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January Isn't Always the Coldest, July Isn't Always the Hottest

February

 

A reader recently asked if there have ever been any winters in which February was colder than January.  While it's not the norm, it happens occasionally.  Actually, more often than occasionally - 57 times, or nearly 40% of all years since 1869 (and it happened last winter).  In fact, New York's all time coldest month occurred in February 1934.  Perhaps of greater interest is the fact that there have been 17 winters in which December was the coldest month, the most recent being December 2005.  But the biggest anomaly of all occurred in the winter of 1960, when March was the coldest month!

For the most part, when February and August were colder/warmer than January or July it was when January was milder and July cooler than average.  However, there were six winters when both months were colder than normal (the most recent being in 1978).  And there have been four summers in which both months had above average temperatures (most recently in 2005).

 

August

 

 

 

 


An Outdoor Super Bowl in the Northeast - How Cold & Snowy Might it Be?

Superbowl.xvliii

 

Super Bowl XLVIII will be played in northern New Jersey on Feb. 2 (2014) in a stadium, seven miles west of NYC, that's not covered by a dome.  So rather than a climate controlled, 72-degree environment, chances are good that fans and players will experience wintertime temperatures below 40 degrees (before wind chill is factored in).  Since 1970 the high/low on Feb. 2 has averaged 42/28.  Last year on this date temperatures were well below average, with a high of 29/low of 19 - New York's coldest Groundhog Day since 1996. 

 

Although evening temperatures on Feb. 2 since 1970 have been as cold as the low teens (twice), on a few occasions they've been as mild as the mid-50s.  In all those years there has been just one significant snowfall on that date (4.3" in 1985).  However, that might mean we're overdue for another.  Significant rainfall happens about once every six years. 

 

Close to half of the Feb. 2's have had temperatures colder than 40°; once every five or six years the temperature has remained below freezing all day.  Just 15% of the years saw highs in the 50s. 

 

38

 

Spectators and players aren't the only ones who will have to contend with the outside elements - there are the halftime performers.  In 2007 Prince valiantly performed in a steady rain during Super Bowl XVI played in Miami.  This year Bruno Mars has the honors of shivering his ass off before 100 million viewers.

 

Prince_superbowl_rain

But let's not lose sight of the fact that cold and inclement weather is not a novelty to the NFL.  In fact, games are often made more interesting (at least for TV viewers) when there's a driving rain or the field is covered with snow.  And if fans/players can survive sub-zero conditions as they did in Green Bay last week, they'll make it through whatever is thrown at them come Feb. 2.

 

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 Feb 2 Weather (2004-2013)


Today in New York Weather History: April 25

 

1875

Less than two weeks after a snowstorm of ten inches (on 4/13), another significant snowfall dropped three more inches - despite the fact that the temperature got no lower than 34°.  This is the latest measurable snowfall on record.

1915

Today saw perhaps the greatest swings in temperature of any date in New York's history.  After first steadily climbing from 47° shortly after midnight to 91° at 3:00 PM, the temperature then plunged to 52° just before  midnight.  This was the result of a strong warm front moving through for about ten hours (9 AM-7 PM) and then being displaced by a backdoor cold front.  There was no rain produced by the passage of either front.  Two days later the temperature would rebound into the low 90s again, only to drop like a rock after nightfall.  These crazy swings came three weeks after 10.5" of snow buried the City.

Up-down-financial-chart-illustration-20507051 

1919

It was a cold day, with temperatures more like winter than the middle of spring.  The high/low was just 43°/29°, nineteen degrees below average.  And tomorrow's readings were very similar (44°/31°).  Both days also had winds that gusted to 25 mph, making it feel like it was in the 30s.

1960

After a seasonably cool low of 48°, the temperature rose sharply, to 87°.  Meanwhile, although they were still milder than average, yesterday and tomorrow had highs of 70°.

1962

For the third year in a row, a big jump in temperature occurred on this date.  This year the mercury jumped from 48° to 84°; in 1961 it rose from 49° to 82°; and in 1960 the high reached 87° after a low of 48°. 

1976

Five days after an unprecedented four-day heat wave ended (with highs of 91°-96°-92°-89°), today was the first of three days in a row with highs only in the 40s (49°-46°-49°).  

2002

A steady rain, amounting to 0.55", fell during the afternoon - the first rain on this date in 12 years.  One week after a heat wave, with temperatures 30 degrees above average (comparable to hot temperatures experienced in 1976), today was chilly, with a high/low of 52°/43°.

 

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2007

For the sixth year in a row rain fell on this date as mid-afternoon showers amounted to 0.14".

2009

What a spectacular start to my summer share at Fire Island as the afternoon high soared to 88° (in NYC) after a low of 52°.

 

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2010

After just 0.61" of rain fell in the first twenty-four days of the month, 1.60" poured down today.  The rain came from two storm systems.  The first brought the bulk of the rain in the AM hours (1.13"), the second moved in after dark.

2018

It was a dreary, showery, fog-shrouded day.  The 0.95" that fell (much of it between 6-9 AM, 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 Aug.-Oct 2011, but that three-month period had more than twice as much precipitation (34.43" vs. 16.45").

 

Chart - 3 rainy months in a row

 

 

 

 

 


 

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A Look Back at New York City Weather: April 16

 

1913

In the past six days, 4.58" of rain fell.  Today was the rainiest of the days, with 1.25" of rain measured (most which fell 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.

1914

This was the third day of the past six to have an inch or more of rain (and another day had 0.89").  In total, 4.30" of rain fell.

1975

Today was just one degree below average, but it was the fifteenth day in a row with a below average mean temperature.  During this period temperatures were nearly eight degrees below average.  

1985

It was a glorious day for a baseball game as the high reached 75°, and the Yankees beat the White Sox in their home opener on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning.

 

Yankees_logo

1996

1.04" of rain fell between 1-4 AM, and 2.19" overall (including rain from last night that fell after 9:00 PM).  Most of the rain was over by 8:00 AM.  This storm's rainfall equaled the amount of precipitation (in liquid form) from the blizzard back on Jan. 7-8.

2000

Today had the mildest reading of the month, 75°.  This was the last April with no days in the 80s, until 2014.   

2002

Today was the start of a very early four-day heat wave: 92° today; 96° on 4/17; 91° on 4/18; and 89° on 4/19.  At the time, today's temperature was the third earliest date on record for a year's first reading in the 90s.  (I thought I was planning ahead and had my air conditioner taken out of my apartment yesterday to have it cleaned and serviced.)  Interestingly, there was a nearly identical mid-April heat wave back in 1976 that started one day later.  It also lasted four days and had the same four high temperatures, only in different order.  (To read more about 90-degree weather in April, double click here.)

 

Summer_heatwave

2003

After the temperature soared to 88°, twenty-seven degrees above average, a back-door cold front moved through and the temperature dropped to 51° by midnight.  Today's high wouldn't be topped for ten weeks.

2007

After yesterday's 7.57" of rain, an additional 0.84" fell this morning.  In total, rain fell during a 36-hour period.

2011

A nasty storm system moved in late in the afternoon, buffeting the area with 40-50 mph winds and 1.78" of rain, most of which fell today.  Nearly half of the rain poured down between 7-9 PM. 

2012

It felt like mid-summer, as skies were sunny and the high soared to 88°.  This was the first 80-degree+ day of the year, not far from the typical day of New York's first 80.  However, it was three weeks earlier than the usual date for the first 85°+ reading.  Today was also the ninth day this year with a mean temperature 20 degrees+ above average, well above the typical number for an entire year (four).  

 

Clip_diablo

2014

The morning low of 31° was the latest date for a temperature of 32° or colder since 1980, when the low was 32° on April 17.  The last time a temperature was below freezing this late was way back 1943, when the low was 30° - also on April 4/16.  Today's chilly low broke a string of six consecutive Aprils with no lows of freezing or colder, the longest streak on record.  Additionally, the dusting of snow this morning was the latest for a trace of snow since 1997. 

 

Jackfrost2

2017

This was just the seventh Easter Sunday to be in the 80s (going back to 1870), and with a high of 87° it became the second warmest Easter Sunday on record (behind 1976).  Today was also the warmest reading in April since 2012, when a high of 88° occurred, also on 4/16.  Today's high came five days after the year's first reading in the 80s.

 

Melting chocolate bunny

2018

A rainstorm that moved in last night continued through noon today, bringing flooding rains and winds that gusted over 40 mph.  Total rainfall was 3.29", 2.82" which poured down this morning; more than half of it (1.54") fell in the three hours between 7:30 and 10:30.  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 14 degrees in the hour between 11:00 and noon (from 46° to 60°). 

 

 

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Today in New York Weather History: April 15

 

1940

This was the fourth day in a row with a sub-freezng low (average low for mid-April is in the low 40s).

Frost

1943

Today's low of 28° was the fifth low in the 20s this month, the most in April since 1881.  These cold lows contributed mightily to making this the fourth coldest April on record (where it still ranks).

1960

Today's summery high/low of 83°/66° (25 degrees warmer than average) made the harsh, wintry conditions of March (second coldest of the 20th century, with 18.5" of snow) seem like a bad dream.

1972

The Mets' home opener was played through sprinkles and temperatures only in the chilly mid-40s.

1976

It was a stunning day for the Yankees' home opener as skies were sunny and afternoon temperatures warmed to 76°, sixteen degrees above average. 

1979

After a rainy and cold Saturday (high/low of 45°/40°, with 1.10" of rain), Easter Sunday was gray and cool, with a high/low of 55°/42°, and some light rain/drizzle between 4-6 AM.  Today would be chillier than Christmas Day 1979 (high/low of 61°/50°).

1990

1.47" of rain fell one year after 1.41" fell on the same date.

1991

It was a miserable day for the Yankees' home opener, which was played in a steady light rain, with temperatures hovering around 50°, well below average.  This was quite a contrast to last week's Mets home opener, played in 90-degree heat.  This was the eighth year out of the past nine to have rain on this date. 

2007

An intense Sunday nor'easter dumped 7.57" of rain, the second greatest 24-hour rainfall on record for New York.  Three inches fell between noon-4:00 (including 1.19" in one one-hour period); another period of torrential rain dumped an additional 1.70" between 9-11 PM.  In between these two periods of torrential rain, there was a period of calm, even a bit of clearing, somewhat resembling the eye of a hurricane.  An additional 0.84" would fall overnight thru noon on Monday.

 

Overflowing rain spout
  

2010

Temperatures in the first half of April were twelve degrees above average, but then the second half of the month would see temperatures closer to normal.  (Average high during the first half of the month was 72°, while the second half's average would be 63°.)

 

Split personality  

2014

A strong cold front moved through early in the evening, slicing the temperature nearly in half, from 63° at 4:00 PM to 33° by 11:30.  Steady rain changed to snow/sleet after 10:00 PM, which had a tough time accumulating since the ground had been warmed from four days in the 70s between 4/11-14.

2015

Today saw the year's first reading in the 70s, three weeks later than average, and tying 2003 for the latest "first 70" since 1993 (when it happened on 4/19).  Skies were partly cloudy.

70deg 2018

Two days after the high reached 82°, and one day after it was 77°, today was windy, raw and overcast, with temperatures only in the low 40s (the result of a "backdoor" cold front that moved through yesterday afternoon).  And conditions became even more miserable in the evening when rain moved in (0.47" fell thru midnight) and the temperature dropped into the upper-30s.

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Today in New York Weather History: April 13

 

1875

A snowstorm 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.

1940

It was a wintry day, with a high/low of only 35°/26°, twenty degrees colder than average (the low was a record for the date, which still stands.)  This was the coldest day of the month.  Snow that began last night and accumulated 1.3" continued for a few hours past midnight added an additional 0.5" this morning.   

1955

A chilly high of 46° came just two days after a high of 84°.  Skies were overcast and winds were from out of the northeast.

1962

After going four years without a National League baseball team to call its own, the New York Mets played their first home opener, in unseasonably cold conditions, with a high/low of 43°/38° (nine degrees below average).  Windy and overcast, there were showers before daybreak and again late in the afternoon, amounting to 0.13".  As for the game, the Mets lost to the Pirates, 4-3.

 

Metsfirsthomegame_1962

1971

The Yankees' home opener was played under sunny skies, with temperatures in the upper 60s.  (A week earlier the Mets weren't as lucky as their game finished just as a nor'easter was bearing down on the City.)

1977

This was the second day in a row of summertime heat, as the high reached a record-setting 88°, two degrees lower than yesterday.

 

Clipart_abstractsun

1978

It was a beautiful day for a baseball game as the Yankees' home opener was played under sunny skies and in temperatures that rose into the mid-70s.

1987

Today was the home opener for the Yankees.  After early showers between 5-8 AM, the rest of the day was gray and chilly, with a game-time temperature in the low 50s.  This followed three days of 70-degree temperatures.  Happily, the Yankee bats were hot, as they rolled over the Indians, 11-3.

 

Yankees_logo

1991

Today was the 16th day in a row in which no high temperature was duplicated.  During these days highs ranged from 47° to 90°.

1992

The morning low of 31° was the latest date for a freezing temperature since 1980, when it occurred on April 17.  This would be the latest date until 2014. 

2012

Despite it being Friday the 13th, skies were clear, temperatures pleasant (low 60s, a few degrees above average), and the Yankees won their home opener, beating the Angels, 5-0.  From Yankee Stadium, smoke could be seen in the distance, rising from a brush fire in Central Park as very low humidity posed a threat for brush fires throughout the area.

 

Friday 13th
2014

Today's high of 77° was the mildest reading of the month, and made this April the first since 2000 not to see a reading in the 80s.

2018

Today's high soared to 82° the day after the high reached 63° (which had been the mildest reading in more than seven weeks).  This was eight earlier than a year's typical first 80-degree reading.  And this morning's low of 60° was what the average high should be.

 

80degdays

2020

Nearly two inches of rain fell from an intense storm system that produced deadly tornadoes in the Southeast yesterday (Easter Sunday).  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 1 AM-6 PM), 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 exited during early evening, and the day's high (67°) was reached after dark.   

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A Glance Back at New York Weather: April 12

 

1901

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).

1929

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 is in the upper 50s).  Besides a high/low of only 42°/37°, today also featured a cold rain that amounted to 0.98".

1977

After a morning low of 50°, the temperature skyrocketed to 90°, the first 90-degree day of the year.  This was just three days after the low temperature was 25° (the fourth year in a row with a low in the 20s in April).  Both readings were records.  At the time, this was the earliest date on record for a 90-degree reading (since passed by April 8, 1991 and April 7, 2010).  Today was also the home opener for the Mets, played in temperatures twice as warm as the Yankees' home opener five days earlier (45°).

 

Skyrocket  

1981

Today was the 20th day in a row with above-average temperatures.  The mean temperature during this nearly three-week period was nine degrees above average.  The average high/low was 66°/47° and included highs of 77° on 3/29, 81° on 4/3 and 75° on 4/9.

1993

Today was the 16th day in a row in which no high temperature was duplicated.  They ranged from 41° (15 degrees below average) to 68° (13 degrees above).

1996

Yesterday's high temperature was a pleasant 64°, and tomorrow's would be a chillier 55°, but today was a brief taste of summer as the high rose to 80° - 21 degrees above average.  

2000

At the Yankees' home opener , the team received their World Series rings in weather that was sunny and breezy, with a chilly high of 50°, nine degrees colder than average. 

2003

The day before a 13-day streak of chilly weather began on March 30 (a period that was eight degrees below average), the high reached 69°.  And today, the day this chilly spell ended, the temperature once again topped out at 69°.

2004

Not a great day for the Mets home opener as rain moved in after 2 PM and continued for the rest of the day (0.55" was measured).  Temperatures were in the low 50s.  However, the Mets scored early, and after taking a 10-0 lead, they held off the Braves to win, 10-6. 

 

Mr_met_rain

2013

It was a gray, windy, raw and wet day (0.63" of rain fell) with afternoon temperatures only in the low 40s.  This was quite a contrast to the sunny and warm conditions three days earlier, when the high reached 82°.  Today's rain accounted for nearly half of the month's paltry 1.31" total (making it the driest April in 50 years - and fifth driest on record).  

2016

Although rain fell during nine of the month's first twelve days, it amounted to just 1.16".  Today, showers fell in the pre-dawn hours, amounting to 0.20".  Then skies cleared, making this the first day of a two-week stretch in which every afternoon had either sunny or clear skies and unusually low humidity. 

2018

Although today's high of 63° was only a bit milder than average, it was the warmest reading since Feb. 21's extraordinary high of 78°.

 

 

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Looking Back at New York Weather: April 10

 

1950

For the fifth day in a row the morning low was 32° or colder.  The average low during these days was 29°, which was twelve degrees below average.

 

Clip art frosty breath

1974

The Mets played their home opener in raw conditions that were similar to those the Yankees encountered four days earlier.  Although the day started with some light snow, amounting to 0.3", it was over long before the game's first pitch.  However, fans in the stands had to contend with gusty winds that made the game-time temperature in the low 40s feel like it was in the upper 20s. 

    

Mr_met_mascot

1980

The day after 3.42" of rain fell, today was dry and warm with afternoon temperatures in the low 70s, thirteen degrees above average.  The weather was perfect for the the Mets' home opener against the Cubs.

1983

4.31" of rain fell, with nearly 2.50" of it falling in just three hours (between 11 AM-2 PM).

1992

Although today's Mets home opener was twenty degrees cooler than last season's record heat, at 71° it was still twelve degrees above average.  This was also the first day with temperatures in the 70s this year - two weeks later than usual.  (This was similar to 1965's home opener, on 4/12, which was played on the first 70-degree day of the year.)

1996

An overnight snowfall of 0.7" was the last snow of the season, bringing the winter's total to a hefty, record-breaking 75.6".  This was 48" above the average winter, and came just two years after 53.4" fell.

 

Clipart_styllized_snowflake

2010

Three days after a high of 92°, this morning's low was 50 degrees colder. 

2013

What had been a beautiful spring day, with a high of 74°, came to a crashing end as a series of strong thunderstorms barreled through between 7-11 PM.  What made them especially noteworthy was the fact that they occurred in the first half of April.  However, despite the storm's long duration, relatively little rain fell, with just 0.49" measured in Central Park.  This was the first rainfall of the month.

 

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2017

For the first time since 1988, the Yankees played their home opener in temperatures that rose into the 70s.  Under mostly sunny skies, the temperature rose to 74°.  And the cherry on top was a victory over Tampa Bay.

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Today in New York Weather History: April 4

 

1882

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

1915

Many spent Easter Sunday digging out from a 10-inch snowstorm that buried the City yesterday.  However, by afternoon temperatures had risen into the low 50s, twenty degrees warmer than yesterday, causing quick melting.  Skies were mostly sunny.

 

Snowstorm_NYCApril1915

1931

Today's high of 61° was the first reading in the 60s in four-and-a-half months (since Nov. 22).

1987

1.99" of rain, a record amount for the date, fell throughout the day and ended late in the afternoon.  Including rain that began late last night, the storm total was 2.48".  This was the biggest rainstorm since the beginning of last December when 2.73" fell on Dec. 2-3.

 

Clipart_raindrops_puddle

1994

The Yankees' home opener was played in ideal conditions as skies were clear and temperatures slightly milder than average (60°).  And the Bronx Bombers triumphed over Texas, 5-3.

1995

A vigorous cold front passed through in the early afternoon and the temperature plummeted 40 degrees by midnight, from 68° to 28°.

2007

Under rainy skies (0.85" fell) only two degrees separated today's chilly high/low (42°/40°).

2013

The morning low dropped to 33° for the third day in a row.  This was also the fourth day in a row with a low in the 30s, the longest such streak in April since 2007, when there was an eight-day streak.

33degrees

2014

It was a gray, raw and damp day with drizzle and mist.  The afternoon temperature hovered around 42°, twenty-five degrees colder than yesterday.

2016

Raw and rainy, with afternoon temperatures in the chilly mid-40s.  These poor conditions caused the Yankees to postpone their home opener - the first Opening Day rain-out since 2008.  While New York was too warm for snow, four to six inches of snow fell in Connecticut, Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts. 

2021

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

 

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A Glance Back at New York Weather: April 2

 

1911

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

1919

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.

1952

For the tenth year in a row measurable precipitation fell on this date - the longest such streak on record.  The amount of rain that fell today (during the late morning) was 0.09", and was the same amount that fell last year on this date.

10th1967

After today's low of 61° (twenty degrees above average), there wouldn't be a low of 50° or milder until 5/19, and no low in the 60s until 6/3.

1986

Today was the last day of an eight-day stretch in which temperatures averaged 13 degrees above average - including back-to-back afternoon highs of 78° on March 29 and 30.  Average high/low during these days was 72°/51°.

 

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2001

Today's weather for the Yankees' home opener was very similar to last year's game as the high was a chilly 49° under mostly overcast skies.  This was the ninth day in a row with a high chillier than 50°.

2016

Afternoon temperatures were in the seasonable mid-50s, but this was a 25-degree drop from yesterday's June-like warmth.  (Perhaps it was Mother Nature's April Fools prank?)

Aprilfool

2018

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").       

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