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August 2023 Weather Recap: Protective Bubble Keeps Searing Heat Away From NYC


Protective bubble


Compared to other regions of the US, New York continued to be blessed by relatively mild summertime temperatures.  August was 1.1 degrees cooler than average and was the first August since 1986 not to have any reading in the 90s.  (By contrast, last August was the third hottest on record, with 11 days having highs in the 90s.)  It was the coolest August in six years (and the summer of 2023 was the coolest in six years as well).


The month's hottest reading was 88°, which occurred twice (on 8/13 and 8/21).  The last time the warmest temperature in August was 88° (or cooler) was in 1963 (the coolest warmest temperature of any August is 83° in 1927).  The warmest stretch this month was the four days between 8/11-14 with highs of 85°-85°-88°-87° (just slightly warmer than average).


Chart - chilliest warmest reading in aug

This was the tenth year in a row in which August’s coolest temperature was 60° or milder (63°).  Only five Augusts have had their coolest reading milder than this August.  However, the ten days with lows of 70° or warmer was below the average of 14 for August.  (This was after July had 24 such lows, third most on record for that month.)


Chart - mildest chilliest reading in aug

The most above and below average daily mean temperatures were in a narrow range of just +/- five degrees.  The coolest and warmest temperatures in August were just 25 degrees apart (63° and 88°), which is the narrowest range on record for the month of August (average is 34 degrees, 60° and 94°).  This followed July, which had the third smallest temperature range for that month (66° and 93°).  


6.56" of rain fell in Central Park, making this the 29th rainiest August (this was after no measurable rain fell in the first six days of the month).  This was the second greatest amount this year (behind April's 7.70").  Much of the month’s rain (nearly five inches) fell during relatively brief downpours between 1 AM and sunrise on six days.  The biggest deluge was 1.25" that fell between 3:30-5 AM on 8/16.


Here are monthly recaps for past Augusts:










Hurricanes & Tropical Storms That Affected New York Before 1970


Hurricane swirling clouds


Similar to tropical systems that have lashed NYC since 1970, the average frequency in the years before 1970 is once every two years.  What follows is a year-by-year listing of more than 50 pre-1970 hurricanes (as well as remnants of downgraded storms).  1954 stands out for having four tropical systems that affected the metro area.  At the other end of the spectrum, the 20 years between 1894 and 1914 saw just three tropical systems in total.  Please note that the first named storm to affect New York, Barbara, was in 1953.



October 2-3 - Four inches of rain was produced by a hurricane that struck Cape Cod (1.84" fell on the 2nd, 2.16" on the 3rd).


October 26 - The center of circulation from a dissipating hurricane got very close to Manhattan as it moved northeastward, dropping 1.56" of rain.


September 29 – What was once the season's sixth hurricane moved over New York as a tropical storm, dropping 0.64" of rain on Central Park.  This was considerably less than the seven inches of rain that flooded the City from Sept. 16-18 from a non-tropical system.


September 17 - Heavy rain from a minimal hurricane that raced inland through North Carolina and Virginia dumped 3.37" of rain in Central Park (a record for the date that still stands).


October 4 - A dissipating tropical storm dumped 4.05" of rain in Central Park (a record for the date that still stands).


Heavy rain clip art2



October 23 - The center of a dissipated hurricane and tropical storm, referred to as the "Gale of 1878", moved west of Manhattan.  Shortly after daybreak winds gusted over 50 mph, and 0.73" of rain was measured in Central Park.


August 18 - 3.95" of rain flooded the City from a hurricane that struck North Carolina this morning and raced up the coast during the day.  This amount was a record for the date (a record that still stands).


September 9-10 - Rain from a hurricane moving north from South Carolina started late on the 9th (0.67" of rain fell) and continued into the morning of the 10th (adding 0.54"). 


September 11 - Rain from a tropical storm amounted to 3.23", with much of it (2.57") falling today.

September 23 - Less than two weeks after a tropical storm soaked the City, another tropical system brought more flooding rains to the Mid-Atlantic states, and drenched New York with its greatest rainfall for any calendar date - 8.28".  And in the preceding two days 3.52" of rain fell.  With a total of 16.85" of rain for the entirety of September (most of which fell between the 11th and 23rd), this was NYC's wettest month on record until Aug. 2011 when 18.95" was measured.


Heavy rain


October 13 - A tropical storm moved northward through central Pennsylvania and dropped 1.50" of rain in Central Park. 


June 23 - An early tropical storm passing to the south of New York dropped 1.20" of rain.  Cloud cover and rain kept the temperature in the 60s all day (the high/low was 66°/62°).


August 21 - As it traveled just north of the City on its way to New England, the remnants of a category 3 hurricane that struck south Florida and later Louisianar soaked the City with 4.12" of rain (a record for the date that still stands).


September 10-13 - A dissipating hurricane stalled off the Delmarva Peninsula and brought bands of rain over the course of four days, amounting to 4.46", with much of it (3.34") falling on the 12th and 13th.  Except for one hour during the afternoon of the 13th, the temperature was stuck in the 60s.  These four days were the start of a streak of nine days in a row with rain (and ten out of eleven); total rainfall during this period was around six inches.


August 19-20 – A hurricane approached New York during the evening.  A peak gust of 85 mph was clocked and 3.81" of rain fell (1.34" today, and 2.34" on the 20th).

August 23 – Just four days after a hurricane lashed the City, a tropical storm passed to the west and dumped 3.61" of rain.

October 23 - A shield of heavy rain from a tropical storm that passed over the Delmarva Peninsula soaked the City with 2.46".


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

October 8-9, 1903 - 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 8.28” that fell 21 years earlier on Sept. 23); it's now ranked fourth.


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.


August 4 – What was the season’s first hurricane, which developed near Florida, brought 3.25” of rain (mostly between 6-10 AM) as it passed by New York City as a tropical storm.  A gust of 53 mph was clocked at Central Park.  Today’s amount of rain was a record for the date (which still stands).


May 16-17 - The remnants of the year's first (and very early) tropical system produced a record amount of rain for the date (2.66"), with almost all of it falling after 4 PM.  And an additional 0.30" fell in the pre-dawn hours of the 17th. 


August 25-26 - A dissipating hurricane southeast of Long Island, moving in the direction of Cape Cod, brought tropical storm-force winds and 3.03" of rain to New York.  Rain began the evening of the 25th and continued thru late morning on the 26th, with 2.29" measured (1.13" fell between midnight and 2 AM).


December 1-5 – A large, meandering, extra-tropical system brought squalls and gusty winds over the course of five days.  2.76” of rain fell during this period, with the wettest day being 12/3, when 1.63” was measured (but none of the rain was torrential; the greatest two-hour totals were 0.41” from midnight-2 AM, and 0.36” between 8-10 PM.  Winds gusting to 35 mph were common on the 3rd and 4th.


September 19-20 - Remnants of the Great Okeechobee Hurricane (which killed 2,500+ in central Florida on 9/17) dampened the City with 1.70" of rain; 1.29" fell on the 19th (showers fell throughout the day, with 0.58" falling between 10 AM-noon), and 0.41" fell in the wee hours of the 20th (with 0.29" falling between midnight-1 AM).


Lake okeechobee hurricane of 1928



October 1-2 - The remnants of the season's second hurricane moved through eastern Pennsylvania, producing 2.55" of rain.  2.16" of it fell on 10/2, with most of it falling between 5 AM-3 PM.  This amount was a record for the date (which still stands). 


September 13-14 - A hurricane off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, pushed rain squalls into the area after 10 PM on the 13th that continued through the wee hours of the 14th.  The 0.75" that fell (0.56" of it on the 14th) comprised half of the rainfall of a dry September (at the time, the tenth driest September; now ranked 21st).  This was the smallest amount of rain from a tropical system since 0.73" fell on Oct. 23, 1878.


September 16 - A weakening tropical storm to the southeast of Long Island brought showers.  And although it was just 0.68”, similar to the hurricane of Sept. 1930, it accounted for more than half of the month’s paltry rainfall (8th driest September; now ranked 15th).   This was the third September in a row with less than two inches of rain (then Sept. 1933 and 1934 would each have more than ten inches).

October 17-18 - Tropical moisture from a tropical storm that dissipated over West Virginia, produced 3.24” of rain, much of which fell between 9 PM on the 17th to daybreak on the 18th (2.58”).  The rain was also accompanied by tropical storm-force winds.  This was the most rain to fall from a tropical system since 3.25" fell on Aug. 4, 1915.


August 23 - The remnants of a hurricane that made landfall on the North Carolina/Virginia border moved north through central PA and upstate NY, dumping 2.23” of rain in Central Park, with much of it falling between 4-10 PM.  (0.14” was added in the wee hours of 8/24).  This came on the heels of a coastal storm on 8/21-22, which produced 3.28” of rain.    


June 19 - 1.91” of rain fell, mostly before 9 AM, as the remnants of a category 2 hurricane that made landfall in Louisiana three days earlier moved just to the southeast of the metro area.  This was a record amount of rain for the date (a record that still stands).

September 8 - The strongest hurricane of the season brought heavy rain to the City when it crossed over the eastern end of Long Island.  There were two periods of heavy rain, the first between 6-10 AM, when 1.23" fell, and then much heavier rain fell from 5-11 PM, when 3.26" poured down.  (An additional 0.37" fell at other times during the day, bringing the day's total rainfall to 4.86".)  During the early evening, winds gusted between 45-50 mph.  This hurricane came four days after remnants of a tropical system brought 0.68” on 9/3-4.


September 6 - The remnants of what was the Great Labor Day hurricane in the Florida Keys (nearly 500 were killed) brought heavy rain this morning, with 1.60” measured between 2-10 AM (most of it fell between 4-8 AM).


September 18 - After receiving just 0.08" of rain in the first two-and-a-half weeks of the month, a weakening hurricane to the southeast dumped nearly four inches, with most of it falling between 2 PM and midnight.  It was also a chilly day, with temperatures falling into the upper 50s during the afternoon. 


September 21 - New York was spared the ravages of the history-making hurricane known as the Long Island Express, which made landfall mid-afternoon, 65 miles to the east.  Still, the City had to contend with near hurricane-force winds and four inches of rain, half of which fell between 1-4 PM.  Besides the wind and rain, it was also chilly, with the temperature dropping slowly all day, from the low-60s to low-50s.  Today's deluge followed two days of steady rain that amounted to 3.45".


1938 new england hurricane



August 19 - The biggest rainfall of the year was produced by the remnants of the season's second hurricane, which made two landfalls in Florida, on the east coast and along the state's Panhandle.  The 2.31" that was measured fell between noon and midnight.  It fell heaviest after 8 PM, when more than half of the rain fell.  


September 14 - "The Great Atlantic Hurricane" raced up the Mid-Atlantic coast and veered to the east of NYC (making landfall near East Hampton on Long Island), dumping 3.82" of rain between 4-11 PM, and lashing the City with gale force winds that gusted between 40 and 50 mph (and 70-80 mph at LaGuardia Airport).  Today's rainfall came on top of 3.94" that fell yesterday and 1.64" the day before for a three-day total of 9.40".  The New York metro area was the bullseye for the heaviest rainfall.


Great atlantic hurricane of 1944

October 20-21 - The remnants of the season’s 13th hurricane, that made landfall in North Carolina, produced 1.29” of rain between 7 PM-4 AM.


August 19-20 - The season’s first hurricane brought two periods of heavy rain as it moved from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod.  The first, from 11 AM-4 PM on the 19th saw 1.43”, with 1.04” of it falling between 1-2 PM.  Then, on the 20th, 1.46” was measured between 7 AM-3 PM, with 0.63” falling in the initial hour.  (However, this storm wouldn’t be as severe as Thanksgiving weekend's nor’easter three months later, which blasted the City with winds that gusted to 70 mph.)


February 3-4 – The earliest tropical system on record brought 0.64” of rain late on 2/3 through the morning of 2/4.

September 1 – Remnants of the season’s first hurricane (which made landfall in South Carolina the day before) moved to the west of NYC and brought 1.17” of rain, with most of it falling between 10A-1PM.  This was a little more than half of the month’s total rainfall.


August 14 - Twelve hours of rain from hurricane Barbara between 10 AM-10 PM measured 0.92”, which was almost half of the month’s total rainfall.



June 13 - 0.52” of rain fell between 3-7 AM (most of it between 4-5:00) from a tropical storm out in the Atlantic.  After skies cleared, the mercury rose into the upper 80s.

August 30-31 - Hurricane Carol made landfall on eastern Long Island (as a category 3) and brushed the City with gale force winds and 1.71" of rain, which began last night and continued today through late morning. 

September 11 - Less than two weeks after Hurricane Carol, Hurricane Edna made itself known (as it headed to Cape Cod), dumping 3.30" of rain (nearly twice as much as from Carol), with most of it falling in the twelve hours between midnight and noon.  This was the biggest rainfall of the year.


Torrential rain

October 15 - Powerful hurricane Hazel (category 4 when it made landfall in North Carolina) moved through Pennsylvania on its way to Ontario, Canada.  It brought minimal rain to the City (0.39” was measured, almost all of which fell between 6-7 PM), but winds gusted to 40 mph in Central Park, and 66 mph at La Guardia. 


August 11-13 - Hurricane Connie flooded New York with 7.11" of rain over the course of 39 hours, with the first band of heavy rain moving through late on 8/11.  Although the most rain fell on the 11th (3.62"), the heaviest sustained period of rain would be on the 12th from 3-9 AM, when 2.50" poured down.  Rain was more of an issue than the wind, which gusted between 35-45 mph, well below hurricane force.  This was New York's biggest rainstorm since the Great Hurricane of Sept. 1944.  And while this ranks as one of Central Park's biggest rain totals, LaGuardia Airport picked up five inches more.

August 18-19 - One week after the flooding rains from hurricane Connie, another tropical system, Diane, affected the region, but compared to Connie, Diane moved relatively quickly.  The first band of heavy rain moved in late on the 18th, and by 9 AM on the 19th the rain was over; less than two inches fell, but significant flooding resulted since the ground was over-saturated from the large amounts of rain from Connie.  Sustained winds got no higher than 30 mph (but winds gusted to 54 mph at LaGuardia Airport).


September 27 - Tropical storm Flossy, which was a few hundred miles to the southeast, brought tropical storm-force winds and a small amount of rain (0.21”) from 9 PM-midnight.


June 2 - Remnants of Tropical Storm Arlene produced 1.09” of rain that fell from noon today until 2AM on the 3rd (0.90” fell from 4-11 PM).

July 10 – Remnants of Hurricane Cindy produced 0.50” of rain between 6 PM on 7/10 and 3AM on the following day.


July 30 – Heavy rain produced by tropical storm Brenda, which moved over NYC, amounted to 3.56” during a 12-hour period between 1 AM and 1 PM.  This was the biggest rainstorm in five years (since Hurricane Connie).  At the time this was the second greatest daily rainfall amount in the month of July (it's now third).

September 12 - Rain and high winds from hurricane Donna, which moved just to the east of Manhattan, lashed the area during the morning through the first half of the afternoon.  2.36" of rain fell (heaviest between 11 AM and 2 PM) and winds gusted between 40-50 mph; at LaGuardia Airport winds gusted to 90 mph, and 3.63" of rain fell.


Umbrella blown inside out 



September 15 – The downgraded hurricane Debbie moved just to the east of NYC, and produced rain for just a three-hour period between 7-10 AM (and only 0.32” was measured).  

Septmber 20-21 – Moving in during the evening of 9/20, what was once Hurricane Esther brought 1.28” of rain, 1.05” of it on the 21st.  Rain fell hardest between 2-4 AM and 10 AM-noon.  (Before it made landfall in North Carolina a few days earlier, Esther was briefly a category 5 storm.)  Tropical storm-force winds lashed the City at around daybreak.  The rain produced by the storm accounted for 75% of the month’s rain (1.70”).


August 28-29, 1962Hurricane Alma brought rain that fell in three stages: in the pre-dawn hours of the morning of the 28th, when 1.35” fell (0.81” of it in a two-hour period), then lighter amounts after 7 PM through 8AM  on the 29th,  and then a mid-afternoon downpour (0.12”).  In total, 1.95” of rain was measured.

August 2022 Is New York's Third Hottest On Record


Hazy midtown


With an average high 86.9°/low of 71.7° (3.2 degrees above average) August 2022 ranks as NYC's third hottest August on record (behind August 1980 and August 2005).  The hottest temperature of the month, and entire year, was 97° on 8/9 (the last time it was this hot in August was in 2006).  This was one of eleven days in the 90s, which was well above the average of four.  This August was the 14th to have 10 or more days with highs of 90° or hotter (August 1980 has the most, with 15).  And its 22 days with lows of 70° or warmer was tied for second most behind 1980, 2005, and 2018, all which had 23.


Chart - 5 hottest augusts as of 2022

With 1.71" of rainfall, this was the driest August since 1995 (when just 0.18" was measured) and the  18th driest August overall.  The rainiest day was 8/1, when 0.48" fell.  (8/1 also had the month's coolest high, 77°).  The driest period of the month was the 15 days between 8/2-8/16 when just 0.30" of rain was measured.


August's coolest high temperature on 8/1 was followed by 10 consecutive days with highs of 87° or hotter, the longest such streak in ten years.  Six of the days were in the 90s, and the streak's average high was 91°.


The coolest low reading was 62° (on 8/18), making this the ninth August in a row in which there were no low temperatures in the 50s.  (The longest streak of lows in the 50s in August is 14 years between 1878 and 1891, and 13 years from 1915 to 1927).


There was a beautiful symmetry to the month's daily lows.  The month started and ended with lows in the upper 60s.  The following 11 days after 8/1 as well as the 11 days preceding 8/31 had lows in the 70s.  And the seven days in between the two streaks were all in the 60s.  One difference between the two streaks of lows in the 70s was that the earlier one was two degrees warmer (75° vs 73°).  Embedded in the first 11-day streak were seven days in a row with lows of 75° or warmer, the second longest such streak in August (after Aug. 1896), while the second streak had just one reading that warm.

Symmetry of August Lows


Last year July and August were noteworthy because both months had more than 10 inches of rain; this year it was their hot temperatures that gained attention.  July-Augusts 2022's average temperature tied with 2010 as the third hottest July-August combo (behind July-August 1980 and 2005).  The two months were also one of 12 pairs of months in which both had 10 or more days in the 90s (all pairs were July-August, except in 1966 when it was June-July).  Finally, this July and August combined for the most lows of 70+, at 46 (the average number is 29).



This summer was 8th hottest on record (June-July-August), joining four other summers from this century, including the hottest of all-time in 2010.  Although 2022's rank of average temperature (average of  the average high/low) was 8th, its ranking for average low was higher, at #4.


Chart - 10 hottest meteorological summers



  • This August was the seventh month with 1.71" of rain.  The previous time was in May 1977.
  • Despite being third warmest for average temperature, Aug. 2022 ranks sixth for warmest high as well as sixth for warmest low.
  • With Aug. 2020 entering the top 10, it pushed Aug. 1955 out of the exclusive club.
  • Although July 2022 was 0.2 degrees hotter than Aug. 2022, July ranked as 13th hottest among all Julys.


Here are monthly recaps for past Augusts:










Aug 3 - jet skis on hudson


August 2021 Weather Recap: Henri Rescues August From "Dullsville"


 Hurricane henri aug 2021


August was the fourth wettest August on record, but until 8/21 the month had been a dry one, with rainfall 50% below average.  Then, Hurricane Henri produced 8.19" of rain over three days (Aug. 21-23), accounting for nearly 80% of August's 10.32" of rain.  (The other 28 days of the month had just 2.13".)  This was the second month in a row with more than ten inches of rain (July had 11.09", making it the third wettest July),  just the second time this has happened (however, the first time, in March and April 1983, is disputed since the rain gauge in Central Park wasn't functioning properly for much of the year).  Although August's rainfall was less than an inch below that of July, its number of days of measurable precipitation was half as many (nine vs. eighteen).


Chart - rainiest back to back months

One out of four Augusts have been warmer than July, and August 2021 was one of them (77.5° vs. 76.0°).  The month was 1.4 degrees above average, making it the City's 17th hottest August (out of 153).  However, there was a disparity in rankings of the average high and low, as only five other Augusts have had a warmer average low than this August (2.2 degrees warmer than average), but the average high (just 0.6 above average) was ranked much lower, at #39.  This difference in rankings wasn't unique to this August, as the trend during the 2000s has been for overnight temperatures to be more above average than daytime readings (one of the effects of global warming).


After the first five days of the month were five degrees below average, the rest of the month was three above average (with only five of the 26 days having cooler than average mean temperatures).  August had five readings in the 90s, one more than July, and it had five more days than July with lows of 75° or warmer.  August's days in the 90s were comprised of back-to-back days on Aug. 12-13, and a three-day heat wave two days after Henri's departure (Aug. 25-27).  The month's hottest reading was 94° on 8/13.


Finally, this was the eighth year in a row in which August had no readings in the 50s.  The coolest temperature was 63° on 8/2.  (Meanwhile, July's streak of 12 years with no lows cooler than 60° was broken this year). 


Here are monthly recaps for past Augusts:














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:








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"

Remembering New York's Top Weather Stories of 2019

Annual reviewAfter pondering the various weather events that occurred in New York over the course of 2019, my choice as the year's biggest story is a sizzling hot day in October.  Although there had been 90-degree readings in October before, they were a long time ago - in 1927, 1938, 1939 and 1941.  (By comparison, April had fifteen readings in the 90s in the years after 1941.)  But on Oct. 2 the mercury soared to 93°.  It was somewhat ironic that this hot autumn day occurred in 2019 because the year's first 90-degree reading wasn't until the end of June, which was a month behind schedule, and there were no 90-degree readings in September.  What follows are the other meteorological highlights that were candidates for top story of 2019:



Two days in January had especially cold readings: 14°/4° on Jan. 21, 16°/2° on Jan. 31.  These were among the five coldest days in the past 25 years.  At the other end of the thermometer, the year's hottest reading was 95°, which happened during a July weekend, 7/20-21.  (LaGuardia, JFK and Newark topped out at 100°, 99° and 99°, respectively).  Both days also had lows in the 80s (and during the afternoon of 7/22 the dew point reached an absurdly high 79°, the highest in nearly 40 years.)  Although this reading was well below the hottest temperatures experienced in past summers, the month ended up being New York's 11th hottest July on record, due largely to consistent warmth throughout the month, not only during the daytime but at night as well (the month had July's fifth warmest average low).


2019 wasn't a snowy year, with just 16.6" measured, the least snow since 2012 (the years 2013-2018 averaged 40 inches of snow).  Much of the year's snow was concentrated in the first four days of March, all which had an inch or more of snow - the first time a streak of this length occurred in any month of any year.  The 10.4" of snow that accumulated on these four days accounted for well over half of calendar year 2019's snowfall .


After 2018 established a new record for most days with measurable precipitation, 2019 followed with the fourth greatest number of days.  But while 2018 was the fourth wettest year on record 2019 ranked 28th.  May had 19 days of precipitation, which was the second most for any month (the most is 20 days, in July 1871 and May 1888); this followed 18 days of precipitation in April (most ever for that month).


A nor'easter brought a cold, all-day rain that amounted to 1.32".  Temperatures fell into the 40s around daybreak and stayed there for the rest of the day; this meant afternoon readings were 25 degrees colder than average.


The year's two biggest rainstorms came five days apart in July as 2.33" poured down on July 17-18 (from tropical storm Barry) and 2.19" fell on July 22-23.


Blustery conditions on Thanksgiving Day (winds gusted between 25-37 mph) forced officials in charge of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade to order its famous balloons be flown much lower than usual, with some nearly scraping the pavement.  (For most parade goers, however, the wind was more bearable than the previous year's frigid temperatures.)


Despite all of the days of precipitation, and three months with more than six inches of rain, there were moments when the air dried out.  For instance, September was among the ten driest on record, with just 0.95" measured - the first month with less than an inch of rain in six years.  Then there were a number of days with extremely low afternoon humidity levels: March 24 and 26 (13% and 14%), Sept. 19 (15%) and Nov. 16 (13%).  Lastly, despite December being one of the ten wettest, it also had a ten-day period with no rain or snow, tying a ten-day period in September for longest precipitation-free streak of the year.


Finally, December was the wettest month of the year (7.09"), just the third December to gain this distinction.  The first two weeks were particularly soggy, with five inches measured - the third greatest amount to fall in the first two weeks of December. 


Here are other annual recaps:







(For more detailed information about each month's weather, choose Monthly Recaps in the Categories box in the left margin.)

One Word Sums Up New York's Weather in August 2019: 'Uninspiring'




August, much like June, had close to average temperatures (+0.3 degrees).  Perhaps the most interesting story during this month of uneventful conditions was the twelve-day period from Aug. 17 thru 28 in which the first six days were very warm (average high/low of 89°/73°, including the month's three days in the 90s) followed by six days that were pleasantly cool (high/low of 75°/64°).  The month's three days in the 90s went no higher than 90° (something which has occurred just once before, in August 2014).  Finally, this was the sixth consecutive August with no readings in the 50s.


The month had somewhat below average rainfall.  The 3.70" that was measured was the least precipitation since February's 3.14".  Much of it fell on three days: 1.18" on 8/7, 0.64" on 8/18 and 1.01" on 8/22.  (Although August 2019 had less than average rainfall there were six drier Augusts in the 2010s.)  There were ten thunderstorms or brief periods of heavy rain in the three weeks between 8/3 and 8/22.  They occurred mostly in the afternoon and evening and were responsible for the day's lows occurring in the evening rather than at around daybreak.  Without these cool downs there would have been five days with lows of 75° or warmer rather than one.


Here are recaps of the four previous Augusts:






Aug 17 jefferson mkt



August 2018 Weather Recap: Unusually Wet, With Unusually Warm Nights


Summer downpour


July's rainy and warm conditions carried over into August, which was even warmer and wetter, ending up as the ninth warmest August on record and the twelfth wettest.  It was 2.9 degrees above average and warmer than July (something that's happened in 22% of the years since records began in 1869).  Despite August being warmer than July (by 0.5 degrees), July's average high was slightly higher (84.9 vs 84.3); it was August's average low that made it warmer overall (72.0 vs. 70.4).  In terms of rainfall, August's 8.59" was about an inch more than what was measured in July (7.45"), with much of it falling during heavy downpours during thunderstorms.  Here are additional observations worth noting:


  • There were seven days in the 90s, which occurred during two heat waves - one was four days in length (8/5-8) and one lasted three days (8/28-30).  The four-day heat wave was one of the least impressive among those of this length. The hottest reading of the month was 94° on 8/28.  The coolest reading of the month, which was reported twice, was 65°, which tied August 2005 and 1906 for the mildest minimum temperature in the month of August.  The typical coolest low temperature in August is 59° (in the years since 1980).
  • This was the thirty-second warmest August in terms of average high, but it had the fourth warmest average low.  (The low was 4.2 degrees above average, the high was 1.7 degrees above.)  This produced the ninth warmest August overall (tied with Aug. 1955, which was even rainier than this August, with nearly eleven inches measured).  Three of the past four Augusts have now placed among the ten warmest.


Chart - warmest average lows in august

  • Twenty-three days had lows in the 70s, tying August 1980 and 2005 for the most in the month of August (the typical number of such days is 13).  The month's first 18 days all had lows in the 70s, only the second time it's occurred, joining August 1988.  It appeared the City was going to set an August record for most lows of 70 or warmer, but it was not to be as the mercury fell to 69° the evening of 8/31.  On 8/29 the low of 81° established a new record for the latest date for a low in the 80s, smashing the previous record by two weeks (which occurred in 1985 and 1988).  This summer was just the eighth in which both July and August had average lows above 70° (two of the other summers were in 2015 and 2016).
  • The month's diurnal variation (i.e., the difference between the high and low) was just 12.3 degrees, which was the smallest in August since 2000 (also 12.3 degrees).  The only variations smaller than this occurred more than 100 years ago, when eight Augusts in the years before 1911 had variances between 10.4 and 11.7 degrees (at the other end of the spectrum, the greatest diurnal variation in August is 20.4 degrees, which occurred in both 1964 and 1944.)
  • This year has had the twelfth wettest August, the fourth wettest July-August, and the twelfth wettest summer.  Almost all of July and August's rain fell in a soggy six-week period (July 12 - Aug. 22).  Ironically, while August is the year's wettest month (so far), it also had the longest streak with no measurable rainfall - eight days, from the 23rd to the 30th.


Chart - 10 wettest july-aug

  Storm approaches in august


Chart - 10 hottest augusts

Here are previous August recaps:







Lackluster Heat Waves




This post was inspired by the rather tepid four-day heat wave of Aug. 5-8, 2018, which had an average high of 90.8° (with highs of 91°, 92°, 90° and 90°).  Of the close to 70 four-day heat waves that have occurred since 1870 (thru June 2023) only one, in July 1896, had a lower average high, 90.3°.  (2018's low-grade heat wave matched one in August 2009 and would be matched again in June 2021.)  On average, four-day heat waves have had an average high close to 94°.  (The hottest four-day heat wave on record took place in the summer of 2010, when the high temperature from July 4-7 was 99.5°.)


Chart- most tepid 4-day heat waves

However, the story changes when low temperatures are included in the analysis.  For example, August 2018's heat wave had an average low of 75.0°, which was 1.3 degrees warmer than the average four-day streak and warmer than two-thirds of the four-day heat waves examined.  When combined with the average high, the mean temperature ranked as 27th coolest - quite a difference in ranking compared to its average high alone.  (This follows the weather storyline of this century, whereby nighttime temperatures in New York are warming more than daytime temperatures.)


Chart - coolest 4-day heat waves based on mean temp


Finally, while the typical four-day heat wave had a 20-degree difference between its high and low, this August's was 15.8 degrees apart, which was the third smallest diurnal variation of the heat waves studied (a heat wave in July 1995 had the smallest, 14.7 degrees, while the second smallest was in July 1870).