling up today.  The rate of snowfall was greatest from mid-morning thru mid-afternoon.  The temperature rose from 22° just after midnight to 34° in the early evening, when the snow mixed with freezing rain and drizzle, which put a stop to further significant accumulation.  15”-24” accumulations were common throughout the region.  Besides the snow, high winds were also an issue, gusting between 30-40 mph in Central Park.  

With this snowstorm, the winter became New York’s twelfth with two or more snowfalls of ten inches or more (the first one was on Dec. 16-17, when 10.4” fell).  This was New York’s biggest snowfall in five years (when New York experienced its biggest snowfall of all-time), and tied for fifteenth greatest accumulation on record (with Feb. 3-4, 1961). 

February 7 - Today was Super Bowl Sunday, and up until this year, the most snow to fall on this occasion was 1.5" in 2000.  That amount was easily eclipsed today, when a fast moving storm dropped 4.5" from mid-morning thru late afternoon (Central Park was low-man on the totem pole as most surrounding areas had six to eight inches).  It was a wet snow, that began falling when the temperature was 37°, with the temperature not reaching 32° until early afternoon.  This brought the month's snowfall to 19.9".

February 16 - While the Southern Plains, Midwest and Ohio Valley were subjected to severe cold, snow and ice, New York basked in mild temperatures and sunny skies during the afternoon as the temperature rose to 51°, the first reading in the 50s since Jan. 2 (when the high was also 51°).  This respite broke a nine-day streak with colder than average temperatures (but below average temperatures would return the next day).  Before the sun came out a period of heavy rain fell before sunrise, amounting to 0.82". 

 

MARCH

March 5 - Sunny and cold (high/low of 37°/23°) with very low humidity in the afternoon, which bottomed out at 17% between 3-4:00.  This was the lowest humidity reported in Central Park since the first week of May last year.

March 9 - Under fair skies, the temperature rose into the 60s for the first time this year, about five weeks later than the typical date for this occurrence.  The day's high of 64° was the mildest reading since Thanksgiving Day (when the high was 65°).  Also, the air was also quite dry, dropping to 23% during the afternoon.

March 12 - One week after the humidity dropped to 17%, it was even lower this afternoon, bottoming out at 13% during mid-afternoon.  The last time Central Park reported a level lower than this was on today's date in 2016, when it was 12%.  Today's humidity was at 20% or lower for 11 consecutive hours.  Besides the low humidity, the day also featured very mild temperatures, with a high of 68°.  The day also had the year's first low in the 50s.

March 15 - Afternoon humidity fell to 12% during the afternoon, the lowest reported in Central Park since March 2016.  Additionally, dew points were extraordinary low, dropping below zero a few hours before daybreak and remaining sub-zero thru the wee hours of 3/16.  (And during the afternoon they were below -10°.)  Today was also the 14th day in a row with no measurable precipitation, the longest streak of dry weather since last June.

March 17 - This was the 16th day in a row with no measurable precipitation, matching last year's longest dry streak in September; these are the longest dry spells since an 18-day streak in the fall of 2017.  

March 18 - After one of the driest first halves of March on record (0.16" was measured), light rain that began at around 9 AM continued for the rest of the day.  The rain amounted to 0.60", and was the first measurable precipitation since 3/1.   Temperatures were mostly stuck in the mid-40s.  

March 26 - Between noon and 2:00 winds shifted from the southeast to the southwest and the temperature jumped from the low 60s to low 80s.  Today’s high of 82°, a record for the date, and the first reading in the 80s in March since 1998.   This early jump into summer was a surprise since the predicted high was in the low 70s.  This became the eighth year to have its first reading of 80+ in March, and the fourth earliest date (after March 13, 1990; March 20, 1945, and March 21, 1921).  Interestingly, this early first 80 followed last summer’s early last 80, which happened on 9/10.

 

APRIL

1 - Temperatures were in the chilly 44°-50° range during the Home Opener of the Yankees, made even chillier by blustery conditions, as winds gusted between 25-30 mph.  The only positive aspect of the day (the Yankees lost to Toronto in 10 innings) was that the sun began to break through the overcast skies during the second half of the game. 

4 - Despite starting out overcast, it turned into a beautiful Easter Sunday as the skies cleared late in the morning, and the temperature rose to 65°.   The air was also quite dry, with the relative humidity falling to 23% late in the afternoon.  

6 - On a stunningly beautiful day, the high reached 70° and the humidity dropped to 7% late in the afternoon – the lowest humidity level reported in Central Park since 2007 (6% on March 30).  This followed 13% humidity yesterday afternoon (and March had a day with 12% humidity, and two others with 13%).  For five hours the humidity stayed below 10% (and dew points were in the 3°-5° range).

8 -  Skies were sunny, the mercury rose to 70°, and the Mets came from behind in the bottom of the ninth inning to win their home opener against Miami, 3-2.  As so often happens, the Mets had better home-opener weather than the Yankees, as skies were brighter, and it was about twenty degrees warmer.  

28 - In a span of ten hours the mercury shot from 52° (at 4AM) to 85° (2PM), the warmest reading since Sept. 5 (when the high also reached 85°).   Yesterday's high, by contrast, was a slightly below average 64°.  Today's diurnal variation of 33 degrees was the greatest since Jan. 13, 2018, when it was 39 degrees (high/low of 58°/19°).  This was the year's second reading in the 80s, occurring five weeks after the first. 

 

MAY

18 - This morning's low of 60° was the first low in the 60s this year, the latest date for this occurrence since 2003 (when it happened on 5/30).  Under partly cloudy skies, the high rose to 82°.  (Last year's first 60+ low was also late, occurring on 5/15.)  Since 1980, the typical date of the first 60+ low has been 5/2. 

26 - It was a warm and sticky day.  Temperatures varied greatly in the area, as the high reached 86° in Central Park (and at LaGuardia), while Kennedy Airport was just 75°, and Newark Airport's high was 94° (its fourth reading in the 90s this month; CPK had none).  Rain showers in the early evening and around midnight produced 0.07" of rain, the most in two-and-a-half-weeks.  (Because severe thunderstorms were predicted, the Mets and Yankees postponed their games, but the storms didn't materialize.)   

28 - Morning sunshine gave way to overcast skies in the afternoon, and rain moved in after 4:00 (just as the Memorial Day weekend was getting underway).  The rain became steady and wind-swept after dark (peak gust was 36 mph at Central Park), and amounted to 1.22", which was a record amount for the date (the rain continued thru the morning of 5/29).  The temperature dropped from 69° in the early afternoon to 49° less than twelve hours later.  This was the latest date for a reading in the 40s since 2000 (when it happened on 6/7). 

30 - Today’s very cool high/low of 51°/47° was identical to yesterday’s.  But while yesterday’s high tied for the coolest high on 5/29, today’s high broke the record by four degrees.  These highs were 24 degrees below average (and more typical of the first day of spring).  Today’s and yesterday’s high/low were the chilliest back-to-back days in late May since May 25-26, 1967 (46°/42° and 53°/46°).  And also like yesterday, there were gray skies and rain, with 0.89" falling from sunrise to mid-afternoon.  The 48-hour rainfall total (from two storm systems, beginning late afternoon on 5/28) was 2.57”, which was nearly 50% more than what fell between May 1-27 (1.77”). 

Coincidentally, May 29-30 of last year had the same, but much warmer, high/low:  81°/67°.  This is just the second time that the same dates in  consecutive years had temperature "twins" (the other instance was in 1897 ad 1898 on July 27-28).

31 - Today, Memorial Day, was the fourth day in a row with a low in the 40s, tying May 1884 for the latest streak of this many days.  (However, 1884's streak was chillier: 48°-43°-42°-48° vs. this year's 49°-47°-47°-49°.   This was the chilliest three-day Memorial Day weekend on record.  Although Memorial Day was eight degrees cooler than average (high/low of 70°/49°), it felt summer-like compared to Saturday and Sunday, which were overcast, rainy and very cool, with each day having a high/low of just 51°/47°. 

 

JUNE

6 - Central Park had its first reading in the 90s this year (92°), as well its first low in the 70s (76°) -  the first time since 2013 that both occurred on the same date.  Today's first low in the 70s fell on the same date as last year's; the last time this happened was in 1988 and 1989 (when the date was 5/30).  This weekend's highs of 89°/91°, and those of two weeks ago, 89°/88°, were in very stark contrast to last weekend's highs of 51°/51° (Memorial Day weekend). 

9 - With a high of 90°, this was the fourth, and last, day of a four-day heat wave.  (And the day before the heat wave started, the high reached 89°.)  This was the first heat wave of this length in June since 2008.  And although that heat wave's average high was significantly hotter (95° vs. 91°), this June's heat wave had low temperatures that were significantly warmer (75° vs 70°).  It was also very humid, with dew points largely in the 68°-72° range, producing afternoon heat indices in the mid-90s.  With four days in the 90s through 6/9, this was the earliest for that number of days since 2000, when the fourth such reading occurred on 6/2 (ironically, that year would have only seven in total). 

12 - Today's high/low of 69°/62° was the same as yesterday's (and skies were overcast both days).  This followed another pair of days with the same high/low just just a few days earlier, as June 8 and 9 each had a high/low of 90°/72°.   (And June 6 and 7 missed being "twin" days by one degree, as the highs/lows were 92°/76° and 91°/76°).   Two weeks earlier, on Memorial Day weekend, the high/low on both days was 51°/47°.  (A typical years has two or three of these temperature twins.) 

23 - Today's low of 55° was the chilliest reading of the month (but far from 1918's record of 49°), and the coolest reading this late in June since 1995, when a low of 54° occurred on June 28.

27 - For the second year in a row (a first), the high reached 90° on Pride Sunday.  And with an afternoon dew point in the 70°-71° range, the heat index reached 96°.  Skies were a mix of sun and clouds, which cleared as evening approached.

30 - It was scorching-hot day, with a high of 98°, the hottest reading in Central Park since the summer of 2013, and the hottest high temperature in June since 1994 (also 98°).  This was the fourth day in a row with a high in the 90s (the other days had highs of 90°, 92°, and 95°), joining another four-day heat wave earlier in the month.  This was just the second June with two heat waves of four days or more (the other was in 1943, which is the hottest June on record).  Cooling showers moved through after 8:30, dropping the temperature to 73° (the morning low had been a sultry 80°).  The rain kept this from being the second June in a row with less than two inches of rain, and the amount that fell (0.65", much of it between 10-11 PM) was the greatest daily amount of the month.

 

JULY

3 - Three days after June had its hottest reading since 1994, today's low of 59° was the first in the 50s in July since 2009.  And under overcast skies the temperature rose only to 66°, which was three degrees cooler than the average low for the date.  This was the first high in the 60s in July since 2013, and the coolest July high since 2005.  Furthermore, today's mean temperature of 62.5° was the coolest in July since July 12, 1990, which had the same mean (high/low of 67°/58).  Finally, today was  the fourth day in a row with measurable rain.  Today's 0.34", which fell mostly during heavy showers shortly after daybreak, brought the 4-day total to 2.56", which was nearly as much as what fell during the entire month of June (2.62").   

4 - This morning’s refreshing low of 60° (shortly after midnight) was the coolest on the holiday since 1992 (when it was also 60°).  Only ten other 4th of Julys have had a cooler low.   (In the years since 2000 the average low had been 70°.)  The high of 79° was the coolest in six years, but after last week's four-day heat wave, today’s temperatures were delightful for spending time outdoors celebrating the nation’s birthday.  

6 - After a steamy high of 92° (the third year in a row with a high in the 90s on this date), thunderstorms between 6-11 PM dropped the temperature some 20 degrees.  (Winds gusted close to 60 mph at LaGuardia and Newark airports, and a 37 mph gust was clocked at Central Park.)   This evening's rainfall amounted to 0.55" and brought the seven-day total to 3.11". 

8 - After sunny skies predominated through early afternoon, 2.27" of rain flooded the City between 4:30-7 PM, setting a rainfall record for the date (the previous record was from 1899).  Much of the rain fell during a severe thunderstorm that produced torrential rain during the evening rush hour, dumping 1.56" between 5-6 PM.  NYC was the bullseye for this storm, as the area's three major airports had much less, with LaGuardia reporting 0.95",  JFK getting 0.32", and Newark seeing just 0.09".  Today's rain was the greatest daily amount to fall in Central Park since July 10 of last year, when 2.54" was measured as tropical storm Fay passed by (also a record amount).

9 - 12 hours after the City was flooded by a torrential downpour during yesterday’s evening rush hour, heavy rain from the remnants of hurricane Elsa made this morning's commute a challenge.  1.79” of rain fell this morning, largely between 3-9AM.  (Elsa brought significantly more rain over Long Island, largely in the 3-4” range.)  Then tonight, between 10:30-11:00, one more heavy shower moved through, adding 0.27" to the day's total.  And like yesterday's amount, today's 2.06" was a record for the date (easily breaking the old record of 1.09"). 

In the past ten days (Since 6/30), seven days of rain have totaled 7.44”, equal to what fell in the previous eleven weeks.  Between yesterday afternoon and later this morning, 4.06” of rain was measured in Central Park.  This was the greatest 24-hour total since April 30, 2014, when 4.97” poured down.

12 - In the wee hours of the morning, Central Park had its third one-hour deluge of an inch or more in the past five days.  The 1.42” that poured down, mostly between 2:15-3:15, brought the month’s rainfall to 8.49”, making this the wettest July since 1975, and the 7th wettest July (with 19 days to go).  The rest of the day was rain-free, but oppressive, with dew points in the 72° to 75° range.  This produced a heat index in the low 90s (the afternoon high was 86°).

13 - After getting soaked by six inches of rain in the past five days, today was rain free, but gray skies/low clouds predominated, and the air was thick with humidity.  This combination kept the temperature from rising much, as the high of 72° was just three degrees warmer than the low.  But despite afternoon temperatures that were 13 degrees below average, the air wasn't refreshingly cool since daytime humidity was in the 85%-90% range.

26 - For the second day in a row there was a heavy period of pre-dawn showers; yesterday’s downpour produced 0.49”, today’s amounted to 0.78”.  Today’s amount brought July’s rainfall over ten inches, joining 26 other months that have exceeded the amount (out of 1,831+ months, going back to 1869).  This was the first time a month had ten inches or more of precipitation since June 2013, and the most in any month since August 2011’s 18.95” (rainiest month on record in Central Park).  The 10.48” that has fallen so far this month made it the third wettest July on record.

29 - Three days after July became the 27th month to have 10+ inches of rain, today it became the 15th to have more than 11+ inches, as a little under a half-inch fell during thunderstorms between 5-9 PM.  The City escaped turbulent conditions that affected parts of NJ and eastern PA, where a number of tornadoes touched down.  And the thunderstorms that moved through the City weakened as they moved over Manhattan, reducing the predicted amounts of rain.  This was the 18th day that measurable rain fell in July; only July 1871 had more days (20).  However, July 2021 had twice as much rain.

 

AUGUST

21 - A plume of tropical moisture associated with hurricane Henri (still hundreds of miles to the southeast of NYC) moved in after 8 PM, flooding the City with 4.45" of rain, a record for the date (much of it fell between 10 PM-midnight).  Today’s rainfall was three times the amount that fell in the first 20 days of the month (1.46”).  NYC appeared to be the bulls-eye for the torrential rain as La Guardia, JFK, and Newark had much less (but still significant) amounts of  2.46", 2.13", and 1.28", respectively.  The rain that poured down tonight was the most to fall on a calendar date in Central Park since April 30, 2014, when 4.97" poured down.

Despite the fact that the amount of rain that fell to break the 1888 record of 4.19", fell between midnight-1 AM (0.36") on 8/22, this is because the NWS uses Standard Time year-round for its daily observations rather than Daylight Saving Time during the spring and summer months; therefore, midnight- 1 AM Daily Saving Time is actually 11P-midnight Standard Time.

22 - A second round of heavy rain from tropical storm Henri began shortly after daybreak, as the storm headed to Rhode Island, where it made landfall early this afternoon.  Although today’s soaking rain wasn’t torrential, like it was last night (when 4.45” poured down), the 2.67” that fell today was enough to establish a record for the second day in a row.  (This followed back-to-back record rainfalls last month, on 7/8 and 7/9).  The rain fell heaviest between 2-5 PM, when 1.49" was measured. 

The 24-hour rainfall total of 7.04” (between 8 PM yesterday and 8 PM today) was the greatest amount to fall in this amount of time since April 2007, when 7.80” fell between 2AM on 4/15 and  2AM on 4/16.  Although Henri produced record rainfall in NYC, one saving grace was that that there were no gusty winds to contend with.      

23 - The last spasms of what was once hurricane Henri produced 1.07” of rain shortly before daybreak (when 0.93” fell), and during lunchtime (when the dew point rose to 75°, the peak reading during Henri's "visit").  This was the third day in a row to have more than an inch of rain, just the tenth time this has happened, and the first time since Oct. 12-14, 2005.  In total, 8.19” of rain fell.  This brought August’s rainfall to 9.65”, and July-August’s total over 20 inches – just the fifth time a pair of consecutive months has received this much rain.  Finally, August 2021 is now the fifth rainiest August on record (following July, which was the third rainiest).

27 - It was hot and humid, with a high of 93° (the heat index reached 102°), the third day in a row with a high in the 90s.  Then a thunderstorm moved through late in the afternoon and produced enough rain in Central Park (0.67”, almost all of which fell between 5:15-5:45 PM) to bring August’s rainfall over ten inches.  This was after July had 11.09" of rain, making July-August just the second time consecutive months had 10 inches or more of rain.  (The other time, March-April 1983, has been disputed because the rain gauge in CPK was broken for a good portion of the year).  Just before the skies opened up, the dew point rose to 77°, which was the highest of the summer.  Interestingly, no rain fell in my Greenwich Village neighborhood (just thunder), which is about three miles south of Central Park (while LaGuardia Airport had twice as much rain as the Park).

 

SEPTEMBER

1 - Although Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in Louisiana four days ago as a category 4 storm, had weakened to a tropical depression by the time it made its way to the Mid-Atlantic, what energy remained packed quite a punch as New York was flooded by extreme rainfall and lashed by tropical storm-force winds (causing more disruptions than tropical storm Henri did less than two weeks ago).  After a first round of moisture brought light showers shortly after sunrise, there was a lull until 5 PM when heavy rain moved in, becoming torrential a few hours later.  By midnight, 7.13" had been measured in Central Park – comparable to seven weeks of rain, and two-and-a-half inches more than a typical September sees in its entirety. 

At its most intense, between 9-10 PM, more than three inches poured down.  Because of this excessive rate of rainfall, the National Weather Service, for the first time, issued a Flash Flood Emergency for NYC, and subway service was suspended throughout the City.   Shockingly, 13 residents in Brooklyn and Queens died from flood-related causes.  Unlike Henri, which wasn’t a wind producer, Ida’s visit was accompanied by winds that gusted between 35-50 mph.  

Between Aug. 21 (when Henri moved in) and today, 15.99" of rain was measured in Central Park.  And between June 30 and today, 29.19" fell.  By comparison, average rainfall during this nine-week period is around 9.30".

23-24 - Chilly air moving into air that was warm and humid (dew points were around 70°) produced periods of heavy rain that began in the evening and continued until sunrise the following day.  2.03” fell in total (1.36” of it today), with much of it, 0.86”, pouring down between 7-8 PM (and 0.51” between 3-5 AM).  The rainstorm brought the month’s total to 9.76”, making this the rainiest September since 2004 (11.51”), and the sixth wettest on record (following July and August, which were the third and fifth wettest of their respective months).

This was also the first time on record that three months in a row had more than nine inches of rain (totaling a little more than 31 inches).  With a little more than three months left to 2021, 51.69" of precipitation has been measured, which is more than what an entire year averages (a little under 50 inches).  

28 - Early afternoon showers amounted to 0.27”, pushing September’s rainfall over ten inches (10.03”).  Not only was this the most rain to fall in September since 2004, it was the third month in a row with more than ten inches of rain  – the first time for such a streak (July had 11.09”, August had 10.32”).  However, this wasn’t Central Park’s rainiest three-month period, as the 31.44” that fell was  three inches less than the 34.43” that fell in Aug-Sept-Oct 2011 (18.95”, 9.39” and 6.09”, respectively).

 

OCTOBER

13 - Today was the fourth day in a row with a low of 61° (and the seventh day with this low since 10/3).  It was also the sixth day this month with a high/low stuck in the 60s, the most on record for any month.  (On average, October sees one of these days once every two years).  Persistent overcast skies were largely the reason for the temperature not rising much during the daylight hours. 

14 - This was the twelfth day in a row with a low in the 60s, a record streak for the month of October (breaking a tie with October 2018).  Interestingly, the low temperatures during this streak were all in the narrow 60°-62° range (but highs ranged between 65°-77°).  

15 – Today’s high of 79°, and low of 63° were the warmest of the month.  The low broke the 12-day streak in which the low temperatures were in the 60°-62 range°.  With 13 days with lows of 60+, this October tied October 1879 for the most lows this mild in October.

16 - Today was the 15th day in a row with an above-average mean temperatures (average of high/low), the longest such streak since the winter of 2019-20, when there was a streak of 18 days (Dec. 22 - Jan. 8).  This period was six degrees above average.  Meanwhile, a 13-day streak of lows of 60+ ended today, after a cold front swept through during the evening, dropping the temperature to 56 by midnight.  This cold front also produced showers that amounted to 0.25”, which was 0.01” less than what fell in the first half of the month (the least rain to fall in the first half of October since 2000).    

17 - Today was the first day since 10/1 to have a below-average mean temperature, as the high/low of 61°/51° was two degree below average.  (10/1's low was also 51°.) 

18 - At 49°, today's low was the season's first in the 40s - the second latest date on record (the latest was in 2005, on 10/20).  This occurrence was three weeks later than average. 

26 - After moving in late last night, a nor’easter dumped 3.30" of rain today, with 2.51” falling this morning, and 0.79” after dark (and it continued falling overnight).  This rain brought an end to what had been a dry October, with less than an inch of rain through yesterday.  Today’s rainfall came very close to the record for the date, 3.40” in 1943 (also produced by a nor’easter).  The storm’s total rainfall of 3.69” made it the third biggest rainstorm of the year, behind Henri's 8.19" in August, and Ida's 7.23" at the beginning of September.

29 - This was the third day this month with a low of 47°, which was the chilliest reading of the month - and the mildest reading for this designation in October (the previous record, 45°, was in 1946 and 1971).   October's coldest reading is typically in the upper 30s.  And today's high of 56 was the chilliest high temperature this month, just two degrees shy of the mildest chilliest high for October (in 1971).

30 - After a coastal storm brought 0.41” of rain last night, an additional 0.53” fell this morning (most of it before sunrise).  Today’s rain (an additional 0.04" fell tonight) brought total rainfall since 10/25 to 4.67”, making this the rainiest last week of October on record.  This more than made up for the 0.15” of rain that was measured in the first half of the month (the driest first half of October since 2000).

 

NOVEMBER

7 - Today was the 50th running of the NYC Marathon, and conditions were close to optimal for runners as temperatures were in the mid-40s to lower-50s range, winds were mostly calm, afternoon humidity was on the low side, and skies were fair (transitioning from clear in the morning to hazy during the afternoon).  High temperatures today and the previous three days: 53° (today)-52°-51°-50° (average high in the first week of November is in the upper-50s).     

10 - For the eighth consecutive day skies were mostly clear (last month, by contrast, featured a 10-day period between Oct. 4-10 that was characterized by overcast skies).  Today was also the tenth day in a row in which no measurable rain fell, making it the longest dry spell to begin November since a 15-day streak in Nov. 1978.  This 10-day rain-free period was in stark contrast to the last 10 days of October, which had 4.75” of rain.  

13 - A fast-moving cold front produced a severe thunderstorm this afternoon between 2-2:30, with hail (a rarity in Manhattan even in the summer, let alone in November), a brief downpour, and 40-50 mph wind gusts.  This line of storms was even more severe along the Jersey shore and on Long Island, where wind gusts between 60-79 mph were clocked.   Temperatures dropped from the low-60s to low-40s by evening.  The 0.33" of rain that was measured pushed the year's precipitation over 58", moving 2021 just outside of the top-10 wettest years.

 

 

Comments

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Rob

Very interesting! And while both locations had equally significant snowfalls in mid-December, the big snowstorm in NYC at the beginning of February was mostly a rain event in Boston, this despite the fact that the high temperatures of the two locations were just one degree apart (35 in Boston, 34 in NYC). For the overall totals, while NYC was about 12 inches above average, Boston was about 11 inches below average.

Joaquin

Since this summer will feature no La Niña or El Niño, what are you weather predictions?

Rob

Hi Joaquin,
Unlike a lot of other weather hobbyists, predictions aren't my area of interest; my focus is on providing historical perspective. (I'm satisfied with what my local weatherman reports.) However, I'm sure my blog's readers have their opinions that they'll be happy to share.

Joaquin

Oh, ok. I knew you had an interest of weather history, but not predictions. I did not know that! I like weather too! I would like to share my prediction! I think this summer will be a little stormer and slightly warmer than normal. The storms will hold back the heat (at least extreme heat). The most heat will come the middle to late summer this year. I hope this summer will not be hot.

Joaquin

When was the last time when temps in late May dipped into the 40s?

Rob

The last time was in 2013 on May 26, when the low was 48. The day before that, the high/low was only 54/45. (Then the last two days of the month rebounded, with back-to-back highs of 90.) Here is a link to a post I wrote a number of years ago about cold and raw days in late May:

https://thestarryeye.typepad.com/weather/2015/05/cruel-raw-days-of-late-may.html

Henry

On the NOAA Online Weather Data page for the NWS website, the new monthly averages based on the 1991-2020 period have now come out.

January: 33.7 degrees
February: 35.9 degrees
March: 42.8 degrees
April: 53.7 degrees
May: 63.2 degrees
June: 72.0 degrees
July: 77.5 degrees
August: 76.1 degrees
September: 69.2 degrees
October: 57.9 degrees
November: 48.0 degrees
December: 39.1 degrees

Every month has warmed up to a certain point over the last ten years. September, October, and December have warmed up the most during the last ten years. March and November have warmed up the least during the last ten years.

Rob

The following link will take you to a post I wrote (a number of years ago) about temperature changes by decade, going back to the 19th century: https://thestarryeye.typepad.com/weather/2015/01/warming-temperatures-decade-by-decade-analysis-.html

Henry

Fascinating post! It is interesting that any month here in the 21st century that is just one or two degrees “cooler than average” would be considered quite warm in the late 19th century.

Rob

Conversely, if we had temperatures in the 21st century that were average for March/April of the 19th century, they would feel like winter months.
https://thestarryeye.typepad.com/weather/2021/03/19th-century-march-was-like-a-winter-month.html

William

regarding the person who asked about the last time temps in late May were in the forties, it should be noted that while no temps have been in the forties from May 28 to August 31 in the years from 2001 to 2020, the previous two decade period, however, (1981-2000) had seven years with a reading in the forties from May 28 to August 31.

Joaquin

Yesterday, for the second year in a row, this Memorial Day almost became the first since 2003 to have a high below 70 each day, (despite being in late May). But the temp briefly rose to 70.

Henry

As a complementary observation to the new monthly averages:

May 2021’s mean temperature was 62.9 degrees. Under the new averages based on the 1991-2020 period, May was 0.3 degrees below average. Under the old averages based on the 1981-2010 period, May would have been 0.4 degrees above average.

Rob

Thanks for pointing out this change. It's curious that it appears to have begun in May. I'd think it would have gone into effect for the previous months of the year as well. Do you have any insight on this? Perhaps the NWS will adjust these months retroactively?

Henry

Yes, this change took effect around the middle of May. I am happy to be a helpful reader, but the only other insight I can give is my astonishment at the slow rate the NWS updates its pages on past weather data. I was actually expecting the new monthly averages to immediately take effect in the second or third week of January, not in May. The monthly almanacs have not even been updated since last year; so not only are the almanacs not showing the new averages, but also they are not yet showing recent daily records like the record snowfall on 2/1 and the record high on 3/26. In sharing the new averages, I used the NOWData bar for help.

It remains to be seen if the first four months of 2021 will be readjusted with the new averages. Each of the first four months was a considerable distance away from the average; so if those months are readjusted, January, March, and April will still be above average, and February will still be below average. May, however, is more interesting because it was just a short distance away from the average.

Joaquin

When was the last time the temp dipped to the mid-50s late in June?

Rob

In June 1995, the low was 54 degrees on the 28th.

Henry

With 8 days in the 90s, June 2021 is tied for 5th place with 1923, 1945, 1953, and 1988 for the most 90 degree days in June. The Junes that had more 90 degree days were 1925 and 1991 (9 days), 1966 (10 days), and 1943 (11 days).

Joaquin

I wonder when the last time this pattern was this stormy in July! Why is that?

Rob

Not only is a wet pattern like this very infrequent in July, but in all other months as well. Like dry patterns, snowy patterns, cold patterns, hot patterns, this wet pattern is a matter of the position of the jet stream. Lately, we've been in a tropical pattern, with many days having dew points around 70, so the air is moist. Here are a few other notable wet periods in July:

9.81" - July 15-31, 1889
9.01" - July 12-28, 1897
7.54" - July 16-28, 1919
7.44" - July 15-28, 1988
7.02" - July 6-15, 1975
6.27" - July 4-14, 1928
5.97" - July 21-25, 1997

William

July was only two (or so) degrees warmer than June of this year. when was the last time July was two or fewer degrees warmer than June? and how often does a calendar year experience a July that ends up no more than two degrees warmer than June?

Rob

The last time July's average temperature was very close to June's was in 2001, when July was just 0.3 degree milder (73.2 vs. 72.9). And the year before that, July was 1.0 degree milder (72.3 vs. 71.3). In total, (including July 2021) there have been 18 instances of July being within 2.0 degrees of June; and three other Julys have been cooler than June (1888, 1895 and 1925).

Andy

The record high temperatures for 8/11 and 8/12 are 102 and 97 both set in 1944 and the record for 8/13 (which is Friday the 13th) is 99 set in 2005. Perhaps 8/11's record is too high to approach but could it possibly approach the records for 8/12 and 8/13? Their current forecasts are 91, 94, and 94

Rob

With the highs forecast to be 88-91 over the next three days, I doubt the records are in danger ...

Henry

For some reason in Central Park, in the spring and summer, if the forecast for a day calls for low 90s, the temperature sometimes falls short and reads 88 or 89. However, if the forecast calls for high 70s or low 80s, the mercury can easily clear the 80-degree mark and even read a few degrees higher. This summer, we could have gotten at least two or three more highs in the 90s in July as well as at least two in May.

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