March Feed

New York Weather History: March (1869-2021)



March Highlights: The Superstorm of 1993 (aka "Storm of the Century") dumped 10 inches of snow on March 13; three years earlier on the same date the high was 85°, the City's earliest 80-degree reading on record; a five-day heat wave at the end of March 1986 saw each day with highs in the mid-80s; the nor'easter of March 13, 2010 delivered Central Park's greatest one-day rainfall ever for the month of March; in addition to this storm, other famous March nor'easters struck in 1980, 1984, 1997 and 2001 and 2010 (on March 30); March 2012 was the second mildest on record; March 2014 was the coldest in 30 years, but just 0.1" of snow fell; March 2015 was the snowiest since 1956. 


March 1

March 2

March 3

March 4

March 5

March 6

March 7

March 8

March 9

March 10

March 11

March 12

March 13

March 14

March 15

March 16

March 17

March 18

March 19

March 20

March 21

March 22

March 23

March 24

March 25

March 26

March 27

March 28

March 29

March 30

March 31



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


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


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°).


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).    


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.




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


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.   



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



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.


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.




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.       


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.


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







Today in New York Weather History: March 30



A snowfall of 4.5" was the sixth snowfall of four inches or more this winter (this was despite the fact that no measurable snow fell in December).


It was a very late date for a sub-freezing high temperature (31°).


The morning low of 33° was the coldest reading of the month (it also occurred on three other days), making this the only March on record to have no reading of 32° or colder.


Today's high of 76°, twenty degrees above average, was the first 70-degree reading of the year.  This was about a week later than the typical date of this occurrence.


The mean temperature over the past eight days was twelve degrees above average, with an average high/low of 66°/47°.  Today was the coolest of these days with a high of 61°, six degrees above average.


It was a gray, rainy, raw and windy day, with 0.76" of rain measured.  Afternoon temperatures fell into the mid-40s one day after the high reached 76°.


0.2" of snow fell today, two days after a high of 77°.  This was the only measurable snow to fall in March, and the final snowfall of the winter.  24.9" in total fell during the winter, the most since 25.4" was measured in the winter of 1984.  Despite today's snow, the temperature remained above 32°.


It was a raw and nasty morning as wind and rain from a nor'easter lashed the area.  Moving in last night, 2.16" of rain fell today, a record for the date.  Central Park reported a wind gust of 49 mph.  It was also cold, with a high/low of only 43°/37°.




Today had one of the lowest humidity levels on record as it fell to a Sahara-like 6% at 4 PM (typical humidity level at this time of day is around 47%).  Although the temperature rose into the upper 60s (13 degrees above average), the dry air made the air feel chillier, especially when the sun went down.


Dry sky 


The second strong nor'easter in little more than two weeks buffeted the area.  Like the previous one, this storm produced more than four inches of rain.  Beginning late on 3/28 (when 0.34" fell), it continued through this afternoon.  After 1.58" of rain yesterday, an additional 2.45" fell today (a record for the date, breaking the previous record from the nor'easter of 2001).  With today's rainfall the month's total precipitation reached 10.68", making it the wettest March on record.   


It was a very pretty day, which was the Saturday before Easter, as the temperature topped out at 59° degrees under sunny skies.  This was the mildest reading of the month, making this the first March since 2001 to have its mildest temperature cooler than 60°.    





Today in New York Weather History: March 29



The temperature fell slowly through the day, from 29° shortly after midnight to 19° nearly 24 hours later.


Today's high was just 31°, twenty-two degrees below average and the coldest high temperature since 1/12.  This came the day after the winter's biggest snowfall of 1.4".


Between 2 PM yesterday and 6 AM this morning, a span of just sixteen hours, the temperature dropped by 56 degrees, from 82° to 26° - the steepest temperature drop on record.




This morning's low of 10° (a record that still stands) came six days after a high of 76° (also a record, tied in 2012).


Today was Easter Sunday, and rain that began before sunrise changed to sleet and snow after 10 AM.  When it ended late in the afternoon, four inches had piled up.  This was a record amount for Easter and the only snow that fell this month.  (At the time, I was a teenager living in Pittsburgh, which also had four inches of snow, but it arrived shortly before sunrise.  Although we headed out for Easter Mass we turned around and came home because the roads were treacherous.)




Today's temperature shot from 46° degrees to 81°.


39 consecutive hours of precipitation, which began yesterday morning at 9:00, ended at midnight, totaling 2.60" (2.04" of it fell today).  There was only a two-degree difference between today's high/low (36°/34°).  3.3" of snow fell during the storm, but it was washed away by regular changeovers to rain. 


Today was the third day in a row with much above average temperatures.  Although the sun was filtered through a light overcast, the temperature soared to 82° today, twenty-eight degrees warmer than normal.  Not only was it warm, but also uncomfortably humid.  However, today's summer-like warmth was four degrees lower than the record for the date set in 1945 (the warmest reading ever reported in March, later equaled on March 31, 1998).  The average high over the past three days was 78°, a reading more typical of the second week of June.




Beginning late last night and continuing through this morning, 4.1" of snow fell, the seventh snowfall of four inches or more this winter.  It brought March's snow total to 13.2", making it the snowiest March since 1967.  (Besides being snowy it was also a cold month, the coldest March since 1984.)  Today's high/low of 41°/31° was the ninth day this month that was ten degrees or more colder than average. 




For the third day in a row the high temperature was in the 80s (81° today) - and there were two more days of this June-like warmth to follow.


Today's mean temperature was one degree above average (high/low of 55°/40°), the first above-average day since March 13.  This 15-day streak of below average days was nearly six degrees colder than average and was the longest string of below-average temperatures since a 15-day streak in July 2009.    


Although it was a bright and sunshiny day, the mean temperature was eleven degrees below average (high/low was 46°/25°).  This was the 28th day this year with a mean temperature ten degrees or more below average - the most since 1916 when there were also 28 days in the first three months.  This came one year after there were 27 days between January and March.  (The typical number is eleven.)







Today in New York Weather History: March 28



1.4" of snow fell in the afternoon, the biggest snowfall of the winter (coming two weeks after 1.3" fell).  This was the last snowfall of the winter, which had just 3.8" of snow in total - the least snow until the winter of 1973 when just 2.8" fell (and also passed by the winter of 2002).  Temperatures during the afternoon were only in the mid-20s, half of what the usual afternoon temperature is at the end of March.  


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




This was the first day during a very cold month (colder than January or February) to have an above average mean temperature.  And at 71°, this was the first day this year to reach the 70s.


A developing nor'easter brought a mix of snow and rain during the afternoon that continued through tomorrow.  1.5" of snow fell today, but forecasts had predicted substantially more.  The temperature in the City was a bit too mild to support a snowstorm (high/low was 43°/34°).




The afternoon temperature topped out at 78°, twenty-four degrees warmer than average and more typical for the second week of June (and four degrees warmer than yesterday).  However, this was not a record as there was an even more extraordinary warm spell in 1945. 


After a seasonable high of 53° yesterday, today's high soared to 77°.


After visiting my mother for Easter, today's flight back to New York from Pittsburgh took eight hours because of strong thunderstorms in the New York area.  2.98" rain fell, a record for the date.  This was the biggest rain producer in six months, since tropical storm Jeanne dumped 4.66" at the end of September. 




Today's high/low of 67°/44° was the sixteenth day this month with a daily mean temperature ten degrees or more above average - the most of any month since 1970 (until December 2015, which would have eighteen such days).  So far this year, more one-third of the days were ten degrees or more above average. 


Although the day's mean temperature was just two degrees below average, it marked the fifteenth day in a row with below average temperatures.  During this time, temperatures were nearly six degrees below average.  There hadn't been a longer below-average streak since April 2007, when there was one of sixteen days.


Although it was just 0.38", the rain that fell during the morning hours after sunrise (as a cold front approached) made this the rainiest day of the month.  (Between Feb. 25 and yesterday, a span of 32 days, less than an inch of rain fell.)  Then, late in the afternoon, very high winds began buffeting the area with gusts between 40-60 mph that continued overnight.


Today, with a high/low of 52°/38° (one degree below average), was the 22nd day in a row with a below average mean temperature, the fifth longest streak of this kind in the years since 1953 (the year the NWS began reporting departure from average on a daily basis).  Temperatures during this streak, however, were just 4.5 degrees below average, which is the least below average of any streak of 15 days or longer.


Chart - most days in a row below average


Temperatures were seasonable for the Yankees' earliest home opener, but sitting outdoors in readings no higher than the low-50s is was what you might expect at a football game.  Skies were sunny, but then turned lightly overcast after the game against Baltimore ended (which the Yankees won by a score of 7-2).  




Today in New York Weather History: March 27



For the fourth day in a row the low temperature was 33°.


Today's high/low of 73°/39° followed one of 72°/39° three days earlier.  However, while the low on 3/24 was in the pre-dawn hours, the low today was at midnight after winds shifted to the northeast in the PM hours.


One week after a high/low of 28°/18° and a snowfall of nearly four inches, today's high/low was 75°/61°.  Today's low, 25 degrees above average, was a record-mild low for the date (a record that still stands).


A shower brought 0.03" of rain between 7-8 PM, the first measurable precipitation on this date since 1963.


1.63" of rain fell between 2 PM and midnight, but almost all of it, 1.49", poured down between 7-11 PM.  


Today's high soared to 74°, twenty degrees above average - and the mildest temperature since only last month?  Yes, it was 75° on Feb. 25!  The next two days would be even warmer, with highs of 78° and 82°.  



Five days after a snowfall of five inches, an extraordinary five-day warm spell began.  Each day would have high temperatures of 80° or higher (25 degrees warmer than average, and more typical of late June).  Today's high of 83° was a record.


Central park great lawn


The morning low of 29° was the month's coldest reading.  This was the mildest minimum temperature for the month of March since 1973, when the month's lowest temperature was 30°.  Today's low came three weeks after the only other day this month with a low of 32° or colder.


A morning low below freezing on March 27 normally wouldn't warrant a comment, but today's low of 30° was the first subfreezing temperature since March 10.  The average low temperature during the days in between was 48°, thirteen degrees milder than normal, and more typical for the end of April.  Today's mean temperature was five degrees chillier than average, the most below average day since Feb. 12.


With a high/low of 44°/22°, today's mean temperature was 13 degrees below average.  This was the 27th day since Jan. 1 with a mean temperature 10 degrees or more below average - the most so early in the year since 1936.  The average number of such days during the first three months of a year is 10.5.  (In 2016 there would be 26 such days that were 10 degrees or more above average by this date.)







Today in New York Weather History: March 26



The temperature jumped from 37° to 76° in the span of ten hours.  Skies were clear.


It was a cold and miserable Easter Sunday as rain fell between 9 AM-3 PM (0.62" was measured) and afternoon temperatures were only in the mid-30s.


Rainy easter


Low temperatures over the past four days were ten degrees below average and exhibited the following pattern: 25°-27°-25°-27° (today).


Today's high of 75° (twenty-two degrees above average) was 57 degrees warmer than the low on 3/21 (nineteen degrees below average), which was 52 degrees colder than the high on 3/19.


Up down up blue- arrow


After a three-day cold snap between the 20th-22nd, in which temperatures were 13 degrees colder than average (high/low of 39°/21°), the past three days were 14 degrees milder than average (68°/48°).


The 0.3" of snow that fell today was the last measurable snow of the season.  This winter's snowfall of 35 inches was the most in five winters (12 inches of it fell on 12/30).  Today's high/low of 37°/27° was fourteen degrees colder than average.  This was the ninth winter in which 3/26 was the date of the last measurable snow - the most of any date (none were more than an inch).


A light shower during mid-afternoon measured 0.02" and was the last precipitation of the month, which ended up being the driest March on record.  Its total of 0.80" was 0.10" less than the previous record from 1885.


A rainy afternoon (0.40" fell) limited the day's range in temperature to just three degrees (high/low of 45°/42°).     


After missing the season's first 60-degree reading a few weeks ago by one degree, it finally happened today, shortly after sundown.  This was the latest date for the year's first 60 since 1982, when it happened on March 30.  The temperature was in the 60s from 7-10 PM, but then a cold front moved through, so there would be no repeat performance tomorrow. 




Two days after the humidity dropped to an Arizona-like 13% during the afternoon, it dropped nearly as low today, bottoming out at 14% around 4 PM.  This was the fourth day in a row to report humidity levels under 20% at some point during the day.  During the course of a March day the humidity averages in the mid-50s, but today and on 3/24 it averaged 21%.


Today’s high was 82°, a record for the date, and the first reading in the 80s in March since 1998.  After winds shifted from the southeast to the southwest between noon and 2:00, the temperature jumped from the low 60s to low 80s.  This early jump into summer was a surprise since the predicted high was in the low 70s.  This became the eighth year to have its first reading of 80+ in March and the fourth earliest date (after March 13, 1990; March 20, 1945, and March 21, 1921).  Interestingly, this early first 80 followed last summer’s early last 80, which happened on 9/10.


82 degrees




March Madness: 80-Degree Weather in New York During March

Greatlawn springtime


The month of March is characterized by big swings in temperature, with most years experiencing at least a few highs in the 70s (sometimes coming a few days before or after temperatures were in the teens).  On average, (since 1970), the mildest reading in March is around 71°, but on rare occasion highs in the 80s have occurred (average date of the first 80-degree reading is April 20).  In the years since 1950, this degree of warmth has been reported in March just eleven times in five years: 1977, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1998 and 2021 (and five more times in March 1921 and 1945) .  Details follow:


  • On March 29, 1977 the high reached 81°, just four days after the coldest reading of the month, 24°.  This was the first 80-degree reading in March since 1945.  
  • 1985's 80-degree day occurred on the same date as 1977's, but at 82°, it was one degree warmer.  However, neither year set a record because on that very same date in 1945 the temperature soared to 86° (FYI, March 1945 is the mildest on record).



  • The high on March 28, 1989 soared to 82°.  Then it would then be more than seven weeks before Central Park recorded its next 80-degree high.
  • One year later New York had two 80-degree days in March.  Unlike 1977, 1985 and 1989, they occurred in the middle of the month.  The first occurred on March 13, when the mercury soared to 85°, 36 degrees above average.  This is the earliest 80 on record, and it came just six days after a low of 13°.  Then three days later, on March 16, 80-degree temperatures returned, with a high of 82°.

 Springtime lampost 


  • Finally, March 1998 ended with an extraordinary five days in a row of 80-degree weather.  Beginning on March 27, high temperatures reached 83°, 80°, 81°, 82° and 86°.  Just five days before the streak began five inches of snow had fallen.  Additionally, until this unprecedented streak, the month had been 1.3 degrees colder than average.  But after five days that averaged 26 degrees above average, the month ended up being three degrees above average.  (The Mets took a chance and scheduled their first game of the 1998 season on 3/31 and were greeted by temperatures in the mid-80s.)   The next 80-degree day wouldn't be until May 15. 


After 1998's five-day "heat wave", it would be 23 years before the next reading of 80+ in March (and it happened on a day when the high was predicted to be in the low-70s) .  Interestingly, March 2012 was New York's second mildest on record, but there were no days in the 80s (but there were seven days in the 70s, including two with highs of 78°). 


Today in New York Weather History: March 25



A milder than average March was interrupted by one day of mid-winter temperatures as the high/low was only 30°/13° (twenty-one degrees below average); the previous day with a high of freezing or colder was five weeks ago.  The low was a record for the date (which still stands).  


This was the thirteenth day in a row with a high colder than 40° (at a time when the average high is around 50°).  The average high/low during this period was 36°/24°.  Three days had highs of 32° or colder, eight days had lows of 25° or colder.  There were also two significant snowfalls, of 6.5" and 5.0", four days apart (3/15 and 3/19).


On the day of New York's deadly fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Greenwich Village (147 mostly female laborers died), skies were clear and temperatures cold, with a high/low of 40°/20°.




This was the third day in a row with very cold temperatures.  Today's high/low of 33°/17° followed 31°/17° yesterday (Easter Sunday), and 28°/18° the day before that.  These temperatures were 21 degrees below average.  Winds that gusted between 20-27 mph throughout the three days produced wind chills in the low teens.


Today's high/low of 34°/18° was eighteen degrees below average.  Wind chills were in the single digits and teens.


Today's high of 56° was the mildest reading this month - the coolest temperature in March to have this distinction since March 1906's mildest reading was 55°.  Typically, the warmest reading in March is close to 70° (one in four have had a warmest reading of 75°+).  


Rain moved in late, with 0.20" falling between 10 PM and midnight - the first measurable precipitation on this date in 15 years.  This rain was from a nor'easter that produced a hard rain overnight (1.35" fell after midnight) that was over by daybreak on 3/26.   


Today's low of 20°, 17 degrees below average, was the coldest reading in March and came three weeks after the month's mildest reading (70°).  It was also the coldest temperature since mid-February.


Today was the 15th consecutive day with a low of 32° or colder, the longest such streak during March in the 1950-2021 period.








Today in New York Weather History: March 24



This was the eighth day in a row with a low temperature in the teens or colder.  The average low during this stretch was just 13°, twenty degrees below average.  (This March is the third coldest on record).


The high today and of the previous three days were as follows: 34° (3/21); 35° (3/22); 36° (yesterday); and 37° (today).  All were well below the average high, which is around 50°.


With a high/low of 31°/17°, this is the only Easter Sunday to be completely below freezing.  This came three years after Easter had a high/low of 35°/28°.




Today saw the fourth rainstorm of an inch or more in the past three weeks.  This one was a quick mover, beginning shortly after daybreak and ending in the early afternoon.  Half of the 1.04" that fell poured down between 11 AM and noon.  At the time, March 1953, with 8.76" of precipitation measured, was the second wettest March on record (it's since fallen to fifth place).


The 1.2" of snow that fell late this morning brought the month's snowfall above 20" (21.1").  This was the fifth, and last time, that more than twenty inches of snow was reported in March (thru 2021).


After a nippy low of 17° two days earlier, today's high was a record-setting 76°.  These were also the temperature extremes for the month.


Beginning at daybreak and continuing until midnight, 2.05" of rain fell, a record for the date.  It was a cold rain, as the high was only 40°.


Today's high of 39° was thirty degrees colder than yesterday's.  This was also the fourth high in the 30s this month - one more than in January.


This was the 15th consecutive day with below-average temperatures.  The average high/low during these days was 41°/26°, nine degrees colder than normal.  It was also a very wet period, with precipitation falling on seven days, amounting to 4.66". 


An inch of snow fell overnight, the final accumulating snow of the winter.  The winter's snowfall total was 61.9", and most of it, 56", fell in less than five weeks, between December 26 and January 27.  This was New York's third snowiest winter, behind the winters of 1996 (75.6") and  1948 (63.3").




Today was the eighth day in a row with temperatures ten degrees or more milder than average.  During these days the high/low averaged 70°/52°, seventeen degrees above average, and more typical of mid-May.


The National Weather Service announced that it had increased New York's winter snowfall by 3.3" (as measured in Central Park).  Specifically, snowfall was adjusted on three dates: Jan. 6 (from 0.5" to 1.0"); Jan. 24 (from 2.5" to 3.6"); and Feb. 2 (from 3.3" to 5.0").


Following the coastal storm of 3/21-22, the humidity fell significantly, bottoming out at 18% yesterday evening and down even further today, dropping to 13% at 2 PM (average reading in the afternoon during March is around 50%).  This was the lowest humidity level since April 22 of last year when it also dropped to 13% (the lowest reading in the years since 2000 is 6%, on March 30, 2007).


Chart - lowest humidity_ newyorkcity