May Feed

May 2021 Weather Recap: Close to Average Temperature & Rainfall Despite Very Chilly & Wet End

 Wet and chilly memorial day weekend

Last May, the month's weather highlight was an Arctic outbreak in the second week of the month that produced the coldest reading in May (34°) since 1891.  May 2021, meanwhile, experienced one of the chilliest ends of any May, as May 28-31 tied May 1884 for the latest four-day streak with lows in the 40s.  This chilly ending was responsible for the coolest three-day Memorial Day weekend on record. 

 

Chart - 3 chilliest memorial day weekends

Despite the month's chilly ending, an extended period of above-average temperatures from May 15-27,  that was six degrees milder than average, kept the month close to average, temperature-wise.  And a very wet May 28-30, in which 2.57" was measured, balanced what, up until then, had been a dry May (these three wet days had as much rain as the previous six weeks).  So, when all was said and done, the month was very close to average on both the temperature and rainfall fronts (-0.3 degrees, and +0.40").

 

Before May's chilly and rainy close, six days in the 10-day period between May 18-27 had highs in the 80s.  This included highs of 89° and 88° during the weekend of 5/22 and 5/23; by contrast, the following weekend had highs of 51° on both days.  This reading (which was eight degrees colder than the average low for these two dates) tied a record for the coolest high on 5/29, and set a new record (by four degrees) on 5/30.

 

Besides the last four days of the month, which were 13 degrees cooler than average, there was an eight-day period from May 5-12 that was five degrees below average.  (However, the chilliest reading of the month, 42°, was on 5/1.)

 

Finally, the last six days of the month all had measurable precipitation, the longest rainy streak since one of eight days in May 2019 (5/10-17).  However, this year's streak had a touch more rainfall (2.68" vs. 2.56").

 

Here are recaps of the previous six Mays:

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

May 2001


How "Back-Door" Cold Fronts Impact New York's Springtime Weather

 

Back door cold front

 

For the most part, cold fronts move from west to east in the Northeast, but, occasionally, chilly air arrives from the opposite direction.  When it does, this occurrence is known as a "back-door" cold front.   Because such a front's winds usually come in from the ocean, this type of front is often associated with overcast skies (sometimes with drizzle); its east-northeasterly winds bring damp and chilly air. 

These incursions of chilly air that come from the opposite direction occur mostly in the springtime, when their cooling effect is enhanced by the wintertime water temperature of the Atlantic Ocean.  In terms of geographic reach, these fronts mostly impact New York City, the Jersey shore, and New England; only occasionally do they extend as far inland as Philadelphia, Baltimore, or DC.

What follows are 40 instances of the more impressive back-door fronts that have come down from the cold Atlantic.  As you'll read, six of the years had two notable back-door fronts.

 

East to west

June 4, 1895 - Winds shifted from the southwest to northeast during the afternoon, breaking a five-day heat wave (its record highs on June 1, 2 and 3 are still standing).  Between 3PM and 8PM, the temperature dropped from 91° to 64°.  The following day would be overcast, with temperatures stuck in the 60s. 

April 25, 1915 - This date experienced, perhaps, the greatest temperature swings of any in New York's weather history.  After the temperature soared from 47° shortly after midnight to 91° at 3:00 PM, winds shifted to the east-northeast, and the temperature plunged to 52° by midnight.  This was the result of a strong warm front moving through for about ten hours (9 AM-7 PM), then being displaced by a back door cold front.  No rain was produced by the passage of these fronts.  Two days later, a similar scenario unfolded.  After reaching 92° shortly before 4:30 on 4/27, a back-door front moved through a few hours later, and the temperature dropped to 54° by midnight.

April 1, 1917 - In the span of just eight hours, the temperature plummeted from 83° to 44° as a back-door cold front moved through and winds shifted from the southwest to the northeast.  This was the warmest reading of the month, with the next reading in the 80s not occurring for another seven weeks.

March 19, 1918 - After a balmy high of 76° was reached at 3:00 PM (a record for the date that still stands), the wind shifted from the southwest to the northeast, and the temperature dropped like a rock, and was half that reading by midnight.

May 23, 1925 - After the high reached 91°, winds shifted from the southwest to northeast late in the afternoon, and by midnight the temperature had fallen to 59°; the temperature on the afternoon of 5/24 was only in the upper 40s.

July 1, 1933 - After a high in the low 90s, a severe thunderstorm from 8:30-10:30 PM dumped 2.17" of rain.  During the storm the temperature dropped from 88° to 72°, where it stayed for much of the next 24 hours.  And on 7/3, afternoon temperatures got no higher than the mid-60s.  

March 27, 1939 - 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.  And the following day had temperatures in a narrow range of 35°-40°.

April 25, 1939 - After rising from 53° at 4:00 AM to 86° for a few hours in the early afternoon, winds shifted to the northeast mid-afternoon and the temperature dropped back to 52° by 11:00 PM.  And then three days later the high would be only 46° (20 degrees below average).

July 4, 1941 - Just two days after a torrid high/low of 98°/78°, and winds out of the southwest, today was rainy, foggy and cool, with winds from out of the northeast, and a high/low of just 64°/62°.  Today's high would be July 4th's coolest until 1978.

 

Reverse
  

March 22, 1945 - In the midst of the very mild second half of March, today was an outlier as the high reached only 40° (the low was a seasonable 35°).  Winds were out of the northeast, skies were overcast and light showers fell throughout the day. 

April 13, 1955 - A chilly high of 46° came just two days after a high of 84°.  Skies were overcast and winds were from the northeast.

July 6, 1956 - Although yesterday was cool (high/low of 66°/58°), today was even cooler as the high/low was just 61°/57° under gray skies and winds from out of the northeast.  These two unseasonably cool days followed consecutive days in the 90s.

June 1, 1959 - Today's chilly high of 64°, under mostly overcast skies, followed a five-day warm spell at the end of May that had highs averaging 87°.  Today's conditions were the result of a back-door cold front that moved in from New England last night. 

April 30, 1962 - After three days of summer-like warmth (highs of 91°-89°-80°), and winds from out of the southwest, winds shifted to the northeast after midnight and daytime temperatures were only in the mid-40s. 

April 19, 1964 - The day after the high reached 86°, a "back-door" cold front moved through, and by mid-afternoon the temperature dropped into the mid-50s.  (And on 4/21 the high would be just 44°.)

May 5, 1965 - The day after the high reached 90°, today's was 62°.  Winds came from a north-northeast-easterly direction.

April 28, 1966  - It was a dreary, raw, and damp day, with light rain in the morning.  With a high/low of only 42°/39°, today had the coldest mean temperature of the month.  On 4/26 the mercury dropped from 73° late in the afternoon, to 49° by midnight.  Then the high/low the next two days was 52°/40° and 42°/39°.  Winds were from out of the north-northeast.

April 20, 1972 - The temperature at 4:00 PM was quite chilly, at 43°, a drop of 32 degrees since midnight, and forty-three degrees from yesterday afternoon's 4:00 PM reading of 86°.  This was a result of winds shifting to the northeast from dawn to dusk.

May 24, 1975 - Today's high of 93° (the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend) was the year's first reading in the 90s.  However, the heat was short lived as a cold front from the northeast moved through during the evening, dropping the temperature to 61° by midnight, and into the upper 50s by the following afternoon. 

 

Overcast

Aug. 11, 1979 - The day after a high of 95°, today's temperatures in the afternoon were only in the mid-60s after the wind shifted to the northeast during the morning.  The next day was equally cool (after a chilly AM low of 57°) - and  a wet one, as 1.68" of rain fell; this was on top of 0.87" of rain that fell the night of 8/11. 

March 29, 1985 - This was the third day in a row with exceedingly mild temperatures, and today was the warmest of the three with a high of 82°.  Then a back-door cold front moved through after dark, and by midnight the temperature was down to 55°, on its way to down to 46° by daybreak on the 30th (but still well above average).  

April 19, 1985 - After the temperature soared to 88°, a back-door cold front moved through during the evening, and the temperature was down to 51° the next morning.  Then the cool air retreated on the 21st, and after two more days with highs in the 80s, winds backed around and came from the east late in the afternoon on the 22nd, cooling the temperature down to 53° by midnight.  

March 30, 1989 - After the wind shifted to the northeast, the temperature fell all day, from 76° to 50°; the next day the high/low was 50°/41°, which wasn't far from seasonable, but it was quite a cool-down from 3/29's high of 82°.

March 14, 1990 - One day after Central Park recorded its earliest 80-degree reading on record, the warm front that delivered this extraordinary warmth retreated south of the area, as winds shifted to the northeast, and by afternoon, under a bank of clouds and fog, temperatures tumbled into the mid-40s, forty degrees colder than yesterday. 

May 23-25, 1992 - It was a Jekyl & Hyde Memorial Day weekend.  Saturday had mid-summer conditions, with a high of 92°.  Then a big change came on Sunday as a strong cold front pushed through in early afternoon, and temperatures plummeted from the low 80s to 45° by midnight.  Monday felt more like October, with overcast skies and a high of just 61°. 

April 12, 1996 - The high reached 80°, and then winds shifted to the northeast late in the afternoon, dropping the temperature to 55° by midnight, and 45° by daybreak on the 13th.

May 10, 2000 - After three days with highs in the 90s, winds shifted from the southwest to the east, bringing in much cooler air, and by daybreak today, the temperature was in the mid-50s, where it stayed for the rest of the day.  

June 12, 2000 - One month after a back-door cold front cooled down a hot spell, it was replicated today, with late afternoon temperatures in the upper 50s, and winds coming from the east-northeast 24 hours after temperatures were in the low 90s.

 

Northeasterly winds
 

April 16, 2003 - After peaking at 88°, winds shifted to the northeast and by midnight the temperature was down to 51°.  And on the 17th temperatures slowly fell all day, and it was 36° at midnight.  Winds remained out of the east-northeast for the next six days.

May 14, 2004 - The day after the high reached 86°, the temperature was only in the low 60s in the early afternoon.  However, the wind shifted later in the day and temperatures were back into the mid-80s on 5/15.

April 20, 2006 - Today's high of 83° was the warmest reading of the month.  A back-door cold front moved through during the evening, and by midnight the mercury had fallen to the mid-50s, and the mercury was mostly in the 50s for much of the next day, and stuck in the 40s on 4/22 as a developing nor'easter moved up the coast .

April 29, 2009 - The day after the high reached 90° (and dropped 25 degrees by midnight as winds shifted to the north-northeast), the temperature was in the mid-50s by daybreak.

July 19, 2012 - After yesterday's extreme heat (high of 100°) and humidity, today's high, under mostly overcast skies, was just 76°.  Never before has there been such a drop-off in temperature the day following a reading in the triple digits.  The next day the temperature was around 70° during the afternoon. 

May 28, 2014 - One day after a sultry high of 86°, today was overcast, with afternoon temperatures only in the upper 50s.  The back-door cold front passed through after 10 PM, and the temperature quickly dropped into the low 60s, then gradually falling into the 50s by daybreak, where it stayed for the rest of the day. 

June 1, 2015 - After a week of temperatures in the summery mid-80s today, was 30 degrees colder, with periods of rain, drizzle and fog.  Today's high in the 50s was chillier than any day in May - the first time this has ever occurred.  And tomorrow would have similar conditions. 

May 20, 2017 - An early, three-day heat wave came to an end last night after a shift in wind direction.  Today's afternoon temperatures were in the low 60s, which was about 30° cooler than the highs of  the previous three days.

Nov. 4, 2017 - The day after temperatures were in the mid-70s, the temperature at daybreak today was nearly 30 degrees chillier, the result of a shift in the wind direction; afternoon temperatures were twenty degrees cooler.  On the positive side, skies were mostly clear.

April 8, 2019 - After peaking at 79° at 4 PM, winds shifted from west to northeast, and by midnight the temperature was down to 49°.

October 3, 2019 - The day after the mercury soared to 93° (the first reading in the 90s in October since 1941), winds shifted overnight to a northeasterly direction, and temperatures this afternoon were only in the mid-50s.  Light showers and drizzle fell throughout the day.

 

Overcast Skies_Brooklyn Bridge_RedHanded_StockF

 

 

 

 

 


A Taste of Summer: The Year's First High of 80+

 First
Since 1980, the average date of the first reading of 80° or warmer is April 21 (a month later than the average date of the first reading of 70°+).  This is about a week earlier than 1900-1979, and two weeks earlier than the 1869-1899 period.  It's happened as early as March 13 (in 1990) and as late as June 7 (in 1924).  1918, 1927, and 2010 had their first reading of 80+ occur on the same date as each year's first high in the 90s. 

 

The average high temperature on the day before the first 80+ reading has been 70°, on the day of the first 80+, it's been 83°, and the high on the day following has averaged 74°. 

 

About one-third of the years have had a day of 80° or warmer on the day following the first 80+, but 16 years didn't have their second high of 80°+ for four weeks or more.  The greatest number of days to elapse before the second 80+ reading was 57 in 1928 (April 6-June 1).  The most recent lengthy hiatus was 41 days in 2013 (April 10-May 20).

 

Eight years have had their first 80+ high in March.  The first time it happened was in 1921, the most recent occurrence was 100 years later, in 2021.  Meanwhile, a first 80+ in June has occurred just once (1924).

 

Chart - earliest and latest first 80

 

On the day with the first high of 80° or warmer, the diurnal variation has averaged 27 degrees (this compares to a 14-degree variation for any day of the year).  The  greatest variation was 43 degrees in 1929, when the high/low was 89°/46°.   The smallest variation was 16 degrees in 1908 (81°/65°).

 

Chart - greatest diurnal variation on day of first 80
 

The chilliest low on the day of  the first 80+ reading was 43° in 1936 and, again, in 1990.  The warmest low was 68° in 1898.  The chilliest day-before high was 49°, in 1977.  The chilliest day-after high was 50° in 1921, and 51° in 1939.

 

29 years (about once every five years) had a warmer reading on the day after the first 80+ reading.  The warmest day-after reading was 93° in 1988.   The last time the day-after was warmer was in 2009, when the  high was 92° (the first 80+ reading that year was 88°).  The warmest day-before reading was 79°, which has happened in four years, most recently in 1955.  (And ten other years had a day-before high of 78°.)

 

April 19 is the date that's had the most first 80+ occurrences - in ten years.  And it's happened in seven years on April 25.   The most consecutive years to have the first 80+ occur in May is six, from 1873-1878. 

 

There have been six pairs of years in which the date of the first 80+ was the same:

> April 18, in 2015 and 2016

> April 15, in 2002 and 2003

> April 19, in 1972 and 1973

> April 26, in 1969 and 1970

> May 16, 1931 and 1932 (and in 1933, the date was 5/15)

> April 19, in 1914 and 1915

 

There have been fiver pairs of years in which the dates of the first 80+ were at opposite ends of the early/late spectrum.

> 1997 - May 19/ 1998 - March 27

> 1988 - May 23/ 1989 - March 28

> 1984 - May 23/1985 - March 29

> 1945 - March 20/ 1946 - May 25

> 1920 - May 28/ 1921 - March 21

 

Finally, measurable rain has fallen on the day of the first 80+ reading in 20% of the years (similar to the day of the first reading of 70+).  The biggest rainfall on this date was 0.67" in 1984 (May 23) as afternoon thunderstorms moved in after the temperature peaked at 81°; the second most was 0.60" in 1951 (4/29).

  80 plus

 

 


May 2020 Weather Recap - Chilly & Dry

Polar vortex of may 2020

 

May 2020 was 2.1 degrees below average, and followed an April that was also cooler than average (-2.7 degrees).  The last time back-to-back months had below average temperatures was in March and April 2018.  This was the chilliest May since 2008.  What made the month cooler than average was the 10-day period between May 5-14, which was nine degrees colder than average.  (The month's other 21 days were slightly above average.) 

 

The brunt of the extended cold period mentioned above was May 9, when the high/low was just 48°/34° (nineteen degrees below average).  The day's low reading was the coldest reported in May since 1891.  Previous to this May, the last one with a reading in the 30s was in 1978 (38°).  Lows were in the 30s for three consecutive days, May 8-10 - just the fourth May with a cold streak of this length, joining 1891, 1923 and 1947.  Besides the chilly air, snow flurries fell before daybreak, tying May 9, 1977 for the latest date with a trace of snow.

 

Cold in may
 

May was also a dry month.  With just 1.65" rain measured, this was the driest May since 2005 (and fourth driest since 1970, and 22nd driest among all Mays).  This amount was 60% below average (a deficit of two-and-a-half inches).  The wettest day was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend when 0.65" was measured, with most of this amount pouring down between 11 AM and noon.  This was the rainiest Memorial Day Saturday since 1982.

 

Before the unseasonable Arctic outbreak of May 5-14, May began on the mild side, with the first four days four degrees above average.  5/1 snapped a 16-day streak of cooler than average temperatures; 5/2's high of 73° was the first reading in the 70s in more than six weeks; and May 3 saw the year's first reading of 80°+ - the first time since 2014 that a year's first 80 didn't occur in April. 

 

May's warmest reading, 84°, came six days after 5/9's frosty reading of 34°.  This was the first May since 2008 to have no readings of 85° or warmer.  (A typical May's warmest reading is in the upper 80s.)  The warmest mean temperature was on 5/29 and 5/30, both with a high/low of 81°/67° (eight degrees above average). 

 

Finally, there were a dozen days with lows cooler than 50°, double the average amount (since 2000) and the most in May since 2008. 

 

Here are recaps of the previous five Mays:

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

 

 


May 2019 Continued April's Wet Trend, But With More Rain

Cold-rain-and-wind-bear-down-on-new-york-city-commuters-20190513081420-84079800

 

Like the month preceding it, May 2019 was characterized by a surfeit of rainy days.  There were 19 with measurable rain, which tied December 1972 and May 1973 for the second greatest number for any month.  (The most days, 20, occurred in July 1871 and May 1888).  However, May 2019 distinguished itself by having more rain than those other months (see chart below).  The amount that fell, 6.82", made this May the 12th rainiest on record.  Although it had one more day of rain than April (its 18 days was a record for April), nearly two-and-a-half inches more rain fell.  But despite the high frequency of rain, much of it occurred on just five days: 1.31" on 5/5; 1.32" on 5/12; 0.70" on 5/13; 0.80" on 5/29; and 0.95" on 5/30.

 

Chart - 5 months with most days of precip
 

In addition to the well above average number of rainy days, this May will also be remembered for the damp and unusually cool conditions on Mother's Day and the two days after.  2.32" of rain fell on these three days (1.32" of it on Mother's Day) and the average high/low of 53°/43° was 14 degrees cooler than average.  By contrast, the Memorial Day weekend was mostly nice,  the exception being later in the afternoon on Sunday when clouds moved in and there was an hour of heavy showers.  The three-day weekend's average high/low was 79°/60°, four degrees above average, and featured the warmest reading of the month, 86° on Sunday.  (The warmest mean temperature, however, occurred on 5/20, one week before Memorial Day, with a high/low of 85°/66°).

 

Temperature-wise, the month was average (officially, 0.2 degree below average), with the first half of May three degrees below average while the second half was two degrees above average.  (If the chilly three-day period from May 12-14 were taken out, the month would have been 1.3 degrees milder than average.)  Seven days were five or more degrees above average while six were five or more below average.  Four days with highs in the 80s were balanced by four days with lows in the 40s, both fewer than the month's average (of seven and six days, respectively). 

 

Finally, there was an eight-day streak of rainy days (May 10-17) that had 2.56" of rain.  This was just the thirteenth eight-day steak since 1900.  Coincidentally, last May had rain on seven of eight days around the same time of the month (May 12-19), which amounted to 2.14".  And Mother's Day both years was cool (59°/43° this year, 54°/52° in 2018).

Here are recaps of the previous four Mays:

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

 


Comparing High Temperatures on Mother's Day and Father's Day

Fathers day and mothers day

 

Since Father's Day is about five weeks later than Mother's Day its high temperature is, on average, about thirteen degrees warmer (82° vs. 69°).  However, in 2018 there was a huge disparity in the temperatures as Father's Day had a sizzling high of 91° while Mother's Day's was only 54°.  This 37-degree difference tied 2010 for the greatest difference in temperature between the two holidays (and there was a 36-degree difference in 1994).  However, not every Father's Day has been warmer.  Since 1960 there have been eight Mother's Days with warmer highs (most recently in 2014), with the greatest difference being 28 degrees in 1970.  And sometimes the two holidays have similar readings; for example, in 2000 and 1974 they had the same high temperature.

 

Mothers Day Fathers Day

 

 


May 2018 Weather Recap - Big Rebound From April

Month of may

 

After suffering through the chilliest April in more than 40 years, May reversed course and ranked among the ten warmest, ranking sixth (4.5 degrees above average).  The month's unseasonable warmth began right out of the gate as May 1 saw a high of 80° followed by back-to-back days with highs in the 90s.  This was one of the warmest beginnings to May on record (see chart below).  There were also three days later in the month with highs of 88° (5/17), 89° (5/26) and 89° (5/29).  The last time May had five days with highs of 88° or hotter was in 1991 (which was the warmest May on record). 

 

After the three previous months each had more than five inches of precipitation, May was drier than average, with 3.55" of rain measured.  However, there was a period in which seven days out of eight had rain (May 12-19); this included a severe thunderstorm on 5/15 that moved through during the evening rush hour (five people in the metropolitan area were killed by falling tree limbs).

 

Twelve days had highs of 80° or warmer, eight days were 10 degrees or more above average, and three days had lows in the 70s.  And although May 2 and 3 had highs in the 90s, the most uncomfortable day was May 26, which had a heat index of 93° (the day's high was 89°).  By contrast, May 2 and 3 had very low humidity and their "feels like" temperatures were lower than the air temperature.  Only six other Mays have had three or more lows in the 70s (since 1930), with two of them being in 2016 and 2015.

 

Balancing the two days in the 90s were two days with highs in the 50s - May 13 (Mother's Day) had a high of 54° and May 19 had a high of 56°.

 

Last May was just 3.9 degrees warmer than April, the second closet the two months have been  (closest was 3.5 degrees in 1945).  By contrast, this May was 17.4 degrees warmer than April, the seventh furthest from April (furthest was 18.1 degrees in 1944).  May is typically 9.3 degrees warmer than April.

 

Chart - warmest starts to May 

 

Here are links to recaps of previous Mays: May 2017, 2016 and 2015.

 


May 2017 Recap: Cooler Than Average Despite Three 90-Degree Days

MayAfter experiencing its second mildest April, May in New York was cooler than average.  Despite this cool down, it had three days in the 90s, the first time that's happened in May since 2001.  These  days were consecutive, from May 17-19, with highs of 90-92-91.  However, what made the month unique was the fact that it was the first May to have 90-degree days - but no days in the 80s.  It was also the coolest of any May that had three or more 90-degree days (see chart below).  Overall, the month was 1.3 degrees cooler than average, making it the coolest May in nine years.  Interestingly, despite the 90-degree days, what made the month below average was its average high temperature, which was 2.6 degrees below average; the average low, however, was in-line with the 30-year average.

 

May 2017 Weather


FURTHER OBSERVATIONS

  • After the three-day heat wave ended on 5/19, the remaining twelve days of the month had an average high of just 67° (with highs on four of the days in the 59°-61° range).  Only six days all month had an above-average daily mean temperature.  (Without the month's three 90-degree days, the average high would have been five degrees below average.)  Memorial Day, with a high of 61°, was the coolest since 2003 (temperatures in the afternoon were only in the upper 50s).  And although Mother's Day was somewhat cooler than average, it was milder than Memorial Day (high of 67°).
  • A typical May is 9.4 degrees warmer than April, but this year it was just 3.9 degrees milder.  Only in 1945 was May's average temperature closer to April's (a 3.6-degree difference).
  • The rainstorm of 5/5 flooded the City with 3.02" of rain, a record for the date.  Most of it poured down in a three-hour period between 11AM and 2PM.  This was New York's biggest rainfall in three years, and May's fifth biggest daily rainfall total (tied with a storm on May 8, 2013).  Eight days later another significant rainfall soaked the area, with 1.61" measured, but unlike 5/5's deluge, this storm's rain fell for an extended period, from daybreak until midnight.  The day's amount was just 0.05" shy of the record for the date.  In total, 6.38" of rain was measured in Central Park during May, making it the wettest May since 2013, and second wettest of the 21st century (and fifteenth wettest among all Mays).  The rainstorms of 5/5 and 5/13 accounted for nearly three-fourths of the month's rainfall.

 

May 5 deluge
A view of the May 5 deluge from my office.

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Other May recaps from previous years:

May 2016

May 2015

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As Seen on TV ...

Pix11On occasion 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. 

The Three Faces of May 2016's Weather

May2016WeatherRecapAfter experiencing our second mildest May on record in 2015, May 2016 came back down to earth with temperatures that were close to average (+0.4 degrees).  However, this masked three distinct temperature trends during the month that brought to mind the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  The first week of May had temperatures more like the first week of April (too chilly), the last week of May had temperatures more like the month of July (too warm), while the middle two weeks had temperatures one expects for mid-May (just right). 

 

 

The first week of May was overcast, damp and chilly with temperatures that were 7.5 degrees below average - but it was the high temperatures that were affected most, at twelve degrees below average as temperatures never rose above 60°.  The middle two weeks were close to average, with ups and downs cancelling each other out.  The chilliest reading of the month occurred during these two weeks, 43° on 5/16.  But there were also four days with highs of 75° and higher.  Then the last week of the month brought back memories of last May, with the mean temperature 12 degrees above average.  Every day had a high of 82° or warmer, including two days in the 90s.  And four of the days had lows in the 70s.  The week's average high/low was 87/69.

 

May 2016 Weather Review

 

While the first week had no sunny days, the last week had no cloudy days.  But, ironically, the month's biggest rainstorm occurred in this last week, during the wee hours of Memorial Day, when 1.65" fall between midnight and daybreak; nearly one inch fell in just half an hour (12:30-1AM).  This was more rain than fell in either April (1.61") or March (1.17") and was the most precipitation from one storm since the big blizzard on Jan. 23.  And although this pre-dawn storm made it the second rainiest Memorial Day on record, the afternoon turned sunny and the high got into the 80s - the tenth Memorial Day of the past eleven to have a high in the 80s (average high temperature in late May is in the mid-70s).       

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