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Today in New York Weather History: May 25

 

1967

It was a raw and damp day with a high/low of only 46°/42°.  Winds out of the northeast gusted between 25 and 30 mph, producing wind chills close to 32°.  Light showers and drizzle fell throughout the day (0.32" was measured).  The day's high, 27 degrees below average, was more typical of the second week of March.

 

Clipart_coldweather 

1975

This afternoon's temperature was in the upper 50s, one day after a sizzling high of 93°.

1986

The weather was very nice for New Yorkers when they formed their part of the "Hands Across America" chain this afternoon.  Skies were partly cloudy and the high temperature reached 80°.

1987

It was a very cool Memorial Day as the high of 63° was eleven degrees below average.  Weatherwise, the holiday came one week too early as temperatures would be in the 90s the following weekend.

1991

Today was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and the day's high reached 93°, nineteen degrees above average.  This tied the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend in 1975 for the hottest reading for any day during this holiday in the 1971-2020 period. 

1994

An evening thunderstorm (including hail, a rarity in Manhattan) delayed by three hours my 8:15 flight to Pittsburgh, where I was going to attend my father's funeral.  I finally arrived there shortly before 1 AM.

 

Thunderstorm_over_manhattan

2000

0.12" of rain fell between 1-2:00 AM, making this the eighth day in a row in which there was rain.  3.26" fell during these days.

2005

Gray skies and light showers made for a very chilly day as the high reached only 53°, twenty degrees chillier than average - and more typical of March 25. 

2007

Today, with a high of 90°, was the first 90-degree day of the year, just a few days earlier than the average date for this occurrence.  This broke a string of four years that had their first 90-degree temperature in June.

2013

Today's high/low of 54°/45° made this, a Saturday, the chilliest day of any Memorial Day weekend in the 1971-2020 period.  Skies were mostly overcast, winds gusted to 33 mph hour, and light showers popped up throughout the morning and afternoon.  The high temperature was nineteen degrees below average.

 

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2015

Today was Memorial Day and it was practically a carbon copy of last year's holiday, i.e., sunny and warm.  The only difference was that today's high of 85° was one degree lower than last year's.  This was the ninth year of the past ten in which Memorial Day had a high in the 80s.

 

The80s

2017

Following last week's early heat wave (highs of 90°, 92° and 9°1 from 5/17-19), the highs today and the previous five days were all below 70°.  Today, with steady light rain and drizzle, was the coolest day of them all, with a high of just 59°.  Today's rainfall of 0.58" brought the month's total to 6.06", making it the second wettest May of the century (behind 2013, which had eight inches).

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Today in New York Weather History: May 18

 

1980

For the fifth year in a row rain fell on this date.  Today's measured 0.15" and fell between 7 AM and 1 PM.

2000

0.66" of rain fell in a 30-minute period (7-7:30 PM) and within that half hour 0.44" fell during the fifteen minutes between 7:15-7:30.

Downpour_nighttime

2001

A pre-dawn shower that amounted to just 0.07" of rain, ended an extended dry spell of twenty-six days, the second longest in the 1960-2020 period.  (Only a 35-day drought that occurred two years earlier in May/June 1999 was longer.)  Then, between May 21-29 rain would fall on eight of the nine days, amounting to two inches. 

2011

Today was the fourth day in a row with rain, and it culminated in a record amount for the date - 2.18".  The four-day total of 3.91" accounted for 3/4 of the month's total rainfall.  This was the fourth year since 2000 to have more than an inch of rain fall on this date.  Also, today's amount was double the amount that fell last year on this date.  

 

Rainy_day

 

2017

For the second day in a row temperatures were in the 90s, with today's high of 92° a record for the date.  This was the earliest instance of back-to-back 90s since April 2002.  Besides the high temperature setting a record, the low of 75° did as well.  It was also the second warmest low temperature ever recorded in the month of May (warmest is 76°, set on May 31, 1987).

2021

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, today's 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.  Save

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Today in New York Weather History: May 16

 

1916

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. 

1989

Just before daybreak, 0.58" of rain poured down in an hour, between 6:23-7:23 AM.  This came in the opening hours of a rainstorm (lasting through mid-morning tomorrow) that dumped 3.35" of rain (2.30" fell today).  And it came just six days after a rainstorm of 2.37".

1990

A year after 2.30" of rain fell on this date, 2.32" of rain fell today, much of it after 8 PM. 

2001

This was the 25th day in a row without precipitation, making it the third longest rain-free streak since 1970, passing two streaks of 24 days in Jan/Feb 1980 and in August 1995. 

2007

I celebrated my 50th birthday two days after the actual date with a dinner party at a Venezuelan restaurant in Greenwich Village.  Unlike my 40th birthday, which had beautiful weather, this year featured thunderstorms between 4-10 PM that dropped 0.83" of rain.  It was a warm and muggy day, with temperatures reaching the mid-80s before the rain moved in.

 

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2012

Overnight showers amounting to 0.09" made this the seventh year of the past nine in which rain fell on this date. 

2014

A light, wind-swept rain during the afternoon turned steadier and heavier after dark.  The 1.54" that fell was over before midnight (an inch poured down in the hour between 10-11:00).  This was the twelfth day of the past eighteen to see some rain, totaling a lucky 7.77".  Much of it fell today and on 4/30 (when 4.97" fell).

2015

Measurable rain fell for the first time since April 22, a span of 23 days (the longest dry spell since one of 26 days in April/May 2001).  Showers fell before daybreak and then again tonight between 9:00 and midnight, measuring 0.30".  In between, skies were overcast with temperatures rising into the mid-70s. 

 

Weather_vangogh_umbrellas   

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Looking Back at New York Weather: April 30

 

1874

The last three days of the month all 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; these days contributed to this being the coldest April of all time.  (The following April and April 1943 would have nine such days, the second most.)

1925

Rainy (0.55" was measured) and very cool, with a high/low of 45°/42°.  The high was a record for the coolest maximum temperature on this date.

1940

Today's high of 67°, just a few degrees above average, was the mildest reading of the month.  (The warmest high temperature in April in the years before then was typically in the 78° to 82° range.)  In the years since 1900 this was the only April with no readings of 70° or warmer - until 2020.

 

No70

1942

Today's high of 91°, a record for the date, followed a high of 72° yesterday and 53° the day before that.  The previous record for the date, 86°, was set just last year.  In both years, the humidity was quite low during the afternoon, at around 25%.

1962

After three days of summer-like warmth (highs of 91°-89°-80°), this afternoon was raw and showery with temperatures only in the upper-40s.

1963

Up until today, just 0.39" of rain had fallen this month, and it appeared it would become the driest April on record.  However, an all-day rain brought 0.89", and the month ended up tied for third driest April.  Until 2014, today's rainfall was a record for the date, which was the second smallest amount for a daily record (Sept. 9's daily record is 0.86", which was established back in 1902).

1990

Today's high of 56° (ten degrees below average) was quite a drop from 73° yesterday and 90° two days ago.

2012

The final nine days of April all had chillier than average temperatures - the longest such streak since the end of March last year.  But despite these below average conditions, the month was the unprecedented thirteenth in a row with above average temperatures. 

132013

With a high/low of 68°/51°, today's mean temperature was two degrees above average, just enough to move the month's mean temperature from 0.1 degree below average to right at the average.  Thus, it joined August 1999 and August 1985 as the only months since 1980 to have a mean temperature on par with the monthly average.  April's high was 0.1 above average; the low was 0.1 below average.  However, what was far from average was the month's precipitation, which amounted to just 1.31".  This was 71% below the norm of 4.51", making it the fifth driest April on record (and the driest in 50 years).

2014

Until this year, April 30 was one of three dates that had never seen an inch of rain.  That distinction ended today as nearly five inches flooded the area, with more than half of it falling after 6 PM.  The 4.97" that fell was the ninth greatest daily rainfall on record.  Besides the rain it was also a very raw day, with temperatures only in the 40s.

 

Clipart_torrents_of_rain
2019

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 of any month is nineteen days, in Dec. 1972 and May 1973).  However, despite this high frequency of rainy days, the amount of rain that fell in April, 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).  

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Today in New York Weather History: April 23

 

1952

This was the sixth day in a row with a high of 74° or warmer.  The average high during this streak was 78°, which was 15 degrees above average.

1977

This was the 18th day in a row with no measurable rain.  This followed a rainy four-day period (4/2-5) in which nearly three inches fell. 

Clipart_drought2

1979

Today's high reached 81° under clear skies, the first 80-degree day of the year (a day later than the typical date for the first 80).  

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Today in New York Weather History: April 20

 

1896

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°.

1927

The day after the a pleasant high of 64°, today's high was a summer-like 90°, nearly 30 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, 1896).  After today it would be seven weeks before the next 80-degree reading was reached; and the next 90-degree high wouldn't be until July 13.

 

Broiling sun

1972

The temperature at 4:00 PM was a quite chilly 43°, a drop of forty-three degrees from yesterday afternoon's 4 PM reading of 86°.

1990

Although showers that fell between 11 PM and midnight amounted to just 0.02", it was the first measurable precipitation to fall on this date since 1978.

2005

Today's high and low of 87°/64° was 22 degrees above average, making this the warmest day of the month.  It would be seven weeks before a hotter temperature was reached (93° on June 8). 

 

Clipart_smilingsun

2006

Today's high of 83° was the warmest reading of the month (and came five days after the year's first 80-degree reading), but what was even more notable was the afternoon's bone dry humidity, which fell to 10% at 4:00 PM.  Air this dry in NYC is rare.  (Typical late afternoon humidity in April is around 45%.)

2009

Rain during the PM hours amounted to 1.79", with 0.87" falling between 8:19-10:19 PM.  More precipitation fell today than in the entire month of March (1.75").  Temperatures were on the chilly side, with a high/low of 50°/42°, eight degrees below average. 

 

Morning_rainstorm

2015

Dreary, windy and damp, with rain thru early afternoon that amounted to 1.37".  This was comparable to the amount that fell in the previous 30 days (and it was the biggest rainstorm in three months).  After the wind subsided, fog rolled in during the afternoon.  Today's rainfall accounted for nearly two-thirds of April's total precipitation (2.08").

2016

Today was the seventh day in a row with clear skies and unusually dry conditions, with relative humidity below 20% during the afternoon and early evening (normal is in the 45% to 50% range).  And today saw the lowest humidity level of all the days, as it bottomed out at 9% at 6:00 PM - very similar to ten years earlier on this date. 

 

Dust

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Today in New York Weather History: March 31

 

In the years since 1980 (thru 2019) the average date for the last temperature of freezing or colder in Central Park is March 31.  It has occurred as early as March 1 (in 2020) and as late as April 17 (in 1980).

32 degrees in circle

1937

The low today and the previous three days: 31°-30°-29°-28° (3/28) - all well below average (37°).

1964

The coldest reading of the month occurred this morning, 22°, and this temperature held steady for four hours.  Normal low for the date is in the upper 30s.   Today's high/low of 38°/22° was half of what it was six days earlier (75°/46°).

1980

March went out like a lion as a nor'easter brought winds that gusted close to 40 mph and produced 2.02" of rain (most of it falling from late morning onward).  Afternoon temperatures were only in the 30s.  Today's rainfall made March 1980 the wettest March on record (with 10.41" measured), pushing it past March 1953 and 1876.  (It's since fallen to third, behind 2010 and 1983).    

1987

March ended as it began, with a big rainmaker (2.36" fell on 3/1).  Beginning last night, rain continued thru early afternoon today, amounting to 2.00".  But in the days between these two storms just 0.57" of rain fell.

 

Weather_rain

1989

Today's high of 44° (11 below average) came just three days after a high of 82°.

1997

A nor'easter with 30-45 mph wind gusts dumped 2.32" of rain in New York and record amounts of snow in New England on 4/1 (25" in Boston, 18" in Providence).  A few days earlier New York had been warned of the potential for significant snow accumulation as well, but too much mild air moved in for this to happen.   

Noreaster3

1998

Today's high temperature hit 86°, tying March 29, 1945 for the warmest reading ever recorded in March.  This was the last day of a five-day spring "heat wave".  During this warm spell the average high/low was 82°/61°, twenty-six degrees above average.  The next 80-degree day wouldn't be for another six-and-a-half weeks - and it was the last time until 2021 that a temperature in the 80s was reported in the month of March.  Today also happened to be the home opener for the New York Mets (which they won in 11 innings over Philadelphia).

 

Chart - march madness 1998

 

2003

Five years later the Mets weren't as fortunate playing their home opener on March 31.  Although the game was played under clear skies, the temperature hovered around 40° and a biting wind created a "feels like" temperature of 30°.  No surprise, this was the coldest Opening Day in the 1970-2020 period.  To make matters even worse, the Mets were pounded by the Cubs by a score of 15-2.

2011

This was the earliest date for a Yankees home opener (until 2019) and it was played in raw and damp conditions.  The high was only 43°, twelve degrees colder than average.  After morning showers, no rain fell during the game but showers resumed in the evening.

 

Yankees_logo

2012

Because today was cold (high/low of 43°/38°) and rainy, two March records were NOT set.  The month's mean temperature ended up 0.2 degree cooler than the mildest March on record (in 1945), while the morning's rainfall of 0.26" brought the month's total precipitation to 0.96", preserving March 2006's distinction as the driest March on record (0.80").  Still, this was the twelfth month in a row with above average temperatures, matching a 12-month streak in 1998-99.  Furthermore, this was the driest Jan-Feb-March since 1985.       

2016

The fourth mildest March on record came to a fitting end as the temperature this afternoon rose into the low 70s.  This was the fifth day this month in the 70s (and seven days had highs in the 60s).  Besides being mild, it was also the sixth driest March, with just 1.17" measured - the driest month in two-and-a-half years - since just 0.39" was measured in October 2013.

2017

It was a topsy-turvy March, which came in like a lamb (70° on 3/1) and went out like a lion as today featured an all-day rain (1.51", which came down especially hard after 6 PM) and temperatures that were well below average (high/low of 43°/37°). 

 

Roaring lion

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Looking Back at New York Weather: March 2

Snowy pedestrians

 

After Feb. 5 and Feb. 12, March 2 is the third most likely date to have had a snowfall of an inch or more (since 1869), with it occurring in eighteen years (it's happened nineteen times on 2/5 and 2/12 ).  The last time an inch+ fell on this date was in 2019.  The most to fall on 3/2 is 6.5" in 2009.

 

1891

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 in March (7° on 3/7).

 

9

1986

Since Feb. 18, every day but one had a high between 37° and 40°.  The lows during these thirteen days, however, had a much wider range (from 18° to 36°).

1994

With today's four-inch snowfall (an additional inch fell the next day), New York's snowfall for the winter passed fifty inches, the most since the winter of 1977-78 (when 50.7" was measured).  Today's snow was the fifth that accumulated four inches or more this winter.

 

Clipart_snowman5

1996

With today's snowfall of 4.6", Central Park set a new seasonal snowfall record, with 66.3" measured.  This surpassed the winter of 1947-48, when 63.2" fell (and included, at the time, New York's largest snowfall of all-time).  Even more distance would be created between this and the previous record by an additional ten inches of snow in the next four weeks.

2006

After today's 0.52" of precipitation (including 1.3" of snow), the rest of the month would receive only 0.28" more, making this the driest March on record. 

2007

2.41" of rain poured down in the morning, with the last drops over by 11 AM (with 2.03" falling between 1:00 and 8:00).  It was a record amount for the date.

2009

8.3" of snow fell from a quick-moving storm that moved in last night (when 1.8" fell), making it the largest accumulation of the winter - and the most in three years.  12-15" fell out on Long Island.  This was the last measurable snowfall of the winter.

 

Clipart_snowman2

2018

The day after March came in like a lamb, 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 gusts were around 35 mph), gusts of 50-70 mph were common at New York's three major airports, on Long Island, the Jersey shore, and southern New England.  Temperatures were mostly in the mid-to-upper 30s (with wind chills in the upper 20s).

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Today in New York Weather History: February 15

 

1869

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.)

1939

The temperature dropped from 62° late in the afternoon to 29° by midnight.  And by 7:00 AM on 2/16 it was 16°.

1943

Today's high was 8° after a low of -8° (third coldest low on record).  No high or low since then has been colder.  This was the second day this winter with a high in the single digits (the other occurred on Dec. 20, when the high/low was 8°/-4°).

 

Oldmanwinter3

1954

Two days after the low was 11°, this afternoon's high soared to 69° under clear skies (32 degrees above average, but four degrees from the record set in 1949).

1967

Two days after the coldest reading of the winter, 4° above zero, today's high reached 60°, melting the last of the snow on the ground from the snowstorm of Feb. 6-7 that dumped 12.5".

1980

Today was the 24th day in a row with no precipitation.  Total precipitation for Jan/Feb was just 2.76", half of what typically falls in these months.  These twenty-four days were also cold as temperatures averaged three degrees below normal.

 

Clipart_sizzlingsun2

1982

Today was Presidents' Day and the high/low of 57°/34° was one degree milder than the high/low reported last year on the holiday (which fell on 2/16).  Years later nearly identical temperatures would also occur on Presidents' Day 2010 and 2009, which also fell on the same dates as '82 and '81.  Temperatures were colder, with the highs being the same (40°) and the lows one degree apart (28° and 27°).      

1984

1.73" of rain fell today, with 0.75" pouring down in a 60-minute period between 6:45-7:45 AM.  Temperatures were mild, with a high of 58°.

1986

The 0.1" of snow that fell today just after midnight was the only measurable snow to fall on this date between 1971-2013 (1.6" would fall in 2014).

1987

Today was the coldest day of the winter, with a high/low of 22°/4°, twenty degrees colder than average.

 

Clipart_shivering2

2015

Arctic cold returned, made even more frigid by winds gusting between 30-45 mph.  Temperatures were in the teens throughout the day, and then dropped like a rock into the single digits after 8:00 PM and down to 4° by midnight.  Wind chills were between -5° and -15°.  Meanwhile, the latest winter storm was yet another non-event (just 0.9" fell yesterday), making it the seventh such under-performer of the past two months.  However, it dumped another fifteen inches of snow on beleaguered Boston, bringing its total snowfall this season to 96 inches (75 inches more than NYC's total).

2020

This morning's low of 14° was the coldest reading this 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).

 

 

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Cold & Dry: A Snow Lover's Nightmare

Snowless_winter

 

Cold temperatures and snow seem to go hand-in-hand but it's not always the case.  Every now and then (about once every four years) we experience an extended period of below average temperatures with little snow to show for it - torture for snow bunnies.  For example, the winter of 2014 had a stretch of 31 days between Feb. 25 and March 27 in which temperatures were 6.6 degrees colder than average, but just 0.3" of snow fell.  What made this even more striking was the fact that it followed a record-setting 30-day period from Jan. 20 and Feb. 18 in which 42.1" of snow fell (it was a relief, however, for New York's snow removal budget).  

 

Probably the most notable cold and snow-free stretch of days was the bitter cold December of 1989.  Temperatures that month were 11 degrees below average but just a little more than an inch of snow fell.  And the winters of 1963 and 1968 each had two extended periods of very cold weather with little snow to speak of.  The chart below lists the thirteen least snowy periods since 1960 during periods of unseasonably cold weather, ranked by degrees below average.  

 

COLD WEATHER, BUT LITTLE SNOW
(Winters 1960-2020)
         
     # of Degrees  
Period Year Days Below Avg Snow
Jan. 1-17 1968 17 -13.7 3.6"
Nov. 29 - Dec. 29 1989 31 -10.8 1.4"
Dec. 9-18 1988 10 -10.0 0.3"
Feb. 10-26 1968 17 -8.5 0.0"
Dec. 27 - Jan. 5 1963 10 -7.4 T
Dec. 18 - Jan. 2 1984 16 -7.4 2.0"
Feb. 25 - Mar. 27 2014 31 -6.6 0.3"
Dec. 11 - Jan. 2 1981 23 -6.1 3.1"
Jan. 17 - Mar. 9 2007 52 -5.8 6.9"
Dec. 1-29 2000 29 -5.5 1.4"
Jan. 28 - Feb. 19 1963 23 -5.3 0.9"
Jan. 24 - Mar. 3 1980 40 -3.3 2.7"
(Analysis of NOAA Local Climatological Data)