Quantcast

Nor'easters Feed

Puzzling Snow-To-Water Ratios Between Central Park & LaGuardia During Recent Snowstorm

Oprah meme

 

Although Central Park and LaGuardia are only seven miles apart, their snow: liquid ratios from the recent Dec. 16-17 snowstorm were very different.  Although the weather stations at each location reported similar amounts of snow (10.5" and 10.1", respectively) LGA's was from much less liquid (0.69" vs. CPK's 1.52").  Newark Liberty airport also had much less liquid than CPK but measured 11.4" of snow.  If the one-inch of snow for every 0.10" of liquid ratio applied, Central Park would have had more than 15" of snow, LGA just 7".

 

Chart - snow to liquid ratios dec 1617

This isn't the first time Central Park's snowfall was well below what the liquid content would suggest.  It also occurred during a March snowstorm in 2018 when 8.4" fell on March 21-22.  Central Park's 8:1 ratio (based on 8.4" of snow from 1.05" liquid precipitation) is what you'd expect for a heavy, wet snow while LGA's 15:1 ratio (9.7" of snow from 0.64" liquid) is what you'd expect in Arctic air - yet, the temperature at the airport was mostly 33°-34° during the storm while CPK's was 31°-32° (an average ratio is 10" of snow from an inch of water).

 

And the disparity between the two locations was even greater in the last few hours of the storm (after midnight on 3/22) as Central Park picked up 0.2" of snow from 0.06" of liquid while LGA measured 0.9" of snow from just 0.1" (which would produce a very powdery snow).  That's extreme and more common when the air temperature is in the teens, not one degree above freezing.  Bottom line, LaGuardia's ratio is very puzzling.

 

Chart - snow to liquid ratio
 

 Snow to liquid ratio


Weather Extremes That Occurred Before Global Warming Became a Concern

November1950noreaster
Runway at LaGuardia Airport flooded during the Great Nor'easter of Nov. 1950

Because we're in the grips of global warming, it seems that every weather anomaly is attributed to the rise in temperatures.  However, unusual weather is a regular part of our climate, with ferocious storms and out-of -the-ordinary heat waves not uncommon in years past.  But it's human nature to forget much of what's come before (or, more likely, to be completely unaware of past conditions).  What follows is a list of more than 50 extreme weather events that New York City experienced in the 20th century.  Today they would cause cries of alarm about global warming, but back in the 1930s, '40s and '50s New Yorkers largely accepted what Mother Nature dished out (and without the benefit of air conditioning!).

 

CRAZY WEATHER OF THE 20TH CENTURY

  • 11.63" of rain fell on Oct. 8-9, 1903.
  • An early June heat wave in 1925 (June 4-6) saw highs of 99°-99°-98° (records that are still standing).
  • Fall 1931 was the warmest on record.  (The six warmest autumns occurred more than 50 years ago.)
  • Winter of 1931-32 was the third warmest ever.  (It was the warmest until the 21st century).  On Jan. 14 the high was 70°.
  • Three of the seven warmest Januarys were in the 1930s (1932, 1933 and 1937)
  • NYC's hottest temperature on record, 106°, occurred on July 9 1936.
  • 1938's Great New England Hurricane/Long Island Express struck in late September.
  • There were 90-degree readings in October 1927, 1938, 1939, and 1941 (and the next occurrence wouldn't be until 2019).
  • The Great Atlantic Hurricane of Sept. 1944 was compared to the '38 New England hurricane; it dumped more than nine inches of rain.
  • Unusually mild March of 1945 and 1946; unusually mild October of 1946 and 1947.
  • The City sweltered through torrid summers in 1944, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1959, 1961 and 1966.
  • Three days in a row in late August 1948 had highs in the triple-digits.
  • The high reached 72° on Jan. 26, 1950.
  • November 1950 featured highs of 84° and 83° at the beginning of the month, and one of the most intense nor'easters on record, on the the Friday/Saturday after Thanksgiving.
  • The City's earliest 100-degree reading occurred on June 26, 1952.
  • Lengthy late August/early September heat waves broiled the City in 1953 and 1973 (at 12 days, 1953's is still the longest streak of 90-degree days on record).
  • A ferocious nor'easter on Nov. 9, 1953, brought 2.2" of snow, and raked the area with 55-70 mph winds.  Two weeks later there was a four-day streak of 70-degree weather.
  • Flooding rains from tropical storms Connie and Diane occurred in August 1955.
  • The Ash Wednesday nor'easter of March 1962, considered one of the most intense storms of the century, pummeled the Jersey shore and the south shore of Long Island and lasted through five high tides.  Although the City escaped heavy precipitation, gale force winds lashed it for three days, with some gusts as high as 50 mph. 
  • A four-year drought in the mid-1950s was followed by a six-year drought from 1961-1966.
  • Huge rainstorms caused flooding and major disruptions for commuters in Sept. 1966 (5.54"), Sept. 1969 (6.28"), Nov. 1972 (5.60") and Nov. 1977 (9.19").
  • Four days in a row in September 1975 had more than an inch of rain, which amounted to nearly 7.50".
  • A mid-April heat wave in 1976 saw the temperature rise to 96° on Easter Sunday.
  • December 1982 and 1984 were both nearly eight degrees milder than average.
  • 75° on Feb. 24, 1985.
  • December 1989 and January 1990 experienced a wild swing in temperature, with the third coldest December on record (10° below average) followed by the second mildest January (10° above average).
  • A high of 85° was reached on March 13, 1990 - 36 degrees above average.
  • "The Perfect Storm" nor'easter of Halloween 1991 was reminiscent of the Ash Wednesday nor'easter of 1962.
  • An intense nor'easter that struck in December 1992 featured 50-mph winds and a storm surge that flooded the FDR Drive and PATH stations in NJ during AM rush hour.
  • The March 1993 Superstorm/Storm of the Century dumped more than 10 inches of snow; heavy sleet was propelled by 50-60 mph winds.
  • The last four days of March 1998 had an unprecedented streak of highs in the low-to-mid 80s.

Extreme

 

 

 

 

 


Today in New York Weather History: June 6

 

1923

Highs today and the previous four days: 89°-88°-89°-92°-91°(today), sixteen degrees above average.  Strong thunderstorms struck during the afternoons of the 3rd (0.61" rain fell) and today (0.59").

 

Heatwave

1945

For the fifth time in the past six days the low was in the 40s (and the one day that didn't drop into the 40s had a low of 50°).  No other June has had this many days in which temperatures fell into the 40s.  What made this streak even more noteworthy is the fact that it came only a few months after the mildest March on record (a record which still stands).  Today's high of 70° was the first in the 70s since 5/29.

 

Chilly

1989

During an afternoon thunderstorm, 1.18" of rain fell in just half an hour (2:30-3 PM). 

 

Clipart_thunderstorm2

2000

A rare June nor'easter dumped 2.62" of rain, with 1.10" of it falling between 7:30-10:30 AM.

2002

0.32" of rain poured down in just 10 minutes between 8:50-9 PM.

2010

Today was the eighth day in a row in which afternoon temperatures rose into the mid-to-upper 80s (but no 90s).  These readings were eleven degrees above average.

 

Sheepmeadow

2017

Measurable rain fell for the eighth day of the last nine, but the total amount was unimpressive - just 0.41" (by comparison, the deluge of May 5 saw 2.72" fall in two hours).  Today's light rainfall was 0.06", which fell throughout the day.  Temperatures during these nine days were  five degrees below average.

2020

Warm and uncomfortably humid, with a high of 86°; the dew point was in the 68°-70° range all morning thru mid-afternoon.  This was the first reading of 85° or warmer this year, the latest date for this occurrence since 2008 (when it happened on 6/7).   Today also had the year's first low of 70°+, which was just a few days later than the average date.  The humidity dropped sharply after a mid-afternoon shower.  Meanwhile, Newark and LaGuardia airports had their first readings in the 90s.

2021

Central Park had its first reading in the 90s this year (92°), as well its first low in the 70s (76°) -  the first time since 2013 that both occurred on the same date.  Today's first low in the 70s fell on the same date as last year's; the last time this happened was in 1988 and 1989 (when the date was 5/30).  This weekend's highs of 89°/92°, and those of two weeks ago, 89°/88°, were in very stark contrast to last weekend's highs of 51°/51° (Memorial Day weekend).

Rob.frydlewicz_summery weekend_june 5-6_2021

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Today in New York Weather History: April 15

 

1940

This was the fourth day in a row with a sub-freezng low (average low for mid-April is in the low 40s).

Frost

1943

Today's low of 28° was the fifth low in the 20s this month, the most in April since 1881.  These cold lows contributed mightily to making this the fourth coldest April on record (where it still ranks).

1960

Today's summery high/low of 83°/66° (25 degrees warmer than average) made the harsh, wintry conditions of March (second coldest of the 20th century, with 18.5" of snow) seem like a bad dream.

1972

The Mets' home opener was played through sprinkles and temperatures only in the chilly mid-40s.

1976

It was a stunning day for the Yankees' home opener as skies were sunny and afternoon temperatures warmed to 76°, sixteen degrees above average. 

1979

After a rainy and cold Saturday (high/low of 45°/40°, with 1.10" of rain), Easter Sunday was gray and cool, with a high/low of 55°/42°, and some light rain/drizzle between 4-6 AM.  Today would be chillier than Christmas Day 1979 (high/low of 61°/50°).

1990

1.47" of rain fell one year after 1.41" fell on the same date.

1991

It was a miserable day for the Yankees' home opener, which was played in a steady light rain, with temperatures hovering around 50°, well below average.  This was quite a contrast to last week's Mets home opener, played in 90-degree heat.  This was the eighth year out of the past nine to have rain on this date. 

2007

An intense Sunday nor'easter dumped 7.57" of rain, the second greatest 24-hour rainfall on record for New York.  Three inches fell between noon-4:00 (including 1.19" in one one-hour period); another period of torrential rain dumped an additional 1.70" between 9-11 PM.  In between these two periods of torrential rain, there was a period of calm, even a bit of clearing, somewhat resembling the eye of a hurricane.  An additional 0.84" would fall overnight thru noon on Monday.

 

Overflowing rain spout
  

2010

Temperatures in the first half of April were twelve degrees above average, but then the second half of the month would see temperatures closer to normal.  (Average high during the first half of the month was 72°, while the second half's average would be 63°.)

 

Split personality  

2014

A strong cold front moved through early in the evening, slicing the temperature nearly in half, from 63° at 4:00 PM to 33° by 11:30.  Steady rain changed to snow/sleet after 10:00 PM, which had a tough time accumulating since the ground had been warmed from four days in the 70s between 4/11-14.

2015

Today saw the year's first reading in the 70s, three weeks later than average, and tying 2003 for the latest "first 70" since 1993 (when it happened on 4/19).  Skies were partly cloudy.

70deg 2018

Two days after the high reached 82°, and one day after it was 77°, today was windy, raw and overcast, with temperatures only in the low 40s (the result of a "backdoor" cold front that moved through yesterday afternoon).  And conditions became even more miserable in the evening when rain moved in (0.47" fell thru midnight) and the temperature dropped into the upper-30s.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Today in New York Weather History: March 31

 

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

32 degrees in circle

1937

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

1964

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

1980

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

1987

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

 

Weather_rain

1989

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

1997

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

Noreaster3

1998

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

 

Chart - march madness 1998

 

2003

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

2011

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

 

Yankees_logo

2012

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

2016

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

2017

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

 

Roaring lion

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Today in New York Weather History: March 30

 

1883

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).

1884

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

1942

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.

1979

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.

1987

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.

1989

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°.

1991

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°.

2001

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°.

 

Clipart_fiercewinds

2007

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 

2010

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.   

2013

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°.    

 

Save

Save

Save


Today in New York Weather History: March 29

 

1887

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

1919

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".

1921

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.

 

Arrow.down

1923

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).

1970

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.)

 

Easter.snow 

1977

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

1984

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. 

1985

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.

 

Clipart_hotday

1996

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. 

 

Snow_peoplewalking

1998

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.

2013

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.    

2015

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.)

 

28

 

Save

Save

Save


Today in New York Weather History: March 28

 

1919

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.  

1921

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.

 

Down_arrow_blue

1960

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.

1984

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°).

 

Clipart_rainsnow

1985

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. 

1991

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

2005

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. 

 

Clipart_lightningbolt

2012

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. 

2013

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.

2016

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.

2018

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

2019

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).  

Save

Save

Save


Today in New York Weather History: March 25

 

1878

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).  

1906

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).

1911

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°.

 

Triangle.shirt.factory

1940

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.

1956

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

1970

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°+).  

1973

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.   

1974

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.

1992

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

15th

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Today in New York Weather History: March 21

 

1871

This was the fifteenth day of the past nineteen to have measurable precipitation, and today's amounted to 1.97", making this the rainiest of them all.  In total, 4.76" was reported (0.1" was snow).

1887

Today's high of 49° was the mildest reading this March - the only March with its mildest reading below 50° (this reading would happen a week later as well).  By comparison, January and February each had a reading in the low 60s.

1901

Although today's high was just 53°, it was the mildest temperature in March and would be the chilliest reading to be the warmest in March in the 20th century (a distinction that has continued in the 21st century). 

1921

Today had New York's first reading in the 80s in the month of March.  The high reached 84° shortly after 2:00 PM, but a strong cold front passed through around 3:00, and by daybreak on 3/22 the temperature had fallen to 37°.  Winds gusted to 35 mph during the evening.  Another reading in the 80s would occur one week later.

 

84degrees

1958

The nor'easter that moved in yesterday and dropped 4.7" of wet snow continued today and dumped an additional 7.1" thru midday.  The 11.8" that fell in total came just two years after 11.6" fell on March 18-19.  Philadelphia also picked up nearly a foot of snow from this storm - but the two cities' totals paled in comparison to the 30 to 40 inches that buried parts of central and eastern Pennsylvania.

1973

The morning low of 30° was the month's coldest reading, the mildest temperature for this distinction in the 1970-2021 period.  (The typical coldest reading in March is in the upper teens.)

 

30

1974

Two inches of rain fell between 6 AM-2 PM, with more than half of it pouring down between 10 AM-1 PM.  Temperatures during the morning were stuck at 39°, then jumped to 55° between noon and 1:00 PM (during a thunderstorm), before falling back into the upper 30s by evening. 

1980

A fierce nor'easter battered the area with heavy rain and gale force winds.  The 2.21" of rainfall was a record for the date; an additional 1.04" fell the next day, ending in the early afternoon.  The 3.25" of rain that fell during this 36-hour assault was the most since January 1979.  The winds were so strong that the 40-story office building I worked in at 800 3rd Avenue (between 49th and 50th Streets) was swaying noticeably, forcing the office to close mid-afternoon. 

 

Umbrellas_nyc

1986

Today was 16 degrees colder than normal (low of 18°), two days after it was 16 degrees milder than average (high of 70°).

1995

The past nine days all had above-average temperatures, with a mean temperature that was nine degrees above the norm.

2003

0.61" of rain fell this evening, with 0.17" of it pouring down in a five-minute period between 6:21-6:26 PM.  

2010

Today, with a high of 64°, was the sixth day in a row with a high that was twelve degrees or more above average.  The average high during these days was 68°, seventeen degrees above average.  (Yesterday's high was the warmest, reaching 74°)

2015

For the fourth day in a row the morning low was 29° degrees (average low is 37°).

2016

After beginning as light rain late last night, the last snowfall of the season fell in the wee hours of the morning, accumulating 0.5".  This snow brought the winter's total snowfall to 32.8".  Although this was above average, all but 5.3" came from the big blizzard of 1/23.

2018

On the first full day of spring snow began falling shortly after daybreak and continued for the rest of the day into the wee hours of 3/21.  By midnight 8.2" had accumulated, making this one of New York's biggest snowstorms after March 15 (an additional 0.2" fell after midnight).  This was the fourth nor'easter that brought heavy snow through the region this month, but the first in which the temperature was 32° or colder in the City (throughout the storm temperatures hovered between 31° and 33°).  Once again, Long Island was hammered, with accumulations of 12"-18" common. 

Save

Save

Save