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August 2022 Is New York's Third Hottest On Record


Hazy midtown


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


Chart - 5 hottest augusts as of 2022

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


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


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


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

Symmetry of August Lows


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



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


Chart - 10 hottest meteorological summers



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


Here are monthly recaps for past Augusts:










Aug 3 - jet skis on hudson


Lackluster Heat Waves




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


Chart- most tepid 4-day heat waves

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


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


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

August 2016 Passes August 2015 as Third Hottest


Third place 


One year after New York sweated through its third hottest August on record, August 2016 was a wee bit hotter, by 0.2 degrees.  This margin was due to warmer nights (71.8° vs. 71.0°) as the average high of 86.6° was a bit below last year's 86.9°.  And after July 2016 was the wettest in seven years, August reverted to the dryness of the first half of the year as its 1.97" made it the driest August in twenty years.  However, what August and July had in common were cool starts as July 1-4 was 3.6 degrees below average and Aug. 1-4 was 2.8 degrees cooler than average.  Another similarity was five-day heat waves (July 21-25 and Aug. 11-15), making this the first summer since 2002 to have two heat waves that were five days or longer. 


Here are  further details about August 2016: 

  • August had seven days in the 90s.  Interestingly, there have been twelve Augusts with ten or more 90-degree days, with all but one of them cooler than August 2016.  Why?  Like July, it was due to an absence of any sustained period of cool air.  The coolest high was 79° (on two dates), and the most below average day was just 3 degrees below average.  (August 2005, the second hottest on record, also had fewer than ten 90-degree days.)  In addition to the seven 90-degree days there were also five days with highs of 88° or 89° (all in the last two weeks).


Augusts 10 or More 90 Deg Days

  • Aug. 13, with a high of 96°/81°, was the hottest day of the year, passing July 23 and its high/low of 96°/80°.  However, when the heat indexes of each day are compared, the two days weren't close.  Aug. 13 was very humid and the heat index reached an unbearable 110° while July 23 had low humidity, which produced a heat index that was a few degrees below the air temperature.  For five consecutive days (Aug. 10-14) dew points never fell below 70°, and during those days heat indexes remained above 90° until nearly midnight.   
  • The 16-day streak of above average mean temperatures from Aug. 6-21 was the longest streak of the year.  Then two days after it ended a refreshing low of 61° was the "chilliest" reading since 6/18.  (Then unseasonably warm conditions returned for the final week of the month.)
  • A very fascinating thing happened on Aug. 25, when the year's total precipitation matched exactly the amount on that date last year - 26.92" (more than five inches below average).  And this continued for a few more days.
  • This August joined five others that were hot and dry.


Hot Dry Augusts

  • In the 12-day period from Aug. 11-22, measurable rain fell on ten of the days - but the amount that fell was a modest 1.90" (by contrast, a similar rainy stretch in the first half of Sept. 1974. saw 7.40" fall).  And much of the rain fell in just a half-hour period on Aug. 20 when 0.82" poured down during lunchtime - this was the same localized afternoon rainstorm that dumped three to five inches of rain on the north shore of Long Island.


Dry Rainy Periods

  • Both August 2016 and 2015 were hotter than July.  This was just the sixth time that back-to-back Augusts had this distinction.  And although the difference between August's and July's mean temperatures in 2016 and 2015 was minimal, this was because July of both years was well above average in temperature.


Aug Hotter Than July

  • Finally, July and August 2016 became the fifth hottest July-August combination on record, 0.1 degree ahead of July and August of 2015.  And this summer joined fourteen others that had two or more days with 80-degree lows, with one each in July and August.


Hottest JulyAug Combos


Hot forecast
The typical weather map in August 2016.












































Record Highs & Lows: The Home Runs of Weather Reporting


Record.cold Record.heat


Because of the excitement they generate I like to think of record high and low temperatures as the home runs of the weather world.  Since weather records for New York go all the way back to 1869 it's a challenge for new ones to be set.  Still, since 2000 (thru 2018) there have been 82 records set or tied, which is about four every year (in 2018 two new record highs were established and two were tied).  However, only nine of the 82 were record lows (most recently on Nov. 11, 2017).  Here are some other interesting facts about New York's temperature extremes:


  • The oldest-standing record is the record low of March 1 which goes all the way back to the first year of record keeping, 1869.  The oldest-standing record high occurred nearly as far back, on Jan. 23, 1874.  The newest record (thru the end of 2018) was set on May 3, 2018 when the high reached 92°.
  • 22 record highs and 91 record lows stand alone, i.e. not shared with other years.  The most years tied for a record on one date is six, for record lows on three dates: March 3 (11°), June 2 (48°) and Sept. 8 (54°).  (Ties would be less prevalent if daily temperatures were reported to one decimal point.)
  • There are 21 current records that broke a record set the previous year (12 for lows, nine for highs).  The most recent occurrence was in 1994 when the record high on June 19 broke the previous record set the year before.




  • The most that a record beat the previous record by was 19 degrees on Sept. 7, 1881 (101° vs. 82°).  There are 31 current high temperature records that beat the previous record by 10 degrees or more.  The most recent happened on Feb. 21, 2018 when the new record high was 10 degrees above the previous record (78° vs. 68°).  Eight record lows exceeded the previous record by 10 degrees or more, with the largest difference being 14 degrees on Dec. 18, 1919 (-1° vs. 13°).
  • Of the 150 years since 1869, three had no record highs or lows: 1870, 1958 and 1992.  The year with the most records was 1888 when 49 were set (38 were record lows, 11 record highs).  In recent years the year with the most records was 2001, which had 15 (14 record highs, one record low).  These figures reflect records that may no longer be valid, with many broken in subsequent years.  Looking at records that are still standing, 1888 still has the most, but the figure is 18; it's tied with 1875.  
  • The mildest reading for a record low is 59°, and it has occurred twice - on July 29 (in 1914) and on Aug. 1 (1964).  The lowest temperature for a record high is 54°, which was set on Feb. 7, 1938.  
  • Finally, New York's all time hottest and coldest temperatures occurred just two years apart, in 1934 (-15° on Feb. 9) and in 1936 (106° on July 9).




Chart - record highs and lows


(This post was inspired by an in-depth compilation of data supplied by Eugene De Marco, another New York City weather hobbyist.)





Summertime in New York as Portrayed by Covers of The New Yorker




Covers of The New Yorker not only capture the personality of the residents of New York but also the beauty and humor of the various seasons there.  This post looks at my favorite covers that celebrate summertime in the City, either through humor, childhood memories or the depiction of leisurely stay-vacations in the area. 


Sweet Relief (June 6, 1959)


By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea (July 29, 1961)


Congestion on the Hudson (June 1, 1963)


At the Shore (Aug. 5, 1967)


Greeting Their Master (Aug. 24, 1968)


Baking (Aug. 15, 1970)


Above the Fray (Sept. 2, 1972)


El Sol (June 10, 1972)


Manhattan High (Aug. 13, 1973)


Far From the Madding Crowd (Aug. 23, 1976)


Not a Care in the World (Aug. 11, 1977)


Hazy, Hot & Humid (Aug. 16,1982 )


Perfect Summer Day (July 19, 1982)


Life's A Beach (Aug. 20, 1984)


Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer (July 21, 1986)


UV Protection (Aug. 24, 1987)


Summer in the City (June 12, 1995)


King Kong & the Super Soaker (Aug. 1, 2005)


Not All Therapists Take August Off (Aug. 7, 2006)


Hot Fun in the Summertime (July 23, 2007)


New yorker - august 2017


I've written a similar post about my favorite wintertime covers.  Large reproductions of these covers, as well as every New Yorker cover (nearly 5,000), are available for purchase on Conde Nast's website.  (And small versions are sold by street vendors throughout midtown Manhattan.)




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




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).







Today in New York Weather History: May 19


1962 (Saturday)

The high temperature soared to 99°, making this the hottest reading ever recorded in the month of May.  (The temperature jumped 41 degrees in ten hours after the day's low at 6 AM.)  May's previous hottest temperature was 96°, which occurred in three years - 1880, 1939 and 1941.  Some relief arrived between 8-9 PM when a thundershower moved through, dropping the temperature from 87° to 70°.




1975 (Monday)

Seven of the eight days since 5/12 had morning lows of 58° or 59°, five degrees above average.  The one "outlier" had a low of 60°. 




1976 (Wednesday)

It was a raw and chilly day, more like March 19 than May 19, with a high/low of only 52°/38°.  This was eighteen degrees below average.  Morning showers made the day feel even colder.


1994 (Thursday)

A raw and damp day, with a high of only 54°, eighteen degrees below average.  The last time there was a high temperature this chilly was on April 12 (when the high of 54° was just five degrees below average).


1997 (Monday)

Today was the only day of the month that warmed into the 80s (the high was 83°), the fewest number of 80-degree days since May 1983, which had none.  (2003 and 2005 would also have no days in the 80s.)  This lack of 80-degree temperatures contributed to making this the chilliest May in thirty years.




2005 (Thursday)

Today was the second consecutive day with a high/low of 70°/53°, replicating a pair of 70°/53° highs/lows on May 18-19, 1932.


2017 (Friday)

Today's high of 91° was the third day in a row with a high in the 90s - the first time for a three-day heat wave in May since 2001 (and the 34th year, since 1869, to begin its 90-degree readings with a heat wave).  Cooler air moved in after 8 PM and by midnight the temperature had fallen to 66°.  (It would then be three weeks before a temperature of 80° or warmer was reached.)


2023 (Friday)

Today was the last day of a 14-day streak with sunny or clear skies.   Temperatures were 2.5 degrees above average during this streak.  Embedded in this two-week period was a 12-day streak in which humidity during the afternoon dropped to 25% or lower.

Sunny and mild







A Look Back at New York Weather: May 8


1980 (Thursday)

Today's chilly high of 56° (twelve degrees below average) came three days after a high of 90°.


1984 (Tuesday)

This was the fourth day in a row with a high temperature of 69° (one degree above average).  And three of the mornings had lows of 53° (two degrees above average).


2000 (Monday)

Today's high was 91°, the second day in a row with a record high. 


2011 (Sunday)

It was a near-perfect Mother's Day, with a high of 74°, five degrees milder than average.  Bright sunshine in the morning gave way to a mix of sun and puffy cumulus clouds during the afternoon. 


2013 (Wednesday)

Nearly two-and-a-half inches of rain poured down during morning rush hour - twelve times the amount that fell in the previous twenty-five days (0.19").  Including additional showers that moved thru at lunchtime, 3.02" fell in total, equal to the amount measured during the previous eight weeks.  Manhattan was the bulls-eye for this torrential rain - the biggest rain storm since September 2011, and the most rain to fall in a 24-hour period in May since 1978.  Additionally, today's amount was a record for the date, breaking the previous one set in the 19th century.




2016 (Sunday)

After having highs of 70° or warmer on the previous five Mother's Days (with four of the five in the 74°-83° range), today's was a chillier than average 65°, which made it the chilliest MD since 2010 (when the high was only 52°).  However, after a period of rain around daybreak, the sun broke through late in the morning and the afternoon was sunny, breaking a week-long streak of overcast skies.  And although today's high temperature was four degrees below average, this was the warmest reading since 4/25.




2020 (Friday)

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



Today in New York Weather History: April 27


1915 (Tuesday)

Two days after the temperature soared into the 90s, it did so again today.  But after reaching 92° shortly before 4:30 (one degree hotter than 4/25), a cold front swept through a few hours later and the temperature dropped to 54° by midnight (similar to what happened two days ago.)  Tomorrow's afternoon temperatures would be just in the upper 40s.




1962 (Friday)

In a span of 13 hours the temperature soared from 51° at 1 AM to 91° by 2 PM.


1990 (Friday)

Just like 1962, the day's temperature soared from 51° to 91°.  This was the earliest date for a year's first 90-degree reading since 1977 (when it occurred on 4/12).




1994 (Wednesday)

0.41" of rain fell during a twenty-minute thunderstorm later in the afternoon (4:27-4:47 PM).  After a cool start (low of 50°), it turned into a warm day as the high reached 82°.




2007 (Friday)

2.07" of rain, a record for the date, brought April's rainfall total to 13.05".  This was a morning rainfall, with a little more than half of the amount pouring down between 3-5 AM.




Today in New York Weather History: April 25


1875 (Sunday)

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 in Central Park on record.


1915 (Sunday)

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 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.




1919 (Friday)

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 would be very similar (44°/31°).  Both days also had winds that gusted to 25 mph, making it feel like it was in the 30s.


1960 (Monday)

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 (Wednesday)

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 (Sunday)

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 (Thursday)

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°.




2007 (Wednesday)

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


2009 (Saturday)

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°.  This was the sixth time a diurnal variation of 33 degrees or more occurred on 4/25 - tying 4/19 for the most of any calendar date. 




2010 (Sunday)

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 (Wednesday)

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


2024 (Thursday)

The humidity dropped to 12% for a few hours this afternoon, the lowest level reported this year, and matching last year's lowest humidity (on 4/11).