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August 2021 Weather Recap: Henri Rescues August From "Dullsville"


 Hurricane henri aug 2021


August was the fourth wettest August on record, but until 8/21 the month had been a dry one, with rainfall 50% below average.  Then, Hurricane Henri produced 8.19" of rain over three days (Aug. 21-23), accounting for nearly 80% of August's 10.32" of rain.  (The other 28 days of the month had just 2.13".)  This was the second month in a row with more than ten inches of rain (July had 11.09", making it the third wettest July),  just the second time this has happened (however, the first time, in March and April 1983, is disputed since the rain gauge in Central Park wasn't functioning properly for much of the year).  Although August's rainfall was less than an inch below that of July, its number of days of measurable precipitation was half as many (nine vs. eighteen).


Chart - rainiest back to back months

One out of four Augusts have been warmer than July, and August 2021 was one of them (77.5° vs. 76.0°).  The month was 1.4 degrees above average, making it the City's 17th hottest August (out of 153).  However, there was a disparity in rankings of the average high and low, as only five other Augusts have had a warmer average low than this August (2.2 degrees warmer than average), but the average high (just 0.6 above average) was ranked much lower, at #39.  This difference in rankings wasn't unique to this August, as the trend during the 2000s has been for overnight temperatures to be more above average than daytime readings (one of the effects of global warming).


After the first five days of the month were five degrees below average, the rest of the month was three above average (with only five of the 26 days having cooler than average mean temperatures).  August had five readings in the 90s, one more than July, and it had five more days than July with lows of 75° or warmer.  August's days in the 90s were comprised of back-to-back days on Aug. 12-13, and a three-day heat wave two days after Henri's departure (Aug. 25-27).  The month's hottest reading was 94° on 8/13.


Finally, this was the eighth year in a row in which August had no readings in the 50s.  The coolest temperature was 63° on 8/2.  (Meanwhile, July's streak of 12 years with no lows cooler than 60° was broken this year). 


Here are monthly recaps for past Augusts:














November 2016 Characterized By Soggy Second Half




November 2016 was the seventeenth month in a row that was warmer than average (+2.1 degrees) - extending what was already a record streak.  But the month's stand-out feature was rain.  After a very dry first two weeks (just 0.06" of rain), the second half of the month received more than five inches of rain.  On 11/15 1.81" fell, which at the time was the biggest rainstorm of the year; then two weeks later that amount was surpassed when 2.20" fell on 11/29, a record for the date.  Not only was this the biggest rainstorm in nearly two years (since 12/9/14, when 2.54" fell), it was the rainiest day ever between Nov. 21 and Dec. 9.  And although 2.20" of rain is not an extreme amount (e.g., 7.40" fell in Nov. 8, 1977 and 5.60" on the very same date in Nov. 1972), it just happened to fall during a relatively "quiet" time of the year as far as major storms are concerned.  With 5.41" measured, November 2016 was the wettest November in ten years (when 7.34" fell) and the fourth wettest since 1990.  


Some other observations:

  • Temperatures during the month ranged from 34° to 72°.  Since 2000 only four other Novembers have had a reading of 72° or warmer.  As for cold temperatures, this November was the seventh since the turn of the century not to see a reading of 32° or colder (average date for the first 32-degree reading is 11/18; the latest date for this reading is 12/21 in 1998).
  • The high of 66° on Election Day (11/8) was the warmest reading for a Presidential election since 1940 (when the high reached 71°).  Election Day followed by two days the running of the NYC Marathon, which had nearly perfect conditions as skies were sunny and temperatures in the 50s for the bulk of the race.  Breezy conditions (20-25 mph gusts) was the only fly in the ointment.
  • Thanksgiving Day was overcast and on the raw side, with a high/low of 48/38.  Rain stayed to the north and south in the morning, sparing the Thanksgiving parade, but later in the afternoon light showers dampened the sidewalks (but amounted to just 0.03").
  • This was the second month in a row with a wet second half.  Thru the first eleven months of 2016 there have been twelve storms that produced and inch or more of precipitation.  Of these, eleven occurred in the second half of their respective months.  The only one in the first half was the year's first one-inch rainstorm, on 1/10.


One inch rainstorms 2016


Beautiful fall day
A beautiful mid-November Saturday in Greenwich Village, Hudson River Park.


























Weather Extremes That Occurred Before Global Warming Became a Concern

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!).



  • 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.







January 2015 - Not as Cold & Snowy as Last Year, But Sill Cold & Snowy


January 2015


Compared to last January, January 2015 wasn't as cold or snowy, but it was still colder and snowier than average, with a mean temperature 2.7 degrees below average, and snowfall more than double the month's average (16.9" vs. 7.0").  It was also the wettest January since 1999.  What follows are the four key stories of the month:


  • A typical January is five degrees colder than December, but this year it was 11 degrees colder as December was on the mild side (3.2 degrees above average).
  • There was a "January thaw" of just one day, on Jan. 5 when it was 56°/41°.  After that day the "warmest" temperature for the rest of the month was just 43°.  By contrast, January 2014 had a thaw of five days.
  • The rainstorm of Jan. 18, which drenched the area with 2.10", was the biggest rainstorm in January since 1999.
  • Of course, the biggest story of the month was the blizzard that fizzled during the last week of the month, giving the City "just" 9.8" rather than 24"-36" that had been predicted the day before the storm moved in.




JANUARY 2015 vs. JANUARY 2014
  2015 2014 Average
Average High (+/-) 36.1 (-2.2°) 35.4 (-2.9°) 38.3
Warmest Reading 59° 58° 59°
Average Low (+/-) 23.6 (-3.3°) 21.8 (-5.1°) 26.9
Coldest Reading
Mean Temp (+/-) 29.9 (-2.7°) 28.6 (-4.0°) 32.6
Highs of 32 or Colder 13°
Precipitation 5.23" 2.79" 4.13"
Snowfall 16.9" 19.7" 7.0"


Biggest January Rainstorms




Not only was the 2.10" deluge on Jan. 18, 2015 a record for the date, it was New York's biggest January rainstorm in sixteen years (since Jan. 3, 1999, when 2.42" fell).  This makes it the biggest January rainstorm of the 21st century.  And in the years between 1999 and 2015 there were four January's that had about this amount of rain for the entire month.  Since 1970 this was the eighth biggest January rainstorm (ranked ninth if snowstorms are added to the mix).  Other findings:


  • Of the eleven storms in January since 1970 that produced more than two inches of precipitation, two are snowstorms - the blizzard of Jan. 7-8, 1996 and the snowstorm of Jan. 26-27, 2011.
  • Among the rainstorms, 2014's had the coldest temperatures, which ranged between 34 and 42.  Seven of the other rainstorms had temperatures rise into the 50s.
  • 1979 has two rainstorms on the list, and they occurred just three days apart. 
  • Six of the storms occurred between Jan. 23 and Jan. 28.
  • 2014's precipitation was concentrated in 13 hours; only the 1999 storm had a shorter duration, 12 hours.  Most of the other storms lasted 18 hours or more.


Date Amount Hours Range Comments
Jan 20-21, 1979 3.98" 19 54/27 Began as 0.5" of snow
Jan 26-28, 1976 2.89" 28 56/35  
Jan 4, 1982 2.73" 15 58/36  
Jan 23-24, 1998 2.65" 20 47/34  
Jan 3, 1999 2.42" 12 51/35  
Jan 24-25, 1979 2.32" 16 53/35  
Jan 25-26, 1978 2.25" 18 58/35  
Jan 7-8, 1996 2.16" 25 23/16 All snow 20.2")
Jan 18, 2014 2.10" 13 42/34  
Jan 25-26, 1986 2.07" 23 51/38  
Jan 26-27, 2011 2.06" 21 32/29 All snow (19.0")
Source: NOAA, Local Climatological Data




April Ends with a BIG Splash




No month has ever ended with such a big rainstorm as did April 2014.  4.97" poured down on April 30, making it New York's rainiest day on record.  Previous to this, the rainiest day at the end of a month end occurred on Aug. 31, 1911 when 3.76" fell.  Before April 30th's deluge the month had been an inch-and-a-half below average.  It ended up becoming the sixth rainiest April on record. 




More than 60% of the month's rainfall was accounted for on the last day of the month.  What also made this day's rainfall of interest was that up until this year April 30 was one of three days in which an inch or more of rain had never fallen (the other two days are April 29 and Sept. 9). 


And the wettest first day of any month?  When this post was written in 2014, that honor went to Oct. 1, 1913, which had 4.98" measured (yes, 0.01" more than April 30, 2014); however, it fell to second place when 7.13" of rain fell on the first day of September 2021.  


    % of Month's
Date Amount Total Precip
April 30.2014 4.97" 63%
Aug 31,1911 3.76" 41%
May 31,1940 3.13" 41%
June 30, 1984 3.07" 53%
Oct 31,1956 2.41" 67%
Dec 31,1948 2.31" 37%
July 31, 1889 2.29" 19%
Feb 29,1896 2.26" 33%
Sept 30,1921 2.21" 46%
July 31,1925 2.14" 37%
Sept 1, 2021            7.13"         71%
Oct 1, 1913 4.98" 38%
Sept 1, 1927 3.84" 90%
Sept 1, 1983 3.40" 74%
Mar 1, 1914 2.95" 62%
Aug 1,1878 2.85" 36%
June 1,1887 2.60" 34%
May 1  1976 2.48" 52%
Oct 1, 2010 2.46" 50%
July 1,1933 2.17" 36%
July 1, 1922 2.13" 28%


(Many thanks to my friend Eugene DeMarco for creating a spreadsheet that listed every one-inch rainfall in NYC since 1869. It made doing this analysis possible.) 



Extreme Weather: New York's Greatest One-Hour Rainfalls Since 1970




I've written posts about New York's biggest rainstorms, its greatest daily rainfall totals and rainiest months.  This post adds to the genre by examining the City's most torrential one-hour rainfalls.  Although an inch of rain falling over the course of a day is a generous amount, a few times each year this amount pours down in just an hour - or less; occasionally the amounts exceed 1.50".


Although nor'easters and tropical systems are responsible for the greatest rainfall, these amounts are usually spread out over twelve hours or more.  Thunderstorms, on the other hand, are most likely to produce copious amounts of rain in short periods of time.  August has had the highest propensity for these torrential downpours.




The greatest one-hour rainfall to occur in New York since 1970 was measured during the evening of Aug. 10, 2006 when 2.46" fell between 6:11-7:11 PM.  Five other huge 60-minute deluges have occurred around this date as well: 1.91" fell on Aug. 8, 2007; 1.40" fell on Aug. 9, 1976; 1.92" fell on Aug. 10, 1990, 2.09" fell on Aug. 12, 1989 and 1.76" fell on Aug. 12, 2020.  The most recent one-hour downpour of an inch or more occurred on July 8, 2021 when 1.56" fell between 5-6 PM.



(Like all of the previous analyses I've written about heavy precipitation, 1983 is a problem because it's rainfall totals were disavowed due to a malfunctioning rain gauge for most of the year.)


(1970 - 2013)      
Date Amount Time  
Aug 10, 2006 2.46" 6:11-7:11 PM  
July 17, 1995 2.09" 10:19-11:19 PM  
Aug 12, 1989 2.09" 12:45-1:45 PM  
Aug 10, 1990 1.92" 6:17-7:17 PM  
Aug 8, 2007 1.91" 4:36-5:36 AM  
July 29, 1980 1.78" 8:30-9:30 PM  
Sept 8, 2004 1.76" 6-7AM  
June 3, 1991 1.75" 9:06-10:06 PM  
.June 2, 2006 1.73" 2:35-3:35 PM  
Aug 14, 2005 1.73" 5:56-6:56 PM  
Aug 2, 1973 1.65" 8:30-9:30 AM  
Aug 16, 1993 1.58" 5:37-6:37 PM  
Oct 1, 2010 1.55" 4:05-5:05 AM  
July 6, 1975 1.43" 4-5PM  
Aug 9, 1976 1.40" 10-11PM  
June 22, 1973 1.40" 1-2PM  
June 6, 1989 1.35" 1:25-2:25 PM  
May 23, 2013 1.32" 2:25-3:25 PM  
Aug 14, 2011 1.30" 1:02-2:02 AM  
July 6, 2005 1.26" Midnight-1AM  
Oct 21, 1995 1.26" 10:45-11:45 AM  
Note: Excludes 1983      



Beginning in 1982, the most drenching rains by 5-minute, 10-minute, 15-minute, half hour, and 45-minute intervals was reported in the monthly Local Climatological Data report.  The greatest amount of rain to fall in five minute's time was 0.63" on Oct. 14, 2011 between 12:36 and 12:41 AM.  (That's an hourly rate of 7.56".)  And there have been three instances where more than an inch of rain fell in just 15 minutes.  Frustratingly, this information is reported on an inconsistent basis (i.e., since 2000 this information is unavailable for 39 months). 




(1982 - 2013)      
Date Amount Time  
Oct 14, 2011 0.63" 12:36-12:41 AM  
June 2, 2006 0.54" 2:46-2:51 PM  
July 26, 2009 0.46" 5:23-5:28 PM  
Aug 3, 2007 0.46" 10:16-10:21 PM  
Sept 10, 1992 0.45" 11:15-11:20 PM  
15 MINUTES (1982 - 2013)    
Date Amount Time  
June 2, 2006 1.25" 2:39-2:54 PM  
Aug 3, 2007 1.06" 10:06-10:21 PM  
Aug 12, 1989 1.02" 12:56-1:11 PM  
Aug 19, 2011 0.94" 6:26-6:41 PM  
Sept 10, 1992 0.92" 11:06-11:21 PM  
30 MINUTES (1982 - 2013)    
Date Amount Time  
Aug 12, 1989 1.64" 12:53-1:23 PM  
June 2, 2006 1.51" 2:35-3:05 PM  
June 3, 1991 1.47" 9:22-9:52 PM  
Aug 10, 2006 1.33" 6:12-6:42 PM  
Aug 10, 1990 1.22" 6:46-7:16 PM  











Today in New York Weather History: June 18


1967 (Sunday)

Today was Father's Day, and after a seasonably warm and dry day, flooding rains dumped 1.83" of rain in the two hours between 9-11 PM.  Rain continued through mid-afternoon on 6/19, at much lower rates, totaling 3.18".  This heavy rain was attributed to a tropical depression that moved up the coast.

1995 (Sunday)

It was a sunny and hot Father's Day as the high reached 90°.  This was also the first 90-degree day of the year, the latest date for this occurrence in ten years (it typically occurs at the end of May).




1997 (Wednesday)

During a thunderstorm, 0.36" of rain fell in just five minutes time between 12:05-12:10 AM on 6/19, and 0.64" fell in fifteen minutes between 12:04-12:19 AM.  However, because the National Weather Service doesn't recognize Daylight Saving Time, and uses Standard Time year-round for its records, this rainfall was credited to 6/18.

2006 (Sunday)

Similar to 1995, today was Father's Day and the high of 91° was the first 90-degree reading of the year.  (The next 90-degree reading on Father's Day would be in 2018.)

2009 (Thursday)

2.30" of rain fell today, a record for the date.  Rain fell until 5:30 PM, preventing the afternoon temperature from getting higher than 64°, sixteen degrees below average.  Today's rain brought the month's total to 7.61", making this the rainiest month since April 2007.   

2014 (Wednesday)

Although this year's meteorological summer (June 1 thru Aug. 31) would have eight days in the 90s, today, with a high/low of 89°/76°, saw the warmest mean temperature of the year until Sept. 2 (which had a high/low of 92°/77°).

2017 (Sunday)

It was a sultry Father's Day, with the dew point in the low 70s throughout the day, peaking at 74° early in the afternoon.  Combined with a high of 85°, the heat index reached the low 90s.

2018 (Monday)

Yesterday and today both had highs of 91°, but there was a distinct difference between the two days in terms of comfort level as today was much more humid.  As a result, today's heat index rose to 96°, which was nine degrees hotter than yesterday (this afternoon's dew point was in the low 70s, while it was only in the upper 40s yesterday).


What a difference a day makes

2022 (Saturday)

After yesterday's sultry conditions (bright sunshine and a high of 88°), today felt like October as skies were overcast and afternoon temperatures only in the mid-60s; adding to the chill were winds that gusted between 30-40 mph.  (Despite this change in weather, it appeared half of the City's residents hadn't heard the day's forecast as they were walking about dressed as if they expected a repeat of yesterday's summer-like conditions.)   






Today in New York Weather History: June 17


1978 (Saturday)

Winds off the ocean from the southeast created a bank of clouds that resulted in there being just a two degree difference between the high and low.  And although the low of 62° was seasonable, the high of 64° was sixteen degrees below the norm.    

1989 (Saturday)

In the past two weeks rain fell on twelve of the days, amounting to 7.28".  Coincidentally, last summer had an equally wet two-week period that coincided with the same date range, with just about the same amount of rain measured (7.44").




2001 (Sunday)

A lot of rain fell overnight and throughout the morning, totaling 1.53".  This was a record amount for the date (broken ten years later).  Then skies quickly cleared in the afternoon, salvaging Father's Day.

2004 (Thursday)

After a muggy afternoon, in which the high reached 87°, 0.57" of rain poured down during a thunderstorm between 5-6 PM.  Then more thundershowers popped up later, producing an additional 0.42" of rain.  

2010 (Thursday)

This was the fifth morning in a row with a low temperature of either 64° or 65° (a few degrees above average).  Today and 6/13's low of 65° book-ended three days with lows of 64°.

2011 (Friday)

Two thunderstorms moved through before dawn and then two more during the afternoon, dropping 1.82" in Central Park's rain bucket, a record for the date (breaking the previous record set ten years earlier).     




2014 (Tuesday)

It was very warm and humid, but the first 90-degree day of the year was not to be as the high topped out at 89° (it reached 91° in Newark).  However, the first 70-degree low of the year was registered (two weeks later than usual).

2017 (Saturday)

The 1.39" of rain that fell between 11:30 AM and 2 PM was nearly three times the amount that had fallen so far this month (0.48"), and almost equal to the amount that fell since May 23 (1.42"). 

2018 (Sunday)

Mostly clear and hot, with a high of 91°, making this the first Father's Day to reach the 90s in twelve years.   Today's heat was somewhat mitigated by low humidity (24% during mid-afternoon), which produced a "feels like" temperature three degrees cooler than the air temperature.  Today's high was 37 degrees hotter than Mother's Day.









Today in New York Weather History: June 6


1923 (Wednesday)

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").



1945 (Tuesday)

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 with temperatures in 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 that warmed into the 70s since 5/29.




1989 (Tuesday)

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




2000 (Tuesday)

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

2002 (Thursday)

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

2010 (Sunday)

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.




2017 (Tuesday)

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 (Saturday)

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 (Sunday)

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