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May 2021 Weather Recap: Close to Average Temperature & Rainfall Despite Very Chilly & Wet End

 Wet and chilly memorial day weekend

Last May, the month's weather highlight was an Arctic outbreak in the second week of the month that produced the coldest reading in May (34°) since 1891.  May 2021, meanwhile, experienced one of the chilliest ends of any May, as May 28-31 tied May 1884 for the latest four-day streak with lows in the 40s.  This chilly ending was responsible for the coolest three-day Memorial Day weekend on record. 

 

Chart - 3 chilliest memorial day weekends

Despite the month's chilly ending, an extended period of above-average temperatures from May 15-27,  that was six degrees milder than average, kept the month close to average, temperature-wise.  And a very wet May 28-30, in which 2.57" was measured, balanced what, up until then, had been a dry May (these three wet days had as much rain as the previous six weeks).  So, when all was said and done, the month was very close to average on both the temperature and rainfall fronts (-0.3 degrees, and +0.40").

 

Before May's chilly and rainy close, six days in the 10-day period between May 18-27 had highs in the 80s.  This included highs of 89° and 88° during the weekend of 5/22 and 5/23; by contrast, the following weekend had highs of 51° on both days.  This reading (which was eight degrees colder than the average low for these two dates) tied a record for the coolest high on 5/29, and set a new record (by four degrees) on 5/30.

 

Besides the last four days of the month, which were 13 degrees cooler than average, there was an eight-day period from May 5-12 that was five degrees below average.  (However, the chilliest reading of the month, 42°, was on 5/1.)

 

Finally, the last six days of the month all had measurable precipitation, the longest rainy streak since one of eight days in May 2019 (5/10-17).  However, this year's streak had a touch more rainfall (2.68" vs. 2.56").

 

Here are recaps of the previous six Mays:

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

May 2001


How "Back-Door" Cold Fronts Impact New York's Springtime Weather

 

Back door cold front

 

For the most part, cold fronts move from west to east in the Northeast, but, occasionally, chilly air arrives from the opposite direction.  When it does, this occurrence is known as a "back-door" cold front.   Because such a front's winds usually come in from the ocean, this type of front is often associated with overcast skies (sometimes with drizzle); its east-northeasterly winds bring damp and chilly air. 

These incursions of chilly air that come from the opposite direction occur mostly in the springtime, when their cooling effect is enhanced by the wintertime water temperature of the Atlantic Ocean.  In terms of geographic reach, these fronts mostly impact New York City, the Jersey shore, and New England; only occasionally do they extend as far inland as Philadelphia, Baltimore, or DC.

What follows are 40 instances of the more impressive back-door fronts that have come down from the cold Atlantic.  As you'll read, six of the years had two notable back-door fronts.

 

East to west

June 4, 1895 - Winds shifted from the southwest to northeast during the afternoon, breaking a five-day heat wave (its record highs on June 1, 2 and 3 are still standing).  Between 3PM and 8PM, the temperature dropped from 91° to 64°.  The following day would be overcast, with temperatures stuck in the 60s. 

April 25, 1915 - This date experienced, perhaps, the greatest temperature swings of any in New York's weather history.  After the temperature soared from 47° shortly after midnight to 91° at 3:00 PM, winds shifted to the east-northeast, and the temperature 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 back door cold front.  No rain was produced by the passage of these fronts.  Two days later, a similar scenario unfolded.  After reaching 92° shortly before 4:30 on 4/27, a back-door front moved through a few hours later, and the temperature dropped to 54° by midnight.

April 1, 1917 - In the span of just eight hours, the temperature plummeted from 83° to 44° as a back-door cold front moved through and winds shifted from the southwest to the northeast.  This was the warmest reading of the month, with the next reading in the 80s not occurring for another seven weeks.

March 19, 1918 - After a balmy high of 76° was reached at 3:00 PM (a record for the date that still stands), the wind shifted from the southwest to the northeast, and the temperature dropped like a rock, and was half that reading by midnight.

May 23, 1925 - After the high reached 91°, winds shifted from the southwest to northeast late in the afternoon, and by midnight the temperature had fallen to 59°; the temperature on the afternoon of 5/24 was only in the upper 40s.

July 1, 1933 - After a high in the low 90s, a severe thunderstorm from 8:30-10:30 PM dumped 2.17" of rain.  During the storm the temperature dropped from 88° to 72°, where it stayed for much of the next 24 hours.  And on 7/3, afternoon temperatures got no higher than the mid-60s.  

March 27, 1939 - Today's high/low of 73°/39° followed one of 72°/39° three days earlier.  However, while the low on 3/24 was in the pre-dawn hours, the low today was at midnight after winds shifted to the northeast in the PM hours.  And the following day had temperatures in a narrow range of 35°-40°.

April 25, 1939 - After rising from 53° at 4:00 AM to 86° for a few hours in the early afternoon, winds shifted to the northeast mid-afternoon and the temperature dropped back to 52° by 11:00 PM.  And then three days later the high would be only 46° (20 degrees below average).

July 4, 1941 - Just two days after a torrid high/low of 98°/78°, and winds out of the southwest, today was rainy, foggy and cool, with winds from out of the northeast, and a high/low of just 64°/62°.  Today's high would be July 4th's coolest until 1978.

 

Reverse
  

March 22, 1945 - In the midst of the very mild second half of March, today was an outlier as the high reached only 40° (the low was a seasonable 35°).  Winds were out of the northeast, skies were overcast and light showers fell throughout the day. 

April 13, 1955 - A chilly high of 46° came just two days after a high of 84°.  Skies were overcast and winds were from the northeast.

July 6, 1956 - Although yesterday was cool (high/low of 66°/58°), today was even cooler as the high/low was just 61°/57° under gray skies and winds from out of the northeast.  These two unseasonably cool days followed consecutive days in the 90s.

June 1, 1959 - Today's chilly high of 64°, under mostly overcast skies, followed a five-day warm spell at the end of May that had highs averaging 87°.  Today's conditions were the result of a back-door cold front that moved in from New England last night. 

April 30, 1962 - After three days of summer-like warmth (highs of 91°-89°-80°), and winds from out of the southwest, winds shifted to the northeast after midnight and daytime temperatures were only in the mid-40s. 

April 19, 1964 - The day after the high reached 86°, a "back-door" cold front moved through, and by mid-afternoon the temperature dropped into the mid-50s.  (And on 4/21 the high would be just 44°.)

May 5, 1965 - The day after the high reached 90°, today's was 62°.  Winds came from a north-northeast-easterly direction.

April 28, 1966  - It was a dreary, raw, and damp day, with light rain in the morning.  With a high/low of only 42°/39°, today had the coldest mean temperature of the month.  On 4/26 the mercury dropped from 73° late in the afternoon, to 49° by midnight.  Then the high/low the next two days was 52°/40° and 42°/39°.  Winds were from out of the north-northeast.

April 20, 1972 - The temperature at 4:00 PM was quite chilly, at 43°, a drop of 32 degrees since midnight, and forty-three degrees from yesterday afternoon's 4:00 PM reading of 86°.  This was a result of winds shifting to the northeast from dawn to dusk.

May 24, 1975 - Today's high of 93° (the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend) was the year's first reading in the 90s.  However, the heat was short lived as a cold front from the northeast moved through during the evening, dropping the temperature to 61° by midnight, and into the upper 50s by the following afternoon. 

 

Overcast

Aug. 11, 1979 - The day after a high of 95°, today's temperatures in the afternoon were only in the mid-60s after the wind shifted to the northeast during the morning.  The next day was equally cool (after a chilly AM low of 57°) - and  a wet one, as 1.68" of rain fell; this was on top of 0.87" of rain that fell the night of 8/11. 

March 29, 1985 - This was the third day in a row with exceedingly mild temperatures, and today was the warmest of the three with a high of 82°.  Then a back-door cold front moved through after dark, and by midnight the temperature was down to 55°, on its way to down to 46° by daybreak on the 30th (but still well above average).  

April 19, 1985 - After the temperature soared to 88°, a back-door cold front moved through during the evening, and the temperature was down to 51° the next morning.  Then the cool air retreated on the 21st, and after two more days with highs in the 80s, winds backed around and came from the east late in the afternoon on the 22nd, cooling the temperature down to 53° by midnight.  

March 30, 1989 - After the wind shifted to the northeast, the temperature fell all day, from 76° to 50°; the next day the high/low was 50°/41°, which wasn't far from seasonable, but it was quite a cool-down from 3/29's high of 82°.

March 14, 1990 - One day after Central Park recorded its earliest 80-degree reading on record, the warm front that delivered this extraordinary warmth retreated south of the area, as winds shifted to the northeast, and by afternoon, under a bank of clouds and fog, temperatures tumbled into the mid-40s, forty degrees colder than yesterday. 

May 23-25, 1992 - It was a Jekyl & Hyde Memorial Day weekend.  Saturday had mid-summer conditions, with a high of 92°.  Then a big change came on Sunday as a strong cold front pushed through in early afternoon, and temperatures plummeted from the low 80s to 45° by midnight.  Monday felt more like October, with overcast skies and a high of just 61°. 

April 12, 1996 - The high reached 80°, and then winds shifted to the northeast late in the afternoon, dropping the temperature to 55° by midnight, and 45° by daybreak on the 13th.

May 10, 2000 - After three days with highs in the 90s, winds shifted from the southwest to the east, bringing in much cooler air, and by daybreak today, the temperature was in the mid-50s, where it stayed for the rest of the day.  

June 12, 2000 - One month after a back-door cold front cooled down a hot spell, it was replicated today, with late afternoon temperatures in the upper 50s, and winds coming from the east-northeast 24 hours after temperatures were in the low 90s.

 

Northeasterly winds
 

April 16, 2003 - After peaking at 88°, winds shifted to the northeast and by midnight the temperature was down to 51°.  And on the 17th temperatures slowly fell all day, and it was 36° at midnight.  Winds remained out of the east-northeast for the next six days.

May 14, 2004 - The day after the high reached 86°, the temperature was only in the low 60s in the early afternoon.  However, the wind shifted later in the day and temperatures were back into the mid-80s on 5/15.

April 20, 2006 - Today's high of 83° was the warmest reading of the month.  A back-door cold front moved through during the evening, and by midnight the mercury had fallen to the mid-50s, and the mercury was mostly in the 50s for much of the next day, and stuck in the 40s on 4/22 as a developing nor'easter moved up the coast .

April 29, 2009 - The day after the high reached 90° (and dropped 25 degrees by midnight as winds shifted to the north-northeast), the temperature was in the mid-50s by daybreak.

July 19, 2012 - After yesterday's extreme heat (high of 100°) and humidity, today's high, under mostly overcast skies, was just 76°.  Never before has there been such a drop-off in temperature the day following a reading in the triple digits.  The next day the temperature was around 70° during the afternoon. 

May 28, 2014 - One day after a sultry high of 86°, today was overcast, with afternoon temperatures only in the upper 50s.  The back-door cold front passed through after 10 PM, and the temperature quickly dropped into the low 60s, then gradually falling into the 50s by daybreak, where it stayed for the rest of the day. 

June 1, 2015 - After a week of temperatures in the summery mid-80s today, was 30 degrees colder, with periods of rain, drizzle and fog.  Today's high in the 50s was chillier than any day in May - the first time this has ever occurred.  And tomorrow would have similar conditions. 

May 20, 2017 - An early, three-day heat wave came to an end last night after a shift in wind direction.  Today's afternoon temperatures were in the low 60s, which was about 30° cooler than the highs of  the previous three days.

Nov. 4, 2017 - The day after temperatures were in the mid-70s, the temperature at daybreak today was nearly 30 degrees chillier, the result of a shift in the wind direction; afternoon temperatures were twenty degrees cooler.  On the positive side, skies were mostly clear.

April 8, 2019 - After peaking at 79° at 4 PM, winds shifted from west to northeast, and by midnight the temperature was down to 49°.

October 3, 2019 - The day after the mercury soared to 93° (the first reading in the 90s in October since 1941), winds shifted overnight to a northeasterly direction, and temperatures this afternoon were only in the mid-50s.  Light showers and drizzle fell throughout the day.

 

Overcast Skies_Brooklyn Bridge_RedHanded_StockF

 

 

 

 

 


April 2020 Weather Review: First Cooler Than Average Month of the Year

April 2020

 

April was 2.7 degrees below average, making it the first month this year to be chillier than average.  It was also the fourth chilliest April of the past 40 years.  Even more interesting, this was the first April since 1940 with no highs of 70° or warmer (after three such days in March).  In the years since 2000 the warmest reading in April has averaged 85°, but this April's mildest reading was just 68°.  Despite this cool warmest reading, the nights weren't as cold as might be expected as the coldest reading, 36°, was three degrees milder than a typical April's coldest temperature.  The 32-degree difference between the month's coldest and warmest readings was 20 degrees less than the average difference between the two extremes - the smallest gap of any April on record.

 

The last sixteen days of the month all had below average mean temperatures, the longest below average streak since March 2018's streak of 22 days.  These 16 days were seven degrees below average (seven of the days were ten or more degrees below average).  Before this streak started April had been two degrees milder than average (with April 4-8 seven above average).

 

Although it was the fourth coldest April of the past 40 years, it ranked 63rd among all Aprils going back to 1869.  This was due to the fact that Aprils before 1940 were much chillier.  (Six of the eight Aprils with no high readings of 70° or warmer occurred between 1873-1884.)

 

Cool-ish

 

Although April's rainfall, at 4.49", was an average amount, it was enough to make it the rainiest month so far this year.  The month also had the year's biggest rainstorm - 1.92" on 4/13 (the day after Easter).

 

A typical April is 10 to 11 degrees warmer than March, but April 2020 was just 2.4 degrees milder - the third closest of any year.  Additionally, April's mildest reading was nine degrees cooler than March's (68° vs. 77°) and its mildest low temperature was one degree cooler than March's (53° vs. 54°).

 

Chart - closest april-march temp
 

2020 is just the seventh year in which April, March and February had more precipitation than the month preceding it. This year April had 4.49"; March, 3.78"; February 2.54"; and January 1.93".

Chart - first 4 months of rain

 

Here are April recaps of previous years:

2019

2018

2017

2016

 

     


Weather Highlights of the 'Roaring Twenties' (1920-1929)

 

Roaring twenties

 

In this post I've compiled more than 100 weather events from the 1920s, grouped by year, that captured my attention.  But before proceeding to each year, here is a summary of the most noteworthy occurrences by season:

 

WINTER - The decade began with one of the coldest winters on record as well as the decade's most ferocious winter storm, a 72-hour onslaught of snow (17.5"), sleet and high winds that crippled the City in February 1920; the winter of 1923 was New York's snowiest until the winter of 1947; January 1925 became the snowiest January on record (at the time), followed next winter by the snowiest February (which featured two blizzards of 10"+ less than a week apart).   

SPRING - The first 80-degree reading in March was recorded in 1921; a week later the greatest one-hour, daily and 24-hour drops in temperature occurred; the coldest reading ever reported in April, as well as on Easter Sunday, took place in 1923.  

SUMMER - The first week of June 1925 had one of the most scorching early-season heat waves on record; the only triple-digit readings of the decade occurred on consecutive days in July 1926; August 1927 became the coolest August on record (which contributed to the summer being the second coolest); 1929 experienced the second driest summer on record; unlike the 1930s, '40s and '50s, no notable tropical storms or hurricanes buffeted the area during the decade. 

AUTUMN - 1921 featured the only September that was warmer than August; the City's longest dry spell lasted 36 days in October-November 1924; the first 90-degree reading in October occurred in 1927; the coldest day in November happened in 1929.

 

-1920-

January 16 - Beginning today, when 1.9" of snow fell during the evening, and continuing for the next seven weeks (thru March 4), at least one inch of snow would be on the ground in Central Park.  Today was also frigidly cold, with a high/low of only 14°/7°.

January 27 - After twelve of the past thirteen day had highs of 32° or colder (the average high was 26°), today's high jumped to 51°, which was the first reading of 50+ in six weeks.

January 31 - In less than 24 hours the temperature dropped from 41°, at 4 PM yesterday, to zero degrees this morning at 10 AM.  Temperatures were in the single digits or colder for 31 consecutive hours - and between +1° and -2° (on 2/1) for 17 consecutive hours.  This was also the tenth day this month to have a low in the single digits or colder - the most of any January (a mark that still stands). 

February 4-7 - One of New York's most extended onslaughts of winter weather of all time brought 72 hours of snow, sleet and freezing rain (beginning after 2 AM on 2/4 and ending around dawn on 2/7).  During this punishing storm, 4.41" of liquid precipitation fell, 17.5" of it in the form of snow (five to six inches of snow fell on 2/4, 2/5 and 2/6); the rest was sleet and freezing rain.  For much of the storm temperatures were in the 20s, and with winds gusting between 35 and 45 mph, the wind chill was in the single digits.

 

Snowy street in nyc in 1920   

 

June 11 - Today's high of 94° came the day after the low was 55°.

June 30 - The day's low temperature of 68° was the mildest minimum reading of the month.   July would also have no lows of 70+, the second and last July to have that distinction (the first was in 1888).  1920's first low in the 70s wouldn't be until 8/9.

July 9 - The high today was 84° and followed three days that had highs of 83° (yesterday), 82° and 81°. 

August 4 - For the fourth day in a row the high was 80°.

August 9 - Today had the year's first low in the 70s, the latest date on record for this occurrence (the typical date is in the first week of June). Not surprisingly, 1920 had the second fewest days with lows of 70+, eight (later tied by 1962), one more than 1920.  The average number (years before 1920) was 30.

August 17 - Today had the last 70-degree low of the year, just nine days after the first 70-degree low was recorded - the shortest span on record between first and last.  During this brief span, eight of the nine days had lows in the 70s.

December 25 - Today had the winter's first high of 32° or colder (there was no white Christmas, but the winter's first measurable snowfall would arrive tomorrow evening).

 

1921-1921-1921

February 20 - The winter's biggest snowfall amounted to 12.5".  Beginning shortly after midnight as rain, it quickly changed over to snow after 1 AM and continued until early evening; it was a very wet snow, with 2.68" of liquid precipitation measured.  Winds gusted to 41 mph.  The temperature fell slowly through the day, from 35° to 22° (on the way to 14° by daybreak on the 21st).

March 21 - Today had New York's first reading in the 80s in the month of March.  The high reached 84° shortly after 2:00PM but then a strong cold front passed through around 3 PM and by daybreak on 3/22 the temperature had fallen to 37°.  Winds gusted to 35 mph during the evening.  Another reading in the 80s would occur one week later.

 

80degrees

 

March 28 - After the temperature jumped from 49° to 82° between 5 AM and 2 PM, New York experienced its greatest one-hour drop in temperature when it plummeted 29 degrees between 4:00 and 5:00, from 81° to 52°.  The strong cold front that ushered in this cold air was accompanied by winds that gusted between 35 and 45 mph.  By midnight the temperature was down to 34°.  This 48-degree plunge is the greatest daily temperature drop on record.  And when the mercury bottomed out at 26° the next morning at 6 AM, the drop in temperature was 56 degrees in sixteen hours.

 

Arrow.down

 

April 6 - For the third day in a row the high reached the upper 70s at a time when the average high is in the mid-50s.

April 28 - With a high of 72°, this was the 13th day this month with a high of 70° or warmer, the most on any April on record (April 1941 and April 1977 had 12 such days).  This April would be the warmest on record until 1941 (it's now ranked sixth).

July 28 - The high today was 94° and followed three days that had highs of 93° (yesterday), 92° and 91°. 

September 3 - Today's high of 96° was the hottest reading of the year, topping three other days that had highs of 95°.  This was also the last 90-degree day of the summer.  In total there were 15 days in the 90s, three more than average (1890-1920 period).

September 24 - This morning's (and 9/19's) low of 56° was the coolest reading of the month.  (The coolest reading in September is typically in the upper 40s.)  August had a cooler reading than September (55°).  Not surprisingly, this was, at the time, the third warmest September on record (now ranked eighth).

September 30 - This September stands out for being the only one that was warmer than August.  In keeping with the warm conditions, today's high was 87°, then a severe thunderstorm between 4:00 and 5:00 dumped a little more than an inch of rain and winds gusted to 40 mph.

Unique 

November 19 - This was the second day in a row with a high in the low 70s, about twenty degrees warmer than average.  This followed an extended period earlier in the month (11/4-16) with highs in the 40s, about ten degrees chillier than average. 

December 30 - For the second day this month the temperature dropped to 7° (the first time was on 12/22).

 

1922-1922-1922

January 26 - This was the fourth day in a row with a high of either 21° or 22°.  And three of the four days had lows in the single digits.  Although there were colder days this winter, this was the most sustained stretch of Arctic cold.  However, there was no snowfall.  

January 28-29 - New York was on the northern fringe of a winter storm that became known as the "Knickerbocker Snowstorm" after the roof a movie theater by that name in Washington, DC collapsed from the weight of snow the night of 1/28, killing 98 moviegoers.  And although New York escaped the paralyzing amounts of snow that piled up in Virginia, DC, Maryland and southeastern PA (6.5" fell in Central Park, the biggest snowfall of the winter), gale force winds clocked at between 35 and 50 mph howled for nearly 24 hours, beginning mid-day on the 28th (earlier in the month a nor'easter on 1/11 produced a peak wind gust of 54 mph).  Temperatures throughout the storm were in the 29° to 31° range, with chills in the low teens.

 

New york city winter scene 1920s

(60 years later, on Jan. 13, 1982, another DC-based disaster was tied to a winter storm when a plane crashed after it failed to gain sufficient altitude due to the weight of ice on its wings. That storm brought nearly six inches of snow to New York.)   

February 17 - There were ten days with lows colder than 10° this winter, but today was the only one with a reading that was below zero (-2°).  This tied Feb. 17, 1896 as the second latest date for a sub-zero reading (latest was in the winter of 1873 when a low of -4° was reported on 2/24.)

 

ArcticAir 

 

March 26 - The temperature jumped from 37° to 76° in the span of ten hours.

July 5 - This was the fifteenth day of the past nineteen to have measurable rain (since June 17).  Nearly eight inches fell during these days (average rainfall during this period is close to three inches).  Seven of the days, including today, had more than half an inch of rain.  And with a high/low of 68°/60°, today was the coolest of the days during this rainy spell.

October 5 - Today's high soared to 89° three days after a high of 88°.  (The average high at the beginning of October is in the upper 60s.)  Today's high was a record until 1941 (when the high reached 94°, the hottest reading ever reported in October.)

December 14 - Today's 3.2" snowfall from late morning thru the afternoon was the first of ten snowfalls of three inches or more this winter, a winter that would become, at the time, the snowiest on record (60.4").

 

-1923-

January 1 -This was the rainiest New Year's Day on record, with 1.68" measured.  The day's high of 53° would be the mildest reading of the month and came just two days after December's coldest reading (12°).

January 3-4 - The biggest snowfall of the winter began this afternoon and continued until daybreak on the 4th, accumulating 9.0".  The temperature fell slowly through the storm, dropping from 33° to 29°.

January 14 - Snow began falling after 11 AM and by 6 PM 7.8" had accumulated then it changed to light rain for the next three hours as the temperature rose into the mid-30s.


Snowy street in nyc_1923

 

February 12 - 3.1" of snow fell today, the day after 3.0" fell and two days after 3.3" piled up - all from different low pressure systems (and 6.3" fell on 2/6-7).  This brought the amount of snow that fell in the past seven weeks to 44.2".

March 6-7 - Snow began falling around 10 AM and continued light and steady (along with a mix with sleet and freezing rain after 4 PM) for the next 24 hours, accumulating 7.3".  This was the tenth snowfall of three inches or more this winter.  Besides the snow/ice, winds gusted to 30-35 mph, and temperatures were very cold on the 6th, with a high/low of only 25°/19°.

 

Clip art snowflakes

 

March 10 - Although it was snow of the wet, "junk" variety (today's high/low was 41°/32°), the 0.7" that accumulated brought the winter's total to 60.3", tying it with the winter of 1873 as snowiest on record.  Then nine days later it would claim the title of snowiest when 0.1" fell (it held this title until the winter of 1947 and has since fallen to fifth snowiest).  

March 23 - Three days after a low of 14° today's high soared to 76°, a record.  Then a cold front moved through later in the afternoon and the temperature half that by sunrise on 3/24.

March 29 - It was a bitterly cold early spring day with a high/low of just 32°/10°, twenty-three degrees below average. (And after a respite on 3/30, with a high/low of 42°/30°, 3/31 had a high/low of 34°/14°).  This morning's low (a record that still stands) came six days after a high of 76°.

April 1 - Easter Sunday dawned bitterly cold, with a reading of 12°, making this, easily, the coldest reading of any Easter Sunday (and the coldest reading on record for the month of April).  Winds gusting to 25 mph produced wind chills around -5°.  The afternoon high "recovered" to 36°.  (Three days later the high would reach 70°.)  This was the fourth day of the past five with lows in the teens.

June 6 - Highs today and the previous four days were: 89°-88°-89°-92°-91°(today), sixteen degrees above average. 

August 23 - The morning low was a chilly 51° (which held for three hours), a record for the date (that still stands).  This came a year after a record low on 8/21 (53°).

October 23-24 - Rain began falling at daybreak on the 23rd and by the time it ended in the early afternoon the following day nearly four inches had been measured (3.92").  Temperatures during the afternoon of the 23rd were only in the mid-40s, but then rose after midnight to 67° late in the morning on the 24th before falling into the 50s.

 

1924-1924-1924

January 27 - Yesterday's and today's lows of 7° and 5° came five days after another combination of 7° and 5°. 

February 19-20 - A nor'easter dumped nearly five inches of heavy snow the night of the 19th into the wee hours of the 20th; then it changed to sleet and then rain as the temperature rose into the mid-30s by late morning (precipitation ended around noon).  Winds gusted between 30-40 mph during the rainy part of the storm.  In total, 2.62" of precipitation was measured (2.21" fell today).

 

Oldmanwinter

 

April 1 - It was no April Fool's joke as 8.5" of heavy, wet snow fell mostly from mid-afternoon through 9 PM.  Interestingly, snow fell mostly with temperatures two or three degrees above freezing.  Besides the snow, gale force winds gusted to 35 mph.

May 17 - Today's high of 75° was the first 70-degree reading of the month and the warmest reading of the month - the coolest reading to have that distinction in May (79° is the second coolest warmest reading).  This reading wouldn't be topped until 6/5.

May 21 - On a showery day the high/low was only 50°/47°.  The high was 22 degrees below average.

June 7 - The temperature reached 80° for the first time this year, the latest date on record and six weeks later than the average date for this occurrence.

 

New York City during the 1920s

 

July 12 - For the fourth day in a row the high was 86°.

August 7 - In the midst of a five-day heat wave, today's high reached 99° and the heat index approached 110°. 

September 2 - This was the seventh, and last, day of a late summer hot spell, with the last four days in the 90s.  The average high during this week was 90°, eleven degrees above average.  This unseasonable warmth dissipated today after a cold front moved through around 4 PM, dropping the temperature from 92° to 60° by midnight.

October 8 - The only rain this month fell today, 0.28".  At the time this was the driest October and the second driest month on record.  (It's now the second driest October, behind October 1963, and the seventh driest of any month).

November 13 - This was the thirty-sixth day in a row with no measurable rainfall, the longest dry spell on record (a record that still stands).  The previous record was 27 days set 40 years earlier in September 1884.

November 18 - Today and yesterday were 21 degrees colder than average, with highs/lows that would be quite cold even by mid-winter standards: 30°/19° yesterday and 33°/19° today.  (The typical date for the first high of 32° or colder typically occurs in mid-December.)  Tomorrow would see a slight moderation in temperatures, to 37°/21°.

November 27 - Sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 30s greeted those who lined the streets for Macy's first Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The day's high and low were a seasonable 49/34. 

 

1925-1925-1925

January 2 - A blizzard dumped close to a foot of snow (11.5").  Snow began falling around daybreak and lasted until 11 PM.  In addition to snow there were also periods of heavy sleet in the early afternoon.  Temperatures throughout the storm were in the mid-20s, but howling winds gusting between 35-40 mph produced wind chills in the single digits.

 

New yorker toboggan

 

January 26 - Today's high of 45° was the mildest reading this month, and the mildest reading since Dec. 19.  The day also had the year's first low above 32°, and the first since 12/24.

January 27 - The temperature fell steadily throughout the day, dropping from 42° at midnight to 4° twenty-four hours later (bottoming out at -2° at daybreak on the 28th).  This came a few days after lows of 2° on 1/23 and 1/24.

January 29 - The 1.3" of snow that fell later in the afternoon brought January's snowfall to 27.4", making this the snowiest January and the second snowiest of any month (now ranked third and eighth, respectively).  The month had three significant snowfalls: 11.5" on Jan. 2, seven inches on Jan. 20 and 5.1" on Jan. 27-28.  All but 2.2" of the winter's snow fell this month. 

February 12 - This was the fourth year in a row in which an inch or more of snow fell on this date.  This year 1.3" fell; last year an inch accumulated; in 1923, 3.1" was measured; and in 1922 an inch was reported in Central Park. 

April 22 - For the second day in a row the low was 32° (average is mid-40s); today's low was a record which still stands.

April 30 - Rainy and very cool, with a high/low of 45°/42°.  The high was a record for coolest maximum temperature for this date.

May 26 - This was the third day in a row with a low in the low 40s.  The low on the 25th was a record (that still stands).  This came after a high of 91° on 5/23. 

June 7 - Today's high was 96°, the fifth day since 6/1 to have a high of 94° or hotter (the outlier was 6/2, which had a high of "only" 88°).  The highs of June 4-7 were all records - which are still standing.  This is the most intense early June heat wave of all time.  (Highs in the first week of June are typically in the mid-to-upper-70s.)

 

Coneyislandswimmers20s

 

July 31 - The biggest rainstorm of the year produced 2.14".  And although it was an all-day event, much of it fell between 5-10 PM, when 1.41" was measured.  The rain and clouds kept the temperature in the upper 60s all day.

August 11 - Low temperatures from Aug. 7 thru today: 65°-66°-67°-68°-69° (8/11).

October 10 - It was a cold day (high/low of 43°/36°) with howling winds that gusted to 51 mph around mid-day, producing wind chills in the mid-20s.  The high of 43° is the coldest for Oct. 10 and the low was one degree shy of the 1888 record.

October 30 - Today's high of 38° was the earliest date for a maximum daily temperature in the 30s (later topped by Oct. 26, 1962).  And 0.8" of snow fell (and wouldn't be topped until 1/9 when 2.3" fell).  The next day's low of 29° was also a record, and the third day in a row with a low colder than 32°.  And Nov. 1 would be the fourth day in a row with a low of 32° or colder (but it wasn't a record). 

December 27 - Today's high/low was a frigid 16°/8°, twenty-one degrees below average.  The high was the coldest ever recorded on this date, and the day's mean temperature was the coldest in December since Dec. 18, 1919, when the high/low was 11°/-1°. 

 

1926-1926-1926

February 10 - Less than a week after a fierce blizzard brought 10.4" of snow and sleet (accompanied by wind gusts of 40-45 mph) another snowstorm dumped a foot on the City, much of it falling this morning between 3:00 and 9:00 (light snow began last night and accumulated 1.6").  Winds from this storm gusted between 30 and 35 mph.  Temperatures in the morning held steady in the low 20s and then fell slowly during the afternoon, reaching 11° by midnight.  (In a similar fashion, in early February 1994 two snowstorms of 9.2" and 12.8" struck three days apart.)

 

1926 nycsnowshoveling

 

February 23 - Today's snowfall of two inches brought the month's total to 26.3", making this the snowiest February on record (now ranked sixth).  This came one year after the snowiest January on record (at the time).

February 27 - Today's high of 33° was the ninth this winter, tying the winter of 1905 for the most 33-degree highs.

March 5 - Today was frigid, with a high/low of only 25°/13°, eighteen degrees below average.

March 17 - This was the seventh day in a row with highs in the 30s.  The average high during these days was 36°, eleven degrees colder than average.

April 19 - A very chilly day, with a high/low of 44°/30°, sixteen degrees below average.

April 21 - The day after winter's last below-freezing low (28°), today's high was a balmy 75° (and tomorrow's high would rise to 82°).

June 7 - One year after the five days between June 3-7 had highs that averaged 97°, the same five days this year had highs that averaged 65°, ten degrees below average.  And 6/4's low of 48° was a record (that still stands).

July 15 - Less than a week after highs of 96° and 97°, today's high on a rainy day was only 67° (more typical of early May).  Then a week later broiling heat returned with back-to-back highs of 100° on 7/21 and 7/22 - the first time for consecutive highs in the triple digits since 1901.  These would be the only highs of 100°+ this decade.

 

Starlightparkdive

 

August 12 - Heavy rain between 4 PM thru daybreak on 8/13, totaled 3.73".  Much of it poured down at the very beginning, with 2.45" measured from 4-6 PM.  From today thru 8/18, 6.24" of rain would fell.

September 6 - Three weeks after 6.24" of rain fell from 8/12-18, 4.17" fell from 9/2-9/6, with today seeing the most rain, 2.24".  In less than four weeks (8/12-9/6) eleven inches of rain fell.  Four days had rainfall of one inch or more.

 

1920s stormy new york

 

September 25 - After a high of 89° at 1 PM, the warmest reading of the month (and a record until 1970), the temperature fell steadily until it bottomed out at 52° by daybreak the next day.

November 11 - A cold day with a high/low of 37°/28°, sixteen degrees below average.  The low was a record (tied in 1930).  Temperatures were below freezing from 1-10 AM and after 9 PM.

December 5 - 7.9" of snow fell on a very cold day, which had a high/low of 24°/11°.  Snow fell heaviest from 1 PM until 7 PM.  This was the biggest snowfall of the winter and was the snowiest 12/5 until 2003, when 8.0" fell.

December 7 - This was the sixth day in a row with a low in the teens.  And at 10° (a record), today's was the coldest reading of these days.

December 31 - Today's snowfall of 0.4" (which fell after 9 PM) was the eleventh day this month with measurable snow, with all but one of these days getting less than an inch.

 

-1927-

January 27 - The morning low was one below zero, a record for the date (that still stands).  The next day would have a high of 44° and would be followed by seven days in a row with highs in the 40s or 50s.

 

One below zero

 

March 19 - Today was the seventh day in a row with highs in the 60s.  The average high during this week was 65°, at a time of the year when highs are typically in the upper 40s.

April 20 - The day after the high was a pleasant 64°, today's high was a summer-like 90°, 28 degrees above average, and a record for the date (which still stands).  At the time it was the second earliest date for a 90-degree reading (the temperature reached 90° on April 18 in 1896).  However, it would be seven weeks before the next 80-degree reading was reached; and the next 90-degree reading wouldn't be until July 13.

 

Sweltering.hot

 

April 22 - Beginning today, two days after the high reached 90°, the rest of the month would have highs that ranged between 52° and 61°.

May 24 - Today's high/low was only 51°/49°.  It came in the midst of a 48-hour period in which 2.61" of rain fell (from 1PM on 5/23 until 6 AM on 5/25).

June 5 - Today's high of 81° was the first in the 80s (or warmer) since the 90-degree high on 4/20, nearly seven weeks ago.

June 13 - It was a beautiful day for the ticker tape parade held in Lower Manhattan to honor Charles Lindbergh after his non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.  Skies were mostly sunny, the humidity low and the high/low a seasonable of 77°/60°.

 

Charles.lindebergh.parade

 

July 13 - Today's high of 92° was the second reading in the 90s this year, coming nearly three months after the year's first, on 4/20.  The next two days would also have highs of 92°.

July 31 - Today's low of 70° was the last low in the 70s of the year, and the earliest date for the last 70-degree of any year in the 20th century.  (The last 70-degree low typically occurs in the first week of September.)

August 1 - A tremendous rainstorm between 2-3 PM inundated the City with 1.68" of rain.  This was the greatest daily rain total since last September.  Today's high of 83° would be the month's warmest reading.  In addition to today, there would be only seven more days this month with highs in the 80s (and none after 8/17).  Not surprisingly, this became the coolest August on record (a record that still stands).

August 8 - Strong thunderstorms from noon until sunrise tomorrow brought 3.36" of rain.  0.31" fell from 1-2 PM, 0.47" from 4-5PM, 1.34" from 7-9 PM and 0.97" from 11 PM-1 AM.  Also, today's low of 69° would be the mildest reading of the month, making this the second, and last, August to have no lows of 70° or warmer (the other August was in 1920).

September 1 - The year's biggest rainstorm dumped 3.84", mostly between 10 AM and 8 PM.  After this storm the next 30 days would see just 0.43" of rain (followed by an 18-day period between 10/3-20 with nine inches). 

October 2 - Today's high of 90° (following a record high of 88° yesterday) was the first reading in the 90s to occur in the month of October.  It's since happened just five other times - in 1938, 1939, 1941 (twice) and 2019.  After today's summery conditions, the next eighteen days would see nine inches of rain.

October 19 - 48 hours of rain, which amounted to 3.80", ended around noon.  This rainstorm missed being the year's biggest, which was on 9/1, by 0.05".  Incredibly, it was the fourth nor'easter since 10/3, all which dumped more than an inch of rain: 1.60" on 10/3-4; 1.44" on 10/8-9; 2.04" on 10/12-13; and the 3.80" from this most recent one.

 

Rainyday1920s

 

November 23 - Today's high of 70° was the fifth 70-degree reading this month (the others were on 11/1, 11/2, 11/12 and 11/16).  Interspersed among these warm days were four unseasonably cold days, with lows of 32° or colder: 11/7, 11/8, 11/19 and 11/20.

November 24 - Although it was just 0.14", the light rain on Thanksgiving Day fell during the fourth Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The rain put somewhat of a damper on the debut of the parade's famous helium balloons.

December 1 - During the time of the year when highs are typically in the upper 40s, today and the previous two days had highs of 68° (today)-67°-64°.  Yesterday's high was reached shortly before midnight while today's was in the wee hours of the morning, then the mercury began falling steadily, until it was down to 35° shortly before midnight.

December 4 - A major sleet storm, that amounted to 2.1", began around lunchtime.  Temperatures were mostly in the mid-twenties and howling winds gusted close to 40 mph, producing wind chills in the single digits.  In the few hours leading to midnight the temperature approached the freezing mark and rain mixed with the sleet.  In total, 1.07" of liquid precipitation was measured.    

December 8 - After reaching a record 65° shortly after 10 AM, the mercury dropped like a rock and by midnight the temperature was 26°.

 

1928-1928-1928

January 15 - This was the tenth day in a row with highs of 45° or warmer (warmest reading was 58° on 1/7).  The average high during these days was 50°, twelve degrees above average.

February 13 - For the fourth day in a row the high was 37°.  Each day's low, however, was different and colder: 33°-29°-25°-22° (today). 

February 26 - Today, with a high/low of 23°/7°, was the coldest day of the winter (twenty degrees below average).  This was the only day of the winter to have a reading in the single digits (the low was a record).

March 9 - The 5.3" of snow that fell today (beginning late in the morning) was the biggest snowfall of the winter.

 

New yorker snowy street scene

 

April 29 - Low temperatures ranged from 38° to 40° for the past nine days (average low temperatures in late April are in the upper 40s).  Besides cold mornings this period was also rainy, with slightly more than four inches of rain measured.

June 2 - Today's high of 83° was the second 80-degree day of the year and came nearly two months after the year's first on April 5 (a record for the date).  In the years since 1900 (thru 2019) this 57-day hiatus is the longest on record. 

July 4 - Today had the first 90-degree reading of the year, the third year in a row the first 90 was in July (last year it happened on the thirteenth, the year before that it fell on the ninth).  Typically, the first 90 (in the years between 1870-1927) occurred around 6/14.  Today's high was 90°.

July 5 - The biggest rainstorm of the year began this evening and continued thru daybreak tomorrow, dumping 2.87" of rain.  The rain was heaviest at the onset, when 0.75" fell from 5-7 PM, and then between 3-4 AM when 0.78" fell.

July 20 - High temperatures over the past four days: 90°-89°-90°-89° (today).  Cooler air moved in this evening after a strong thunderstorm dumped 0.74" of rain between 5-6 PM.

October 12 - Today's high of 86°, a record, was the warmest reading in six weeks (since the year's last 90-degree temperature on 8/30). 

October 18 - Today's high and low of 82°/69° were both records for the date, as was yesterday's low of 67°.  These readings were twenty degrees above average.

November 15-19 - This five-day period had an average high/low of 69°/54°, which was 16 degrees above average, and more comparable to the beginning of October.  The average low during these five days was two degrees milder than the average high in mid-November.  Two of the days, 11/16 and 11/18, had record highs in the lows 70s (records that still stand).

December 8 - The first measurable snowfall of the winter produced two inches.  The next measurable snowfall wouldn't be until 1/13, and the next snowfall of an inch or more wouldn't be until 2/20.

 

1929-1929-1929

January 31 - This was the seventh day this month to have measurable snow, and like all of the other snowfalls, it amounted to less than an inch.

February 21 - More than half of the winter's 13.8" of snow fell today as 8.0" accumulated between 6 AM and 3 PM.  Temperatures were in the low-to-mid-twenties during the storm.

 

Winter scene

 

March 9-10 - Two days of roller coaster temperatures.  After reaching the low 40s late in the morning of 3/9, the temperature dropped the rest of the day, down to 15° by midnight.  Then, after bottoming out at 12° at daybreak on 3/10, the temperature rebounded to 40° by late afternoon.  The low on the 10th was the coldest reading since 1/14, when it was 8° (the coldest reading of the winter).  

April 7 - The temperature jumped from 46° to 89°, thirty-two degrees above average.  (Yesterday's high was 59°.)  At the time this was the earliest date for a temperature so warm.  The following day's high was equally summer-like (88°), but its mean temperature was much higher as the low was 65°, nineteen degrees warmer than yesterday's.

 

Clipart_happysun4

 

April 12 - Four days after back-to-back days in the upper 80s, today was the beginning of a week-long period with highs only in the low-to-mid-40s (average high in mid-April is in the upper 50s).  Besides a high/low of only 42°/37°, today also featured a cold rain that amounted to 0.98".

May 31 - Today's high was 93°, and was the seventh day in a row in which the high was warmer than the previous day: 65°-72°-74°-76°-77°-84°-88°-93°.

August 4 - Jones Beach opened today, but the passage of a cold front late in the morning made it a cool day for beach goers as the high/low was 75°/63°.  A stiff breeze from the northwest gave a fall-like feel to the air.  It was probably even chillier at the beach, situated on the south shore of Long Island.

 

Jones beach

 

August 30 - Today's rainfall was the last of the month and brought August's total to 1.91", making this the third month in a row with less than two inches.  The June-August total of 4.58" was in stark contrast to the 20" that fell during these same three months in 1928 and 1927.  This was the second driest summer, following 1894 (it has since fallen to third).

September 4 - This was last day of the third four-day heat wave this summer, and it was the hottest of the three, with highs of 95°-96°-99°-97°.  The last two highs were records for their respective dates (which still stand).  Today was also the twenty-first (and last) 90-degree day of the year, the most since 1900.

October 29 - Wall Street's "Black Tuesday", which presaged the Great Depression, was partly cloudy and chilly with a high/low of 49°/37°, about ten degrees chillier than average.

 

Blacktuesday1929

 

November 30 - Today's frigid high/low of 23°/12° made this New York's coldest day in November in the 20th century (based on mean temperature); these temperatures would be well below average even in the dead of winter.  By contrast, the beginning of the month began with highs of 73° on 11/1 and 76° on 11/2.

 

Clipart_frigidcold

 

December 1 - This was the third day in a row with highs that were below freezing.  During these days the highs were: 30°-23°-31°.  The average high this time of year is in the upper 40s.

December 2 - The season's first measurable snow fell during the afternoon into the early evening, accumulating 3.9".  This amount was a record for the date (which still stands), and it was the biggest snowfall of the winter.  Besides snow there were also periods of sleet.  Throughout the afternoon temperatures hovered around 29°.

December 4 - This was the sixth, and last, day of an early cold snap.  The average high/low of 30°/20° was sixteen degrees below average. 

 

To read about weather highlights in New York during other decades:

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

 

  

 

 

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When April Isn't Much Warmer Than March

Two.arrows.pointingateachother

 

The month of April is typically 10.5 degrees milder than the month of March.  April 2020, however, was just 2.4 degrees milder, making its average temper the third closest to March of any April (going back to 1869).  The closest April came to March was in 1946 when April was 0.8 degrees milder than March.  The chart below lists the six Aprils that were closest to March's average temperature.

 

Chart - closest april-march temp

And although April 2020 wasn't chillier than March, it had no days in the 70s while March had three (making this the first April since 1940 not to have any readings of 70° or warmer).

 


 

 

 

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Suffering From Post-Snowstorm Depression?

Snowcoveredcar.blizzard2016

 

After the anticipation and euphoria created by a big snowstorm fades, some of us suffer a letdown when the flakes stop piling up (somewhat like postpartum depression).  Drunk from experiencing the fury of Old Man Winter there's hope that another storm will barrel up the coast in a few days - but it's not likely to happen (despite the tendency of the news media to end a weather story by saying, "and another storm is on the horizon").   Looking at more than twenty major snowstorms that have buried New York City in the past 100 years (13 inches or more), no major snowfalls followed in the five days afterward.  The largest accumulation, 2.9", came five days after a 14.5" snowstorm in January 1914; and 2.4" fell four days after the blizzard of January 1996 (before changing to rain).

 

Then there's the matter of snow melt.  New York's biggest snowstorm, in February 2006, has the distinction of having the biggest warm-up in the aftermath of a storm, with three days seeing temperatures rise into the mid-to-upper 50s.  And after January 2016's 26.8" blizzard, the third and fourth days after the storm were completely above freezing.  (The biggest warm-ups after notable snowstorms have all occurred in the 21st century.)  Although there haven't been large accumulations of snow, there have been a number of significant rainstorms in post-storm periods.  The the biggest dumped 1.80" of rain five days after a January 1978 snowstorm (13.6"); 1.49" fell five days after the President's Day blizzard of 2003 (19.8"); and 0.95" fell after a 14-inch snowstorm in the first week of December 2003.

 

Slush.2016blizzard 

 

Finally, although we haven't been burdened by more heavy snowfall immediately following a snowstorm, cold weather in a storm's aftermath has posed a challenge for digging out of some snowstorms.  The coldest period after a snowstorm was the five days that followed the 18.1" snowstorm of Jan. 22-23, 1935, all which had highs colder than 32° (average high/low of these five days was 22/5).  Other snowstorms that had cold weather afterwards include the storms of January 2005 (average high/low of 28/13), December 1960 (30/17), March 1960 (32/19) and December 1947 (32/22).

 

ParkAve_snowstorm

 

If you enjoy reading about New York's snowstorms, here are other posts you should find interesting:  

We Are Living in Extraordinarily Snow Times

Recap of Each Winter's Snowstorms (1960-2016)

The Most Snowfall in 30 Days

Remembering New York's 'Snowmageddon' of Winter 2011

Too Cold for Snow? Temperatures During NYC Snowstorms

A History of Snowstorms That Fizzled Out

 

 

 

 

 

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October's First Autumn Chill

30sI don't know about you, but I find adjusting to the season's first chilly temperatures in the fall a more challenging than adjusting to warm weather in the springtime.  In the fall of 2015 the temperature fell to 35° on the morning of Oct. 19, which was the earliest it was this chilly since 1976, when the low on the same date was 34°.  Mornings in the 30s in October occur infrequently in New York City, with a typical October seeing just two such days.  The average date for the first low in the 30s is Oct. 23.  It's happened as early as Sept. 30 (in 1912) and as late as Nov. 15 (1938).  On average, October's coldest reading is 38°, with the coldest being 28° in 1936.  The mildest chilly reading, 45°, occurred in 1971 and 1946 (more recently, October 2004's chilliest reading was 44°). 

 

The greatest number of lows in the 30s has been nine, in 1925.  One in eight Octobers have had lows of 32° or colder; however, the last time it happened was in 1988 (the coldest temperature in recent years was 33° in 2011).  At the other end of the temperature spectrum, one in four Octobers have had no readings in the 30s (most recently in 2017, 2014 and 2013).  Here are some other observations:

 

  • Two periods have had considerably more 30-degree days than other years.  The years between 1922-1940 averaged 3.9 30-degree days in October.  This followed the years 1910-1921, which averaged only 1.4 such days.  Then there were the years between 1964-1988, which averaged 3.2 chilly lows; since then the average has been half that, 1.6.
  • October 1974 and 1925 were noteworthy for having three days in a row with lows of 32°  or colder.  And October 1940 and 2011 distinguished themselves by having five days in a row with lows in the 30s. 
  • The most consecutive years with Octobers that had no readings below 40° is three: 1994-1995-1996.

 

Clipart_sweater

 

  • The second latest date for the first reading in the 30s, Nov. 13, 1946, was sandwiched between two years with the earliest dates for this occurrence - Oct. 1, 1947 and Oct. 4, 1945.
  • After having the earliest temperature in the 30s on record, Sept. 30 in 1912, October had none.
  • Finally, there have been two high temperatures in the 30s in October: on Oct. 26, 1962 (39°) and on Oct. 30, 1925 (38°).

 

Autumn.washington.square.park

 

 

 

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A Trend Towards Fewer Cool Summer Nights (Lows in 50s)

Cool-and-dropsIn the decades between 1910-1980 the average number of days with morning lows in the 50s during the summer (mid-June thru mid-Sept) was twelve.  Since then the number has fallen sharply, and in the current decade (thru 2019) the average has fallen to 3.4 days.  In 2016, for the first time, there were no lows in the 50s during the summer (1966 had one and six summers have had  two such days, including 2015).  The greatest number occurred in 1940 when there were 33 days.  In recent years the most 50-degree readings was 19 in 1986, and 13 in 2007 (which is the only summer in the past 21 years to have more than 10).  Since 1991 twelve summers have had no lows in the 50s in July or August (including 2014 thru 2019).  There were ten such summers in the years between 1910 and 1990.

 

AVERAGE NUMBER OF 50-DEGREE LOWS 
EACH SUMMER BY DECADE
  2010-2019      3.4
2000-2009      6.4
1990-1999      8.2
1980-1989      8.9
1970-1979    10.8
1960-1969    12.6
1950-1959    11.3
1940-1949    12.6
1930-1939    10.0
1920-1929    16.3
1910-1919    15.1
     
FEWEST/MOST COOL SUMMER NIGHTS
(June 16 - Sept 15)
         
Fewest   Most
1966 1   1940 33
2015 2   1963 27
2011 2   1927 25
1996 2   1926 24
1993 2   1914 24
1983 2   1946 23
1931 2   1918 22
2019 3   1924 21
2013 3   1962 20
2005 3   1986 19
1981 3   1965 19
1971 3   1915 19
1961 3      
Average =  11

 


 

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Cold, Raw Days of Late May

Grayday.newyork

 

A few weeks ago I published a post about warm weather in May.  Most of us are delighted to get an early start to summer, with days that have temperatures in the 80s and 90s, especially because they aren't usually accompanied by the humidity levels common in mid-summer.  Of course, most Mays have a few cool days in store to remind us that we're still transitioning from spring to summer (May 2015, warmest on record, was an exception).  And raw days in the latter part of May are especially cruel, with summer so close at hand.  This post focuses on these late, cold days.

 

Two dates that stand out on the list below are May 26, 1967 and May 27, 1961.  Both had highs only in the 40s, which is what the typical high is in the second week of March.  The high on May 26, 1967 was 46°, twenty-eight degrees below average; May 27, 1961's high of 47° was twenty-seven degrees below average.

 

One characteristic of chilly days in May is that high temperatures are often significantly more below average than low temperatures.  This is due largely to clouds and rain (and east-northeasterly winds).  Although a typical day in May has a 15-degree difference between its high and low, the chilly days listed below show diurnal variations that are often half that range (seven degrees or less).

 

Clipart_drizzle_cloud 

 

CHILLY DAYS IN LATE MAY (SINCE 1915)
(Sorted by Calendar Date)
        Below Average
Date High Low Mean Mean High
5.20.2000 51 46 48.5 -15 -20
5.20.1957 51 45 48.0 -16 -20
5.20.1952 54 50 52.0 -12 -17
5.21.1990 51 47 49.0 -15 -20
5.21.1929 50 45 47.5 -15 -20
5.21.1924 50 47 48.5 -14 -20
5.23.1982 55 51 53.0 -12 -18
5.24.1982 55 50 52.5 -12 -18
5.24.1927 51 49 50.0 -15 -21
5.25.2013 54 45 49.5 -16 -20
5.25.2005 53 48 50.5 -15 -21
5.25.1967 46 42 44.0 -21 -28
5.25.1934 56 49 52.5 -11 -16
5.25.1925 53 41 47.0 -17 -20
5.25.1921 52 47 49.5 -14 -22
5.26.1967 55 42 48.5 -17 -19
5.27.1961 47 41 44.0 -22 -27
5.28.1917 55 49 52.0 -14 -18
5.30.1953 56 50 53.0 -14 -19

 

 

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Today in New York Weather History: June 15

 

1933

Less than a week after a record high of 97° (6/9), this morning's low of 48° was half that temperature, and also a record.

1971

Showery (0.32" fell) and cool, with a high/low of just 60°/56°.  The high temperature was nineteen degrees below average and more in line with the second week of April.

1974

High temperatures of today and the previous three days: 79° (today)-78°-77°-76°. 

1983

Today's high was 92°, the fourth day in a row with a high in the 90s.

1988

For the second day in a row the high reached 96°.

1989

Overcast skies, AM drizzle, and winds off the ocean resulted in just a three-degree difference between today's high (61°) and low (58°).  The low was five degrees below average, but the high was 19 degrees below the norm.

1994

Today's high reached 96°.  This was the first of four days in the next 30 days with a high of 96° or hotter.

1998

Today was the fifteenth consecutive day with cooler than average temperatures.  During these days high temperatures ranged between 65° and 73° (average is 78°).  This made the first half of June six degrees cooler than average.

2014

Today was Father's Day, and if you forgot to give your Dad a necktie there was no need to fret since the weather was enough of a gift as skies were mostly clear and the afternoon temperature rose to a seasonable 80°.  Today's low of 59° was the third, and last, day with a low in the 50s this month, the fewest since June 1996 (which also had three, all in the first three days of the month).