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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.

 

 


Review of 2020's Weather - New York's Second Warmest Year

Looking back

 

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.

 

 Chart - 5 warmest years thru 2020

 

Chart - monthly temperature departure 2020

 

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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.

 Chart - jan v dec 2020

Other annual recaps:

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

 

 

 

 


Weather Highlights of the Late 19th Century (1869-1899)

 

New york late 19th century

 

Central Park's first three decades of weather records, from the latter part of the 19th century, reveal that New York was significantly colder than what we've been accustomed to in the past 40 years.  These decades account for twelve of New York City's fifteen coldest years - and all of the ten coldest springs and nine of the ten coldest falls.  On average, the typical temperature of months back then was three to four degrees chillier than they are now, with March and April showing the biggest differences (6.1° and 5.4° colder, respectively).  Of course, this is not to say there weren't interludes of unseasonable warmth that wouldn't have been out of place in the 2000s.  What follows are year-by-year highlights.

 

 

- 1869 -

January 1 - The year had a snowy start with nine inches piling up - a record for the date that, amazingly, still stands.

February 15 - The City's longest-standing daily precipitation record was set today in 1869 when 2.60" of rain fell.  (This amount contributed to February 1869 being the wettest on record - and 151 years later it still is.)

February 26 - A snowfall of six inches was the third snowfall of six inches or more in Jan./Feb., joining another six inch snowfall on Jan. 19 and the nine inch snowfall on New Year's Day.  Today's snow was of the wet variety as it fell in temperatures that hovered around the freezing mark.

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).

 

- 1870 -

February 8 - A snowfall of eight inches was the only measurable snow in February until the last day of the month (when 1.1" fell).  This was also the biggest snow of the winter.

March 17 - This was the sixteenth day in a row with a low in the teens or 20s.  The average was 25°, with readings ranging from 19° (today) and 29°.

 

Clipart_winterblues

 

July 25 - 11 of the past 15 days had highs of 88° or hotter, including seven days in the low 90s (during heat waves of three and four days).  Additionally, every day had a low of 70° or warmer, and six had lows of 77°+ (one of which was 82°). 

September 30 - After going five weeks with less than an inch of rain, 1.63" fell today.  This was the biggest daily rainfall of the year until 10/12 (when 1.91" fell).

 

- 1871 -

February 5 - For the second day this winter the high was a frigid 11°.  The other occurrence was on 1/23.  Lows on these days were 2° and 0°, respectively.

11 degrees
 
March 21 - This was the fifteenth day of the past nineteen to have measurable precipitation, and today's amounted to 1.97", making this the rainiest of them all.  In total, 4.76" was reported (0.1" was snow).

March 27 - For the fourth day in a row the low temperature was 33°.

April 8 - Today's high of 85°, the warmest reading of the month, came just two days after a low of 33°, which was the chilliest reading of the month (tied with 4/2).  It would be another seven weeks before the next reading of 85° or warmer occurred.

July 16 - This was the eighth day in a row with a high of 85° or warmer (just one of the days was in the 90s) and the twelfth day in a row with a high of 84°+.

August 30 - This was the eighth day in a row with measurable rain, which totaled 3.85".  Two of the days (8/25, 8/26) had about an inch.

 

Umbrella 19th century
 

September 30 - Today's high was 61°, making it the eighth day since 9/14 with a high in the 56°-62° range; average high during this time of September is in the 70°-73° range.  These unseasonably cool days helped September 1871 become the coolest September on record (a mark that still stands).

October 10-11 - Just four days after the biggest rainstorm of the year (2.72" on 10/6) a low pressure system brought nearly the same amount (2.65", of which 2.44" fell on the 10th).

December 1 - This was the fourth day in a row with highs in the 20s and lows in the mid-teens.  The average high/low of these four days was 25°/16°, twenty degrees below average.  This would be the longest such streak this winter.

December 21 - The first day of winter had the coldest reading of the entire winter, two degrees below zero.  (Two days later the temperature jumped to 55°.)

 

- 1872 -

March 5 - This morning's low was 3°, the coldest reading ever experienced in March.  This was the second coldest reading of the winter (coldest was -2° on 12/21).

3

July 5 - This was the sixth day in a row with highs in the 90s, and was the City's longest heat wave until one of ten days broiled New York in the summer of 1896.

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

November 6-11 - High temperatures during this six-day period exhibited to following pattern: 55°-55°-50°-50°-55°-55°.  These readings were at seasonable levels.

December 26 - On a day with frigid temperatures (the high/low was just 12°/6°) New York City experienced its first of four crippling snowstorms on 12/26 (the others would be in 1933, 1947 and 2010).  Eighteen inches piled up, making this New York's biggest snowstorm until the Great Blizzard of March 1888.  (It's now ranked twelfth.)

December 27 - The morning low of 6° was the sixth day in a row with a low in the single digits.  There would be eight more days with lows of ten degrees or colder this winter, which ranks as New York's seventh coldest winter on record.

 

- 1873 -

February 24 - Today, with a low of -1°, became the latest date for a sub-zero low - a record that remains intact. This sub-zero low came about four weeks after another reading of -1° on Jan. 30.

 

Minus 1

February 27 - A snowfall of four inches was the fifth this month of two inches or more.  (The month's snowfall amounted to 18.9".)

March 10 - The 0.3" of snow that fell today was the last measurable snow of what was New York's snowiest winter for the next 50 years, with 60.3" measured.  (The winter of 1923 would top it by 0.1").  It's now ranked fifth.

 

- 1874 -

January 7 - The 3.14" of rain that fell today was the greatest daily rainfall in January for more than 100 years (until 1979).  It was also a mild day, with a high of 56°.

April 30 - The last three days of the month had lows of 32° or colder, joining eight other days with lows this cold.  No other April has had this many days with lows of freezing or colder, which contributed to this being the coldest April of all time.  (The following April, and April 1943, would have nine such days, the second most.)

September 29 - What was once the season's sixth hurricane moved over New York as a tropical storm and dropped 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.

December 20 - Ten inches of heavy snow piled up after starting out as rain.  As the temperature dropped below freezing (from a high of 36°) it changed over to snow.  Total liquid precipitation for the day was 1.92".  (Both amounts are records for the date that are still standing.)

 

- 1875 -

January 4 - Today's high of 40° was the mildest reading of the month, making it the chilliest mildest reading of any winter month.  (January 1875 would be the coldest January until 1888, and has since fallen to seventh coldest.)

February 23 - Today had the first low above 32° this year - the deepest into the year for this occurrence (a mark that still stands).  The reading of 42° was the mildest since Nov. 17th's low of 43°.

March 20 - An ice storm on the first day of spring dropped 0.54" of liquid precipitation in temperatures that were below freezing all day (high/low was 31°/22°).

March 23 - Five of the past six days had highs of 32° or colder.  Average high/low during these six days was 31°/18°, seventeen degrees colder than average.

April 13 - A heavy snowfall totaling ten inches began today and ended in the wee hours of the morning of the 14th.  However, the snow didn't stick around for very long as tomorrow's temperature rose into the low 50s after dark.

April 17-18 - An Arctic high delivered mid-winter cold, with highs/lows of 33°/27° and 32°/25°.  These highs were 25 degrees below average. 

April 22 - This was the sixth day in a row with a low in the 20s (average low this time of the month is in the low-to-mid-40s).  This helped this month become the second coldest April on record (behind April of last year).

 

20s

April 25 - Less than two weeks after a snowstorm of ten inches, another significant snowfall dropped three more inches - despite the fact that the temperature got no lower than 34°.  This is Central Park's latest measurable snowfall on record.

August 8 - This was the fifth day in a row with very similar highs/lows: 82°/68° (8/4)-82°/69°-82°/67°-82°/70°-81°/71° (8/8).

October 24 - This was the third day in a row with a high of 71° and it came a month after another three-day streak of 71° highs (Sept. 27-29).

November 5 - The first five days of the month were twelve degrees colder than average, with an average high/low of 42°/33°.

November 30 - It was a bitterly cold day with a high/low of just 14°/5° (31 degrees below average).  This was the earliest date for a reading in the single digits and a high in the teens.  It was also colder than any day of the winter to come (based on mean temperature).

 

- 1876 -

February 4 - Eleven inches of snow fell from a storm that began last night and continued into today, when most of the accumulation occurred.  This was by far the biggest snowfall of the winter as only 7.3" fell from eight other snowfalls.

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 15 - 0.5" of snow accumulated, the earliest measurable snowfall on record (a record that still stands).  The day's low of 32° was also a record.

Nov. 30-Dec. 2 - For the second year in a row (on the very same dates) the City was in the grips of an early incursion of Arctic air.  This year, however, temperatures were a bit "milder" (average high/low of 27°/18° vs. 23°/10°).

 

- 1877 -

January 1-2 - The year started with a snowstorm that dumped 13.0" on the City (4.8" on New Year's Day, 8.2" on the 2nd).  This amount was more than the five snowfalls in December that totaled slightly more than twelve inches.  Both days of the snowstorm had highs of 24°.

March 10 - The day after the mildest reading of the month (57°), the temperature at daybreak was 21°.  This was the first of eleven days in a row in which there were no highs milder than 40°; four days in a row would see lows in the teens (coldest reading was 10° on 3/19).  The average high/low during this very cold outbreak was 32°/22° (eleven degrees colder than average).

March 19 - Yesterday's and today's frigid highs and lows of 26°/12° and 22°/10° were comparable to the Arctic cold experienced on the same two dates the previous year (30°/9° and 27°/9°). 

April 21 - Lows of the past six days exhibited the following pattern: 40°-42°-41° and 40°-42°-41°.

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

 

- 1878 -

January 18 - This was the third day in a row with a high of 32°.

February 1 - Today's two-inch snowfall was the last measurable snow of the winter (sleet was also part of the mix).  This would be the earliest date for a winter's last snowfall until 2002, when the last snowfall happened on 1/19 (and it occurred on 1/18 during the winter of 2020).  In total 8.1" of snow fell during the winter of 1878. 

March 25 - A mild March was interrupted by one day of mid-winter temperatures as the high/low was only 30°/13° (twenty degrees below average); the previous day with a high of freezing or colder was five weeks ago.  The low was a record for the date (which still stands).  

April 18 - Today was the sixth day this month with a low of 42°, which was the chilliest reading of the month.  This is the mildest reading to have the designation as the chilliest temperature of any April.  (In the years between 1869-1899 the coldest reading in April was typically in the upper 20s).

October 23 - The center of the dissipating "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.

 

Noreaster

 

- 1879 -

January 16 - A snowstorm during the morning and afternoon produced an accumulation of thirteen inches.  Temperatures were quite cold, with a high/low of 20°/13°.

May 10 - This was the third day in a row with a high/low of 69°/49°.  This was the first time for this type of streak, and has since been replicated just two other times (in May 1984 and August 1988).

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

October 18 - Today's low of 63° was the thirteenth low in the 60s or milder this month, the most such days on record for October (October 2007 and 2017 would have 12). 

November 5 - 1.5" of snow fell on a day with a low of 23° - both are records that still stand.  This was also the third day in a row with a high only in the 30s (typical high in early November is in the mid-50s).

 

- 1880 -

April 14 - Today's high of 80° came just two days after a record low of 26° (since eclipsed in 1976).  This was the first reading above 64° since 3/5 (when it was 72°).

 

Pedestrians on FifthAve-48thSt_NYPublicLibraryCollection

 

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"). 

November 28 - This was the eighth day in a row with a high of 32° or colder.  The average high during the unseasonably cold streak was 29°/18°.  (Average high temperatures during this time in November are in the upper 40s.)

December 1 - The 1.5" of snow that fell today is the only time an inch or more of snow fell on this date.

December 4 - This was the fourth day in a row with a high of 38° (but each day's low temperature was different). 

 

- 1881 -

February 11 - Today's high of 52° was the first in the 50s in three months (since Nov. 12).

April 6 - During the past eight days the mildest high temperature was just 41°.  And the last two days of this streak had highs below 32° (more than twenty degrees below average).

September 7 - Today's high of 101° was the first time on record that a high in the triple digits occurred in September.  More than one hundred years later it continues to be the latest date with a high of 100°+.  (There has been only one other date with a high in the 100s in September - Sept. 2, 1953).

 

101 degrees

 

October 1 - Today's summer-like high/low of 87°/72° featured the first low in the 70s in the  month of October.  (It would be another 17 years until the next low this mild happened in October; in total, nine years have had lows in the 70s in October, with the last time being in 2018.)

 

- 1882 -

February 4 - A snowfall of nine inches followed a snowfall of eight inches on Jan. 31.  (Eight of the inches fell today.)  Temperatures were quite cold, with a high/low of 22°/13°. 

April 4 - Today had the first 80°+ reading of the year, which followed the first reading in the 70s yesterday (75°) and first reading in the 60s the day before that (61°).

 

Central park 1890s
 

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 heavy rains from 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 would be the wettest month on record until August 2011 (when 18.95" was measured).

November 18 - Today's high was 63° and would be the last day of 60° or milder for four-and-a-half months, until 4/1 next year (when the high reached 70°).

November 29 - A snowfall of nine inches followed by four days a 4.5" snowfall.  And with a high/low of 27°/23°, today was the fourth in a row with a high of 32° or colder. 

December 31 - After 14 inches of snow fell in November (the second snowiest November), December had no snow at all, not even a trace (just one of six Decembers to have this distinction).  This was despite the fact that it was a cold December (17th coldest on record), with 23 days with highs below 40° and 24 days with lows of 32° or colder.  

 

- 1883 -

February 10-11 - Eight inches of snow piled up, the second biggest snowfall of the winter (one inch less than the snowstorm of Nov. 29).  However, today's snow changed to rain as the mercury rose to 36° while November's snowstorm had much colder air in place (the high was just 27°).

February 24 - High temperatures today and the previous four days: 34° (2/24)-35°-36°-37°-38°(2/20).  These were below the seasonable average of 40°.

March 12 - This was the tenth day in a row with highs colder than 40°.  (This followed the mildest reading of the month, 60°).  High/low during this time was 33°/17°, ten degrees below average.  Two snowfalls during this streak amounted to 5.5".

March 30 - A snowfall of 4.5" was the sixth snowfall of four inches or more this winter (this was despite the fact that no measurable snow fell in December).

April 24 - 0.5" of snow accumulated, the second latest date on record following 4/25 in 1875 (when three inches fell).  Despite the snow the temperature got no lower than 34° (similar to 4/25/75). 

July 28 - The 0.08" of rain that fell today was the last rainfall of the month, bringing the month's total to 3.21", which was the same amount as last July.   Since then, it's happened two more times: Dec. 1916 and 1917 both had 4.25", while Dec. 1960 and 1961 both had 3.04".

September 4 - The earliest date for a reading in the 40s occurred today when the low fell to 47°.  The average date for this occurrence is a few days after the first day of autumn.  The high was also on the cool side, 68°, which was one degree higher than yesterday.  (Sept. 1883 is the third coolest September on record.) 

December 17-25 - Five snowfalls during this nine-day period produced 22.6" of snow, the second greatest amount of any December (now ranked third).  A little more than half fell on 12/24 and Christmas Day, when 12.3" piled up from two different snowfalls.  This nine-day period had an average high/low of 28°/17°.

December 23 - It was a frigid, frigid day with a high/low of just 10°/-1°.

 

ArcticAir

 

- 1884 -

February 29 - The day after an Arctic front changed rain to snow that accumulated five inches, today's high/low was just 12°/4° (twenty-seven degrees below average).  This was the second coldest day of the winter after 12/23 and its high/low of 10°/-1°.  The next five days (March 1-5) would have moderating temperatures but all had highs below freezing (the average high of these five days was 23°/12°).

March 30 - It was a very late date for a sub-freezing high temperature (31°) at a time of the month when the average high is around 50°.

May 30 - It was a chilly Memorial Day, with a record low of 42° (a record that still stands).  And the day's high of 55° was also a record for chilliest high for the date.

June 26 - Almost all of June's 4.98" of rain poured down from a rainstorm that began yesterday evening and continued today.  In total, 4.74" of rain was measured, with 4.29" of it falling today.  Today was also unseasonably cool, with a high/low of 67°/58°.

September 11 - This was the eighth unseasonably warm day in a row, with afternoon highs that ranged from 88° to 91° and lows that were between 71° and 77°.  The average high/low during this period, 89°/75°, was 14 degrees above average.

 

Boys-playing-on-a-sidewalk-NYC-1893-NYHistoricalSociety

 

September 30 - The last three days of the month accounted for all of September's rain, and it was very little - 0.21", making this the driest September on record (a dubious honor that it still holds).

October 22 - Today's 0.89" rainfall was comparable to the amount that fell in the previous seven-and-a-half weeks (since 8/31), a period that would typically receive about 6.50".

November 23 - Today's high of 61° tied 11/5 and 11/6 as mildest reading of the month, which was on the cool side for the distinction.  And yet it would be nineteen weeks before a milder reading was reported (66° on 4/3).

December 20 - The day before the winter solstice began was the coldest day of the winter as the high/low was only 7°/-3°.  Feb. 11 (1885) would come close with a high/low of 11°/-2°. 

 

- 1885 -

February 11 - Although it was brutally cold, with a high/low of only 11°/-2°, there was an even more frigid day earlier in the winter - on 12/20, which had a high/low of just 7°/-3°.

March 18 - Today's low of 8° was the 18th in the single digits or colder this winter, breaking a tie with the winter of 1872-73 for most on record (later passed by the winter of 1918, which had 20 frigid lows).

March 24 - This was the eighth day in a row with lows in the teens or colder.  The average low during this stretch was just 13°, twenty degrees below average.  (March 1885 is the third coldest on record).

May 31 - Today's rainfall of 0.11" brought this spring's total rainfall to 4.95", making it the driest meteorological spring on record (a record that still stands).  And the month of June would continue these dry conditions, with just 1.32" measured. 

July 21 - Today's high was 99° and came in the midst of a sweltering eleven-day period between 7/16 and 7/26 in which eight days were in the 90s.

99deg
October 13 - A tropical storm moved northward through central Pennsylvania and dropped 1.50" of rain in Central Park. 

 

- 1886 -

January 15 - This was the tenth day in a row with sub-freezing highs (including five days in a row with lows in the single digits).  The average high was 22°, ranging between 8° and 31°.   There was one snowfall during this cold stretch - five inches on Jan. 9.

February 8 - This was the 34th day in a row with highs colder than 40°.  Twenty-one of these days had highs of 32° or colder.  Nearly 19" of snow fell from six snowfalls.

 

Winter during victorian era

May 28 - For the eighth time this month the low was 51°.

June 23 - A 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°).

 

- 1887 -

March 21 - Today's high of 49° was the mildest reading this March - the only March with its mildest reading below 50° (it would happen a week later as well).  By comparison, January and February each had a reading in the low 60s.

March 29 - The temperature fell slowly throughout the day, from 29° shortly after midnight to 19° nearly 24 hours later.

April 18 - Rain changed to snow, accumulating 3.0".  This followed a two-inch snowfall on April 1-2.  Today's snow was a week earlier than the latest measurable snowfall on record, in 1875, where there was a three-inch snowfall on 4/25.

June 1 - After experiencing what, at the time, was the driest May on record (0.34" was measured; it's now ranked second after May 1903), June began with a rainfall of 2.60", which was more than what fell in the previous six weeks.  It was also a record for the date (which still stands).

July 31 - The final week of the month had high temperatures that ranged between 88° and 91°.  In total. the month had 17 days of 88°+.  And there were 18 days with lows of 72° or warmer.  At the time this was the third hottest July on record, and it would be among the five hottest until 1949 (it's now ranked 28th).

September 25 - This morning's low of 40° was the second earliest date for a reading this chilly in September (earliest date was on 9/21 in 1871; 1887 has since fallen to third earliest).

 

40_2

 

- 1888 -

March 12 - The Blizzard of '88 (also known as the Great White Hurricane) roared into an unsuspecting New York during the morning and brought the City to a standstill for the next few days.  16.5" of snow fell today, with an additional 4.5" falling tomorrow into the early morning hours of the 14th.  This was New York's biggest snowstorm until Dec. 1947 (it's now ranked fourth).  In addition to the large amount of snow, the storm's danger was magnified by mountainous snow drifts created by winds that gusted between 45 and 55 mph, and extreme cold, as the temperature dropped from 33° to 8°.  200 people died in the City, many from exposure to the elements. 

March 13 - A bit more snow (three inches) fell today from yesterday's blizzard, but what stood out today was the extreme cold (even by mid-winter standards) as the high/low was just 12°/6° - the second coldest day ever experienced in March (the high/low on March 5, 1872 was 10°/3°).  With gusty winds still prevalent, wind chills were below zero.  This was the fourth March in the 1872-1888 period to have two days with lows in the single digits; since then it's happened in just one other year (in 1916).

 

Blizzard of 1888
 

August 21 - The remnants of a hurricane that first struck south Florida, then Louisiana a day later soaked the City with 4.12" of rain (a record for the date that still stands) as it traveled just to the north of the City on its way to New England.

September 8-21 - In a two-week period (including a six days in a row, between Sept. 8-13) measurable rain fell on eleven of the days, amounting to nearly seven inches.  Three days (today was one of them) had more than an inch, another three had between 0.50"-0.99".

October 5- Today's high of 66° was the warmest reading this month - the only October to have its warmest reading cooler than 70°.  (Three Octobers' warmest readings have been 70°, most recently in 1977.)

 

- 1889 -

January 10 - Although every one of the first 10 days of January had lows in the 30s, none were 32° or colder.  The average of 36° was twelve degrees above average.

May 10 - The first reading in the 90s this year (91°) was very early but after today there would be just one more (on June 9).

August 1 - The wettest July on record (11.89" was measured) continued into the first day of August, which was the third day in a row to have more than an inch of rain.  In total 5.68" fell during these three days (1.70" fell today).

August 14 - Since July 15 nearly fourteen inches of rain fell.  Six days had an inch or more.

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 streak of nine days in a row with rain (and ten out of eleven); total rainfall during this period was around six inches.

 

Rainy evening 1890s

September 18 - This was the ninth day in a row with measurable rain.  In total 5.93" fell, with more than half (3.34") falling on the 12th and 13th.

December 19 - This was the last day of precipitation this year, bringing 1889's total to 57.19".  At the time this was rainiest year on record, and it would hold the crown until 1903 (it's now ranked 14th.) 

 

- 1890 -

March 19 - A late season snowfall of six inches was the largest accumulation of the winter, beating the snowfall of Dec. 14 by half an inch.

September 4 - Today's high of 88° made this the warmest reading in September.  This was the sixth year in a row in which there were no 90-degree readings in September, the longest such streak on record.

 

City streets in summer late 1800s

 

December 26 - Seven inches of snow fell today.  A month later (1/25) it would be edged out as the biggest snowfall of the winter when eight inches piled up.

 

- 1891 -

January 25 - After precipitation started as cold rain, it changed to heavy snow which accumulated eight inches.  This was the biggest snowfall of the winter, overtaking a seven-inch snowfall on 12/26.

March 2 - The morning low of 9° was the coldest reading all winter.  This was similar to last year when the only reading in the single digits was also in March (7° on 3/7).

May 6 - The day's low was 32°, the latest date for a low of freezing or colder in Central Park.  (Three days later the high was 82°.)

 

- 1892 -

March 18 - Snow that began falling late last night continued through this morning and accumulated eight inches (the 7.2" that fell today is the most to fall on 3/18).  This was the biggest snowfall of the winter (passing a six-inch snowfall on 1/16) and came in the midst of an unseasonably cold 12-day stretch (March 11-22) in which temperatures were 12 degrees degrees below average (high/low of 34°/22°).

 

Snow in union square by childe hassam

 

July 29 - Today was the end of a five-day heat wave that saw the last two days reach highs of 97°.  The average high/low during these five days was 95°/76°.  (The two days preceding the heat weave had highs of 89°). 

November 9 - Rain changed to snow and then back to rain as midnight approached.  During the time when the snow fell 2.3" accumulated, making this the earliest snowfall of two inches or more (until 1953, when 2.2" fell on 11/6).  Because of the rain that fell afterwards the snow didn't stay on the ground for long; in addition, the temperature got no colder than 35°. (The following day would see 1.31" of rain.)

December 31 - This was the eleventh day in a row with highs of 32° or colder.  The average high during this streak was 26°.  This chill, however, would end on New Year's Day when the temperature rose into the low 50s after nightfall.

 

- 1893 -

January 17 - Today was the seventh day in a row with a high in the teens.  The average high/low during this streak was 17°/8°.  This streak of bitter cold was embedded in a 13-day streak with highs of 30° or colder.

February 17-18 - A snowstorm dumped 9.1", with much of it falling on the 17th.  This was the biggest snowfall of the winter (in total there were five snowfalls of four inches or more).  Both the 17th and 18th had a high/low of 28°/17°.

March 9-10 - This was the first time since Dec. 16-17 to have back-to-back days with lows above 32°.

August 19-20 - A hurricane moved over New York City, just the second time this has happened.  A wind gust of 85 mph was clocked and 3.81" of rain fell (1.34" on 8/19 and 2.34" on 8/20).

 

Hurricane

 

August 24 - 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".

 

- 1894 -

February 26 - Today's snowfall of eight inches joined snowfalls of seven inches, six-and-a-half inches, and four inches in the past 30 days.  Today's snowstorm came the day after the coldest reading of the winter, 1° above zero (a record that was later tied in 1914).  After today the next snowfall wouldn't be until 4/12, when an inch fell.

May 25 - This was the eighth day in a row to receive measurable rain.  In total, 2.40" was measured during this streak (with about half falling on the 21st and 23rd). 

July 10 - This was the fourth day in a row with a low in the 50s (59°-56°-58°-56°).  These readings were ten degrees cooler than average.  The low on the 8th is a record that still stands. (By contrast, there have been no readings in the 50s in any July between 2010 and 2020.) 

August 20 - Today's 0.08" rainfall was the last rainfall of what would be the driest meteorological summer until 1966.  Just 4.36" was measured, which was 1/3 the average amount (the summer of 1966 received 0.05" less).

September 19 - A rainstorm that moved in yesterday evening and continued through today dumped more rain (5.16") than what fell all summer (the second driest on record).  Today's rainfall of 4.30" was a record for the date (that still stands).  At the time this was the third greatest daily rainfall (now ranked 16th).

September 20 - All of September's 8.68" of rain fell in a 13-day period ending today (with nearly half of it falling yesterday).

November 5 - Today was the fifth day in the past four weeks to pick up an inch or more of rain (1.67" on 10/10; 1.69" on 10/24; 1.06" on 10/31, 1.60" on 11/3; and 1.12" today). 

 

- 1895 -

February 28 - This was the only day of this very cold month (the second coldest February at the time, now ranked fourth) with a low above freezing.  And it was the first above freezing low since 1/16.

June 3 - This was the last day of an early season heat wave, which lasted five days.  After starting with a high of 90°, three highs of 96° followed; and today's high reached 95° (but after a cold front moved thru the temperature dropped to 63° by midnight).  The highs of June 1-3 were all records that are still standing.

 

Bathing beauties 1890s

June 4 - The day after the heat wave ended, today's temperature got no higher than 67°, twenty-eight degrees cooler than yesterday's high.

September 23 - A four-day heat wave, the latest on record, ended today, with a high of 97°.  This is the hottest reading ever reported in the second half of September.

November 1 - For the second day in a row the high/low was 52°/41°, and followed another pair of identical high/lows on these same dates five years earlier (high/low of 50°/37°).

December 31 - The mildest reading of the month was 60° and this was the fifth day this month that it was reached - and all were since 12/20.  It wouldn't be this mild again until 3/31.

 

- 1896 -

February 17 - With a high/low of 7°/-5°, today was the coldest day of the winter, moving ahead of the previous coldest day this winter, Jan. 6, with its high/low of 12/-2°.

March 15-16 - Less than two weeks after a snowfall of ten inches on March 2 an even bigger snowstorm dumped a foot of snow.  It began early in the afternoon of the 15th and by midnight 6.5" fell; an additional 5.5" fell the next day through midday.  Then the snow changed to rain as the temperature rose into the mid-30s.

 

Clip art snowflakes
 

April 18 - For the first time since record-keeping began Central Park had its first reading in the 90s in April (it was also the first day in the 90s to have a low in the 50s; the second such occurrence would be three weeks later).  This followed highs of 87° and 88° on the two preceding days.  1896 would have 24 days in the 90s, which would be the most in one year until 1936.

April 20 - This was the last day of a seven-day streak with very mild temperatures, with an average high/low of 81°/61°.  This followed a six-day stretch ending 4/8 that experienced a cold average high/low of 41°/29°.

 

Laundry_hanging_out_of_tenement_building_windows

 

August 11 - Today was the third day in a row with a low temperature in the 80s, the first time for this occurrence.  There have been four other streaks of this length since then: one in 1906, two in 1908 and one in 2013. 

August 13 - 1895's record for most days in the 90s, twenty-three, was broken today when the high reached 90°.  This number of hot days wouldn't be surpassed for 40 years.  Today was also the last day of a ten-day heat wave, still one of the lengthiest on record.  Four of the days had afternoon heat indexes in the 110°-115° range and nine days in a row had lows between 76°-82°.  This lengthy period of heat and humidity was responsible for the deaths of 1,500 persons in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states.

 

Kids swimming in 19th century

 

November 30 - The City was shoveling out from a five-inch snowfall (that started the day before) three days after the high reached 72° (a record that still stands).

December 22-23 - One week after a snowfall of seven inches, six inches fell beginning tonight and continuing through the morning of the 23rd, followed by another round during the evening after an Arctic front moved through.  What was curious about this snowfall was the fact that it had a very low liquid content (0.25" water was measured) despite temperatures that were 32° or above last night through daybreak of the 23rd, and rain was mixed with the snow at times.

 

- 1897 -

January 28 - Snow began falling after 9 PM on the 27th and continued thru mid-day today, accumulating ten inches.  The temperature was in the low 20s throughout the storm.

February 12 - Today's snowfall of 8.5" was the fourth of six inches or more this winter.  Snow started falling shortly before daybreak and was mostly over by mid-afternoon.  The snow fell heaviest between 11 AM and 1 PM when three inches accumulated.  Temperatures were mostly in the mid-20s.

October 16 - Today's high of 87°, twenty-five degrees above average, was the warmest reading in October in the years of Central Park measurement in the 19th century (since 1869).  Although this temperature would be matched in 1919 and exceeded in 1922 (89°), this year's occurred thirteen and eleven days later than 1919's and 1922's, respectively.

December 26 - Today's three-inch snowfall was the eighth time since 1872 that an inch or more fell on this date, an average of once every three years.  Thereafter, however, the rate slowed to once every fifteen years.  (12/26 is the date in December most likely to see one-inch+ of snow.) 

 

- 1898 -

July 3 - Today's high reached 100°, the first reading in the triple digits in 17 years.  However, the wait wouldn't be nearly as long for the next reading in the 100s (July 1, 1901).

July 4 - This year's high of 96° followed July 4th highs of 85° in 1897, 78° in 1896 and 69° in 1895.

July 28 - For the the second day in a row the high/low was 80°/74°.  Coincidentally, the same two dates last year also had the same high and low (67°/64°).

September 5 - This was the last day of a six-day heat wave, with highs ranging from 90° to 93° (and the next two days had highs of 88°).  Lows on these six days were between 75° and 79°.

November 30 - Just three days after a snowstorm dumped ten inches, a snowfall of six inches accumulated today.  (And three inches had fallen on 11/24.)  The nineteen inches of snow that fell this month is the most to ever fall in November.

 

- 1899 -

January 1 - The year started snowy and quite cold as three inches fell between 2:00 and 8:00 this morning and the temperature slowly fell throughout the day, dropping from 18° to 8°.  Breezy conditions (gusts of 15-20 mph) created wind chills in the zero to -5° range.

February 12 - This was the third day in a row in which temperatures failed to rise above 9°.  Highs/lows on these days were 7°/-6° (2/10); 9°/-2° (yesterday); and 9°/4° (today).  Today was also on the snowy side with snow falling most of the day; by midnight 5.3" had accumulated.

 

Frozen man

 

February 13 - This was the fifth day in a row of a memorable cold wave in which highs were between 6° and 11° and lows between -6° and +6°.  In addition to the bitter cold, a blizzard that began yesterday continued today burying the City under sixteen inches of snow (10.7" fell today on top of yesterday's 5.3").  Winds that gusted between 25 and 35 mph produced wind chills around -10°.  At the time this was New York's third biggest snowfall (now tied for 17th place).  This snow came five days after a snowfall of 6.5".

 

Blizzard of feb 1899

April 6 - This was the sixth day in a row with a low of 32° or colder, tying two other six-day streaks in 1875 and 1891 as the longest on record in April (and there have been none of this length since then).  

May 4 - Today had the season's last reading in the 40s (the low of 48° was seasonable for the date), the earliest date on record for this occurrence (which still stands).  In the 19th century, the average date of this occurrence was 5/28 (in the 21st century, the date is ten days earlier).

June 20 - Today was the seventh day this month with a high in the 90s, the most of any June until 1923 (when there would be eight).  These hot days contributed to making this, at the time, the hottest June on record (until 1923; it's now tied for tenth). 

October 18 - It was a very mild day, with a high/low of 79°/67° (twenty degrees above average).  This was the sixth day of a seven-day streak in which every day's low was in the 60s, which was comparable to the average high during this time of the month (low 60s).

December 27 - The 0.1" of snow that accumulated today was the first measurable snowfall of the winter, a winter that would have 13.4" of snow in total, the least since the winter of 1878.

 

Here are recaps of decades of the 20th and 21st centuries:

1900-1909

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960

Year-by-Year Review (1970-2019)


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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2020's Weather Highlights

 Happy new year 2020

JANUARY

1 - It was a raw and overcast first day of the year with the mercury mostly stuck at a seasonably cold 38° during the daylight hours.  This was similar to conditions two days ago, except that day had rain. 

8 - This was the last day of an 18-day streak with above average temperatures (based on mean temperature).  It was the longest such streak since last winter, which was of similar length during practically the same date range (12/20-1/6).  And the average high/low of the two streaks was nearly identical: 47°/37° this winter vs. 48°/37° last winter.  The mildest reading of this recent streak was 57°, the coldest was 28°, which occurred tonight as midnight approached.

9 - With a high/low of 34°/23°, three degrees below average, this was the only day between Dec. 22 and Jan. 16 that was colder than average.  The other 25 days were ten degrees above average (high/low of 50°/37°).

11 - The mercury soared to 69°, easily breaking the previous record from 1975 by six degrees.  Today's high was twice as warm as two days ago (34°) and was the warmest reading in January since a high of 72° on Jan. 6, 2007 (like today, it was also a Saturday).  Today's reading was 31 degrees above average, the most above average for a daily high since Feb. 21, 2018's high of 78°, 35 degrees above average.  Today's high/low of 69°/51° was more typical of the temperature split on May 5.  Lastly, after rising to 60° at around 9:00 AM the temperature stayed in the 60s for the rest of the day.

12 - It was a beautiful May weekend in January as today's record high of 68° followed yesterday's record-setting 69°.  Today was the better of the two days because skies turned clear by mid-morning  while yesterday was a mix of dim sun and light overcast.  This was just the third time in January that Central Park reported back-to-back highs of 65°+.  (And January 1932 is the only case of three consecutive days.)

18 - One week after a record-setting high of 69°, today had quintessentially wintry conditions as a steady light snow fell during the afternoon, amounting to 2.1"; this was seven weeks after the winter's previous biggest snowfall of 1.6".  The temperature was in the 20s during the daytime hours but rose above freezing after 6:00 PM (peaking at 37° as midnight approached), changing the snow to sleet and then rain for a few hours.  This was the last measurable snowfall of the winter, the earliest date on record (one day earlier than the previous latest date, in 2002).

20 - With a high/low of 31°/20°, today was just the second day this winter with a high of 32° or colder.  It came nearly five weeks after the first such occurrence, on 12/19 (when the high/low was 25°/16°).  For comparison purposes, a typical year has nine days with highs this cold by 1/20.  Since 1980 four winters had just one day with a high of 32° or colder by this date, most recently in 2013. (and like this winter, there was one winter with two). 

 

FEBRUARY

7 - The previous record high for this date, 54° in 1938, was the coolest reading to be a record, but it was broken today during lunchtime; however, at 56° it was still the coolest reading to be a record.  And one of just four record highs to be in the 50s; the others are: Jan. 16 (58°); Feb. 2 (59°); and Dec. 19 (58°).  A vigorous cold front moved thru early in the afternoon, dropping the temperature to 33° by midnight (a peak wind gust of 46 mph was clocked at dusk in Central Park).  This was the coldest reading so far this month, making it just the second February on record to have no lows of 32° or colder in the first week (the other occurrence was in 1877).  

15 - This morning's low of 14° was the coldest reading of the winter, passing the low of 16° back on Dec. 19.  However, the day with the winter's coldest daily mean temperature continued to be 12/19 as today's was two degrees warmer (high/low of 25°/16° vs. 31°/14°).  Only the winters of1932, 1975 and 2002 have had a milder reading for their coldest temperature (four other winters have had 14° as their coldest reading).

24 - This was the fourth day in a row with very low humidity levels during the afternoon, i.e., in the 15%-19% range for a number of hours each day.  The last time there was such an extended number of days with such low humidity in February was in 2004 (Feb. 25-March 1).  Today's high of 62° was the mildest of the month.

 

MARCH

1 - Today's low was 25°, the coldest reading of March and the last reading of 32° or colder this winter (average date of the last freezing or colder temperature is 3/31).  A typical March has twelve days with lows this cold.  Only March 1942 had fewer days (i.e., zero).

9 - After getting very close on 1/11 (high of 69°), today had the year's first high in the 70s.  Under sunny skies the mercury rose to 72° (twenty-five degrees above average).  This was two weeks ahead of schedule and the warmest reading since mid-October.  Today's low of 47° was what the typical high should be on this date.

20 - After a foggy start the sun broke through during the afternoon and the temperature jumped from the mid-50s at noon to 77° shortly before 5:30 (26 degrees above average).  The day's 30-degree jump in temperature from the morning low of 47° at daybreak was the biggest rise in temperature since a 32-degree rise on May 2, 2018 (from 48° to 80°).  The temperature stayed in the 70s until after 11 PM, then a cold front moved through overnight and the mercury fell to 42° by 9:00 AM on 3/21.  The City's next reading in the 70s wouldn't occur until May 2.  

 

APRIL

7 - Today's high of 68° was the mildest reading of the month.  This became the first April since 1940 to have no readings in the 70s or warmer.  (Since 2000 the average warmest reading in April has been 85°.)

13 - Nearly two inches of rain fell from an intense storm system that had produced deadly tornadoes in the Southeast the day before.  The 1.92" of rain that was measured was a record for the date, easily breaking the old record from 100 years ago.  Besides rain (which fell largely between 1AM-6PM) gale force winds raked the area, gusting close to 40 mph in Central Park and between 50-60 mph in many suburbs.  Temperatures rose into the 60s as the storm departed in the early evening, and the day's high (67°) was reached after dark.   

 

MAY

1 - Although today' high/low of 66°/53° was just one degree above average this broke a 16-day streak with below average mean temperatures.  The average high/low during this streak was 56°/42°, seven degrees below average.  This was the longest below average streak since March 2018, when there was a streak of 22 days. 

2 - Usually a high of 73° in early May doesn't warrant attention, but this year it did because this was the first reading in the 70s in more than six weeks (since 3/20).  

3 - Under sunny skies, today reported the year's first reading in the 80s (80°).  This was the first year since 2014 to have its first 80 in May rather than in April (average date of the first 80°+ reading is 4/22).  The last time the temperature was this warm was on 10/2 last year when the mercury soared to 93°.

7 - Today was the the second day of the past three to have humidity that dropped to 16% during the afternoon.  The last time humidity was this low in May was in 2007.  And back then it also happened on two days (5/3 and 5/13).

8 - A rare springtime incursion of Arctic air moved through during the afternoon and by midnight the mercury had fallen to 36°.  This was a record for the date, the first May reading in the 30s since 1978 (38° on 5/1), and the coldest reading in May since 1966 (36° on 5/10).  Light rain fell during the PM hours, amounting to 0.45".  (It should be noted that the reading of 36° credited to today actually occurred shortly before 1 AM Daylight Saving Time on 5/9, but the NWS uses Standard Time year-round for its records.)

9 - This morning's record low of 34° (with wind chill in the mid-20s) was Central Park's coldest reading in May since 1891.  And snow flurries that fell before daybreak tied May 9, 1977 as the latest date for a trace of snow.  This morning's reading was colder than April's coldest reading by two degrees.

10 - For the third year in a row Mother's Day had well below average temperatures.  This year, the low of 39° was the chilliest reading on Mother's Day since 1977 (low of 38°).  However, unlike the previous two years skies were clear and the temperature rose to 64°.  Although this was five degrees cooler than average, last year's afternoon temperatures were only in the mid-40s, and the year before that they were in the mid-50s. 

12 - Last week, on 5/5 and 5/7, the humidity in Central Park dropped to 16%, which was the lowest in May since 2007.  This afternoon it dropped to 15%, which is the lowest reported in May this century.  Despite sunny skies it was a chilly day, with a high of 59° (average high for the date is 70°).

23 - Much of today's 0.65" rainfall, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, poured down between 11 AM and noon.  Up until today less than an inch of rain had fallen this month (0.95").  Today's rain was 0.03" shy of the most to fall on the Saturday of the three-day Memorial Day weekend, which was in 1982.

30 - Today and yesterday both had a high/low of 81°/67° (eight degrees above average).  But whereas yesterday was on the sticky side, with afternoon dew points in the upper 60s, today was noticeably more comfortable, with dew points in the afternoon down into the upper 40s.  And it also had a lot more sunshine.  Yesterday and today were also the first back-to-back days with highs in the 80s, about three weeks later than usual, and the latest since 2013.

 

JUNE

6 - Warm and uncomfortably humid with a high of 86°; the dew point was in the 68°-70° range all morning thru mid-afternoon. This was the first reading of 85° or warmer this year, the latest date for this occurrence since 2008 (when it happened on 6/7).  Today also had the year's first low of 70°+, which was just a few days later than the average date.  The humidity dropped sharply after a mid-afternoon shower.  Meanwhile, Newark and LaGuardia airports had their first readings in the 90s.

22 - Today's high of 90° was the first reading of 90+ this year.  And although it was about four weeks later than the average date of the first 90+ (5/28), it came a week earlier than last year.  Skies were partly cloudy and it was on the humid side.

27 - A 15-day streak with no measurable rain ended today when 0.09" of rain fell in the early afternoon.  (This was the longest dry streak since one of 18 days in the fall of 2017.)  And a 7-day streak with highs of 85° or warmer (the longest such streak since a 10-day streak in June 2010) ended when the high, due to clouds and showers, got no higher than 80°.  Despite the slightly cooler temperatures the dew point in the middle of the afternoon was an uncomfortable 73°.

 

JULY

1 - This morning's low of 67° would be the coolest reading of July, setting a new record for mildest "coolest" reading in any month (breaking the previous record of 66° in July 2008).  It would also be the only day this month with a low that was below average (and it was just one degree cooler than average). 

6 - The mercury soared to 96°, the hottest reading of the year.  Fortunately, the humidity was very low (30-35%).  Relief arrived late in the afternoon when strong thunderstorms dropped a little more than a half inch of rain, mostly between 4-5 PM, cooling the temperature to 70°.

10 - Tropical storm Fay zipped from North Carolina to the Jersey Shore, soaking Central Park with 2.54" of rain, with most of it pouring down between 1:30-4:30 PM.  This amount was 1) a record for the date; the greatest one-day rainfall since May 2018; and 3) the first measurable rain on this date since 2003.  The temperature and dew point were both in the 70s all day, giving the air a pronounced tropical feel.  (With a high of 77°, a streak of 21 days with highs of 80° or warmer was snapped, the longest such streak in four summers.)   This was the fourth "F"-named tropical system to affect NYC since 1970, but it was the only one that didn't strike in September. 

11 - Following yesterday oppressive conditions, today was even more uncomfortable as afternoon dew points rose from low 70s to 74°-77°.  Additionally, today's afternoon air temperature was 8-10 degrees warmer (low 80s vs. mid-70s).  Two heavy downpours in mid-afternoon and evening produced 0.75" of rain, one day after 2.54" poured down from tropical storm Fay. 

22 - Today was very similar to last year as it was the fifth day in a row with a high in the 90s (it reached 92° today) and then a severe thunderstorm dumped 1.23" of rain between 7-8 PM.  The night's rain brought July's rainfall to 5.53", making it the wettest month of the year (so far).  This was the third year in a row in which an inch or more of rain was measured on this date.

24 - Due to nationwide closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mets didn't play their home opener until today.  And although it was played in mid-summer, it didn't have the warmest reading of any home opener.  Under mostly cloudy skies, the temperature during the game was in the the upper 70s (average high is 84°), which was cooler than home openers in 1977 (90°), 1991 (90°) and 1998 (86°); however, it was on the humid side, with dew points hovering around 70°. 

31 - A new record for July was established this morning when the day's low temperature of 70° was the 26th day this month with a low of 70° or warmer, breaking the previous record from ten years ago.  However, for a while the record seemed like it might be in jeopardy when the temperature dropped from 74° to 70° during heavy rain showers after 1 AM.

 

AUGUST

4 - Four weeks after the City was lashed by tropical storm Fay, an intense tropical storm, Isaias, blew through the area today, packing quite a punch.  Because the center of the storm moved further inland than anticipated, the City was spared heavy rain, but winds gusted to 48 mph in Central Park and 78 mph at Battery Park City in lower Manhattan (and 68, 69 and 70 mph at Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports, respectively).  While just 0.55" of rain fell from daybreak thru lunchtime in Central Park (much of it between 11AM-noon), four inches+ flooded eastern Pennsylvania.  Although it wasn't associated with Isaias, a severe thunderstorm late last night dumped practically the same amount of rain in about 30 minutes as fell this morning.

7 - Rain that began around daybreak cooled the temperature to below 70° for the first time since July 17.  This 20-day streak was the fourth longest of its kind, just two days shy of the record set in the summers of 1980 and 2010 (and a streak of 21 days occurred in 1988).  The mercury sunk to 66°, which was the coolest reading since a low of 65° on June 29. (The day's forecast low had been for the low 70s.)

12 - Very tropical conditions brought heat (high of 90°), stifling humidity (the dew point reached 77°, producing a heat index around 100°), and then a severe thunderstorm during the late afternoon.  The 1.76" of rain that poured down (almost all between 4-5 PM) was more than triple the 0.55" that fell last week from tropical storm Isaias.  

 

SEPTEMBER

10 - Today's high of 82° was the last reading of 80+ this year.  Among summers with 20 or more days of 90+ (this summer had twenty such days) this is the earliest date for the last 80+; the usual date is Oct. 4.   (Among all summers the earliest date for the last 80+ high was in 1902 on 9/2.)  Two other summers that reported their last reading of 80°+ few days later than this year's had considerably more days in the 90s : 1966, which had 37 hot days, had its last 80+ on 9/11, and 1999, which had 27 hot days, had its last 80+ on 9/15.

21 - The morning low of 49° was the first temperature chillier than 50° in September in seven years, and the earliest date for this occurrence since 1993 (when it was on 9/20).  Today's low came after lows of 50° the previous two days.  (Since 2000 the average date for the first low in the 40s has been 10/5.)

25 - For the past week a strong high pressure system was anchored over the Northeast, bringing fair skies, low humidity and the coolest temperatures of the month.  It was also responsible for keeping the remnants of two hurricanes (Sally and Beta) south of the area.

26 - This was the sixteenth day in a row with no measurable rain, one day more than June's dry streak, which had been the longest this year.  The last time there was a lengthier streak was during the fall of 2017 when there was one of eighteen days (Sept. 20-Oct. 7).

 

OCTOBER

12 - Moisture from the remnants of hurricane Delta moved into the area and produced a steady, but light, all-day rain that amounted to nearly one inch (0.96"); an additional 0.34" fell the following day.  Winds out of the northeast, gusting between 25-30 mph, kept the temperature unseasonably cool.  The high of 57° (which occurred shortly after midnight) was the first maximum reading in the 50s since 5/9.

16 - Starting this morning at around 10:00 a steady rain moved in and by midnight 1.36" had fallen.  Two-thirds of this amount (0.91") came down between 11 AM and 2 PM.  The day's high of 66° occurred in the overnight hours, but quickly dropped into the low 50s once the rain started.  This was the second year in a row in which more than an inch of rain fell on this date (last year, 1.83" was measured).

29 - The remnants of hurricane Zeta (which struck the Gulf Coast last night) merged with the energy from a winter storm that struck the southern Rockies and Plains earlier in the week, resulting in rainy and raw conditions in the Mid-Atlantic states.  Rain began around 7 AM and continued until mid-day on the 30th.  1.53" fell today, 0.64" the next morning.  The rain fell heaviest from 10 AM until 3 PM today, with nearly an inch measured.  After the rain became lighter gusty winds of 25-30 mph moved in. 

31 - This morning's low was a frosty 32°, the first reading of freezing or colder in October since 1988 (which also occurred on Halloween).  This was the coldest reading this year since March 1 (when the low was 25°). 

 

NOVEMBER

8 - Today's high of 75° (18 degrees above average and one degree shy of the record for the date) was the warmest reading in six weeks (since 9/28), making Nov. 2020 just the seventh November since 1900 to have a warmer reading than October's (Oct. 2020's warmest was 74°). The previous time it happened was in 2003.

11 - Despite overcast skies and the arrival of rain after 2:00 PM the temperature rose into the low 70s.  This was the sixth day in a row with highs of 70° or warmer, which set a new record for the month of November (breaking a tie with Nov. 2015).  The average high during this streak was 74° - seventeen degrees above average (highs were 70°-74°-75°-75°-74°-72°). The rain (which amounted to 0.78") didn't cause the temperature to drop much as it stayed in the mid-60s.  Combined with a dew point that was also in the mid-60s, the air had a tropical feel to it.  Every day of this streak was 10 degrees or more above average, equaling another six-day streak back in January with temperatures this much above average.

Today also saw a low in the 60s for the second day in a row, something that hadn't occurred in November since 1982 (which had a four-day streak).  And at 64° it was one of the mildest daily minimum readings on record for any November (and was eight degrees milder than the average high for the date). 

15 - A squall line tore through the area this evening from 8:15-8:45 PM, delivering a brief downpour and high winds.  With a gust of 41 mph, Central Park got off relatively easy compared to the area's three major airports, which clocked peak gusts in the 58-62 mph range.  And although the rain was torrential in my neighborhood (Greenwich Village), Central Park reported just 0.06".  Finally, the day's mild high of 64° occurred just as the squall line was moving through.

18 - Today's unseasonably cold high/low of 36°/30° (14 degrees below average) was half as warm as it was a week ago, when the high/low was a balmy 72°/64° (19 degrees above average).

26 - It was Thanksgiving Day, and a pre-dawn deluge seemed a distant memory by afternoon when the sun came out and the temperature rose into the mid-60s.  Not only was today's high of 65° tied for third warmest on the holiday (behind 1933's 69° and 2007's 66°), its low of 55° was the mildest of any Turkey Day as was the mean temperature of 60.0°.  And the 0.79" of rain that poured down this morning was the seventh greatest amount to fall on the holiday, and the most since 2006 (which was the rainiest Thanksgiving, with 1.72" measured).   

 

DECEMBER

16 - An intense nor'easter brought the season's first measurable snow, which began late in the afternoon.  By midnight 6.5" had piled up and the snow continued overnight thru daybreak (adding four inches).  This was December's biggest snowfall since the post-Christmas blizzard of December 2010 that paralyzed the city with 20".  Today's snowfall was more than twice the amount that fell during the previous winter (4.8").  It was also a record amount for the date.  With 10.5" in total this was the thirteenth December snowstorm to dump ten inches or more.  This storm dumped tremendous amounts of snow in Pennsylvania, New York State and New England, with some locations picking up between two to three feet (Binghamton, NY had 40").

Besides the snow it was also quite cold.  Today's high/low of 31°/24° made this the first day of the winter to have a high of 32° or colder.  Winds gusting between 30-40 mph created wind chills in the 10°-15° range.

19 - Today and the previous three days had very similar, cold temperatures: 31°/24° (on 12/16); 33°/24°; 32°/24°; and 32°/20° (today).  These four days were nine degrees below average.  Coincidentally, last December had a an equally cold four-day period at about the same time (Dec. 18-21), with an average high/low of 32°/21°.

25 - A fierce storm lashed the area overnight, with rain and strong winds that gusted to 45-65 mph (a gust of 47 mph was clocked at Central Park).  The 0.92" of rain that fell was the third greatest amount to fall on the holiday (behind 1945 and 2002).  The high, reached a few hours before daybreak, was 61° - the eighth time the high was in the 60s on 12/25.  After the rain and wind exited, sharply colder air moved in, dropping the mercury to 29° by midnight.  With today's mild high, 2020 became just the second year (2015 is the other) with highs in the 60s on Christmas Day (61°), Thanksgiving Day (65°) and Easter Sunday (63°).

 

 

 


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:

 

HOT & COLD

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).

SNOW DROUGHT

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 .

DAYS OF PRECIPITATION WELL ABOVE AVERAGE FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

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).

MOTHER'S DAY HAD WORST WEATHER OF ANY HOLIDAY

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.

JULY RAINSTORMS BROUGHT BIGGEST RAIN TOTALS

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.

THANKSGIVING WEATHER

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.)

DRY MOMENTS

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.

YEAR ENDS WITH WET DECEMBER FOR SECOND YEAR IN A ROW

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:

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

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


Weather Highights of 2019

 

2019

 

JANUARY

1 - Very similar to 100 years ago, today's high of 58°, which occurred in the morning, was 39 degrees warmer than New Year's Day 2018, whereas 1919's high of 61° was 51 degrees warmer than New Year's Day 1918.  Today was the mildest reading on Jan. 1 since 2005.

6 - Today was the last day of an 18-day streak with above average temperatures in Central Park, the longest such streak in three years, since the record 34-day streak of Dec. 1, 2015 thru Jan. 3, 2016.  During these 18 days the high/low averaged 48/37, which was eight degrees above average.  The coldest temperature during the streak was 31°, which was reported tonight shortly before midnight.

18 - Although the half-inch of snow that fell before daybreak was of the "junk" variety (i.e., largely gone by the time I left for work), it was the first measurable snow in Central Park in nine weeks - since the "surprise" snowstorm of Nov. 15.  Only the winter of 2011-12 had a longer gap between its first and second snowfalls (12 weeks). 

19 - Today was the tenth day in a row with highs in the 30s, the longest such streak since the winter of 2011 when there were streaks of 11 days (Jan. 25-Feb. 4) and 12 days (Jan. 5-16).

20 - After a rainy morning (0.88" fell) Arctic air swept in, dropping the temperature from 42° late in the morning (the first reading in the 40s since 1/9) to 14° shortly before midnight.  This was the coldest reading in more than a year, since a low of 5° on Jan. 7, 2018.  Howling winds after dark produced wind chills around 0°. 

21 - This was one of the coldest days of the past 25 years, with a high/low of just 14/4.  Gusty winds raked the area throughout the day, producing wind chills in the -5° to -15° range.  And while there have been 12 days since 1994 with colder low temperatures than today's, only two had colder highs (10° on Jan. 19, 1994 and 13° on Jan. 6, 2018).  Today's frigid temperatures brought to mind very cold conditions that also fell on holidays in recent years (today was Martin Luther King Day): New Year's Day 2018, with a high/low of 19/7; Valentine's Day 2016, which had a high/low of 15/-1; and President's Day 2015, which had a high/low of 21/3.

24 - Rain began falling around daybreak and continued thru mid-afternoon, amounting to 1.33" (rain fell heaviest during lunchtime).  This was the sixth rainstorm of more than an inch in the past six weeks.  During this period more than nine inches of rain fell.  In addition to the rain, today experienced very mild temperatures as the high rose to 59° late in the morning (but fell to the mid-30s by midnight).  This came just three days after a low of 4°.  Today was also the first day since 1/9 not to have a low of 32° or colder.

30 - The ferocious cold that descended upon the Midwest, Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley over the past few days made its way east, ushered in by a snow squall mid-afternoon.  Once the front passed thru, the temperature dropped from the low 30s to the single digits by 9PM (and down to 6° by midnight).  Howling winds produced sub-zero wind chills.  The 0.4" of snow that fell during the 15-minute squall brought the month's total snowfall to 1.1", keeping January from joining thirteen others that had less than an inch of snow.  

31 - Today's frigid high/low of 16°/2° was quite a contrast to the first day of the month (aka New Year's Day), which had a mild high/low of 58°/39°.  Today's low was the coldest reading thus far this year (and since Feb. 2016), but its mean temperature tied that of Jan. 21, with a high/low of 14°/4°, for coldest (only four other days in the past 25 years have had colder mean temperatures).  Finally, the day's high temperature tied 1935 for the coldest high on this date.

 

FEBRUARY

4 - After two days in January came very close to 60° (highs of 58° and 59°), today had the year's first high in the 60s (61°).  This came just four days after a low of +2°, the fewest number of days between a reading colder than 10° and a high of 60°+ since January 1986, when there was a three-day gap (low of 8° on 1/15 followed three days later by a high of 63°) - but this year's jump in temperature was greater.  This was the second huge swing in temperature in the past week-and-a-half as the temperature rose from 4° to 59° between 1/21 and 1/24. 

12 - Light snow began falling shortly before 9 AM, then mixed with sleet a few hours later before turning mostly to sleet in the afternoon before changing to a mix of snow and rain by evening.  The snow/sleet accumulated 1.2", the first accumulation of an inch or more in three months (since the "surprise" snowstorm of Nov. 15).  During the first few hours of snow the temperature dropped from 30° to 26°, then slowly rebounded, and was above freezing by 6:00 PM.  

 

MARCH

4 - Snow that accumulated two inches yesterday evening continued overnight, adding three more inches.  (For the entirety of the storm the temperature was above 32°.)  These were the fourth and fifth days in a row with measurable snow, just the third time this has happened, joining streaks during the winters of 1923 and 1938.  This snowfall also brought March's snowfall to 10.4", more than the 10.1" that fell in the preceding four months.

7 - Today, with a high/low of 32°/18°, was the third day in a row with a high of 32° or colder.  The average high/low during these days was 30°/19°, fifteen degrees colder than average.  This was the first cold streak of three or more days in March since 1984, and just the tenth since 1900.  (It was also the longest such streak this winter.)  Despite the cold temperatures no measurable snow fell during these three days. 

15 - Despite lightly overcast skies the temperature rose into the 70s for the first time this year.  Although this was about three weeks later than the previous two years first 70s (Feb. 24 in 2017, Feb. 21 last year) it was still nine days ahead of schedule.  Today's high reached 75°, which was the warmest reading since 10/11.  (The following day the afternoon temperature was twenty-five degrees colder, down to what it should be in mid-March.) 

21-22 - Like last year on the first full day of spring, a coastal storm impacted the area but this time it was an all-rain event (8.4" of snow fell from last year's storm).  Rain began at daybreak yesterday and continued until late this morning.  In total 1.43" fell, with about two-thirds of that amount falling last night through the pre-dawn hours of today (0.75" was measured yesterday, 0.68" today).  This was the biggest rainstorm so far this year.  Besides the rain, gusty winds also raked the area, with peak gusts of 35-45 mph.

24 - Following the coastal storm of 3/21-22, the humidity fell significantly, bottoming out at 18% yesterday evening and down even further today, dropping to 13% at 2 PM (average reading in the afternoon during March is around 50%).  This was the lowest humidity level since May 2 of last year, when it dropped to 12% (the lowest reading in the years since 2000 is 6%, on March 30, 2007).

26 - Two days after the humidity dropped to Arizona-like levels during the afternoon, it dropped nearly as low today, bottoming out at 14% around 4:00 PM.  This was the fourth day in a row to report humidity levels under 20% at some point during the day.  During the course of a March day the humidity averages in the mid-50s, but today and on 3/24 it averaged 21%.

28 -Temperatures were seasonable for the Yankees' earliest home opener, but sitting outdoors when it's in the low-50s is more what you'd expect for a football game.  Skies were sunny but then turned lightly overcast after the game against Baltimore ended (which the Yankees won 7-2).  

 

APRIL

6 - After yesterday's raw, drizzly and cold conditions, with afternoon temperatures hovering around 40°, a big rebound took place today as skies were sunny and the high reached 68°.  Then two days later the reverse happened as the temperature fell into the upper 40s around midnight after the temperature was in the upper 70s earlier that evening (peaking at 79° shortly after 4:00 PM), the result of winds shifting from the west to the northeast.

19 - Great weather on Good Friday, as the high reached 80° - the first day in the 80s this year (it came close on 4/8 when the high reached 79°).  And although this was a few days earlier than the average date of the "first 80" (4/22), only one other year in the 2010s had it occur at a later date (in 2014, on 5/10).

30 - Today was the eighteenth day this month with measurable precipitation, the most of any month since May 2012, and the most on record of any April (the most for any month is 20 days, in July 1871 and May 1888).  However, despite this high frequency of rainy days the amount that fell, 4.55", was just an average amount.  (Seven days had 0.03" or less.)  By contrast, New York's ten rainiest Aprils averaged 12 days of precipitation (ranging from nine to fifteen).

 

MAY

4 - Today's high of 71° came one year after 5/4's morning low was 72°.

5 - It was a rainy and chilly day with 1.31" measured and PM temperatures only in the low 50s (most of the rain fell in the morning and after dark).  This was the tenth day of the past eleven with measurable rain, a period in which 2.67" of rain fell (today, the rainiest of these days, accounted for nearly half of the total).  It was also the twenty-second day of the past thirty-one with rain (today was the rainiest of these twenty-two days as well).

12 - A nor'easter brought a cold, all-day rain on Mother's Day.  Temperatures fell throughout the day, from the upper 50s just after midnight to the 40s by daybreak, where they stayed for the rest of the day (bottoming out at 43° as midnight approached, the chilliest reading on Mother's Day in the years since 1980).  This was just the second Mother's Day to have temperatures in the 40s for the entire afternoon (the other, in 1924, had temperatures in the 40s for the entire day).  And with 1.32" of rain measured, this was just the fifth time an inch or more of rain fell on Mother's Day (one of those five, in 1946, was also on 5/12).

13 - It was rainy and unusually chilly with temperatures staying in the 40s for the entire day, continuing a streak of hours with sub-50° readings that began at dawn yesterday; today's high/low of 48°/42° was seventeen degrees below average (the low was the chilliest in May in six years).  Much of the 0.70" of rain that fell today was during the afternoon/early evening.

14 - Including today, which had afternoon and evening showers, 70% of the past 40 days reported measurable rainfall in Central Park, twice as many days as the typical number (28 vs. 14).  However, just seven of these days accounted for about three-fourths of the of the 8.55" of rain measured in this period.  During lunchtime today the temperature rose out of the 40s for the first time since daybreak on 5/12, a span of 56 hours.  Then after just a few hours in the 50s the temperature once again dipped below 50°.

17 - Rain fell for the eighth in day a row, the longest rainy streak since another one of eight days in the summer of 2006 (and the thirteenth eight-day streak since 1900).  The rain that fell was minimal, 0.03", and came from light showers during lunchtime and between 9:30-10:00 tonight.  This was also the seventh Friday in a row with rain, and the ninth of the past ten (the one Friday with no measurable rain reported a trace).  In total 2.56" of rain fell during this streak.  Today's high of 76° was the mildest reading during the streak.

20 - One month after the year's first 80-degree day (on 4/19), today had the second high temperature in the 80s.  And at 85° today's high was the warmest in more than eight months (when it was 93° on 9/5).  

25-27 - Both Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend had sunny skies through mid-afternoon, then clouds gathered; Sunday's clouds produced heavy showers between 5:30-6:30 (0.20" was measured).  Before Sunday's clouds and showers the day had the warmest reading of the year so far; its high of 86° was fifteen degrees warmer than Saturday's.  Memorial Day had optimal conditions, with wall-to-wall sunshine, comfortable humidity and a high of 80°.  (This was the first time this year to have back-to-back days with highs in the 80s.)

30 - Today was the 19th day this month with measurable rain in Central Park, tying May 1973 and Dec. 1972 for the second most days of precipitation of any month.  (The most, 20 days, occurred twice in the 19th century - in July 1871 and May 1888).  Like yesterday, which reported 0.80" of rain, much of today's 0.95" poured down during the evening commute.  This month's excessive number of rainy days followed April's 18 days (the most on record for April); however, May's rainfall was more than two inches greater (6.82" vs. 4.55") - and it was more than what fell in July 1871, May 1888, May 1973 and Dec. 1972.

 

JUNE

2 - A nighttime thunderstorm dumped 0.78" of rain in the 30 minutes between 9:45 and 10:15.  This was the greatest amount in such a brief period so far this year.  Central Park appeared to be the bulls-eye for the heaviest rain as Newark Airport reported 0.31", LaGuardia had 0.30" and JFK just 0.03".  And at Yankee Stadium there was no rain delay in a game that ended at 10:37.      

25 - Shortly after daybreak a deluge dumped 0.86" of rain in a little less than an hour.  This tied 6/2 as the rainiest day this June.  And although the rest of the day was rain-free it was very humid, with dew points in the low 70s during much of the afternoon (this was the first day I used my a/c).  Additionally, today had the first low in the 70s of the year, about three weeks later than typical and the latest date in ten years.  (The City was still waiting for its first reading in the 90s.)

29 - After 6/27 and 6/28 got very close with highs of 89°, today's high of 91° was the first in the 90s this year - five weeks later than the average date for this occurrence and the fifth latest first-90 in the years since 1970 (the other four years were 1972, 1982, 1985 and 2014).

30 - Conditions for the 50th Gay Pride Parade were very nice through early afternoon, with the temperature rising into the low 80s, but then a quick shower interrupted the parade mid-afternoon.  And although it lasted for only 15-20 minutes the 0.06" that fell was the first measurable rain during the parade in 11 years (heavier amounts fell over Long Island).  This shower was also accompanied by winds that gusted to 37 mph at Central Park.  

 

JULY

4 - Today's high reached 90°, the first time in the 90s on the 4th of July in seven years.  Skies were mostly clear but the heat was tempered somewhat by reasonable levels of humidity.

6 - Uncomfortably high humidity (the dew point for much of the day was in the 72°-74° range) made the high temperature of 90° feel like 99°.  But despite these oppressive conditions, strong thunderstorms over NY State, central/eastern PA and northern NJ that appeared to be aiming for the City from mid-afternoon onward, all dissipated, producing only some passing sprinkles but no measurable rainfall.  Today was the 14th day in a row with highs of 83° or warmer, the longest such streak since one of 17 days in August 2016.

17 - A severe thunderstorm between 8-9:00 PM dumped more rain (1.14") than what fell in the previous three weeks (0.99").  Earlier in the day sauna-like conditions prevailed as the dew point reached the mid-70s, the temperature rose to 93° and the heat index reached 105°.  It also appeared today would be one of those rare summer days with a low of 80°+, but when tonight's storm moved in the temperature dropped to 73°.  Rain continued after the initial storm, adding an additional 0.68", making this the wettest day of the year.  This moisture was from the remnants of what was hurricane Barry, which had flooded Louisiana earlier in the week.  This was the second tropical storm named Barry to drench New York; the first visit was in June 2007, when nearly four inches of rain fell.    

21 - Today's high of 95° matched yesterday's, and both days had lows in the 80s (82° yesterday, 80° today).  The dew point peaked at 77° today during mid-afternoon; it was the highest so far this summer and produced a heat index of 107°.  This was the fifth day of the past six to have highs in the 90s.  The outlier was 7/18, which had temperatures stuck in the 70s all day due to afternoon winds that were out of the northeast.

22 - Shortly before Monday's evening rush hour was about to get underway three rounds of strong thunderstorms brought heavy rain, with 1.66" measured by midnight (most of it fell between 3:45 and 7:30 PM).  The storms erupted shortly after the dew point rose to an absurdly high 79°.  Today's downpours (and more rain would fall the following morning) came less than a week after the remnants of hurricane Barry produced 2.33" on 7/17-18.  Before the storms arrived the temperature had reached 90°, extending the heat wave to four days.

23 - After yesterday evening's deluge another period of rain that ended shortly after daybreak brought an additional 0.53".  This evening/morning rain event produced 2.19", which was similar in amount to the one that soaked the City on 7/17-18 (2.33").  What made them different, however, is that last week's was from the remnants of tropical system Barry while yesterday and today's was produced by a cooler air mass moving into the area.  The combined amount of these two big rain producers was comparable to a month's worth of rain and followed a three-week period that had less than an inch of rain (6/26-7/16).  After a four-day heat wave, today's high was a refreshing 74°, ten degrees below average and the coolest high in five weeks.

 

AUGUST

13 - Significant rainfall of one to two inches predicted for the afternoon and evening failed to materialize as just 0.07" fell in the morning.  (If this had been a snowstorm that was a bust, forecasters would have been lambasted by snow lovers, but rainstorms that don't deliver fail to spark outrage.)  Overcast skies kept the temperature in the 70s all day for the third time this summer; all three days had a high/low of 79/71.  

22 - Today, with a high of 90°, was the sixth day in a row with a high of 87° or hotter, the longest such streak since another one of six days in August 2016 (8/11-16).  However, the streak in 2016 was 3.5 degrees hotter (average high of 92.2° vs. 88.7°).  Shortly after sundown the approach of cooler air triggered strong thunderstorms that dropped 1.02" of rain between 8:30 PM and 1:00 AM.  (I was at a work-related cocktail party at a rooftop bar that, fortunately, ended shortly after 8:00.)

29 - The previous six days had been five degrees cooler than average (high/low of 75°/64°), which followed six days in a row that were five degrees warmer than average (89°/73°).  And today was "just right", with temperatures at seasonable levels (81°/66°).

 

SEPTEMBER

2 - Although it was a modest amount, the 0.30" of rain that fell during showers between 10:45 AM and 3:00 PM was the most to fall on Labor Day since 2003 (more than an inch of rain fell at Newark Airport).  Conditions rebounded somewhat once the showers moved out but dew points in the low 70s made it a bit uncomfortable.  However, the temperature got no higher than 74°, which was the coolest high on Labor Day in ten years (when it was also 74°).

6 - The northernmost bands of showers from hurricane Dorian moved through the area during the afternoon and early evening, with most of the minimal rainfall pouring down between 3-4:00 PM (0.27" was measured).  With the storm situated to the south-southeast of the metro area winds were from the east-northeast (peak gust in Central Park was 29 mph), making it unseasonably cool.  Before the rain moved in at lunchtime the mercury peaked at 67° then dropped to 58° by evening.  This was the first time since mid-June that a high and low were in the 60s/50s. 

19 - Humidity of 15% or lower occurs very infrequently in New York, and when it has happened it's been in March and April (in the years since 2000) - until today, when it dropped to 15% for a few hours this afternoon.  The last time the humidity was this low in September was on Sept. 11, 2001, when it bottomed out at 16%.

 

OCTOBER

2 - For the first time since 1941 the temperature soared into the 90s in October.  Today's high of 93° broke the record set in 1927 (which was October's first 90-degree reading).  This was a 12-degree jump from yesterday's high, which was already 12 degrees warmer than average, and the first 90-degree reading in six weeks (8/22), making it the fifteenth this year (below the average of 18).

3 - The day after the mercury soared to 93° (twenty-four degrees above average) winds shifted overnight to a northeasterly direction and temperatures this afternoon were only in the mid-50s.  Light showers and drizzle that fell throughout the day amounted to 0.34" - the largest daily rainfall in six weeks.

5 - It was a clear and brisk day with a high/low of 61°/45°.  This was the first low in the 40s this fall - and the chilliest first-40 since 2003 and 2002 (both at 44°).  Today's low came less than 72 hours after a sizzling high of 93°.  And while this was certainly quite a transition, there have been eight years in which the first low in the 40s came before the final-90 (the most recent being in 1961).

6 - Although it was just 0.01", this was the first measurable rainfall on this date since 2001.  It occurred in the evening at around 7:00.

10 - A year ago on this date the low temperature was 71°, which was the latest date for a low in the 70s.  This year, the high was the same reading.  And while it was quite a contrast from last year the high was still five degrees above average.    

16 - A nor'easter lashed the area from mid-afternoon until about 11:00 PM, dumping 1.83" of rain; howling winds gusted between 30-40 mph at Central Park (and 50-60 mph gusts were clocked elsewhere).  Today's rainfall was greater than the amount that fell in the previous six weeks.  It was also the biggest daily rainfall of the year, besting 7/17's amount by 0.01".  However, this wasn't the year's greatest storm total as two storm systems in July, each encompassing two calendar dates, dropped more than two inches (2.33" on 7/17-18 and 2.19" on 7/22-23).

26 - Although it was just 0.01" this was the first measurable rain to fall on this date since 2007.

27 - For the third time in the past four years more than an inch of rain fell on this date.  This year it amounted to 1.38"; in 2018 1.27" was measured and in 2016 1.41" fell.  Most of this year's rain fell between 10 AM and 1 PM.

31 - It was a very mild day, with the warmest readings occurring after dark.  The day's high of 71°  didn't occur until close to midnight.  This was the mildest reading since 10/14 and the mildest reading on Halloween in ten years (another high of 71°).  Besides it being so mild (the low was 60°) the day was also uncomfortably humid, with the dew point in the mid-60s and humidity in the 85-90% range.  Luckily for trick-or-treaters, showers that produced 0.54" of rain were over by noon.  (Also, a strong cold front that triggered some violent storms didn't reach the City until after midnight.) 

 

NOVEMBER

8 - The first temperature of 32° or colder this season occurred tonight.  This was nearly two weeks earlier than the usual date for this occurrence.  Just before midnight the temperature dropped to 29°, which tied the record from 1886.  (The next day's low of 27°, however, wouldn't be a record.) 

12 - A widespread, and early, Arctic outbreak passed through the area shortly after daybreak, dropping the temperature from 57° to 25° just before midnight.  This cold reading was a record low for the date.

13 - For the second day in a row a record low was set (25° yesterday, 23° today), just two years after another set of back-to-back record lows in November, on the 10th and 11th (25° and 24°, respectively).

16 - It was a clear, windy and unseasonably cold day (high/low of 42°/31°), with exceptionally low humidity.  Falling to 13% around mid-day, this was the lowest humidity reported in November in the years of the 21st century.  It was also the only date outside of March and April with a humidity level this low (earlier this year the humidity also fell to 13% on 3/24).

 

DECEMBER

2 - A sloppy early winter storm gave Central Park its first measurable snowfall of the season.  After a morning of rain, a changeover to light snow occurred around noon and by midnight 1.3" had accumulated (an additional 0.3" fell overnight).  The accumulation might have been greater but the temperature held at 33° for much of the afternoon, not falling to 32° until after 8:00 PM.  This snowfall was about a week earlier than the typical first measurable snow but three weeks earlier than the average date of the first snowfall of an inch or more.

4 - With a high/low of 39°/32° this was the fourth day in a row in which the temperature never got out of the 30s.  This was the longest such streak since one of five days in January 1998.

14 - The rainstorm that moved in yesterday at mid-afternoon continued overnight and ended around 8:00 AM today.  1.96" of rain was measured (0.81" yesterday, 1.15" this morning), bringing the month's precipitation over five inches (5.04"), making this just the third December to have more than five inches in the first two weeks of the month (1983 and 1996 were the other years).

18 - An Arctic front bringing the coldest weather since the beginning of February triggered a burst of snow at around 4:00 PM.  As the front approached a "Snow Squall Warning" was issued mid-afternoon (although unusual for New York, a similar warning was issued on 1/30 of this year).  Less than an inch of snow accumulated but it came in such a short amount of time that it produced whiteout conditions for about ten to fifteen minutes.  By midnight the temperature was down to 21° on its way to 16° by daybreak on the 19th.

19 - With a high/low of 25°/16° (fourteen degrees colder than average) today was the first day this winter with a high of 32° or colder.  Although it was close to the average date of this occurrence, it was the latest date since the winter of 2015-16 when it didn't occur until Jan. 5.  Today would end up being the coldest day of the winter.

30 - It was a rainy and cold day with the temperature hovering around 40° for much of the day.  Rain that began yesterday evening continued for a little more than 24 hours, amounting to 0.99" (0.74" of it fell today).  In the waning hours of the storm high winds kicked in, with a peak gust of 39 mph.  The rain brought December's precipitation total to 7.07", making it not only the rainiest month of the year (passing May, which had 6.82"), but also making it one of the ten wettest Decembers, tied for fifth place with Dec. 1969.  By coincidence, last December also placed among the ten wettest (now ranked ninth).

Finally, today was 2019's 147th day with measurable precipitation, the third most on record (and tomorrow would also see some rain in the evening).  However, it ranked 28th for the total amount of precipitation measured.  (Last year, which had the most days of precipitation, ranked fourth in terms of amount of precipitation.)

 

Chart - years with most precip

 

To read highlights from other years between 1970 and 2019 double click here. 

 

 

 

 

 


Reviewing 2018's Top Weather Stories: Raindrops Kept Falling On Our Heads

2018 recap

 

It was a wet year, indeed, ranking as the fourth wettest on record (behind 1983*, 2011 and 1972).  However, it began on the dry side, with January receiving just 2.18" of precipitation (it was the third drier than average month in a row, with just 5.97" measured in total; and five of the six years preceding 2018 had below average rainfall).  And while the amount of precipitation that fell during the first half of the year was close to average, the rain gauge worked overtime in the second half as 40 inches was measured, 56% greater than what fell in the first half (five of the six months had six inches or more of precipitation).  And although the year wasn't the wettest on record, it did claim the crown for most days of measurable precipitation.  As 2018 came to a close it seemed fitting that it ended with a soaking rain on New Year's Eve, making it the wettest 12/31 since 1948, and the first time since 1994 that rain fell as the ball dropped in Times Square.

* An argument can be made for 2018 being ranked third because 1983's claim as New York's wettest year has been called into question after it was revealed that the rain gauge in Central Park was broken for a large part of the year, allowing rain to enter from multiple.

 

Raindropskeepfalling

 

Now let's shine some light on the year's other major weather stories:

  • The year began with the continuation of a two-week cold wave that started the day after Christmas 2017 and lasted thru 1/8, making it the second longest on record (average high/low for its entirety was 23/13).  During this cold wave the biggest snowstorm of the winter snarled the City with nearly ten inches of wind-blown snow on 1/4.
  • February was the mildest on record (pushing Feb. 2017 to second place) and featured a temperature of 78° on 2/21 (35 degrees above average); this was the warmest reading ever posted in the first two months of the year.
  • March was cold (at 2.4 degrees below average it was colder than our mild February) and stormy, with four nor'easters wreaking havoc.  The last one, which occurred the day after the spring equinox, dropped 8.4" of snow, the biggest March snowfall since 1993 (and 0.1" more than the snowfall of March 1-2, 2009).
  • Cold spring weather continued into April (3.6 degrees below average), which saw the biggest April snowfall since 1982.  5.5" fell the morning of Easter Monday (4/2), forcing the Yankees to postpone their home opener.  2018 suffered through the coldest March/April since 1984.  (However, among all years it ranks 56th as springtimes before 1950 were significantly chillier.)
  • May was a reversal of March-April and was the sixth mildest on record.  The month began on the hot side, with highs in the 90s on the 2nd and 3rd; later in the month there were three days with highs in the upper 80s.
  • A severe, quick-moving thunderstorm during evening rush hour on 5/15 caused extensive disruptions (including my flight to JFK which was cancelled).  Then six months later a surprise snowfall during the afternoon and evening was even more debilitating, snarling the evening commute for hours.
  • Despite May's warm conditions, Mother's Day was chilly and overcast, with a high/low of 54/52.  By contrast Father's Day was sunny and hot, with a high/low of 91/66. 
  • The year's rainiest period was a six-week stretch in July and August (7/12-8/22) when 15.77" fell (nearly ten inches above average for the period).  This included a deluge of 2.24" in little more than an hour on 7/17.  However, the year's biggest rainstorm occurred in April when 3.29" fell on 4/15-16. 
  • The latest dates for a 80-degree and 70-degree low were reported on 8/29 and 10/10, respectively.  The year had 55 days with lows of 70° or warmer, the fourth most on record (following 1906, 2005 and 2015, and tied with 2010).
  • A surprise snowstorm on 11/15 (6.4") was followed a week later by a frigid Thanksgiving Day (high/low of 28/17).  This resulted in the coldest temperatures ever encountered during the the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade - and the following morning was even colder, with a low of 15°.  After this early taste of winter there wouldn't be another measurable snowfall or colder temperatures for the rest of the year.
  • Like the majority of years this century 2018 ranked among the 25 warmest years on record, ranking 18th.  However, it wasn't as warm as the previous three years (2017 ranked 14th, 2016 ranked sixth and 2015 placed ninth).
  • Finally, 2018's diurnal variation between its average high and low was the smallest in more than 100 years (2003's and 1996's were close behind, 0.1 degree wider).  Interestingly, there are 15 years with smaller variations, all which occurred between 1878 and 1910.    (Many thanks to Eugene Demarco for sharing his analysis with me.)

 

Chart - 2018 summary

If you'd like more in-depth findings about 2018, click here.  And to read recaps of previous years click on 2017, 2016 or 2015.

 

 

 


Weather Highlights of the 1910s in New York

Winter 1910 flatiron building

 

The 20th century's second decade was characterized by colder than average winters and springs, especially the winter of 1918, which has the distinction of being the coldest on record.  There were also back-to-back winters (1916 and 1917) with 50.7" of snow, and an unprecedented four consecutive Aprils with significant snowfalls (1914-1917).  Additionally, the summers of 1914 and 1915 were among the coolest on record.  Still, there were a number of hot weather highlights, including the hottest temperature on record, at the time, 104°, in August 1918 (just seven months after a low of -13°).  Then there was the brief, but scorching, four-day heat wave the previous summer (July 30-Aug 2) in which one day had a high of 100° and the other three days reached 98°.  And in 1914 and 1915, late season heat waves occurred in consecutive Septembers.  Finally, looking at precipitation, 1910 was New York's driest year until 1964, while Oct. 1913, with nearly 13 inches of rain, ranks as one of the ten wettest months on record.  Highlights of each year follow:

 

> 1910 <

January 14 - The biggest snowfall of the winter covered the City with an accumulation of 10" (0.5" of it fell on 1/15).  This topped a snowfall of eight inches three weeks earlier.

 

Snowy central park 1910s

February 27 - Today's high of 51° was the first in the 50s since Dec. 14, a span of nearly eleven weeks.

September 1 - After today's rainfall of 1.20",  just 0.22" fell for the rest of the month (and none from 9/10 thru the first week of October).  This was more rain than what fell in the entirety of August (1.07"), and was associated with what was left of the season's first tropical storm.

October 6 - Today was the twenty-seventh day in a row with no measurable rain.  This would be the longest rain-free streak on record until 1924 (it's now ranked third).  This streak contributed to 1910 being New York's driest year, until 1964.  The day was also unseasonably warm, with a high/low of 84°/71°.  At the time, this was the latest date for a low in the 70s (and would remain so until 2005, when there was a low of 70° on 10/7).

November 24 - Today's high of 53° was the only high in the 50s between Nov. 11 - Dec. 28.

December 16 - The coldest day of the winter was today, with a high/low of 21°/11°. 

 

Winter 1910s

 

December 19 - Today was the first day this month with a low temperature above 32°.

Christmas Day - Today was the thirteenth (and last) day this month with a high of 32° or colder.

 

> 1911 <

March 16 - Today's frigid high/low of 20°/13° made this the second coldest day of the winter, three months after the coldest day (21°/11° on 12/16).

March 25 - On the day of New York's deadly fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Greenwich Village (147 mostly female laborers died), skies were clear and temperatures cold, with a high/low of 40°/20°.

 

Triangle.shirt.factory

 

April 2 - Today's high/low was a winter-like 35°/24°, seventeen degrees below average.  The high was a record for the date (that still stands). 

May 24 - This was the ninth day with measurable rain this month, all which had less than 0.10" (as well as April's last two days with rain).

July 6 - This was the fourth day in a row with a stifling low of  77°.  The highs on these four days were also very similar: 100°-97°-97°-98° (today).

August 31 - This was the seventh day in a row with measurable rain.  3.76" poured down today, more than the combined amount of the previous six days (3.57").  Additionally, today's high/low was a very cool 59°/55°.  This would be the only time until 2007 that a day in August had a high in the 50s.

November 12 - After reaching a high of 69° in the early afternoon, the temperature nosedived and was down to 33° as midnight approached.  The mercury would continue to fall to a record low of 26° the following morning.

December 4 - A snowfall of seven inches ended up being the biggest snowfall of the winter.  The day, with a high/low of 33°/19°, was also the coldest day of the month.

 

> 1912 <

January 25 - This was the start of a three-week period with frigid temperatures, in which all but two days had highs of 32° or colder.  The average high/low during this period was 27°/15°.

Valentine's Day - After having no high of 32° or colder this winter until 1/4, today was the thirty-first day in the six weeks since than to have a high that cold (three-fourths of the days).  Today was the end of a seven-day streak with highs of 32° or colder (and eleventh day of the past twelve).  It would be followed fifteen days later by another seven-day streak.

 

Winter clothing in 1910s

 

February 20 - Yesterday and today had the first back-to-back lows above 32° in eight weeks (since Dec. 26-27).

March 6 - The first six days of March all had highs colder than 32° (and 2/29 had a high of 32°).  The average high during these days, at a time when highs are typically in the mid-40s, was 28°.  From Jan. 4 thru today, a period of nine weeks, 60% of the days had highs of 32° or colder.

March 24 - Highs of the past four days: 34° (3/21); 35° (3/22); 36° (yesterday); and 37° (today).  All were well below the average high, which is around 50°.

August 10 - This was the eleventh day in a row in which the high was in the 70s (the average at this point in the summer is around 83°).  This came about three weeks after a streak of eleven days in a row with lows in the 70s (July 8-18). 

December 24 - A morning snowstorm dumped 11.4", Christmas Eve's biggest snowfall on record.  Snow fell heaviest between 4-9 AM, when it fell at a rate of 1.5" per hour.

 

> 1913 <

March 7 - Today's high/low of 20°/12° made this the coldest day of the winter, passing 2/13, which had a high/low of 25°/11°.

March 9 - The day's high of 65° followed a low of 12° the previous day.

April 16 - In the past six days, 4.58" of rain fell.  Today was the rainiest of the days, with 1.25" of rain measured (with almost all of it falling in the morning).  4/11 had 1.10", 4/12 had 0.89", 4/13 had 0.21", and yesterday's rainfall (which fell during the afternoon and evening), amounted to 1.13".   This rainy period accounted for 3/4 of the month's total rainfall.

May 10-11 - One week after back-to-back highs of 89° (both were records until 2001), yesterday's and today's lows were in the 30s.  The low of 36° on May 11 was a record that still stands.

September 30 - Today was the 15th day this month with a high cooler than 70°, the most of any September in the years since 1890 (thru 2021).  Before 1890, five years that had this many, or more (Sept. 1871 and 1876 had 17 such days.)

October 1 - 4.98" of rain fell today, much of it (3.34") in just two hours during mid-afternoon (3-5 PM).  At the time, this was the third greatest daily rainfall (it's since fallen to ninth).  In addition to this tremendous amount of rain, eight inches more would fall this month, making this, at the time, the third wettest month on record (it's now ranked seventh).

 

> 1914 <

February 12 - One month after a frigid high/low of 9°/-3° (on 1/13), today was a near repeat, with a high/low of 10°/-3°.  And both days were followed by another below zero reading.

February 25 - Today, with a high/low of 26°/1°, was the 15th day of the past eighteen with a high of 32° or colder.  Average high/low during this period was 26°/12°, thirteen degrees below average.  Additionally, 17.3" of snow fell during this 18-day period.

March 1 - Rain in the morning changed to snow around lunchtime, and by midnight 13.5" had piled up (an additional inch fell after midnight.  It was a very heavy, wet snow with a high water content (2.65" of liquid) until around 9 PM, when Arctic air moved in.  This was the century's first snowstorm of a foot or more, and the first since February 1899, when 16 inches accumulated.  This remains the longest period between snowstorms of 12 inches or more.

 

Nycsnowstorm.1910s    

 

March 7 - In a little less than four weeks, 35.2" of snow fell.  Twelve days had measurable snow, including snowstorms of 9.7" on Feb. 13-14 and 14.5" on March 1-2.  This was preceded by a five-week period in which just 0.1" of snow fell (Jan. 6-Feb. 9). 

April 16 - This was the third day of the past six to have an inch or more of rain (another day had 0.89")  In total 4.30" of rain was measured.

July 29 - Today's low of 59° is the only time a low has been in the 50s on this date.  This, and Aug. 1, 1964 have the distinction of having the mildest readings that are record lows.  (However, at the time, July 26th's record reading was 60°, but it would be broken in 1920 when a low of 55° was reached.)

September 15 - The average high/low of the past eight days was an unseasonably cool 68°/51°, nearly ten degrees below average.  This cool period wasn't associated with wet weather, as just 0.01" fell.

September 23 - This was the last day of an out-of-season three-day heat wave that saw highs of 94°-95°-92° (23 degrees above average).  This came a week after an eight-day period of very cool weather.  The 95° reading on 9/22 was the year's hottest temperature.

 

Nannies in park 1910s
 

November 24 - For the eighth day in a row the low was 32° or colder - the longest such streak in the month of November in the 20th century.

December 7 - A cold rain fell (1.81") on a day that had a high/low of only 36°/32°. 

December 9 - For the fourth day in a row the high was 36°.  And three of the four days had lows of 30°.

December 26 - A bitterly cold day, with a high/low of just 15°/3°.

December 29 - Today was the eighth day this month with measurable snow, but all had accumulations of less than one inch.

 

> 1915 <

January 25 - This was the ninth day in a row with measurable precipitation, totaling 2.75".  (It was also the twelfth day in the past two weeks with precipitation, totaling 6.21".)  Today's temperatures stayed in the 30s all day (high/low of 38°/30°), but the precipitation was in the form of rain, which amounted to 0.41".

January 31 - This was the fifteenth day this winter to have measurable snow, but it was the first to have an accumulation of an inch or more.  However, the 1.6" that fell in the first half of the afternoon changed to rain and was washed away.  (A more substantial snowfall, of 4.4", would occur two days later.)

February 6 - From Jan. 12 through today 10.62" of precipitation fell (0.41" of rain fell today).  Nineteen days had measurable precipitation, including ten days with snow (8.2" in total).  This winter would be the wettest on record until the winter of 1978-79.

April 3 - The biggest snowfall of the "winter" occurred today, Easter Saturday, as ten inches of heavy snow fell between 9 AM and 11 PM (eight inches fell between 11 AM and 6 PM).  During the storm, winds from out of the north gusted to 25 mph and temperatures hovered around 30°, producing wind chills in the teens.

 

Clip_big_snowflake

 

April 4 - Many spent Easter Sunday digging out from yesterday's 10-inch snowstorm.  However, by afternoon, the mercury rose into the low 50s, twenty degrees warmer than yesterday, greatly promoting melting.  And skies were mostly sunny.

April 25 - Today saw perhaps the greatest swings in temperature of any date in New York's weather history.  After first soaring from 47° shortly after midnight to 91° at 3 PM, the temperature then plunged to 52° by midnight.  This was the result of a strong warm front moving through for about ten hours (9 AM-7 PM), then being displaced by a backdoor cold front.  No rain was produced by the passage of these fronts. 

April 27 - Two days after the temperature soared into the 90s, they did so again today.  But after reaching 92° shortly before 4:30 (one degree hotter than 4/25), a cold front moved through a few hours later and the temperature dropped to 54° by midnight. 

June 9 - Today's high/low of 81°/58° was preceded by two days with a high/low of 77°/60° and would be followed by two days with highs/lows 77°/59° and 77°/60°.

June 30 - 1.93" of rain poured down late tonight, which was 0.01" more than what fell during the first 29 days of the month.  1.27" of tonight's rain fell between 11 PM-midnight.  (In reality, this torrential rain fell between midnight-1 AM on 7/1, but since the National Weather Service uses Standard Time year-round for its official records, the rain is credited to 6/30.)

August 4 - The remnants of what was the first hurricane of the season produced 3.25" of rain, a record for the date (which still stands); most of the rain fell between 6-10 AM. 

August 9 - Each of the first nine days of August had some rain, totaling 5.14" (3.25" fell on 8/4 from a tropical storm that tracked over the area).  This was the second time this year there were nine days in a row with measurable precipitation (the first was Jan. 17-25).

September 17 - This was the last day of a four-day heat wave, the second year in a row that had one in the second half of September - the only time this has happened.  The highs during these four days were 90°-91°-93°-91°.

December 17 - Today was the 18th consecutive day in which highs got no warmer than 43°.  Although this period was seven degrees colder than average, there was no extreme cold (i.e., readings colder than 20°, and only three days with highs of 32° or colder).


> 1916 <

January 27-28 - Yesterday's and today's highs of 69° and 66°, respectively, were records that are still standing.  These  very mild temperatures came less than two weeks after back-to-back days with lows in the single digits.

February 1 - This was the fifth day this week with a high in the 60s.  But after today's high of 60°, it would be eight more weeks before the next reading above 60° occurred.  And nearly 40" of snow would fall during this 8-week period.

March 6 - For the third year in a row (and the fifth time in the past six years), an inch or more of snow fell on this date.  The 7.6" that accumulated this year was the greatest amount; the other four years reported 6.9" in 1915; 2.9" in 1914; 1.0" in 1912; and 2.8" in 1911.  Today's snowfall was one of eleven days with measurable snow from March 2 thru 22.  In total 25.5" fell. 

March 17 - What was a very cold day (high of 26°) became even colder when a reinforcement of Arctic air moved in after dark, and by 11 PM the temperature had fallen to 9°.  This was the first single-digit reading in March in the 20th century (there were 15 occurrences between 1872 and 1891; there would be five more this century, including the next day, with a low of 7°; the most recent was in 1967).  Winds gusting close to 30 mph at night produced sub-zero wind chill readings.  

March 22 - Today's snowfall of 2.9" followed a snowfall of 2.1" yesterday, and was the sixth in the past three weeks of two inches or more (the month had eleven days with measurable snowfall).  This was also the fourth storm to produce significant sleet.  In total, snow/sleet amounted to 25.5" this month, making it New York's second snowiest March after March 1896.  (It would also be the fifth coldest March on record, and the coldest of the 20th century.)

 

Oldmanwinter2

 

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. 

June 11 - This was the fourth day of the past five with afternoon temperatures only in the 50s.  All five days were overcast with light winds out of the northeast.  The typical high temperature in the second week of June is in the upper 70s.

December 15 - A snowstorm dumped 12.7" of snow between 7 AM-9 PM, with nearly ten inches on the ground by mid-afternoon.  The snow was very fluffy, produced from just 0.59" of water (and by daybreak on 12/16 it had packed down to nine inches on the ground).  The day's high was 28°, the first of five days in a row with highs in the 20s.

 

> 1917 <

March 5 - This was the fifth day of the past six, and the fourth day in a row, to have measurable snowfall.  In total 13.9" fell.

April 1 - In the span of just eight hours the temperature plummeted from 83° to 44° as a "backdoor" cold front moved through and winds shifted from the southwest to the northeast.  This would be the warmest reading of the month.  The next reading in the 80s wouldn't occur for seven weeks (May 20).  Today's high reading came the day after the high was 62°, the year's first reading of 60°+.

 

Backdoor.coldfront

 

April 9 - One of April's biggest snowstorms dumped 6.5" (0.1" of it fell late last night).  This brought the winter's total snowfall to 50.7" for the second year in a row.

June 29 - Showers during the pre-dawn hours, and late in the afternoon, amounted to 0.18", bringing the month's total rainfall to 3.83" - the same amount that was measured in May.  This was the first time for such an occurrence (it's happened four other times since then: Nov./Dec. 1945; Dec. 1980/Jan. 1981; June/July 1985; and Sept./Oct. 1997). 

August 2 - Although the summer had just six days with temperatures of 90+, the high today was 98° and the previous three days saw highs of 98° (8/1), 100° (7/31) and 98° (7/30). Today's high has the distinction of being the hottest of any year's last 90+ reading (before or after this year).

 

Kids.water.fountain

 

September 3 - The low was 64° for the third day in a row, and would be the mildest low temperature of the month - the "coolest" reading for warmest low temperature in September on record (later tied in 1935).  This broke the previous record set in 1871 and 1883.

November 27 - For the third day in a row the high was colder than 32° (average high at the end of November is in the upper 40s).  Highs/lows of the three days: 30°/21°, 31°/21°, and 31°/19° (Nov. 27).

December 1 - Today's high of 47°, seasonable for the beginning of December, would be the mildest reading of what would be the second coldest December on record.  Not surprisingly, this was the chilliest reading to be the mildest reading of any December.

December 13 - The biggest snowfall of the winter began late in the afternoon, and by the time the snow ended in the early hours of 12/14, 9.5" had accumulated (eight inches fell today).  The temperature rose into the mid-30s as midnight approached, making it a very wet snow, with rain mixed in at times.  (Between today and 1/11 there would be an inch or more of snow on the ground in Central Park.)  This was the third year in a row to have a significant snowfall in mid-December. 

December 28 - Beginning today, and continuing through Jan. 4, record lows were set on seven of the eight days - and all of them are still standing.  (Only 1/3, with a low of zero degrees, didn't set a record.)

December 29 - Beginning at 5 PM and lasting thru 2 PM on 12/30 (21 consecutive hours), the temperature was below zero.  Today's low, at midnight, was -6°, while tomorrow's would be -13°.  This would be New York's coldest reading of all time until the winter of 1934.  

December 31 - The year ended on a bitterly cold note, one of New York's coldest days on record, as the high/low was only 6°/-7.  When the ball dropped in Times Square, the temperature was one degree above zero - by far the coldest ball-drop temperature (the second coldest reading, 9°, occurred 100 years later).  And the wind chill was around -20°.

 

> 1918 <

January 2 - At 4 PM the temperature reached 10°, ending a streak of 114 hours (since 10 PM on 12/28) in which the temperature was in the single digits or colder.  But it fell back into the single digits an hour later.

January 4 - This was the eighth day in a row with a low temperature in the single digits or colder, the longest such streak on record.  The average high/low during this streak was 13°/-3°.  Six of the days had lows of zero degrees or colder, including today (-3°).  Also, today's high of 18° was the "warmest" reading since 12/28.

 

Winter of 1917-18

 

January 13 - In a span of little more than 24 hours the temperature plummeted from 53° yesterday at 6:30 AM to 6° above zero this morning at 8 AM.  This was the tenth low in the single digits or colder in the past 30 days, and there would be ten more in the next six weeks.

February 7 - This was the first day since 12/24 to be completely above freezing.

February 20 - After soaring to 59° shortly before daybreak (the mildest reading in three months), the temperature fell sharply all day and was at 18° by midnight (on its way down to 8° by 8 AM on the 21st).

February 21 - This was the nineteenth day this winter with a low in the single digits, which established a new record (breaking a tie with the winter of 1885).  And tomorrow would be the twentieth day with a reading below 10°.  A typical winter sees six such days (based on 1869-1917 records).

March 19 - After a balmy high of 76° was reached at 3 PM (a record that still stands), the temperature dropped like a rock and was half that reading by midnight.

April 17 - This was the third day in a row with a high of 74° (fourteen degrees above average).  These warm days came less than a week after three cold days with highs of 38°, 35°, and 42° (twenty degrees below average).

June 23 - During a time in June when highs average around 80°, today's temperature got no higher than 59°.  And the low of 49° was a record (which still stands).

August 7 - In the midst of a five-day heat wave, today's high of 104° was, at the time, the hottest reading on record (later topped during the summer of 1936).  This was the only day of the heat wave to have temperatures in triple digits.

Aug. 31-Sept. 3 - Highs of this four-day period were 80°-79°-78°-77° (9/3).

October 30 - This was the fifth day in a row in which highs were in the 70s and lows in the 60s; the average high/low at this time of year is in the upper 50s/low 40s.

November 11 - The day of the signing of the armistice (in France) that ended World War I was overcast and a bit chillier than average, with a high of 49°/38°.

 

Armistice day in new york nov 11 1918

 

> 1919 <

January 2 - Quite a contrast in how this year and last year started, as the first two days of this year had highs in the low 60s, while last year the first two days had highs of 10°.

January 25 - This was the twelfth day in a row with the high temperature stuck in the 40s (42°-47°).

March 14 - Today saw the winter's first snowfall of one inch or more as 1.3" accumulated in the early afternoon.  This would be the latest date for the first snowfall of an inch or more until the winter of 1998 ( when it occurred on March 22).  Until today, a total of 1.1" had fallen this winter from four snowfalls.  When today's snow was falling temperatures were only in the mid-20s. 

March 28 - 1.4" of snow fell in the afternoon, the biggest snowfall of the winter (coming two weeks after 1.3" fell).  This was the last snowfall of the winter, which had just 3.8" of snow - the least snow until the winter of 1973 when 2.8" fell (and later passed by the winter of 2002).  Temperatures during the afternoon were only in the mid-20s, half of what the usual afternoon temperatures are at the end of March.  

March 29 - Today's high was just 31°, twenty-two degrees below average and the coldest high temperature since 1/12.

April 2 - This was the sixth day in a row with a low in the 20s.  The average reading during these days was 24°, fifteen degrees below average.  This morning's low of 22° was a record that still stands.

April 25 - It was a cold day, with temperatures more like winter than the middle of the spring.  The high/low was just 43°/29°, nineteen degrees below average.  And tomorrow's readings would be very similar (of 44°/31°).  Both morning lows were records (that still stand).  Both days also had winds that gusted to 25 mph, making it feel like the temperature was in the 20s.

May 6 - Today's high of 61° was quite a contrast to yesterday's high of 88°.

July 23 - For the ninth day in a row measurable rain fell.  Total rainfall during this streak amounted to 5.81", one-third more than what falls in a typical July.

 


Rainy day in the 1910s

 

August 18 - More than twelve inches of rain fell in the past five weeks.  During this period, measurable rain fell on twenty-two days.  Today's rainfall was the fifth rainstorm of an inch or more.  Besides significant rainfall, today (1.74") it was also very cool, with a high/low of 65°/63°.

October 28 - Today's high of 83° was a record, and 24 degrees warmer than average.  However, a strong cold front moved through later in the day, dropping the temperature to 48° shortly before midnight (which is what the average low is for the date).

December 17 - Four days after the temperature reached 61° (at 9 PM), tonight at 11 PM it was all the way down to +1°.  This was the first of fifteen days this winter with lows in the single digits or colder.

December 18 - The morning low was -1°, New York's earliest date for a sub-zero reading.  The high rose to 11° in mid-afternoon and then stayed at 10° degrees for the rest of the day.

December 19 - Today's 1.9" of snow brought the season's snowfall to 4.0", which exceeded last winter's total of 3.8" (the least snowy winter until 1973).  Besides the snow it was also very cold, with a high/low of 20°/10° - but this was bearable compared to yesterday's 11°/-1°.


Muff

 

December 30 - Last winter the biggest snowfall was 1.4".  By contrast, in the past two weeks four snowfalls exceeded that amount: 2.1" on Dec. 16-17; 1.9" on Dec. 19; 2.8" on Dec. 24-25 and 2.0" today.

 

To read about weather highlights in other decades:

Late 19th Century (1869-99)

First Decade of 20th Century

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

 

 


2018 Weather Highlights in New York

 2018
JANUARY 

1 - The morning low of 7° was the coldest reading on New Year's Day in 100 years (since it was -4° in 1918).  Today was also the seventh day in a row with a high of 32° or colder (the longest such streak since Feb. 2014) and the sixth consecutive day with a high of 25° or colder (the first time since Jan. 1981).  

4 - A powerful coastal storm produced ° 4.0" - and today's accumulation of 9.8" was slightly more than last winter's biggest snowfall (9.4").  Temperatures held in the mid-20s throughout the storm; wind gusts between 35-45 mph produced wind chills in the single digits.  The snow and wind kept LaGuardia Airport closed for much of the day while JFK didn't reopen until the following morning.  Today was also the tenth consecutive day in which the high was colder than 32°, making this the longest such streak since one of 12 days in January 2003. 

6 - Today was the twelfth day in a row with a high colder than 32°, and it was the coldest day of them all, with a high/low of just 13°/6°.  And while Feb. 14, 2016 had a colder mean temperature (high/low of 15°/-1°), today's high was the coldest since Jan. 16, 1994, when it was just 10°.

7 - Today, with a frigid high/low of 18°/5, was the thirteenth day in a row with a high below 32°.  This tied it with another 13-day streak during the winter of of 2001 for second longest on record (in the years since 1900).  This winter's streak, however, had much colder temperatures, with an average high of 22°/13° (sixteen degrees below average) versus 30°/19° for the 2001 streak. 

8 - Today, with a high/low of 31°/17°, was the fourteenth day in a row with a high of 32° or colder, making it the third longest cold streak on record (behind a 16-day streak in the winter of 1961 and a 15-day streak in the winter of 1881).  Today's high was somewhat of a surprise because last week the high forecast for today was 40°, and even today the forecast was for a high of 33°.  The average high/low during these two weeks was 23°/13°, fifteen degrees below average.

12 - The temperature rose to 61°, just five days after a low of 5°.  This mild air streamed in as a storm system approached from the west, bringing periods of rain that amounted to slightly more than a half inch (much less than the two inches that had been predicted).  Temperatures were at 55° or milder from daybreak until early the following morning (on 1/13). 

13 - Between 6 AM and 10 AM the temperature nosedived from 58° to 28°, and by midnight it had fallen to 19° (and by 6:00 AM on 1/14 the temperature had fallen to 15°).  This somewhat mirrored the plummeting temperature on this date 100 years ago.

15 - Today's high of 30° was the nineteenth so far this winter that was 32° or colder, the most by mid-January since the winter of 1981.  (The typical number for an entire winter is seventeen.)  In the past 100 years only three winters have had more freezing or colder high temperatures: 1977 (25), 1918 (23) and 1981 (21).

 

FEBRUARY

4 - Nearly an inch of rain fell tonight, mostly between 5:00 and 11:00 PM.  This was the biggest rainstorm since the end of October when more than three inches fell (the biggest rainstorm of 2017).

10 - The 0.58" of rain that fell today brought February's precipitation to 2.62", which was more than the entire month of January (2.18"), December (2.21") or November (1.58").  Today's rain was the third significant rainfall this week (and more was expected for tomorrow).

11 - Yesterday's rain continued through early evening, adding 1.21" to yesterday's amount for a total of 1.79".  This was nearly the same amount that fell from two storms last week, on 2/4 (0.96") and 2/7 (0.85").  The heaviest rain fell in the early afternoon when 0.35" poured down between 1:00 and 2:00.  Temperatures, which had hovered in the upper 40s since yesterday, jumped from 47° at 1 PM to 62° shortly before 5 PM - the mildest reading since the end of November. 

12 - For the second day in a row the high reached 62° (twenty-one degrees above average), but while yesterday's high occurred in the early evening, today's was reached shortly after 1:30 AM.  Today's high also tied the record for the date.  These were the first back-to-back readings in the 60s since the first week of November.

17 - Despite the temperature going no lower than 33°, a heavy, wet snow accumulated 4.4" between 5 PM and midnight.  This came at the end of a week that had three days with highs of 62° and one with a high of 58° (yesterday).

20 - Overcast skies in the morning gave way to sunshine by lunchtime and the temperature soared to 67°, the warmest reading since Nov. 3.  This was the fourth day this month with a high of 60°, making it the third February in a row with four or more such days - a record streak.  This followed three Februarys in a row with no highs in the 60s.   

21 - Today's high soared to 78°, breaking the previous record by ten degrees.  This was the warmest reading ever reported during the month of February; the warmest reading previously was 75°, which occurred in 1930 and again in 1985.  Lastly, this was only the eleventh time a reading in the 70s was reported in February at Central Park (on average, the mildest temperature in February is around 60°).

25 - This was the eleventh day of the past twelve to have measurable precipitation.  The 0.73" of rain that fell this morning through early afternoon today was the most to fall during this 12-day period (2.01" fell in total).  Today was also the seventeenth day this month with measurable precipitation, the most since December 2012.  Additionally, this number of days tied February 1884 for the most days of precipitation in February.

 

MARCH

2 - The day after March came in like a lamb (high of 60°), a fierce nor'easter battered the area.  Throughout the day the City was lashed by a wind-driven mix of rain and wet snow that amounted to 2.24" (0.38" of it fell last night).  And although Manhattan was spared gale force winds (peak gust was 34 mph), gusts of 50-70 mph were common at the three major airports, on Long Island, the Jersey shore, and southern New England. 

7 - A nor'easter that produced heavy, wet snow left far less in New York than had been predicted, while many suburbs in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley were buried by one to two feet of snow.  (This was the second March in a row to have an under performing snowstorm in the City.)  Despite snow falling steadily from late morning (accompanied by thunder) until 8 PM, just 3.2" was measured in Central Park (but it was the first snowfall of an inch or more on this date since 1969).  This was largely due to temperatures that stayed above freezing for the entire event.  Curiously, the snowfall forecast had been adjusted upward later in the morning to 8-12".  Despite the modest snowfall, the amount of liquid that fell amounted to 1.41". 

17 - Although today's high of 48° was close to average, the morning low was a nippy 27°.  This broke a twelve-day string of days with lows that ranged from 30° to 33°.  It was also the first low colder than 30° in a month (2/17), and the coldest since 2/13 (26°). 

18 - The weekend featured clear skies and very low humidity.  Yesterday afternoon it ranged between 22%-25% while today it was even lower, falling to 15% during lunchtime.  Today was also the twelfth day in a row with below average temperatures.

21 - Snow began falling shortly after daybreak and continued for the rest of the day into the wee hours of 3/21.  By midnight 8.2" had accumulated, making this one of the biggest snowstorms to occur after March 15 (an additional 0.2" fell after midnight).  This was the fourth nor'easter this month, but the first in which the temperature was 32° or colder in New York. 

22 - Less than twelve hours after the last snowflakes from yesterday's snowstorm fell around dawn, skies were clear and the temperature rose to 50°.  Although this was slightly below average, it was the mildest reading since March 1 (when the high reached 60°). Today was also the sixteenth day in a row with below average temperatures; the last time there was a streak this long was in April 2007.

28 - Today, with a high/low of 52°/38° (one degree below average) was the 22nd day in a row with a below average mean temperature, the fifth longest streak of this kind in the years since 1950.  Temperatures during this streak, however, were just 4.5 degrees below average, which is the least below average of any streak of 15 days or longer.

 

APRIL

2 - A heavy, wet snow fell between 5:00 and 10:00 this morning, accumulating 5.5" - the biggest snowfall in April since the blizzard of April 6, 1982 (9.6").  Like the snowfalls of 2/17 (4.4") and 3/9 (3.2"), the temperature during this morning's snowfall remained above freezing.  This was the fifth snowfall of four inches or more this season, each occurring in a different month.  Today's snow brought the season total to 40.9", making this the ninth season in the past sixteen with 40 inches or more (average snowfall is 25.8").  As a result of this snowfall the Yankees home opener was postponed.     

12 - Although today's high of 63° was only slightly milder than average it was the warmest reading since Feb. 21's extraordinary high of 78°.

13 - Today's high of 82° was nearly twenty degrees warmer than yesterday's, and was nine days earlier than the typical date of a year's first 80-degree reading.  And this morning's low of 60° was what the average high should be.

14 - After the temperature peaked at 77° in the middle of the afternoon a back-door cold front moved through and by midnight the temperature had dropped to 44°.  This was the greatest drop in temperature since 1/13 when it plummeted from 58° to 19°.

15 - After two days of summer-like temperatures, today was windy, raw and overcast with temperatures only in the low 40s.  And conditions became even more miserable in the evening when rain moved in and the temperature dropped into the upper 30s.

16 - The steady rain that moved in last night continued through noon today, heavy at times, and was accompanied by winds that gusted to 43 mph.  Total rainfall was 3.29", 2.82" which poured down this morning, with more than half falling in the three-hours between 7:30 and 10:30 (1.54").  This was the greatest 24-hour rainfall in four years, since nearly five inches flooded the city on 4/30 in 2014.  As today's rain exited the temperature jumped fourteen degrees in the hour between 11 AM and noon (from 46° to 60°). 

22 - On a mostly clear day, with afternoon temperatures in the mid-to-upper 60s, the humidity dropped to 13% for a few hours during mid-afternoon.  This was the lowest humidity level in New York since March of last year, when it fell to 12% on 3/5.  Typical afternoon humidity (on a day without rain) is around 45%.

25 - It was a dreary, showery, fog-shrouded day.  The 0.95" that fell (much of it between 6:00-9:00 and then just before midnight) pushed April's total precipitation past the five-inch mark, the third month in a row with five inches or more.  The last time this happened was Sept-Oct 2011, but that three-month period had more than twice as much precipitation (34.43" vs. 16.45").

 

MAY

1 - After muddling through the chilliest April in more than 40 years, conditions on this first day of May were summer-like, with a high of 80° under clear skies.  This was 29 degrees warmer than yesterday's high.  Additionally, the humidity in mid-afternoon dropped to 12%, the lowest level this year (below 4/22's 13% and 3/18's 15%).

2 - It was a clear, dry and hot day, with a record-tying high of 90°.  This was the first 90 of the year, the earliest date for it since 2010 (when it happened on 4/7, the earliest date on record for this occurrence).  Only 11 years (going back to 1869) have had an earlier date for their first 90.  Like yesterday, today's humidity was very low, especially during the afternoon when it dropped to 13% (it bottomed out at 12% yesterday).  As a result, the "feels-like" temperature was a bit cooler than the air temperature, in the mid-80s.

3 - Yesterday's high of 90° tied the record originally set in 2001; today's high of 92°, twenty-four degrees above average, broke the previous record - also from 2001. 

4 - Today's low of 72° was a record-warm reading for the date (twenty-two degrees above average - and four degrees above the day's average high).  Today was the fourth day in a row with highs of 80° or warmer (today's was 84°), the longest such streak since one of seven days in late September.

13 - It was a cool and dismal Mothers Day holiday, with light showers, drizzle and fog throughout the day.  The high of 54° was the coolest reading in eight years on the holiday, and there was just a two-degree difference between the day's high and low.

15 - A very warm and humid afternoon, with a high of 88°, ended turbulently as a fast-moving line of severe thunderstorms struck as the evening rush hour was beginning.  This caused long delays for commuters waiting at Grand Central Station and widespread cancellations for air travelers (like me, trying to return from Pittsburgh).  Wind gusts of 55, 54 and 53 mph were clocked at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark airports; by contrast, Central Park was protected and a had a peak gust of only 30 mph.  Five persons were killed in the metro area from falling tree limbs.

17 - Light rain during the morning made this the sixth day in a row with measurable precipitation.  This was the third six-day streak this year, joining 1945 and 1919 as the only years with three streaks of six days (or more).  However, the amounts from this year's streaks were unimpressive: 0.90" (Feb 14-19); 1.33" (Apr 24-29) and 1.49" (May 12-17). 

20 - It was a warm and humid day, and today's high of 81° was 25 degrees warmer than yesterday's  (on a showery day shrouded in fog).  This was the reverse of what happened last year on this date, when the high of 65° was 26 degrees cooler than the previous day.

26 - Today, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, was very warm and humid, with a high/low of 89°/72° (the afternoon's heat index reached 93°).  This was the fourth day this month with a high of 88° or hotter, making this the first May with this many days since May 2000.

27 - The temperature fell from 80° at around 1 AM to the upper 50s by evening.  Today's much chillier air was ushered in by morning rain, which amounted to 0.44".  Additionally, the afternoon was breezy, with winds gusting to 27 mph.

 

JUNE

17 - Mostly clear and hot, with a high of 91°, making this the first Father's Day to reach the 90s in twelve years. This high was 36 degrees hotter than Mother's Day! Today's heat was somewhat mitigated by low humidity (24% during mid-afternoon), which produced a "feels like" temperature three degrees cooler than the air temperature.

18 - Today's high was the same as yesterday's but there was a distinct difference between the two days in terms of comfort level because today was much more humid.  As a result, today's heat index rose to 96°, which was nine degrees hotter than yesterday (this afternoon's dew point was in the low 70s while it was only in the upper 40s yesterday). 

24 - This year's conditions during the Gay Pride Parade were similar to last year, with a high/low of 84°/66° under partly cloudy skies.  The one difference was that this year's parade had to contend with humid conditions, with the afternoon dew point peaking at 70° late in the afternoon.  However, despite the high humidity, this was the tenth year in a row in which no measurable rain fell during the parade.

28 - It felt like a day in the tropics as the dew point rose into the low 70s and two periods of rain dropped 1.36" in Central Park's rain gauge.  From 4-8 AM thunderstorms produced 0.43" of rain, and then during the evening rush hour more than twice that amount (0.93") poured down in just about an hour's time (mostly 5-6 PM). Before this rush hour downpour the heat index had reached 90° at 3:00 PM (air temperature was 83°).

 

JULY

1 - Today's high/low of 96°/79° made this the hottest day since Aug. 13, 2016, when it was 96°/81°.  It was also a humid day, which resulted in a heat index of 103° at around 2 PM.  This was just the second time since 1972 that the high rose into the 90s on 7/1 (the other year was 2012).  By contrast, between 1931-1971 a high of 90+ occurred once every three or four years.  Finally, the day's low of 79° was the first low of 75+ on this date since 1968 (when it was 77°). 

3 - This was the fourth day in a row with a high in the 90s, and although the high of 92° was the lowest of the four days, today's heat index was the highest of them all - 106°, which occurred early in the afternoon (the dew point peaked at 77°).  This was three degrees hotter than the heat index two days earlier and four degrees hotter than yesterday's. 

10 - For the fourth day in a row we enjoyed clear skies, but the high temperature rose steadily each day, starting with 78° on 7/7 (six degrees below average), 84° on 7/8, 87° on 7/9, and 93° today (nine above average).

17 - A cold front moving into hot and very humid air triggered severe thunderstorms across the metro area in the middle of the afternoon (as well as a funnel cloud over New York Harbor).  In Manhattan nearly two inches of rain fell between 2:30 and 3:30, which exceeded what fell during the first sixteen days of the month.  Before the storm struck the temperature had risen into the upper 80s and the heat index reached 100°.  For the entirety of the storm 2.22" was measured in Central Park, which was three times as much as what Kennedy Airport had, twice as much as Newark received and 40% more than what fell in the rain gauge at LaGuardia.  In the past six days nearly four inches of rain fell from three torrential rainstorms.

22 - The 0.86" of rain that fell late this afternoon and tonight was 0.03" more than what fell from the coastal storm that lashed area last night and in the pre-dawn hours this morning.  Today's rainfall brought July's total to 5.88", making it the year's wettest month so far (almost all of the month's rain fell since 7/12).  Although today's air temperature stayed in the 70s all day, the air had a very tropical feel to it as dew points during the afternoon/evening ranged between 72°-74°.  

25 - The 0.73" of rain that fell today, most of it during daybreak, brought the month's total rainfall to 6.80", exceeding the amount that fell in May and June combined.  July's total is the most to fall in any month in two years, since July 2016, when 7.02" was measured. 

26 - Although an early morning shower produced just 0.03", it was the sixth day in a row with measurable precipitation, the fourth streak of this length this year.  This joined 1989 as the only year with four streaks of six days or more (two of 1989's streaks were only two days apart and produced more than seven inches of rain).

27 - Thunderstorms rumbled through the area between 4:00 and 8:00 PM, making this the seventh day in a row in which rain fell.  The last time there was a streak this long was in June 2012.  Today's rain amounted to 0.25", which brought July's total to 7.08", making it New York's wettest month since April 2014.  Central Park's rainfall, however, was light compared to Newark and Kennedy airports, which received more than an inch of rain, but it was more than LaGuardia, which reported just 0.06".

 

AUGUST

4 - Heavy showers between 9:00 and 11:30 AM made this the twelfth day of the past fifteen to have measurable rain.  During this period 4.85" of rain was measured in Central Park (0.74" fell this morning).  This was the third extended period of precipitation this year and it, by far, had the most precipitation.  And in the past 30 days 9.03" fell, which is about twice the average amount.

 

Chart - 3 lengthy periods of rain in 2018

11 -  A record amount of rain fell today (2.90"), with most of it pouring down between daybreak and 10 AM.  This amount brought total rainfall since July 12 to 12.36", nearly eight inches above average for the period. 

19 - With a high/low of 72°/67° today was the coolest day in eight weeks (since 6/23).  This was also the first day this month in which the low temperature was below 70°, joining August 1988 as the only two that had lows of 70° or warmer for the first eighteen days of the month.  (The longest streak of 70/80-degree lows is 22 days.)  And although just 0.02" of rain fell today during mid-morning, it was enough to move July-August up to the fifth wettest July-August on record (15.18").  

29 - The day's low of 81° established a new record for the latest date for a low temperature in the 80s, beating the previous record, set in 1985 and equaled in 1988, by 14 days.  (Last October a new record was established for the latest date for a low in the 70s, on 10/9.)  However, the afternoon high was just 92°, making the day's eleven-degree diurnal variation the smallest for a day with a low in the 80s in more than 100 years (there were seven dates between 1876 and 1908 with smaller variations).

30 - Today's low of 78° was the 23rd this month that was 70° or warmer, tying it with Aug. 2005 and 1980 for the most 70°+ lows in the month of August.  (A typical August has 13.)

 

SEPTEMBER

3 - This was just the fourth Labor Day since 1980 with a high in the 90s.  Furthermore, with a high/low of 90°/75°, today had the warmest mean temperature on Labor Day since 1980 when the high/low was 95°/76°.  And what a difference a year makes: The first three days this September had a warmer average LOW than last year's average HIGH for the same three days (71° vs. 69°).

6 - Today, with a high of 93° (and a heat index that reached 104° in the early afternoon), was the end of and eleven-day stretch of unseasonably warm weather that had an average high/low of 88°/75°.  Relief arrived in the evening when a thunderstorm between 6:00 and 7:00 produced 0.36" of rain.  This hot stretch of weather had two four-day periods of hot weather at the beginning and end, each with three days in the 90s and three days with lows of 75°+. 

13 - Overnight showers made this the sixth day in a row with measurable precipitation.  This was the fifth streak of six days or more this year - the greatest number of any year on record.

18 - The remnants of Hurricane Florence, which brought disastrous flooding to southeastern North Carolina a few days earlier, synced-up with a cold front and brought heavy rain during the afternoon (12:30-4:30), producing 1.16".  When the rain began the dew point was at a sticky 74°.  This rain came eight days after the remnants from Hurricane Gordon brought 1.38" of rain (but it fell over the course of nearly 24 hours). 

25 - Close to two inches of rain fell (1.95" to be exact), starting shortly before daybreak and continuing thru early evening.  Nearly half of it poured down in the early afternoon between 1:00 and 2:00.  Today's rain pushed September's rainfall over five inches, the sixth month this year with more than five inches of precipitation, joining 1998 as the only two years in which this occurred.

26 - A new September record was set as the day's low of 69° was the seventeenth low this month that was 67° or warmer, breaking a tie with 1971. 

28 - The 0.77" of rain that fell this morning pushed September's total rainfall past six inches, making this the third month in a row with six inches or more.  This became just the ninth such streak on record (going back to 1869), all of which have occurred since 1971.

 

OCTOBER

10 - With a low of 71° today became the latest date for a daily minimum temperature in the 70s, eclipsing the previous record established just last year (on 10/9).  Additionally, today was the tenth day in a row with a low of 60° or milder, the longest such streak ever recorded in October (and it would extend one more day).  The average low of 64° during these days was eleven degrees above average.  Of these ten days, today was the only one to have a high in the 80s.  Finally, today was the 55th day this year with a low of 70° or warmer, the fourth greatest amount on record (tied with 2010).

12 - After the first eleven days of the month averaged a very mild high/low of 75°/65° (ten degrees above average), fall weather finally arrived as a cold front pushed out the remnants of hurricane Michael early in the morning and the temperature dropped from 68° shortly after midnight to 51° twenty-four hours later (the chilliest reading since June 3 and 4).

20 - Light showers in the pre-dawn hours amounted to 0.06", bringing the year's precipitation to 50.05" - just the seventh year (since 1869) with 50 inches or more thru 10/20.

 

NOVEMBER

2 - For the second day in a row temperatures rose into the 70s, with today's high being 72° after a high of 70° yesterday (normal high is 59°).  But while yesterday was sunny today's skies were overcast and it was more humid.  This year's mild start to November mirrors similar balmy beginning in four of the past five years.

4 - Skies were mostly clear and temperatures a few degrees chillier than average.  The day's high/low of 55°/43° is what the average temperature has been for the Marathons of the 2010s.  The afternoon humidity was around 40%, which was more than 50% lower than that of last year's race.

15 - An out of season snowstorm moved in during early afternoon and by evening 6.4" of heavy, wet snow had piled up, which was much more than predicted, and the earliest date on record for a snowfall this deep (and just the fifth snowfall of six+ inches in November).  When the snow began falling the temperature dropped from 36° to 28°, but then began rising after 7PM and was back at 36° by 10 PM.  Rush hour traffic was snarled for hours and hundreds of trees lost branches, which snapped off from the weight of snow.  As the storm exited winds picked up and gusted to 35 mph (and to 45 mph at the area's three major airports).  It would be three months before the next snowfall of an inch or more (1.2" on Feb. 12, 2019). 

22 - A week after one of the biggest November snowfalls on record (6.4"), today, with a winter-like high/low of 28°/17° (twenty-three degrees below average), was the first Thanksgiving Day with a sub-freezing high since 1996, and the second coldest Thanksgiving on record - only 1871's was colder (high/low of 22°/15°).

23 - For the second day in a row the high was 32° or colder, making this the first November since 1938 to have two days this cold.  And although today's high of 32° was four degrees warmer than yesterday's, its low of 15° was two degrees colder (and one of the coldest readings on record in November).

24 - This was the last day of a 16-day streak with below average mean temperatures, the longest streak of this kind since one of 22 days in March of this year.  However, this month's streak was a lot more below average (-8.5 degrees vs. -4.5 degrees).

26 - Rain fell from late afternoon onward and 0.85" was measured (thru midnight).  This amount brought November's total precipitation to 7.57", making it the wettest November since 1988 (and seventh wettest of all Novembers).  It also brought the year's total precipitation to 58.99", moving it up from eleventh to ninth wettest year (and pushing 1903 out of the top 10).  Lastly, this became the ninth year to have three or more months with seven or more inches of precipitation.

 

DECEMBER

13 - Inconsequential snow showers during the daylight hours of the morning (the temperature was above freezing) and light drizzle/mist in the afternoon amounted to 0.03" and ended a 10-day streak with no measurable precipitation.  Although that's not very lengthy it was the longest streak in this wet year (and the longest since an 18-day streak in Sept/Oct of last year).  

16 - Today was rainy, raw and windy, with temperatures hovering around 40° during the daylight hours.  1.44" of rain was measured, pushing the year's total precipitation over sixty inches, making this the eighth year since 1869 to reach this level (and placing 2018 as the sixth wettest year on record).  Today's rainfall easily topped the 0.91" that fell during the first fifteen days of the month.

17 - Light wraparound showers in the wee hours of the morning (amounting to just 0.03"), remnants from yesterday's rainstorm, made this the 152nd day of the year with measurable precipitation, tying 1996 for the all-time record.  What distinguishes 2018 from 1996 is that its total precipitation for the year is more than five inches above 1996's (with two weeks remaining in 2018).

20 - Light rain moved in during the evening, making this the record-setting 153rd day this year with measurable precipitation.  And there would be five more days of precipitation (all rain) before the end of the year (which amounted to nearly four inches). 

21 - Five days after a rainfall of 1.44" an even greater deluge occurred last night and today (thru early afternoon), with 1.84" measured (1.62" fell today).  Today's rain moved 2018 up to fifth rainiest year on record.  This storm was also accompanied by much milder air than the previous storm, with temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s during the morning and afternoon, peaking at 61° late in the morning.  This was the first reading in the 60s since 11/7.  Besides the rainy conditions the City also had to contend with dense fog.

28 - A steady rain that fell mostly during the daylight hours measured 1.15", bringing December's total precipitation over five inches, the eighth month this year with five+ inches - the most on record for any year.  This was the third rainstorm of an inch or more since 12/16.  Besides the rain, today was also unseasonably mild, with a high of 60° (quite a contrast from last year when the high/low on this date was 18/11).

31 - Light rain moved in mid-afternoon and turned heavy around 7:30 PM.  Not only was this the first New Year's Eve since 1994 in which rain fell during the ball drop in Times Square, it was also the wettest New Year's Eve since 1948.  This was the fourth day since 12/16 to have more than an inch of rain and it brought December's rainfall well above six inches (no measurable snow fell this month), making it the fifth month in the past six to have six inches or more.  Finally, today's 1.02" rainfall moved 2018 up to fourth place on the all-time list of wettest years (65.55", more than fifteen inches above average).

 

Chart - 2018 hottest and coldest

To read highlights from other years between 1970 and 2019 double click here.