Weather History: NYC’s Hottest Day

On this date in 1936, the temperature in New York City soared to 106°F. It was the hottest day ever recorded in the Big Apple.

This triple digit heat was part of an extreme heat wave that impacted most of the mid-western and northeastern United States. It was an extension of the massive heat dome that built up over the Great Plains a few weeks earlier. Nationwide, this extreme heat caused approximately 5000 deaths, nearly 100 of which were in NYC.

During the 1930’s – the height of the Great Depression – air conditioning was not very common. Many New Yorkers sought relief at city beaches and parks. At night, some even slept outdoors.

More recently, it is interesting to note that between 2000 and 2009, NYC only had one 100°F day. In the last four years, however, we have had five days hit the century mark.

New Yorkers crowd  the beach at Coney Island during the heat wave of 1936.  Image Credit: NY Daily News

New Yorkers crowd the beach at Coney Island during the heat wave of 1936.                              Image Credit: NY Daily News

NYC’s First 90-Degree Day of the Year

Summer officially began last month, but the season’s heat is just now getting into full swing in New York City.

In Central Park today, the temperature soared to 91°F. That marks the city’s first 90° day of the year.   While readings in the 90s are not unusual for the Big Apple in July, they typically premiere earlier in the season. In fact, with records dating back to 1869 for Central Park, the NWS reports that only nineteen years have failed to produce a 90°F day before the end of June.

On average, according to the NWS, the city generally sees its first 90°F day by June 3rd. Its earliest was April 7, 2010 and its latest was July 26,1877. Last year, NYC’s first 90°F reading was on May 30th.

NYC Monthly Summary: June 2014

June was warm and fairly seasonable in New York City this year. We had a few hot and humid days where the mercury made it into the upper 80s, but not a single day made it to 90°F.  That marks only the second time in ten years that the city did not see a 90°F day in June. Nonetheless, the city’s average temperature for the month was 72.5°F. That is 1.5°F above normal.

Despite getting off to a soggy start, the Big Apple came up a bit short this June in terms of precipitation. Most of the 4.26 inches of rain measured in Central Park came down in three significant events early in the month.  In the end, though, we were  0.15 inches below normal.

Credit: The Weather Gamut

Credit: The Weather Gamut

Credit: The Weather Gamut

Credit: The Weather Gamut

A Soggy Week in NYC

One word can sum up the weather in New York City this past week – soggy.  Over the last five days, we received 2.97 inches of rain, most of which fell as heavy downpours on two separate occasions.

On Monday, 1.6 inches was measured in Central Park. Then on Friday, after a few days of scattered showers, another 1.28 inches came down in a single twenty-four hour period. It is only mid-June and the city has already had 3.96 inches of rain. The Big Apple, on average, receives 4.41 inches for the entire month.

It is interesting to note that June is now the third month in a row that NYC experienced at least one significant heavy rain event.

NYC Monthly Summary: May 2014

May 2014 was fairly warm in New York City. High readings in the 80s on six separate days helped push the city’s average temperature for the month up to 64°F, which is 2°F above normal. Following what felt like an endless winter, May was the first time all year that NYC had an above average monthly temperature.

In terms of precipitation, the city received 4.37 inches of rain. Most of this fell during two significant rain events, 1.54 inches on May 16th and 0.91 inches on May 23rd. On average, the Big Apple normally gets 4.19 inches for the entire month.

Graph: The Weather Gamut

Graph: The Weather Gamut

NYC Monthly Summary: April 2014

April 2014 felt like a weather roller-coaster in New York City. We had highs that ranged from a chilly 47°F to a balmy 77°F.  All together, though, these extremes balanced each other out and produced an average monthly temperature of 52.3°F.  That is only 0.7°F below normal.

In terms of precipitation, April’s famous showers were intense this year. The city received a remarkable 7.85 inches of rain in Central Park. Of this impressive total, 4.97 inches fell in a single day – April 30th. According to the NWS, that is the 10th highest daily rainfall total on record for NYC. The Big Apple normally gets 4.50 inches for the entire month.

The city also received a trace amount of snow this April. While this is normally nothing to get excited about, it is worth mentioning as it came on the heels of our warmest day of the year so far. What a month of extremes!

Graph Credit: The Weather Gamut

Graph Credit: The Weather Gamut

A Day of Drenching Rain in NYC

April is famous for its showers, but yesterday’s precipitation was extreme. Torrential downpours brought New York City more than a month’s worth of rain in a single day.

According to the NWS, 4.97 inches of rain was measured in Central Park. Not only is that a new daily record for the date, it was the 10th rainiest day ever recorded in NYC. On average, we normally get 4.50 inches of rain for the entire month of April.

Up until yesterday, the city’s rainfall total was running below average for the month. So, while the rain was beneficial for the area, the rate at which it came down and its extended duration caused a number of localized flooding problems.

Scientists say the frequency of extreme rain events like this one will increase as global temperatures rise and our climate changes.

April Snow for NYC

Spring sprung in New York City this weekend, but winter weather came fighting back overnight.  Following multiple days with temperatures in the mid-70s, many New Yorkers were surprised to find a light coating of snow on cars and sidewalks this morning.

The dramatic cool down – caused by a large mass of cold air moving in from Canada – was accompanied by rain that turned into a wintry mix overnight.  With the temperature plummeting into the 30’s, the NWS issued a freeze warning for the city and surrounding area.

Snow in April is not unheard of in the Big Apple.  On average the month brings us 0.6 inches.  That said, as the month progresses, the chance of snow decreases.  The latest measurable snowfall on record for NYC is April 25, 1875 when 3 inches accumulated in Central Park.

New Yorkers Bask in Spring Warmth

After a long snowy winter, New Yorkers have finally emerged from hibernation.  With temperatures soaring well into the 70s all weekend, the city’s parks were filled with people enjoying the balmy spring weather.  The normal high in NYC at this time of year is 60°F.

New Yorkers enjoying a warm spring afternoon on the Sheep's Meadow in Central Park.  Image Credit: The Weather Gamut.

New Yorkers enjoying a warm spring afternoon on the Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park. Image Credit: The Weather Gamut.

Spring has Sprung in NYC

The bees are buzzing, the birds are chirping and the flowers are starting to bloom. Three weeks after the equinox, it seems like spring has finally sprung in New York City.

With a high temperature of 75°F in Central Park, today was the warmest day the city has experienced all year.  The last time the mercury soared this high in the Big Apple was early October 2013.  Our normal high for this time of year is 60°F.

The mild weather is expected to last through the weekend.  Enjoy!

Magnolia tree in bloom in NYC

Magnolia tree in bloom in NYC.  Image Credit: The Weather Gamut.