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The Towering Clouds & Beautiful Sunsets During Summer 2016

 

Sheridan sq sunset

 

I've always had an appreciation for clouds and sunsets.  Five years ago I probably wouldn't have been able to write this post because I didn't have my smartphone with its camera.  Now I'm able to snap photos at a moments notice, enabling me to capture this summer's overabundance of photo-ready thunderheads and stunning sunsets.  And because I live in the West Village I probably notice them more since the low-rise buildings make the sky much more accessible than in Midtown Manhattan.  I hope you enjoy the photo revue that follows ... 

 

Sunset in my face
The photo display begins with one of me along the Westside Highway at dusk during Memorial Day weekend.

 

Rays of sun
Rays of the setting sun stream over Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village.

 

Sunset in mckees rocks
I took this photo during a June visit to Pittsburgh to see my mother. These clouds brought to mind those I'd often see over the Atlantic Ocean close to sundown on Fire Island.

 

July 1 2016
Taken on July 1, this photo shows a thundercloud from a storm that struck half an hour earlier. Although it was around 9PM the top of the cloud was catching the rays of sun that was below the horizon.

 

Sun thru slate gray
Early evening sun filtered through a slate gray sky over Sheridan Square.

 

Towering thunderclouds in glen rock
This isn't a cloud formation in New York but it deserves an honorable mention.  I snapped the photo of this breathtaking thunderhead during a weekend visit to south central Pennsylvania in the midst of a late July heat wave.

 

Moonshine
Taken from my kitchen looking east as the full moon was rising.

 

Sunset aug 3
This was the view on 7/28 looking east from the 44th floor of an apartment building on the  Upper West Side. The light pastel coloring was the result of a fire in a warehouse in Long Island City (Queens) an hour earlier.

 

Gathering clouds by grand central
Taken as I was walking to the subway after work on 42nd St. across from across from Grand Central Terminal.

 

Glorious clouds and sun
Looking west from Sheridan Square at around 6PM in mid-August. Seeing it I felt I was in the presence of the Divine.

 

Cloud tower
Early evening on a hot day in mid-August.  These mountainous clouds brought a quick downpour to upper Manhattan, but not to Greenwich Village.

 

Towering
Similar view and thunderclouds as the previous photo but on a different day one month later.

 

10 charles street
The same cloud formation as it moved behind the apartment building at 10 Charles St.

 

Puffy and wispy
Wispy and puffy clouds over the West Village.

 

Sunset christopher pier
Sunset on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, taken on Christopher St. pier, which looks out across the Hudson River.

 

Pastel sundown
This is how the sun's rays from the above sunset reflected on the bank of towering clouds in the east.  Reminds me of rainbow sherbet.

 

Up from subway
I snapped this photo shortly after I came out of the Christopher St. subway station in the early evening. This view is looking east.

 

Orange red sunset
Taken the evening of Sept. 11 as I left the gym on Seventh Ave. South.

 

Sept14 sunset
Taken on Sept. 14 close to the West Side Highway in Chelsea, shortly after a late afternoon thunderstorm. A few hours earlier the temperature was in the low 90s, the last 90-degree day of the year.

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Lga sunset
6PM on Sept. 15, awaiting take-off at LaGuardia Airport.

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Golden sunset
Finally, a golden sunset on Sept. 17 during a visit to my childhood neighborhood in McKees Rocks, PA.

 

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July 2016 Weather Recap - A Month in the Tropics

 

Rain drops

The1990s

 

As we entered the last week of July it appeared the month's headline story would be about the heat, which took hold in the second half of the month.  But when three one-inch rainstorms occurred in the last week, the month's storyline became the combination of heat and rain.  A hot July is usually on the dry side (with rainfall about 30% below average), while a rainy July is cooler than average (by one or two degrees).  July 2016, however, was an anomaly in that it was the 21st wettest and 22nd hottest (going back to 1870). 

 

WELCOME RAINFALL

The 7.02" of rain measured in Central Park made July the rainiest month since April 2014.  It was also the wettest July since 2009.  Additionally, the month's rainfall was more than what fell in the previous twelve weeks (since April 10).  Finally, only one July has been hotter and wetter than this July - July 1988, which had 8.14" of rain and was 2.7 degrees hotter than average (see chart at bottom of page).  In addition to the three one-inch rainfalls at the end of the month, a rainstorm that began the night of July 4th (after the Macy's fireworks exhibition had ended) and lasted through the next morning also delivered more than an inch.  And while this rain helped reduce the year's rain deficit (which was also an issue last year), it was still four inches below average at the end of the month (13% below average).

 

HOT, BUT DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE

The month began with three days in a row with highs in the pleasant 70s, the first time since July 1960 that the month started this way.  Then from July 14-30 the average high/low was 90°/73°, 4.5 degrees above average.  And fifteen days between July 6-29 had highs of 88° or hotter.  Additionally, eight days had lows of 75° or warmer, with the warmest being 80°.

 

Nyc policeman cools off

 

After having no 90-degree days in June, July had ten (the average is eight), with seven occurring in an eight-day span from 7/21-28.  The one day that didn't reach 90° had a high of 89°.  If the temperature had reached 90° on that day (as it did at Newark and LaGuardia Airports) we  would have had an eight-day heat wave, which would have been the longest since 2002.)  The hottest day of the month was July 23, with a high/low of 96°/80°, eleven degrees above average.  However, July 25, with a high of 93°, felt hotter because it was much more humid and the heat index reached 102° (the feel-like temperature on the 23rd was actually 94° because of low humidity.) 

 

And while the second half of the month was hot and sultry, it was over-hyped by the media and some meteorologists, who put a sinister spin on the term "heat dome", leaning heavily on the global warming angle.  (I was interviewed on TV about the heat wave and I played it down as nothing extraordinary, especially compared to truly brutal heat waves of the past.)

 

Heat dome

 

 

CLOUD-COVER CURIOSITY

Despite all of the rain, the month was very sunny.  On the National Weather Service's scale of cloud-cover, where zero is clear skies and ten is overcast, the month averaged a 2.8, with 19 days having clear or sunny days (a rating of zero to 2).  However, what's peculiar is that Newark and LaGuardia were much cloudier (6.3), but hotter.  JFK Airport also had a 6.3 but with slightly lower temperatures than Central Park. 

 

Is this reality or is there a difference in the way Central Park scales cloud cover?  It seems counter-intuitive that Newark and LGA, with so much cloud cover, would have 15 and 16 90-degree days, respectively, while sunny Central Park had "just" 10 hot days.  Another peculiarity is the fact that Central Park reported no thunderstorms in July but JFK and Newark had seven and LGA four.  Working in Midtown Manhattan, I heard thunder and saw lightning during a number of storms so I'm baffled by this.

 

Cloud Cover in July 2016  

Finally, despite how warm the month was (2.2 degrees above average), four other Julys since 2010 were hotter:  2015, 2013, 2011 and 2010.  And although July of last year was 0.1 degree hotter, this July had twice as many days in the 90s.

 

Hot Wet July

 

 

 

 

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The Summer of 1908's Puzzling Nighttime 'Heat Bubble'

 

Coney island 1908

 

Reviewing New York's weather statistics over the past 145 years reveals that the years before 1930 were noticeably cooler than the years that followed (especially after 1980), which have seen some of the warmest years on record.  But, curiously, a number of the summers during the first decade of the 20th century had uncharacteristically warm nights, in particular, 1908.  That year stands out for a seven-week period with unusually warm nighttime temperatures unlike any that have been experienced - even in recent years.  Although highs during those weeks were three or four degrees above average, the average low of 74.5° was eight degrees above average.  Between June 30 and Aug. 17, fifteen days had lows of 77° or warmer, eight of them of 80°+.  No other summer has had that many sultry low temperatures.  It was these lows that made July the warmest on record until 1952. 

 

Sultry low temperatures became more common after 1990, but not during the first half of the 20th century.  In addition, the diurnal variation in the summer of 1908 was very narrow, with high and lows on many days ten degrees apart or less (typical is about sixteen degrees).  What was it about the air masses or jet stream in July 1908 that prevented temperatures from cooling down after dark?  Was it a matter of air pollution/particles of soot that prevented the temperature from falling at night?  This holding onto daytime heat is a characteristic of global warming experienced during the 21st century, but one hundred years ago it was unheard of.

 

Heat bubble

 

The chart below compares July 1908's average high/low temperature to those of eighteen other hot Julys.  What it shows is that the average highs of these hot months were two or three degrees warmer than July 1908, but July 1908's average low was warmer than every hot July by that same margin, with the exception of July 2013, which had the same sultry low.

 

July 1908 NYC 

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As Seen on TV ...

Pix11

Occasionally, I've been asked to provide my point of view about weather events on New York TV station WPIX.  PIX-11 news reporter James Ford came across my blog back in 2014 and has contacted occasionally to get my historical perspective on weather conditions.  (What's made it easier for both of us is the fact that PIX's office is conveniently down the street from my office on 42nd St.)  Here are the nine appearances I've made (so far) including links to each :   

 

 

Revised.wpix
Nov. 10, 2014.  In my first appearance I was asked to comment about an approaching Arctic front that would drop temperatures to more than 10 degrees below average between the 13th and 22nd. At its coldest, the high/low on Nov. 19 was 36/22, eighteen degrees below average.

 

Rob.frydlewicz.wpix.jan8
Jan. 8, 2015. Talking about another Arctic air mass (which had me wearing earmuffs).

 

RobFrydlewicz_deepfreeze_pix11
Feb. 16, 2015. Here I am in front of my apartment building (it was President's Day) commenting about the coldest February since 1930.  As you can tell by the pained expression on my face, it was very cold, with a wind chill of 5° below zero at the time of the interview.

 

8.me on tv
May 6, 2016.  Commenting about the cool, damp and overcast conditions during the first week of May.

 

Me again on tv
July 22, 2016.  And here I am in front of Penn Station (my train to Lancaster, PA was leaving in 15 minutes) giving my perspective about a heat wave that I thought was over-hyped.

 

 

Me on pix
March 14, 2017 - I was asked to comment about the snowstorm that brought "only" 7.6" of snow rather than the 12-18" that was predicted (the storm produced a lot of sleet) and on the admission by the National Weather Service that it knew this was going to happen but decided not to lower snow totals.

 

Pix interview july 13
July 13, 2017 - On the 40th anniversary of the Blackout of 1977 I was asked to provide some perspective about the heat wave that coincided with the event (which was one of the City's most intense).

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Rob frydlewicz on pix-11 jan 30 2019
Jan. 30, 2019 - After an 18-month absence I was asked to comment about an approaching Arctic front. Shortly after this interview a blinding snow squall its arrival and the temperature plummeted from the low 30s to 6° above zero by midnight.

 

 

August 2019 on pix
Aug. 19, 2019 - On the second day with a high of 90° and dew points in the low-to-mid 70s, I was asked to comment on the hot weather. As I've said before this was far from the heat waves we had in 2010, 2011 and 2012. However, it's the warmer nights that were worthy of note. 

Hot, Wet New York Summers

 

Kids.in.rain

 

During the summer months clouds, thunderstorms or winds coming off the ocean often prevent temperatures from rising into the 90s.  However, there are occasional stifling days when high temperatures and thunderstorms co-exist, creating tropical conditions that wouldn't be out of place in Bangkok or Manila.  On average New York experiences about four of these days every year; most occur in July and August.  These downpours are usually of short duration (15 minutes up to a few hours).  This post takes a look at some of these summertime days that featured a combination of wicked heat as well as heavy rainfall. 

 

In the summer of 2019 the most tropical conditions were experienced on July 17.  On that day a severe thunderstorm between 8-9 PM dumped more rain (1.14") than what fell in the previous three weeks.  Earlier in the day sauna-like conditions prevailed as the dew point reached the mid-70s, the temperature rose to 93° and the heat index reached 105°.  It also appeared today would be one of those rare summer days with a low of 80°+, but when tonight's storm moved in the temperature dropped to 73°.  Rain continued after the initial storm, adding an additional 0.68", making this the wettest day of the year.  This moisture was from the remnants of what was hurricane Barry, which had flooded Louisiana earlier in the week. 

 

Three days have had highs of 100° or hotter and thunderstorms:

  • July 18, 2012 - High/Low of 100°/73°. 1.76" of rain fell from  severe thunderstorms that moved through between 2:30 and 5:00; most of the rain fell in the two hours between 2:40 and 4:40.  By 4:00 the temperature had fallen to 73°.  Before the storms moved in the heat index was close to 110° and during the early part of the thunderstorms the dew point was in the mid-70s.
  • July 21, 1991 - High/Low of 102°/74°.  0.46" of rain fell during a thunderstorm between 6-7 PM.  The heat index was between 105° and 110°.
  • July 14, 1954 - High/Low of 100°/69°.  0.37" of rain fell during thunderstorms between 10:30 PM -12:30 AM.  This was also the rainiest day of a dry July.

 

The following six days had hot temperatures and more than two inches of rain (ranked in descending chronological order):

  • Aug. 14, 2005 - High/Low of 96°/72°.  After the high temperature was reached around 2:30 PM three thunderstorms between 3 PM and 1 AM dumped 3.10" of rain.  The storm between 7-8 PM produced 1.70" (with nearly an inch falling in a 20-minute period) while the third storm dumped 0.83" between 10-11 PM.  Dew points were in the low to mid-70s and the heat index rose to 104° in the early afternoon.
  • Aug. 8, 2007 - This hot, wet day was different from the others in that torrential rain fell at dawn.  2.50" poured down between 5-7:00 AM, flooding (and shutting down large portions of the subway system).  And a tornado touched down in Brooklyn.  After a low of 73° the temperature rose to 90° in the afternoon.

 

Torrential rainstorm august 8 2007

 

  • July 21 , 1983 - High/Low of 95°/69°.  The 2.26" of rain that fell in the evening became known as the 'Diana Ross Thunderstorm' because it forced Ross to stop her free concert in Central Park when a severe storm bore down shortly after her performance began.  The rain fell heavily for three hours, from 6:30 until 9:30.
  • Aug. 26 1941 - On a day that had a high/low of 93°/68°, 2.30" of rain fell, most of it between 6:15 and 8 PM.  The day before 1.83" of rain in the early afternoon, but the high was only 75°.
  • July 1, 1933 - After a high of 94°, a heat index in the low 100s and dew points in the low 70s, 2.16" of rain poured down between 8:25 (when the temperature was 88°) and 10:45 PM.
  • June 27, 1932 - High/Low of 90°/72°.  Much of the day's 2.11" of rain fell between 8:00 and 10 PM, but there was also a quick downpour between 5:00 and 6 PM.  During the first half of the afternoon the dew point was in the mid-70s.  

 

And here are other days with highs mostly in the mid-to-upper 90s along with significant rainfall:

  • July 22, 2020 - High/Low of 92°/72° and 1.42" of rain, most of which fell between 6:30 and 7:30 PM during a severe thunderstorm.  The day's low had been 77° but fell into the low 70s during the storm.
  • July 25, 2016 - High/Low of 93°/73° and an inch of rain, which fell from 2:45 until 5:45 PM. During the thunderstorms the dew point rose to 77°
  • July 30, 2015 - A sultry high/low of 87°/76° was accompanied by a series of downpours and thunderstorms that produced 1.95" of rain between 1:00 and 5:00 PM.  During a 20-minute period between 1:24 and 1:44 an inch of rain poured down.  Afternoon dew points were in the oppressive mid-70s and the heat index reached the mid-90s before the rain moved in.J
  • July 7, 2012 - High/Low of 97°/72° and 0.50" of rain.  The rain fell during a late thunderstorm between 10 PM and midnight.
  • July 18, 2006 - High/Low of 95°/71° and 0.69" of rain.  Most of the rain was measured between 10-11 PM.
  • Aug. 2, 2002 - High/Low of 97°/70° and 0.70" of rain.  0.42" poured down in a 15-minute period between 8:15 and 8:30 PM.
  • July 8, 1994 - High/Low of 94°/73° and 0.82" inches of rain.  Much of the rain (0.70") fell from a thunderstorm between 3-4 PM.
  • Aug. 28, 1993 - High/Low of 95°/71° and 0.53" of rain.  All of the rain fell in an hour between 5-6 PM.
  • July 23, 1991 - High/Low of 99°/72° and 0.53" of rain.  A thunderstorm between 5:30 and 7 PM brought all of the rain.
  • July 17, 1988 - High/Low of 94°/71° and 1.21" of rain.  A strong thunderstorm dumped an inch of rain in an hour between 6:30 and 7:30 PM.  Earlier in the day there had also been showers in the wee hours of the morning.
  • July 1, 1971 - High/Low of 94°/73° and 1.56" of rain.  Thunderstorms moved in after 3 PM, with much of the rain falling from two storms between 3-4:00 (0.42") and 6-7:00 (0.65"). 
  • July 18, 1969 - High/Low of 94°/77° and 0.88" of rain.  All of the rain poured down in the hour between 4-5 PM.
  • Aug. 7, 1955 - High/Low of 93°/73° and 0.97" of rain.  The rain fell from a mid-afternoon thunderstorm between 3-4 PM and a nighttime thunderstorm between 9:30-midnight.
  • July 28, 1949 - High/Low of 97°/77° and 1.10" of rain.  (No hourly information is available for this month.)
  • Aug 16, 1944 - High/Low of 96°/73° and 0.88" of rain.  The rain fell between 5:30-8:40 PM.  This was the seventh day in a row with a high of 95° or hotter (and tomorrow would be the eighth).
  • July 11, 1940 - High/Low of 92°/67° and 1.94" of rain. (No hourly information is available for this month.)
  • July 7, 1934 - High/Low of 97°/74° and 0.83" of rain.  Rain fell during two thunderstorms between 8-9 PM and midnight-1 AM.  (The National Weather Service doesn't recognize Daylight Time and uses Standard Time year-round for its official records.)  Before the storms moved in the humidity was around 45% range but then jumped above 90% once the clouds opened up.
  • July 28, 1931 - High/Low of 97°/78° and 0.26" of rain.  The heat index was around 100°, and just before a mid-afternoon thunderstorm moved in it was in the low 100s as the humidity rose from 40% to 80%.  The rain fell in a short period of time, between 4:05 and 4:40 PM.
  • July 13, 1916 - High/Low of 94°/70° and 0.97" of rain.  Two thunderstorms produced the rain, between 4-5 PM and 6-8 PM.  Shortly before the storms moved in the dew point was an incredibly uncomfortable 80° and heat index at 3 PM was a wicked 112°.

 

For an entire summer, the hottest and wettest summer is that of 1991.  It was the 12th hottest and had 15.86" of rain (average amount is 12.50").  Second is the summer of 1983 which was fifth hottest and had 13.48" of rain.  Other warm and wet summers include 2011, 2006 and 1984.

 Heat and Rain

 

Rain forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Cool-and-drops

 

In 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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July 2015 Weather Recap: A Very Warm Second Half

 Fireworks2

 

  • Although July 2015 was warmer than average (+2.2 degrees), three of the Julys since 2010 were hotter.  Overall it was the 19th hottest July since 1900.  Only six days were cooler than average.  After being close to average during the first two-and-a-half weeks of the month, temperatures from July 19-31 were nearly five degrees above average.
  • The number of 90-degree days was five, which is below the average number of eight.  However, eight days had highs of 88° or 89°, which tied July 1994 for the greatest number of upper-80s highs (going back to 1970).
  • All but two days had highs of 80 or warmer (an average July has six days with highs below 80).  Since 1970 only three Julys have had more 80-degree days (2011, 1994 and 1983). 
  • It appeared the month was going to be the driest July since 2002, but then 1.95" of rain poured down during the afternoon of 7/30, which was as much rain as fell in the previous four weeks.  This was the greatest daily rainfall since 1/18, when 2.10" fell.  It was also the first rain to fall on 7/30 in fifteen years.
  • The month's hottest temperature was 96° on 7/29; the warmest low was 82° on 7/20.  At the other end of the temperature spectrum, July's coolest reading was 64° on 7/16; the coolest high was 75° on 7/4. 
  • Finally, although July 2015 and 2012 had the same mean temperature, their diurnal variations (i.e., the difference between high and low) were very different, with 2015's being 14.2 degrees and 2012's at 17.0.  Although this year's average high was 1.4 degrees cooler than July 2012, the average low was 1.4 degrees warmer.

 

JULY TEMPERATURE AVERAGES SINCE 2010
             
  Average   Degrees Highs of
  High Low Mean +/- 90+ 88/89
2015 85.9 71.7 78.8 +2.3 5 8
2014 83.5 68.8 76.1 -0.4 3 3
2013 86.3 73.4 79.8 +3.3 10 3
2012 87.3 70.3 78.8 +2.3 10 6
2011 88.9 71.6 80.2 +3.7 14 3
2010 90.1 72.6 81.4 +4.9 20 5

 

 

Summertime

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Low Temperatures of 70 Degrees or Warmer: An Analysis

 

70s

 

A typical year in New York sees 38 days with lows in the 70s or 80s, with the first coming around June 3 and the last on Sept. 11.  (This is nine days longer than the "season" for 90-degree high temperatures.)  In the period 1970-2023, the number of these days has ranged from just 14 in 1992 to 60 in 2005  (2010, the year with the hottest summer, had 55.) 

 

The longest streak of lows of 70°+ is 22 days and it occurred twice, in 1980 and 2010.  There was also a 21-day streak in 1988 and a streak of 20 days in the summer of 2022.  The longest streak of days with lows of 75°+ (which we get eight of each year) occurred in the summer of 2013 when there were eight consecutive days in mid-July. 

 

Finally, the earliest low of 70°+ occurred very recently, on April 14, 2023 (passing 2002's first 70 on April 17).  And the latest date was in 2018 on Oct. 10, besting 2017's Oct. 9.  

 

MOST & LEAST 70-DEGREE LOWS
(Since 1970)
       
MOST   Days First Last
2005 60 June 8 Oct 7
2020 58 June 6 Sept 10
2015 56 May 1 Sept 29
2010 55 June 4 Sept 28
2018 54 May 2 Oct 10
1980          54     June 25 Sept 22

Average

38 June 3
Sept 11
       
LEAST   Days First         Last
1992 14 June 8 Sept 9
2009 18 July 16 Aug 26
2000 23 May 8 Sept 12
1975 23 June 19 Aug 26
1976 24 April 18 Aug 28
       

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Comparing Weather Conditions of Summer's Three Big Holidays

 

Previously, I've published separate posts about weather conditions over the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends and for the 4th of July.  This post compares the three side-by-side, looking at them as single-day holidays (i.e., the Mondays of Memorial Day and Labor Day, and the 4th of July) for each year going back to 1970 (thru 2022).

 

Coney.island.crowded    

 

Because of where they fall on the calendar, you'd expect the 4th of July to be the warmest of the three holidays and Memorial Day the coolest, but that's happened in just one-third of the summers.  (On average, the high on Memorial Day is 75°, on 4th of July it's 84°, and 81° on Labor Day.)  Memorial Day has actually been the warmest of the three holidays in five of the years (the last time was in 2014; and tied with 4th of July in two other years), while in fifteen years Labor Day was the warmest (including 2021 and 2022; and tied with 4th of July in two other years).  And July 4th had the coolest high temperature in six years (most recently in 2014 and 2015).

 

YEARS IN WHICH MEMORIAL DAY WAS THE  WARMEST SUMMER HOLIDAY
         
    High Temperature
    Mem Day 4th of July Labor Day
2011   86° 86° 70°
2009   81° 79° 74°
2007   83° 71° 82°
2006   88° 87° 75°
1991   89° 82° 74°
1985   86° 86° 83°
1981   87° 75° 74°
         
         
YEARS IN WHICH  4TH OF JULY WAS COOLEST SUMMER HOLIDAY
         
    Mem Day 4th of July Labor Day
2015   85° 75° 92°
2014   86° 74° 88°
2008   80° 78° 84°
2007   83° 71° 82°
1979   75° 71° 86°
1978   79° 62° 80°
         
     

The summer of 1999 has the distinction of having the warmest three-holiday average temperature, 10 degrees above average, while the summer of 1982 was the coolest, eight degrees below average (with 1992 close behind, at 7.5 degrees below average).

 

WARMEST 3-HOLIDAY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE
       
Summer of 1999      
  High Low Mean
Memorial Day 89 68 78.5
4th of July 96 79 87.5
Labor Day 83 74 78.5
Average 89 74 81.5
       
COOLEST 3-HOLIDAY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE
       
Summer of 1982      
  High Low Mean
Memorial Day 55 50 52.5
4th of July 77 60 68.5
Labor Day 82 60 71
Average 71 57 64
       

 

The holidays during four summers - 1972, 1986, and 2016 had nearly the same high temperatures.  In 1972 the high was 78° on Memorial Day, 79° on 4th of July and 77° on Labor Day, while in 1986 the highs were similar to 1972's, but in a different order (76-77-78).  And 2016's were all in the 80s, with a high of 82° on Memorial Day and 84° on both July 4 and Labor Day.  On the flip side, the greatest variations in high temperatures occurred in the summers of 1974 (55-95-73) and 2003 (56-92-69).

 

In the years covered by this analysis there has never been a summer in which all three holidays had highs in the 90s.  In fact, there has been only one year, 1983, in which two of the three holidays had 90-degree readings (95° on 4th of July, 91° on Labor Day).  Looking at cool temperatures, three summers saw all three holidays fail to reach 80° (1972, 1986 and 2001).

 

Labor Day 1986 has the distinction of having the "coolest" high temperature that was the warmest reading of the summer holidays of any year - 78°.  And in 1972 and 2001 the warmest reading of the three holidays was 79° on 4th of July in both years.

 

Fifteen summers (i.e., about one out of four) were rain-free across all three holidays.  The last time this happened was in 2021.  Conversely, just three years saw rain on each holiday, in 1979, 1984, and 1998.  Although in 1984, the 4th of July had just 0.01", but the other two holidays picked up ore than an inch. 

 

Labor day weekend
  

 

 

 

 

 

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July 2014 Weather Recap: Coolest Since 2009

 

July2014

 

July 2014 was New York's coolest in five years.  However, temperatures were close to average, just 0.4 degrees below normal.  This broke a string of four hot Julys, three which ranked among New York's ten hottest.  (By contrast, July 2009 was the second coolest since 1920).  28 days had highs of 80° or warmer, which was similar to the previous four Julys.  However, only three days had highs in the 90s (hottest temperature was 91°, which happened twice) while the other four years all had ten or more.  Also, the month's coolest low, 63° (which also occurred twice) was similar to the coolest reading of the previous three Julys.

 

Other observations:

  • All but one of the lows in the 70s were either 71° or 72° (fourteen out of fifteen; the other was 70°).  By comparison, although June had no 90-degree highs its warmest low was 76°.
  • The year's first 90-degree temperature occurred on July 2, the latest date for the first 90 since 1985.  (The usual first 90-degree day occurs at the end of May.)
  • Besides being the coolest since 2009, July 2014 was also the wettest since that July as 5.59" was measured (2009 had 7.11").
  • Hurricane Arthur sideswiped New York City on the 4th of July, bringing clouds, blustery conditions and some light showers thru mid-afternoon (just 0.14" was measured).  This was the third earliest tropical system to affect the area since 1970 (Barry and Andrea struck in the first week of June in 2007 and 2013).  However, skies cleared and conditions were fine by the time of Macy's fireworks exhibition.  
  • Severe thunderstorms on the evenings of July 2 and July 3 were more disruptive than Hurricane Arthur.  On July 2 close to an inch of rain fell between 7-11 PM.  On July 3, despite rain falling for half as much time as the night before, nearly twice as much rain fell (1.76"). 

 

JULY OVERVIEWS SINCE 2009
(Source:  NOAA Local Climatological Data)
             
  2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Average High 83.5 86.3 87.3 88.9 90.1 80.4
Average Low 68.8 73.4 70.3 71.6 72.6 64.9
Mean Temp 76.1 79.8 78.8 80.2 81.3 72.7
Departure -0.4 +3.3 +2.3 +3.7 +4.8 -3.8
80+ Days 28 27 28 30 29 17
90+ Days 3 10 10 14 16 0
70-72 Lows 15 4 13 7 5 4
73+ Lows 0 19 8 12 20 0

 

 

 

 

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