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A Look At Mild Winter Months With the Most Snow & Cold Winter Months With Little Snow

 

Counterintuitive

 

January 2023 was the mildest on record and had just a trace of snow (on three days); the two seem to go hand in hand.  That said, I was curious about mild winter months with appreciable snowfall and cold winter months with relatively little.  Call it an analysis of counter-intuitives.

 

Nearly 40% of  months that are among the 10 mildest between December and March have had no snow or just a trace.  But of the mildest months to report snow, the snowiest was February 2017 (ranked as the second mildest February) which had 9.4" of snow.  This amount fell on one day, 2/9, and came after a high temperature of 62° the day before.  The second most snowfall was in Feb. 1991 with 9.1".  8.9" of that amount was from a storm near the end of the month.

 

Chart - mild month with snow

On average, a top-10 coldest month in the winter (December thru March) averages 12 inches of snow.  The least snowy of these coldest months was December 1989 (ranked third coldest December) which reported just 1.4" of snow that fell during three non-consecutive days (0.1" on 12/13, 0.7" on 12/15 and 0.6" on 12/30).

 

Chart - coldest months with little snow
   

FYI, the snowiest month among the 10 coldest of each winter month is March 1896 which had 30.5".  Much of the snow fell from two storms, one of 11 inches and another of 10 inches.


Old Man Winter A No-Show As January 2023 Becomes NYC's Mildest January

 

Warm january

 

You might say that January 2023 had a January thaw that lasted for the entirety of the month, resulting in New York's mildest January on record (0.3 degrees warmer than Jan. 1932).  Temperatures were 9.8 degrees above average, with every day being milder than average.  It joined December 2015 as the only two months to have this distinction.  Average high/low was 49°/38°.  (The high was comparable to Nashville's average high in January, the average low was comparable to Atlanta's.)

 

On average, January is 5.4 degrees colder than December, but about once every five years it's warmer than December - 2023  was one of these years as January was five degrees milder than December.  Only three other Januarys have been more than five degrees milder than the preceding December: Jan. 1990 was 15.5 degrees milder than Dec. 1989 (41.4° vs. 25.9°); Jan. 1911 was 6.3 degrees warmer (36.3° vs. 30.0°); and Jan. 2006 was 5.3 degrees milder (40.9° vs. 35.6°).

 

After December ended with three days in a row that were ten or more degrees above average, the streak continued for the first six days of January (the January portion of the streak was 17 degrees above average).  It wasn't until 1/14 that a reading of 32° or colder occurred; only Jan. 2005 had a later date for this first cold reading (occurring one day later).

 

Chart - longest streaks of above average temps
 

The month had 14 days with highs of 50° or warmer; and 15 days were ten or more degrees above average.  The mildest reading was 66° (the only day in the 60s).  And only three days had highs chillier than 40°, with the coldest high being 38°.  Just four days had lows of 32° or colder (21 days is the January average).  The coldest reading was 28°, which is the mildest reading to be the coldest for any January.  (The previous record was 25° in 1937.)

 

The most above average day was 1/4, twenty-three degrees above average (high/low of 66°/49°), and since there were no days below average, the least above average day was on 1/14, with a high/low of 38°/31°, two degrees above average.

 

Jan. 31 was the 35th consecutive day with an above average mean temperature, breaking the previous record of 34 days during the winter of 2015-16 (Dec. 1-Jan. 3). 

 

Besides the consistent above average readings, January had no measurable snow (average amount is about nine inches); but there were traces reported on three days.  It tied 2008 and 1933 for being the second least snowy January (Jan. 1890 reported no snow, not even a trace). 

 

With no measurable snow falling in either November or December, Central Park on 1/29 broke the 1973 record for the latest date in a winter without seeing any measurable snow (the first snow finally arrived in the pre-dawn hours of 2/1 when 0.4" accumulated).  

 

Finally, the month's total precipitation of 4.38" was very similar to January 2022's 4.29", about three-quarters of an inch above average.  (However, last January's precipitation included 15.3" of snow.)  Much of the rain, 3.13", fell in the eight-day period from the 19th to the 26th; the biggest rainstorm produced 1.34" on 1/25-26.

 

Chart - 5 mildest januarys in nyc-chart 1

 Chart - 5 mildest januarys in nyc-chart 2

 

One observation about the five mildest Januarys is that if Jan. 1932 didn't have a high/low of 33°/24° on the last day of the month it would likely still  be the mildest January as the first 30 days of the month had an average temperature of 43.7°, 0.2 degrees milder than Jan. 2023.  (January 2023 missed meeting the same fate as Jan. 1932 by one day as below average temperatures arrived on Feb. 1.)

 

Here are previous January recaps (no recap was published for Jan. 2016).

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2015

2014No winter


 


2023 Weather Highlights in New York

 

2023

 

JANUARY

1 - Temperatures were nearly as mild as a year ago (high/low of 55°/49°) but this year differed as the day featured sunny skies. 

6 - This was the ninth day in a row with a mean temperature 10 degrees or more above average, the longest such streak since another one of nine days in December 2015 (there was a 10-day streak in October 1990).  The average high/low during this streak was 56°/46°,  sixteen degrees above average.  And although  this was the last day of the streak, tomorrow would still be well above average (+7 degrees).

14 - For the first time this year the temperature fell to 32°.  Only 2005 started with a longer streak, with its first reading of 32° or colder happening on 1/15.  Additionally, the day's high of 38° would be the coldest high of the month, the mildest temperature on record to be the coldest high in January.  Finally, this was also the 18th day in a row with above average temperatures.

16 - This morning's low of 28° would be the coldest reading of the month -  the mildest coldest reading of any January on record, breaking the previous record of 25° in January 1937.  (January 2023 would become the mildest January on record.)

29 - The winter of 1973's record for latest date of the first measurable snowfall was broken today - and it would continue to be broken into February.  (The average winter in Central Park has 14.2" of snowfall by the end of January.)

 

FEBRUARY

1 - At long last Central Park had its first measurable snow of the winter as 0.4" accumulated in the pre-dawn hours.  This is the longest NYC had to wait for this event (the previous record was 1/29 during the winter of 1973).  Not only was today the end of the City's record snowless streak, it was also the end of its record 35-day streak with above average mean temperatures. Today was 2 degrees colder than average (high/low of 38°/26°).  And, finally, this morning's low was the coldest reading since the day after Christmas.

4 - This morning's frigid low of +3° was Central Park's coldest reading in four years (+2° on 1/31/19) and the coldest reading in February in seven  (-1° on 2/14/16).  And from 3-7 AM howling winds gusting between 25-35 mph produced wind chills between -10° and -15°.  Today's reading was in sharp contrast to January's coldest of 28° (the mildest coldest reading in January on record).  Finally, although today's reading was the coldest of the winter, the coldest day of the winter (based on average temperature) remained 12/24, with a high/low of 15°/7° (today's high reached 27° shortly before midnight).

Today's low was the ninth time since 2000 that a reading of 3° or colder occurred (and the fourth time it's happened in February). 

14 - Through today, just 0.05" of precipitation fell in Central Park this month, making this the second driest first half of February on record.  Only February 1980 had a lesser amount.

16 - The day after a high of 67° today was even milder as the high reached 70°, one degree shy of tying the record for the date.  This was the mildest reading in February since 2018, when the warmest reading of any February, 78°, occurred on 2/21.  And it was the earliest date for a year's first reading of 70+ since 2007 (when it occurred on 1/6).  Showers in the afternoon produced a rather meager 0.07" of rain, but it was more than what fell in the first 15 days of the month (0.05").  

Finally, this was the ninth day in a row in which the temperature remained above freezing, a period that was 14 degrees above average (average high/low of 56°/44°).

20 - Although the warmest high temperature on Presidents' Day is 64° in 2008, President's Day 2023 has the distinction of having the mildest mean temperature, with a high/low of 61°/47° (2008's low was 40°), 17 degrees above average. 

23 - A new winter record (meteorological winter) was established as Central Park had its 59th frost-free day, surpassing the 58 days experienced during the winters of 2012 and 1998.  Average number is 35 days.

27 - The second measurable snowfall of the winter (the first was on 2/1) began this evening and brought 1.8" of snow (half of it fell today, the other half in the overnight hours).  Three to six inches fell in outlying suburbs, where temperatures were colder.  This would be the biggest snowfall of a winter that would be the least snowiest on record.

 

MARCH

7 - after daybreak, light precipitation that began briefly as snow accumulated 0.1" and would be the last measurable snowfall of a winter that was the least snowy on record with just 2.3" reported (all but today's fell in February); this was 0.5" less than the previous least snowiest winter (1972-73).

30 - It was a chilly home opener for the Yankees with game time temperatures only in the mid-40s, ten degrees colder than average, along with breezy conditions.  However, the game was played under sunny skies.  The day's low of 31° was one of only four days with a low of 32° or colder in March (the average number is ten).

 

APRIL

6 - Afternoon temperatures were more than 30 degrees warmer than 24 hours earlier; today's high of 80°, a record for the date, was the warmest reading in Central Park since 9/21.  This would have been one of the Mets' nicest home openers, weatherwise, but the team postponed today's game yesterday based on a forecast of showers and thunderstorms, which ended up staying well to the south of NYC.

7 - The Mets home opener, delayed by one day, was played in seasonable temperatures (mid-50s) and under mostly sunny skies.  Similar to last year's home opener, afternoon humidity was very low and dipped to 16% as the game was getting under way.  As for the game, the Mets easily topped Miami, 9-3.

9 - Easter Sunday featured brilliant sunshine and low humidity; temperatures were a few degrees below average (high/low of 57°/40°).  In the early afternoon the humidity dropped to 15%.  This was the 23rd day this year to have humidity fall to 25% or lower, something that didn't happen last year until 8/12.  

13 - The temperature reached a sizzling 90°, which not only was a record for the date but the hottest reading in April since 2010 (when it occurred on 4/7, the earliest reading in the 90s on record).  This was just the fourth 90+ day in the first half of April.  (Typically, the first 90+ occurs around Memorial Day.)  

Today was also the seventh day in a row with very low humidity (25% or lower), the longest streak of its kind this century.  Over these seven days the humidity dropped to between 12% and 21% on each day.  Because of the low humidity this afternoon's feels-like temperature was five degrees lower than the day's high.  (An even longer streak, one of 11 days, would occur in May.)

14 - For the second day in a row a record high was set.  Today's high of 91° (thirty degrees above average) was one degree hotter than yesterday.  This was just the third time in April to have two or more consecutive days with highs in the 90s.  (The average date for a year's second high in the 90s is 6/9.)  Finally, this was the seventh day in a row with sunny skies (and thirteenth in a row with no measurable rain).

Additionally, today's low of 70° was the earliest low of 70° or milder on record, besting the former record by three days (74° on April 17, 2002).  Only two other dates have had lows in the 70s in April (70° on April 18, 1976 and 76° April 18, 2002).  Interestingly, the next low in the 70s wouldn't be until 6/25.    

15 - Four streaks ended today: 13 days in a row with no measurable rain (0.02" fell today during the evening); eight consecutive days with very low humidity (ranging from 13% to 21%); eight days in a row with sunny skies; and three consecutive days with highs in the 80s or 90s.  (However, a streak of days with highs of 75° or warmer reached five days.)

21 - With just 0.40" of rain measured through today this was the driest first three weeks in April since April 1968 (when 0.18" was reported).  And since 4/2 just 0.02" of rain fell (and less than an inch since 3/15).

22-23 - A frontal system produced thunderstorms and heavy rain tonight that lasted thru tomorrow morning.  The 0.68" of rain that fell thru midnight was the most to fall in one day in seven weeks.  And between 10-11 PM the 0.40" of rain that poured down was equal to the amount that fell in the first three weeks of April (which was the driest first three weeks of April since April 1968).  An additional 1.51" of rain would fall on 4/23 during the morning, making the storm total of 2.19" the greatest amount from a storm since the first week of October.

29 - For the first time (going back to 1869) more than an inch of rain fell on this date.  Today's rainfall of 2.46" broke the previous record of 0.91" in 1909.  (This leaves  Sept. 9 as the only date to never have had a rainfall of an inch or more.)  The previous ten years in which rain fell on 4/29 the amounts were all less than 0.10".

30 - After drying out overnight from yesterday’s deluge, more rain moved in after 11 AM and it turned heavy between 3-7 PM when 1.57" poured down; by midnight 2.32” had fallen.  This brought April’s total rainfall to 7.70”, making it the seventh wettest April on record.  This was quite an accomplishment considering that in the first three weeks of the month just 0.40” had fallen. 

Finally, despite this being the seventh day in a row with below average temperatures (averaging five degrees chillier than average) the month ended up being the second mildest April on record, behind April 2010.  This followed January being the mildest on record, February the third mildest, and March the 25th.

 

MAY

6 -Today’s mean temperature was average for the date which meant the end of a 12-day streak with below average temperatures, which was the longest such streak since one of 16 days in April 2020.  During this 12-day streak temperatures were six degrees below average.  With that streak ended, today was the first day of a 14-day streak with sunny or clear skies.

7 - Today’s high of 78° was the warmest since the high reached 91° on 4/14.  Today was also the 29th day this year in which the humidity dropped to 25% or lower.  This was one more day than all of last year and the most annual days since 2010 which had 33.   

14 - With a high/low of 74°/59° (four degrees above average) this was the mildest Mother's Day in eight years when the high/low was 83°/61° (eleven degrees above average).  Skies were clear and the humidity in the afternoon dropped to 20%.

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

20 - The extended streak with sunny or clear skies ended today as rain soaked the City mostly during the afternoon.  The 0.77" that was measured in Central Park was nearly double the amount that fell in the first 19 days of the month.  Rain totals on Long Island, Westchester Co. and in Connecticut were much higher than NYC's, with many town receiving between 1.50" and 2.50". 

29 - It was a beautiful Memorial Day, with sunny skies and a high/low that was identical to yesterday's (79°/59°).  

 

JUNE

1 - The first day of meteorological summer fit the bill as the high jumped to 87° under clear skies.  The last time it was this warm was three weeks ago.  Today's sunshine continued the near monopoly of fair skies experienced since 5/6.   

3 - After yesterday's sunny and hot conditions (high of 91°) today was overcast and cool with afternoon temperatures only in the mid-60s after winds shifted to an easterly-northeasterly direction. 

4 - The morning low of 49° was the first low in the 40s in June since 2000.  This reading came less than 48 hours after a high of 91°, and seven weeks after the earliest low in the 70s on record (on 4/14).

7 - A northerly wind drove smoke from major wildfires in Quebec into the area, producing a thick, orange haze that kept visibility below 2 miles during the afternoon and evening.  The daily average Air Quality Index was the highest since recording in New York began in 1999. (The second-highest level was yesterday.)  One saving grace was that the choking smoke wasn't accompanied by searing heat as the haze and overcast skies kept the temperature in the 60s during the afternoon. The poor air quality forced the Yankees to postpone today's game, and my late afternoon flight from Pittsburgh to LaGuardia was delayed two-and-a-half hours because of visibility issues.

25 - Although thunder showers were predicted it turned out to be a nice, summery day with a mix of sun and puffy cumulus clouds.  With a high/low of 85°/71°, this was the warmest day since 6/2 (91°/66°).  And the day's low temperature was the first in the 70s in more than two months (4/14). 

 

JULY

4 - A heavy downpour late in the morning produced 0.63" of rain, making this the rainiest Independence Day since 1981 (when 1.76" fell).  This brought the rainfall in the first four days of July to 1.66", which was more than what fell in all of June (1.62").  Shortly after the morning deluge the dew point reached 75°.  By mid-afternoon skies cleared and the evening was ideal for watching fireworks.

6 - On the day that scientists reported was the hottest globally of the past 125,000 years, it was a hot day in Central Park, with a high/low of 90°/75°, six degrees warmer than average.  (Yesterday's high was 93.)

16 - For the second year in a row more than an inch of rain fell on this date.  1.32" fell between sunrise and early afternoon, with 0.91" of it pouring down in the two hours between 11 AM and 1 PM.  NYC escaped the heaviest rain which fell  in Suffolk County and southern New England. 

The rain and overcast skies kept the high temperature below 80° for the first time since 6/27 and the mean temperature was below average for the first time since 6/29.  Despite the temperature being stuck in the 70s all day (the high/low was 78°/74°) the air was very uncomfortable as the dew point was 74° or 75° for 25 of the 2 hours between 5 PM yesterday and 7 PM today.

23 - Low temperatures today and the past three days: 69° (today)-70°-71°-72° (7/20).  This was just the third day this month with a low cooler than 70° (average number is 15).  Finally, today had the seventh high of 88° this month, the most of any July (going back 100 years). 

28 - Today's hot and steamy high/low of 92°/75° was the same as yesterday's, the third time this year a pair of consecutive days had similar highs and lows (the others were 4/25-26 and 5/28-29, with respective highs/lows of  60°/46° and 79°/59°.  This was the seventh year in which July 27-28 had identical highs/lows, the most of any pair of calendar dates.

29 - Central Park missed by one degree of having the year's first heat wave.  However, with a high of 89° today was the 15th day in the past four weeks to have a high of 88° or hotter.   (Five days were in the 90s, three had highs of 89° and seven reported a high of 88°).

 

AUGUST

16 - A morning deluge soaked Central Park with 1.26” of rain in a 90-minute period between 3:30-5 AM.  This was the third day of the past four to have a period of torrential rain in the pre-dawn hours.  Yesterday had 0.55” fall between 1:30-2:30 AM, and 0.69” fell on 8/13 between 3-4 AM.

 

SEPTEMBER

4 - Today was Labor Day and the high/low of  89°/73° was nearly identical to last year's holiday (88°/73°).  Also like last year, Labor Day was warmer than either 4th of July (83°) or Memorial Day (79°).  

5 - Today's sultry high/low of 92°/75° made this the first day with a high in the 90s since 7/28, when the high/low was the same as today's (7/27 also reported 92°/75°).  The day's mean temperature was 11 degrees warmer than average, which was the most above average day since 6/2 when it was 91°/66°.

6 - Under clear skies conditions were hot and humid with a high/low of 93°/77° (13 degrees above average).  Although the day's high tied 7/5 for hottest reading of the year (7/5's low was 72°), and the day's low tied 7/13 for the year's warmest low (7/13's high was 88°), its mean temperature was the hottest of the year.

7 - This was the third day in a row with a high in the 90s (93°), making this the first heat wave of the year.

8 - Today's high reached 90°, the fourth day in a row with afternoon readings in the 90s .  This was the first four-day heat wave in September since 1973 (when there was one of eight days that began on 8/28).  Dew points were in the uncomfortable low 70s throughout the day, peaking at 74° in the early afternoon.  Scattered showers and thundershowers produced the first measurable rain this month and ended a seven-day streak with mostly clear skies.

10 - Two periods of heavy rain that fell about 12 hours apart produced a record amount for the date (1.80").  Most of it fell between 10:30 and noon (0.65") and 11 PM-1 AM (0.88").  During the first round the temperature fell to 69°, breaking a six-day streak with lows in the 70s (and three in a row were 75°+).  This was the longest September streak since another of six days in 1985.   

11  - For the second day in a row more than an inch of rain was measured in Central Park (1.66").  Much of it fell during the evening rush hour when 1,32" poured down between 5:30-6:30.  This was the second time this year to have back-to-back days with an inch or more of rain; the first time was on 4/29 and 4/30 when 2.46" and 2.32" was reported, respectively.

15 - Today, with a high/low of 69°/58°,  had the first high in the 60s and first low in the 50s since 6/7 and 6/10, respectively.  Only three other Septembers have had their first reading in the 50s occur later (last year it happened on 9/16 and in 2016 and 1947 it fell on 9/17).  And the 98 days between the years last two lows in the 50s was the second longest gap on record (behind 1996's 104 days).

18 - Beginning last night rain fell off and on throughout today.  1.55" fell in total, with 1.33" measured today.  The day's temperatures were stuck in the 6os, with a high/low of 69°/60°.  The last four times it's rained on this date the amounts have been over an inch.  Besides today's amount, 1.16" fell in 2018,  1.06" fell in 2012 and 2.18" fell in 2004.  

24 - Tropical storm Ophelia brought steady rain and breezy conditions to NYC for a second consecutive day as the system moved very slowly north/northeast.  Yesterday's rainfall of 0.96" was followed by an additional 1.25" today.  (Today was the fourth day this month with an inch or more of rain.)  Temperatures were stuck in the 60s all day (high/low of 66°/62°), making this the tenth consecutive day with below average temperatures.    

25 - For a third day remnants of tropical storm Ophelia continued spinning in the Atlantic Ocean off the New England coast, bringing mostly a steady drizzle that ended by late in the afternoon.  Today's rain amounted to 0.59", bringing the storm's total to 2.80".  This brought September's rainfall to 8.15", making it the wettest month of the year.

29 - Three days after rains associated with tropical storm Ophelia moved out, a much bigger rain producer flooded the City today (creating a flood emergency).  Starting last night, 5.38" poured down today (9th greatest daily rainfall), much of it falling between 8-11 AM. While Ophelia dropped three inches over the course of four days, today’s storm dropped that amount in just two hours (and nearly four inches in three hours).

This storm brought September’s rainfall to 14.21", making it the second wettest September on record and the fourth rainiest of any month (an additional 0.04" would fall tomorrow).  Before today September was already a very wet month (among the 15 wettest Septembers) but today's deluge catapulted it to second wettest September.  While it was raining the temperature was stuck in the low 60s.

 

OCTOBER

1 - After eight days in a row with clouds, cool temperatures, and rainfall of nearly nine inches, today featured clear skies and a high of 76°.  This was the warmest reading since 9/17 and it ended two streaks: 16 days with below average temperatures and 8 days with highs cooler than 70° (the longest streak in September going back to 1960).  

3 - For the first time in three weeks the temperature rose into the 80s in Central Park.  This was also the first time in four years that October had a reading in the 80s.

28 - Today's high reached 80°, which was the latest date for a high of 80+ since 1993 when the high on 11/15 was 80°.

29 - 24 hours after the temperature reached 80° in Central Park, the temperature this afternoon was stuck at 53°.  The day was also gray and showery. 

 

NOVEMBER

21 - After just 0.07” of rain fell in the first 20 days of the month, 0.59” fell today (and 1.90” more would fall overnight).  Before the rain moved in during the late afternoon, the day had a low of 33°, which was the coldest temperature in Central Park since late March.

22 - Rain that began yesterday in the late afternoon continued overnight and amounted to an additional 1.93” before sunrise.  More than half of the storm’s total of 2.52” fell in the three hours between 2-5 AM (1.45”).  Today’s amount was just 0.10” shy of the record for the date.  This was the fourth biggest rainstorm this year.

25 - The low of 30° was the first reading of 32° or colder this season,  a few days later than the average date.  (But it was the latest date since 2016.)  Today's reading was the coldest low temperature since 3/19. 

29 - With a high of 38°/27°, this was the coldest day since 2/25.  These cold temperatures were fitting for tonight's  lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

 

DECEMBER

18 - Beginning last night and continuing through lunchtime today, a strong coastal storm lashed the area with wind and rain.  In total, 2.47” of rain was measured in Central Park, with 2.21” falling today.  The full fury of the storm was felt between midnight and 8 AM when close to two inches poured down and winds gusted to 36 mph.  (Many towns in northern NJ, the Hudson Valley, and in Connecticut received three to five inches of rain.)

Today’s rainfall set a record for the date, breaking the previous record from way back in 1876.  The day’s high temperature of 62° was reached shortly after daybreak; it was the mildest reading of the month (and one degree shy of the record for the date).  With today’s rain, the year’s total reached 57.68” placing it among the 15 wettest years on record (going back to 1869).

22 - Today, with a high/low of 37°/25°, was the coldest day of the month (six degrees colder than average).  This was also the last day this month with a low of 32° colder.  The average low during the next nine days would be 42°, eleven degrees above average.  (December 2023 would be the second mildest December on record.)

28 - For the third time in a little less than three weeks, a rainstorm dropped more than 1.50” of rain on Central Park.  The rain began late last night and continued through daybreak (light rain resumed later this evening).  In total, 1.54” was measured (1.22” fell today, mostly in the morning).  This was the third time that an inch or more of rain fell on 12/28 when it was a Thursday.  The other two years were 1967 (1.27”) and 1922 (1.29”).

This storm brought December’s total rainfall to 6.66”, making this the ninth wettest December on record.  Additionally, today’s rain brought the year’s total to 59.22”, ranking 2023 as New York's 11th wettest year (just behind 2021, which had 59.73”).

 

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December 2022 Weather Recap: Rainy Month Ends With Wild Temperature Swings

 


Rollercoaster

 

December 2022 was the rainiest month of the year and also featured the coldest reading of all of 2022; this reading of 7° was the coldest temperature in December since 1989.  The month's s other stand-out weather story unfolded during its last nine days when there were wild swings in temperature.  Overall, the month's average temperature was 0.6 degrees below average (average high was just about average, while the average low was a degree below average.).

 

From 12/24 to 12/30 temperatures swung from 25 degrees below average (7° on 12/24) to 21 degrees above average (62° on 12/30).  But the wildest swing was on 12/23 when the mercury plunged 50 degrees between 4 AM and midnight, from 58° to 8°.  This was the greatest daily change in temperature on record (breaking a 101-year record, of 48 degrees in March 1921).

 

This was just the fourth December to be the wettest month of a year (the other years were 1957 <5.26">; 1973 <"9.98">; and 2019 <7.09">).  Although the amount of precipitation measured, 5.83", was 1.45" above average (making it the 20th wettest December on record), it was about three inches less than the average amount of a year's wettest month. 

 

Three rainstorms in December produced more than an inch of rain.  The last of them, on 12/22-23, produced the most, with 2.06" measured.  Much of the rain (1.33") came down in an hour when a blast of Arctic air collided with a fast-moving coastal storm in the pre-dawn hours of 12/23. 

 

Although a typical December averages nearly five inches of snow, this December had no measurable snow (LGA and Newark, however, had 0.4" and 0.1", respectively).  This was the 21st December with no snow and the 14th in which neither November or October had measurable snow (the previous time this happened was in 2015).

 

December had two days with lows in the 50s, which was the most such days since Dec. 2015 (the mildest December on record), which had 11.  This December also had seven days with highs of 55° or warmer, which was one less than Dec. 2021 (which was 4.3 degrees above average) and one more than 2020 (which was 1.7 above average).

 

Christmas Eve was sunny and bitterly cold (high/low of 15°/7°, with sub-zero wind chill) while one week later New Years Eve was mild (high/low of 55°/50°) and foggy with showers.  Christmas Day was sunny and cold (28°/14°) but relatively bearable compared to Christmas Eve.

 

Here are December recaps from the previous seven years:

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

 

 

 

 

       


A History of Biggest & Smallest Swings in Daily Temperatures in New York City

 

Kidsonswings

 

The range in daily temperature in Central Park, also known as diurnal variation, is typically 14 degrees, and ranges from 11 degrees in December and January, to 17 degrees in May.  However, variations by individual days generally range between five and thirty degrees.  Variations are affected by atmospheric conditions such as humidity, cloud cover, passage of cold/warm fronts, wind direction, and precipitation.

 

On Dec. 23, 2022 mild air drawn up the coast by a fast-moving coastal storm crashed into a strong Arctic front moving southeastward, resulting in a drop in temperature from 58° to 8°.  This 50-degree plunge established a new record for greatest temperature drop of any calendar date, breaking the previous record of a 48-degree nosedive more than 100 years earlier, on March 28, 1921.  (That drop, however, is more impressive because it happened in just 10 hours while 2022’s drop took twice as long.)

 

Drops in temperature of 40 degrees or more in a day are infrequent, with just 19 such instances reported since 1869 (about once every seven years).  However, this year’s was the first drop of 40+ degrees of the century; the previous occurrence was on Dec. 22, 1998.  (Oddly enough, 1962 and 1990 each experienced two of these drops.)

 

At the other end of the spectrum are daily variations of, one, two, or three degrees.  There have been only seven instances of days with a one-degree change (in other words, happening once every generation).  The last time was on Dec. 14, 1996 (the high/low was 40°/39°).  Days with variances of two degrees occur, on average, once every two years (most recently on May 13, 2018 when the high/low was 54°/52°).  And an average year sees one or two days with three-degree variations (most recently on Jan. 28, 2022 when the high/low was 32°/29°).

 

Most of the big daily swings in temperature have occurred between January and May. For the purposes of this analysis I chose changes of 33 degrees or more as the qualifier.  Swings of this magnitude have occurred nearly 200 times (thru 2022), an average of 1.3 days per year.  1990 has had the most - seven days.  (Sixteen years have had no such days, including three in a row from 1982 to 1984.)

 

By month, the smallest difference between the average high and low occurred in November 1977, when it was only 8.4 degrees (high of 51.5°/low of 43.1°).  The greatest difference between the high/low was 21.6 degrees in May 1941 (high of 75.5°/low of 53.9°).

 

Half of the months with variations less than 11 degrees have occurred since 2001, while just 20% of variations greater than 18 degrees have occurred in this century (the last time was in May 2015 when there was a 19.8 degree variation). This is likely a function of global warming, as overnight temperatures have risen at a faster rather than high temperatures.

 

Although daily temperature variations of two or three degrees occur just a couple of times each year, in 1970 there were five such occurrences in a fifteen-day period, between Dec. 11-25.

 

Finally, the most instances of a variation of 33+ degrees by date have occurred on April 19 and April 25, both which have had it happen six times.  April 25th's include the consecutive years of 1960, 1961 and 1962.

 

 Chart - biggest temp changes - as of dec 2022 Chart - days with 1 degree variation


Despite Very Mild Start, November 2022 Fails to Rank Among 10 Mildest Novembers

 


Warm november 2022

 

Never before has the month of November started with such a sustained string of unseasonably mild days.  With an average high/low of 68°/55° the first twelve days were eleven degrees above average.  This included five days in the 70s and three days with lows in the 60s.  Ten of the days had highs of 66° or warmer (including three in a row with highs of 75°+). 

 

The month’s warmest high and low of 77° and 66°, respectively, were warmer than October’s warmest (76° and 61°).  The reading of 77° on 11/7 was the warmest in November in 19 years, while only Nov. 1, 1971 had a warmer low in November than this November's.  Five days were fifteen degrees or more above average.

 

Despite this record-warm start, the month was denied a spot among the 10 mildest Novembers.  This was due to an eight-day streak of unseasonably chilly conditions mid-month (11/14-11/21) that was seven degrees colder than average (high/low of 44°/34°).  This included the fall’s first low of 32° or colder on 11/19 (31°).  Overall, the month was 2.9 degrees above average and finished as the 13th mildest November on record (FYI, six of the top 10 are from this century).

 

Chart - mildest starts to november

The five days with highs in the 70s tied for fifth place for most in the month of November (November 1952 has the most - seven).  The three days with lows in the 60s were the most in November since 1975, which had four (the most).  However, November 2022 had five days with lows of 59° or milder -  the most of any November.

 

Another streak worth noting was one of eight days featuring sunny skies from 11/17 to 11/24; the last day fell on Thanksgiving Day.

 

The month’s rainfall of 3.15” was slightly below average.  This is the seventh time this amount has been reported as a monthly total.  The occurrence before this one was also in November, in 2013.  The month's rainiest day was 11/11, when 0.89" fell from the remnants of late-season hurricane Nicole.

 

The NYC Marathon on 11/6 had a high/low of 75°/66° making it the mildest of the races run in November (since 1986).

 

Although last November was 4.7 degrees colder than this November, this year's coldest reading was three degrees colder than November 2021 (27° vs. 30°).  Additionally, while November 2021 had 14 days that were five degrees or more below average, this year November had 14 that were five or more above average.

 

Here are November recaps from previous years:

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

 


October 2022 Weather Recap - Month's Overall Story Largely Determined In First 9 Days

 

Autumn 2022

Although it was just one degree chillier than average, October 2022 was the chilliest October since 2009.  This below average outcome was driven largely by the first nine days of the month, which were five degrees below average; the rest of the month was one degree above average.  Although the month was 1.0 degree below the 30-year average for October, it was 2.4 degrees cooler than Octobers since 2010 (and five degrees chillier than last October).

 

The month's rainfall of 5.08" made it the wettest month of the year (a low amount for this distinction since a year's wettest month  typically sees between seven and eight inches).  The last month with more precipitation was last October (5.26").  3.28" of the rain fell in the month's first five days (from the remnants of Hurricane Ian); then the rest of the month was drier than average.  The 1.85" of rain that fell on 10/4 tied 7/18 as the rainiest day of the year.

 

Despite the chill, the chilliest reading was just 42°; typically the chilliest reading is in the upper 30s.  Days with highs in the 70s occurred in three pairs: 10/6 & 10/7; 10/11 & 10/12; and 10/25 & 10/26.  10/6 had the warmest reading of the month, 76°.

 

Last fall, October had a record streak in the first half of the month, when 13 days in a row had lows in the 60s.  This October had only two lows this warm, and they didn't happen until 10/25 and 10/26.   

 

Finally, at the beginning of the month there were back-to-back days that were ten or more degrees chillier than average, and then there were two days in the closing week of the month that were ten or more degrees warmer than average.

  • Oct. 3:   53°/47°: 13 degrees below average
  • Oct. 4:   55°/46°: 11 degrees below average
  • Oct. 25: 70°/61°  11 degrees above average
  • Oct. 26: 72°/60°  12 degrees above average

 

Previous October recaps:

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

 

 

 

 

 


Friday the 13th Weather Highlights

 


Friday 13th

 

Friday the 13th appears on the calendar one to three times each year.  But despite the date's association with impending doom, the weather on this date has been a mixed bag of weather conditions.  Of the dates listed below, half had inclement conditions - but none cataclysmic in nature.  Therefore, from a weather perspective, there's no need to fear Friday the 13th more than the other days of the year.

 

Hottest: 95° (July 13, 1979)

Coldest: -1° (Feb. 13, 1914)

Rainiest: 2.61" (March 13, 1953)

Snowiest: 7.8" (Feb. 13, 1939)

 

September 13, 1889 

A dissipating hurricane stalled off the Delmarva Peninsula and brought bands of rain over the course of the past four days, amounting to 4.46", with much of it (3.34") falling yesterday and today.  Except for one hour this afternoon, the temperature was stuck in the 60s.  

 

August 13, 1909

The day's 0.81" of rain poured down between 10 AM and noon.

 

February 13, 1914

The morning low of -1° is the most frigid reading to occur on any Friday the 13th (in the years since 1900).  After dark, snow began falling and by midnight 1.6" had accumulated and the temperature rose to 26°.  This evening's snow was followed by 8.1" during the morning of the 14th.

 

January 13, 1939 

Beginning mid-afternoon, a snowfall of 8.8" (1.0" of it fell on 1/14) tied the Thanksgiving snowstorm of 11/24-25 as the biggest snowfall of the season.  It was also the most snow to fall on any Friday the 13th.

 

August 13, 1943

A strong thunderstorm dumped 0.80" of rain in less than an hour between 10:00 and 11:00 this morning.

 

March 13, 1953

The 2.61" of rain that fell during the morning made this the rainiest Friday the 13th in the years since 1900.  This rain was from a nor'easter that moved in yesterday afternoon (when 1.17" of rain fell).  The amount was a record for the date (broken in 2010 when 3.86" of rain fell). 

 

September 13, 1957

Today's high of 91° was the century's first reading in the 90s on a Friday the 13th (it would happen three more times: July 1962, August 1976 and July 1979).

 

April 13, 1962 

After going four years without a National League baseball team to call its own, the New York Mets played their first home opener, in unseasonably cold conditions, with a high/low of 43°/38° (nine degrees below average).  Windy and overcast, there were showers before daybreak and again late in the afternoon, amounting to 0.13".  As for the game, the Mets lost to the Pirates, 4-3.

 

November 13, 1970

A nor'easter produced 1.66" of rain that fell through early evening.

 

January 13, 1978

A nasty winter storm brought snow in the morning and early afternoon and an onslaught of sleet and rain after dark.  The ice and snow accumulated 3.0"; liquid precipitation amounted to one inch.  The temperature was at 32° or colder all day until after 10 PM when it rose to 33.°  (One week later 13.6" of snow would bury the City.)

 

July 13, 1979

The day's high was 95°, and with dew points during the afternoon in the the 73°-75° range, the heat index reached 106°

 

December 13, 1985 

A breeze out of the northeast, low clouds and periods of drizzle kept the temperature from moving much as just two degrees separated the high (40°) and low (38°).  

 

October 13, 1995 

Today's high hit 86°, twenty degrees above the average high for the middle of October.

 

February 13, 1998 

Today was the 30th day in a row with above-average temperatures - and 42nd out of the last 43 (beginning Jan. 2).  The mean temperature during this six-week period was nine degrees above average.  

 

May 13, 2005 

For the third day in a row the high was an unseasonably warm 86°, seventeen degrees above average.  

 

April 13, 2012 

Despite it being Friday the 13th, skies were clear, temperatures pleasant (low 60s, a few degrees above average), and the Yankees won their home opener, beating the Angels, 5-0.  However, from Yankee Stadium smoke could be seen in the distance, rising from a brush fire in Central Park as very low humidity posed a threat for brush fires throughout the area.

 

June 13, 2014 

Heavy showers moved through the area around 9 AM, and a severe thunderstorm struck between 5:45 and 7:30 PM.  In between, during the afternoon, the sun broke through for the first time in five days.  The 1.28" of rain that fell came one year after 1.26" fell on the same date.

 

February 13, 2015

Although the coldest low on Friday the 13th is -1°, set in February 1914, the coldest high temperature occurred today, when it was only 21° (the day's low was 8°; in 1914 the high was 26°)

 

April 13, 2018 

Today's high soared to 82° the day after the high reached 63° (which was the mildest reading in more than seven weeks).  This was eight days earlier than a year's typical first 80-degree reading.  And this morning's low of 60° was what the average high should be.

 

August 13, 2021

A sweltering high/low of 94°/78° produced the hottest mean temperature of any Friday the 13th (as mentioned earlier, July 13, 1979 has the hottest high temperature of any Friday the 13th - 95°). 

 


September 2022 Weather Recap: Largely Uneventful

 

September header

 

September 2022 had close to average temperatures (+0.3 degrees) and rainfall that was just slightly below average (4.10").   Through 9/22 temperatures were two degrees above average, but then the following eight days were four degrees cooler than average.  11 days had mean temperatures that were very close to average (i.e., between one degree below and one degree above average), the most of any month since September 2016.  The month's biggest daily rainfall, 1.11" on 9/25, poured down in a little less than an hour.  (Ironically, 9/25 is one of the least likely dates of the year to report measurable rain.)

 

The spread between the month's coolest (49° on 9/24) and hottest readings (90° on 9/4) was 41 degrees, the widest spread in September since 2015.   Although the hottest and chilliest readings were 20 days apart, the days with the most above average and most below average mean temperatures were just four days apart (9/19, with a high/low of 85°/68° was nine degrees above average; 9/23, with a high/low of 63°/51°, was ten degrees below average).

 

The 90° reading on 9/4 was the 25th reading of 90+ of the year, making 2022 the 20th year with 25 or more (all since 1936).  Of these years, 2022's hot readings were "coolest", with an average of 91.8° (0.1 degree cooler than 1959, which had 27 days in the 90s).

 

Finally, what was likely the last low of 70° this year  occurred on 9/5.  The last time this occurrence was so early was in 2014.  (FYI, a low in the 70s in October has occurred in nine years since 1869.)  In total, 2022 had 50 days with lows of 70+; only eleven other years have had more (the most was 61 in 1906, and 60 in 2005).  

 

Here are are weather recaps from eight previous Septembers:

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

   


Hurricanes & Tropical Storms That Affected New York Before 1970

 

Hurricane swirling clouds

 

Similar to tropical systems that have lashed NYC since 1970, the average frequency in the years before 1970 is once every two years.  What follows is a year-by-year listing of more than 50 pre-1970 hurricanes (as well as remnants of downgraded storms).  1954 stands out for having four tropical systems that affected the metro area.  At the other end of the spectrum, the 20 years between 1894 and 1914 saw just three tropical systems in total.  Please note that the first named storm to affect New York, Barbara, was in 1953.

 

1869

October 2-3 - Four inches of rain was produced by a hurricane that struck Cape Cod (1.84" fell on the 2nd, 2.16" on the 3rd).

1872

October 26 - The center of circulation from a dissipating hurricane got very close to Manhattan as it moved northeastward, dropping 1.56" of rain.

1874

September 29 – What was once the season's sixth hurricane moved over New York as a tropical storm, dropping 0.64" of rain on Central Park.  This was considerably less than the seven inches of rain that flooded the City from Sept. 16-18 from a non-tropical system.

1876

September 17 - Heavy rain from a minimal hurricane that raced inland through North Carolina and Virginia dumped 3.37" of rain in Central Park (a record for the date that still stands).

1877

October 4 - A dissipating tropical storm dumped 4.05" of rain in Central Park (a record for the date that still stands).

 

Heavy rain clip art2

 

1878

October 23 - The center of a dissipated hurricane and tropical storm, referred to as the "Gale of 1878", moved west of Manhattan.  Shortly after daybreak winds gusted over 50 mph, and 0.73" of rain was measured in Central Park.

1879

August 18 - 3.95" of rain flooded the City from a hurricane that struck North Carolina this morning and raced up the coast during the day.  This amount was a record for the date (a record that still stands).

1880

September 9-10 - Rain from a hurricane moving north from South Carolina started late on the 9th (0.67" of rain fell) and continued into the morning of the 10th (adding 0.54"). 

1882

September 11 - Rain from a tropical storm amounted to 3.23", with much of it (2.57") falling today.

September 23 - Less than two weeks after a tropical storm soaked the City, another tropical system brought more flooding rains to the Mid-Atlantic states, and drenched New York with its greatest rainfall for any calendar date - 8.28".  And in the preceding two days 3.52" of rain fell.  With a total of 16.85" of rain for the entirety of September (most of which fell between the 11th and 23rd), this was NYC's wettest month on record until Aug. 2011 when 18.95" was measured.

 

Heavy rain

1885

October 13 - A tropical storm moved northward through central Pennsylvania and dropped 1.50" of rain in Central Park. 

1886

June 23 - An early tropical storm passing to the south of New York dropped 1.20" of rain.  Cloud cover and rain kept the temperature in the 60s all day (the high/low was 66°/62°).

1888

August 21 - As it traveled just north of the City on its way to New England, the remnants of a category 3 hurricane that struck south Florida and later Louisianar soaked the City with 4.12" of rain (a record for the date that still stands).

1889

September 10-13 - A dissipating hurricane stalled off the Delmarva Peninsula and brought bands of rain over the course of four days, amounting to 4.46", with much of it (3.34") falling on the 12th and 13th.  Except for one hour during the afternoon of the 13th, the temperature was stuck in the 60s.  These four days were the start of a streak of nine days in a row with rain (and ten out of eleven); total rainfall during this period was around six inches.

1893

August 19-20 – A hurricane approached New York during the evening.  A peak gust of 85 mph was clocked and 3.81" of rain fell (1.34" today, and 2.34" on the 20th).

August 23 – Just four days after a hurricane lashed the City, a tropical storm passed to the west and dumped 3.61" of rain.

October 23 - A shield of heavy rain from a tropical storm that passed over the Delmarva Peninsula soaked the City with 2.46".

1903

September 16 - A category 1 hurricane made landfall on the Jersey shore in the morning, delivering a brief period of heavy rain to New York between 11 AM-2 PM; 1.63" was measured.

October 8-9, 1903 - A stalled hurricane (that weakened to tropical storm status), and a low-pressure system that formed along an approaching cold front, combined to create a tremendous rainstorm that produced 11.63" over 26 hours.  The deluge started late in the morning of the 8th (4.30" was measured) and continued thru mid-afternoon on the 9th (when 7.33" fell).  Rain fell at a rate of an inch every two hours for a large portion of the storm; at its most intense, 2.54" fell from 9-11 AM on the 9th.  At the time the rainfall on the storm's second day was New York's second greatest daily amount (behind 8.28” that fell 21 years earlier on Sept. 23); it's now ranked fourth.

1904

September 14-15 - After three weeks in which just 0.01" of rain fell, 3.84" poured down from a hurricane that crossed the eastern end of Long Island,and tore 19 barges from their moorings in New York Harbor.  The rain was split pretty evenly between the evening of 9/14 and the following morning.

1915

August 4 – What was the season’s first hurricane, which developed near Florida, brought 3.25” of rain (mostly between 6-10 AM) as it passed by New York City as a tropical storm.  A gust of 53 mph was clocked at Central Park.  Today’s amount of rain was a record for the date (which still stands).

1916

May 16-17 - The remnants of the year's first (and very early) tropical system produced a record amount of rain for the date (2.66"), with almost all of it falling after 4 PM.  And an additional 0.30" fell in the pre-dawn hours of the 17th. 

1924

August 25-26 - A dissipating hurricane southeast of Long Island, moving in the direction of Cape Cod, brought tropical storm-force winds and 3.03" of rain to New York.  Rain began the evening of the 25th and continued thru late morning on the 26th, with 2.29" measured (1.13" fell between midnight and 2 AM).

1925

December 1-5 – A large, meandering, extra-tropical system brought squalls and gusty winds over the course of five days.  2.76” of rain fell during this period, with the wettest day being 12/3, when 1.63” was measured (but none of the rain was torrential; the greatest two-hour totals were 0.41” from midnight-2 AM, and 0.36” between 8-10 PM.  Winds gusting to 35 mph were common on the 3rd and 4th.

1928

September 19-20 - Remnants of the Great Okeechobee Hurricane (which killed 2,500+ in central Florida on 9/17) dampened the City with 1.70" of rain; 1.29" fell on the 19th (showers fell throughout the day, with 0.58" falling between 10 AM-noon), and 0.41" fell in the wee hours of the 20th (with 0.29" falling between midnight-1 AM).

 

Lake okeechobee hurricane of 1928

 

1929

October 1-2 - The remnants of the season's second hurricane moved through eastern Pennsylvania, producing 2.55" of rain.  2.16" of it fell on 10/2, with most of it falling between 5 AM-3 PM.  This amount was a record for the date (which still stands). 

1930  

September 13-14 - A hurricane off the Outer Banks of North Carolina, pushed rain squalls into the area after 10 PM on the 13th that continued through the wee hours of the 14th.  The 0.75" that fell (0.56" of it on the 14th) comprised half of the rainfall of a dry September (at the time, the tenth driest September; now ranked 21st).  This was the smallest amount of rain from a tropical system since 0.73" fell on Oct. 23, 1878.

1932

September 16 - A weakening tropical storm to the southeast of Long Island brought showers.  And although it was just 0.68”, similar to the hurricane of Sept. 1930, it accounted for more than half of the month’s paltry rainfall (8th driest September; now ranked 15th).   This was the third September in a row with less than two inches of rain (then Sept. 1933 and 1934 would each have more than ten inches).

October 17-18 - Tropical moisture from a tropical storm that dissipated over West Virginia, produced 3.24” of rain, much of which fell between 9 PM on the 17th to daybreak on the 18th (2.58”).  The rain was also accompanied by tropical storm-force winds.  This was the most rain to fall from a tropical system since 3.25" fell on Aug. 4, 1915.

1933

August 23 - The remnants of a hurricane that made landfall on the North Carolina/Virginia border moved north through central PA and upstate NY, dumping 2.23” of rain in Central Park, with much of it falling between 4-10 PM.  (0.14” was added in the wee hours of 8/24).  This came on the heels of a coastal storm on 8/21-22, which produced 3.28” of rain.    

1934

June 19 - 1.91” of rain fell, mostly before 9 AM, as the remnants of a category 2 hurricane that made landfall in Louisiana three days earlier moved just to the southeast of the metro area.  This was a record amount of rain for the date (a record that still stands).

September 8 - The strongest hurricane of the season brought heavy rain to the City when it crossed over the eastern end of Long Island.  There were two periods of heavy rain, the first between 6-10 AM, when 1.23" fell, and then much heavier rain fell from 5-11 PM, when 3.26" poured down.  (An additional 0.37" fell at other times during the day, bringing the day's total rainfall to 4.86".)  During the early evening, winds gusted between 45-50 mph.  This hurricane came four days after remnants of a tropical system brought 0.68” on 9/3-4.

1935

September 6 - The remnants of what was the Great Labor Day hurricane in the Florida Keys (nearly 500 were killed) brought heavy rain this morning, with 1.60” measured between 2-10 AM (most of it fell between 4-8 AM).

1936

September 18 - After receiving just 0.08" of rain in the first two-and-a-half weeks of the month, a weakening hurricane to the southeast dumped nearly four inches, with most of it falling between 2 PM and midnight.  It was also a chilly day, with temperatures falling into the upper 50s during the afternoon. 

1938

September 21 - New York was spared the ravages of the history-making hurricane known as the Long Island Express, which made landfall mid-afternoon, 65 miles to the east.  Still, the City had to contend with near hurricane-force winds and four inches of rain, half of which fell between 1-4 PM.  Besides the wind and rain, it was also chilly, with the temperature dropping slowly all day, from the low-60s to low-50s.  Today's deluge followed two days of steady rain that amounted to 3.45".

 

1938 new england hurricane

 

1939

August 19 - The biggest rainfall of the year was produced by the remnants of the season's second hurricane, which made two landfalls in Florida, on the east coast and along the state's Panhandle.  The 2.31" that was measured fell between noon and midnight.  It fell heaviest after 8 PM, when more than half of the rain fell.  

1944

September 14 - "The Great Atlantic Hurricane" raced up the Mid-Atlantic coast and veered to the east of NYC (making landfall near East Hampton on Long Island), dumping 3.82" of rain between 4-11 PM, and lashing the City with gale force winds that gusted between 40 and 50 mph (and 70-80 mph at LaGuardia Airport).  Today's rainfall came on top of 3.94" that fell yesterday and 1.64" the day before for a three-day total of 9.40".  The New York metro area was the bullseye for the heaviest rainfall.

 

Great atlantic hurricane of 1944
 

October 20-21 - The remnants of the season’s 13th hurricane, that made landfall in North Carolina, produced 1.29” of rain between 7 PM-4 AM.

1950

August 19-20 - The season’s first hurricane brought two periods of heavy rain as it moved from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod.  The first, from 11 AM-4 PM on the 19th saw 1.43”, with 1.04” of it falling between 1-2 PM.  Then, on the 20th, 1.46” was measured between 7 AM-3 PM, with 0.63” falling in the initial hour.  (However, this storm wouldn’t be as severe as Thanksgiving weekend's nor’easter three months later, which blasted the City with winds that gusted to 70 mph.)

1952

February 3-4 – The earliest tropical system on record brought 0.64” of rain late on 2/3 through the morning of 2/4.

September 1 – Remnants of the season’s first hurricane (which made landfall in South Carolina the day before) moved to the west of NYC and brought 1.17” of rain, with most of it falling between 10A-1PM.  This was a little more than half of the month’s total rainfall.

1953

August 14 - Twelve hours of rain from hurricane Barbara between 10 AM-10 PM measured 0.92”, which was almost half of the month’s total rainfall.

Barbara

1954

June 13 - 0.52” of rain fell between 3-7 AM (most of it between 4-5:00) from a tropical storm out in the Atlantic.  After skies cleared, the mercury rose into the upper 80s.

August 30-31 - Hurricane Carol made landfall on eastern Long Island (as a category 3) and brushed the City with gale force winds and 1.71" of rain, which began last night and continued today through late morning. 

September 11 - Less than two weeks after Hurricane Carol, Hurricane Edna made itself known (as it headed to Cape Cod), dumping 3.30" of rain (nearly twice as much as from Carol), with most of it falling in the twelve hours between midnight and noon.  This was the biggest rainfall of the year.

 

Torrential rain
 

October 15 - Powerful hurricane Hazel (category 4 when it made landfall in North Carolina) moved through Pennsylvania on its way to Ontario, Canada.  It brought minimal rain to the City (0.39” was measured, almost all of which fell between 6-7 PM), but winds gusted to 40 mph in Central Park, and 66 mph at La Guardia. 

1955

August 11-13 - Hurricane Connie flooded New York with 7.11" of rain over the course of 39 hours, with the first band of heavy rain moving through late on 8/11.  Although the most rain fell on the 11th (3.62"), the heaviest sustained period of rain would be on the 12th from 3-9 AM, when 2.50" poured down.  Rain was more of an issue than the wind, which gusted between 35-45 mph, well below hurricane force.  This was New York's biggest rainstorm since the Great Hurricane of Sept. 1944.  And while this ranks as one of Central Park's biggest rain totals, LaGuardia Airport picked up five inches more.

August 18-19 - One week after the flooding rains from hurricane Connie, another tropical system, Diane, affected the region, but compared to Connie, Diane moved relatively quickly.  The first band of heavy rain moved in late on the 18th, and by 9 AM on the 19th the rain was over; less than two inches fell, but significant flooding resulted since the ground was over-saturated from the large amounts of rain from Connie.  Sustained winds got no higher than 30 mph (but winds gusted to 54 mph at LaGuardia Airport).

1956

September 27 - Tropical storm Flossy, which was a few hundred miles to the southeast, brought tropical storm-force winds and a small amount of rain (0.21”) from 9 PM-midnight.

1959

June 2 - Remnants of Tropical Storm Arlene produced 1.09” of rain that fell from noon today until 2AM on the 3rd (0.90” fell from 4-11 PM).

July 10 – Remnants of Hurricane Cindy produced 0.50” of rain between 6 PM on 7/10 and 3AM on the following day.

1960

July 30 – Heavy rain produced by tropical storm Brenda, which moved over NYC, amounted to 3.56” during a 12-hour period between 1 AM and 1 PM.  This was the biggest rainstorm in five years (since Hurricane Connie).  At the time this was the second greatest daily rainfall amount in the month of July (it's now third).

September 12 - Rain and high winds from hurricane Donna, which moved just to the east of Manhattan, lashed the area during the morning through the first half of the afternoon.  2.36" of rain fell (heaviest between 11 AM and 2 PM) and winds gusted between 40-50 mph; at LaGuardia Airport winds gusted to 90 mph, and 3.63" of rain fell.

 

Umbrella blown inside out 

 

1961

September 15 – The downgraded hurricane Debbie moved just to the east of NYC, and produced rain for just a three-hour period between 7-10 AM (and only 0.32” was measured).  

Septmber 20-21 – Moving in during the evening of 9/20, what was once Hurricane Esther brought 1.28” of rain, 1.05” of it on the 21st.  Rain fell hardest between 2-4 AM and 10 AM-noon.  (Before it made landfall in North Carolina a few days earlier, Esther was briefly a category 5 storm.)  Tropical storm-force winds lashed the City at around daybreak.  The rain produced by the storm accounted for 75% of the month’s rain (1.70”).

1962

August 28-29, 1962Hurricane Alma brought rain that fell in three stages: in the pre-dawn hours of the morning of the 28th, when 1.35” fell (0.81” of it in a two-hour period), then lighter amounts after 7 PM through 8AM  on the 29th,  and then a mid-afternoon downpour (0.12”).  In total, 1.95” of rain was measured.