Second Heat Wave of the Summer Bakes the Big Apple

New York City is sweltering through its second heat wave of the summer.

The threshold for what constitutes a heat wave varies by region, but here in the NYC area it is defined as three consecutive days with temperatures reaching 90°F or higher. Monday marked the city’s fifth.

With dew points – a measure of humidity – in the mid to upper 70s, it felt even hotter. The heat index – the so-called real feel temperature – reached as high as 105°F to 110°F in some spots.

This dramatic rise in heat and humidity was the result of a dominant Bermuda High, a large area of high pressure situated off the east coast. Spinning clockwise, it has been steering hot, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico toward the northeast.

While these conditions are oppressive, they can also be dangerous. The NWS issued both an excessive heat warning and air quality alert for the city. The last time NYC had this type of heat emergency was July 2013.

How a Bermuda High ushers in hot and humid air to the northeastern US. Credit: Jacksonsweather

How a Bermuda High ushers in hot and humid air to the northeastern US. Credit: Jacksonsweather.com

NYC Monthly Summary: July 2016

July is normally the warmest month on the calendar for New York City, and this year, despite a relatively cool start, was no exception. Overall, 20 out of 31 days posted above average temperatures. These included ten with readings in the 90s, which is four more than what we typically see for the month. Additionally, July produced our first official heat wave of the summer. With overnight lows also running mostly above normal, the city’s mean temperature for the month was 78.7°F, which is 2.2°F above average.

In terms of precipitation, July was unusually wet and marked the first month since February that NYC received above average rainfall.  In all, we received a staggering 7.02 inches of rain in Central Park, which is 2.42 inches above normal. The majority of this plentiful total fell on four separate days in the form of intense downpours. Nonetheless, despite these soakers, NYC remains in a moderate drought according the latest report (7/26) from the US Drought Monitor.

July_Temp

July brought NYC ten days with temperatures in the 90s, which is four above average. Credit: The Weather Gamut.

July_Rain

More than seven inches of rain fell in Central Park this July. Credit: The Weather Gamut.

Climatic Visions: An Art Exhibition on Climate Change

Art and science have joined forces at the New York Hall of Science in an effort to expand public understanding of climate change. In a group exhibition called Climatic Visions II, photographs and collages explore some of the challenges of this pressing issue.

On display in the Le Croy Gallery, the exhibit features artwork by Cristina Biaggi, Melissa Fleming, Isabella Jacob, and Doris Shepherd Wiese. Co-curated by Audrey Leeds and Marcia Rudy, the exhibit runs from July 30 to October 30, 2016 and is free with general museum admission

The New York Hall of Science is located at 47-01 111th Street, Queens, NY 11368.

"Exit Glacier, Alaska" from the series "American Glaciers" by Melissa Fleming. Image credit: Melissa Fleming.

“Exit Glacier, Alaska” from the series “American Glaciers” by Melissa Fleming. Image credit: Melissa Fleming.

First Heat Wave of 2016 for NYC

The heat is on in NYC! With temperatures reaching into the 90s for three consecutive days, the Big Apple is officially in the midst of its first heat wave of the summer.

In Central Park, the temperature reached 90°F on Thursday, 94°F on Friday, and on Saturday it climbed to 96°F – our hottest day so far this year. Looking ahead, the 90-degree weather is forecast to continue through at least the middle of the week.

Humidity levels are also expected to remain high, making it feel even hotter. Heat index values, which combine air temperature and relative humidity, are projected to be in the mid to upper 90s and even enter the triple digits on some days.

While these conditions can be oppressive, they are also very dangerous. Extended exposure can cause a number of serious health hazards. Both a heat advisory and air quality alert have been issued for the city.

As hot as the past few days have been, they were not record breakers. The dubious honor of producing the city’s hottest day ever recorded belongs to July 9, 1936 when the temperature reached a sizzling 106°F.

NYC Monthly Summary: June 2016

June 2016 was a bit of a weather rollercoaster in New York City. We had highs that ranged from a cool 67°F to a balmy 88°F.  But, in the end, the cold and warmth averaged each other out. The city’s mean temperature for the month was 72.3°F, which is only 0.8°F above normal.

In terms of precipitation, June was unusually dry and marked the fourth consecutive month that NYC received below average rainfall.  In all, we received 2.60 inches of rain in Central Park, which is 1.81 inches below normal. As a result of this paltry precipitation, according to the latest report (6/28) from the US Drought Monitor, the city is now in a state of moderate drought.

June Temps 2016

Temperatures in NYC this June felt like they were on a rollercoaster.  Credit: The Weather Gamut

NYC Monthly Summary: May 2016

May 2016 was an unusual weather month in New York City with some days feeling more like March and others like August. We had a near record low of 43°F on May 16th and two sweltering days in the 90s at the end of the month. But all together, the cold and warmth averaged each other out. The city’s mean temperature for the month was 62.8°F, which is only 0.4°F above normal.

In terms of precipitation, the city was mostly dry this May. In all, we received 3.75 inches of rain in Central Park, which is 0.44 inches below average. The majority of this total fell during a single heavy rain event on Memorial Day as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie moved up the coast. The latest report from the US Drought Monitor (5/24), which came out before Bonnie, continues to list the city as “abnormally dry.”

Some days this may felt like March and others like August. Credit: The Weather Gamut

Some days this May felt more like March and others like August. Credit: The Weather Gamut

Remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie brought the city a significant rain event. Credit: The Weather Gamut

Remnants of Tropical Storm Bonnie brought the city a significant rain event on 5/30. Credit: The Weather Gamut

Suddenly Summer in NYC

After an extended stretch of cool and rather gloomy conditions, it is suddenly summer in New York City!

The temperature in Central Park soared to 88°F this afternoon, marking the warmest day the city has seen since last September. Our normal high for this time of year is 73°F.

These warm conditions are expected to stick around through the upcoming Memorial Day weekend – ideal conditions for the unofficial start of the summer season.

A March-like Chill in May for NYC

The calendar says mid-May, but it felt more like March in New York City this weekend.

After a warm spring day on Saturday with readings in the 70s, a cold front swept through the region ushering in significantly cooler conditions. The high on Sunday only reached 57°F, which is 13°F below average. This dramatic cool down was also accompanied by strong winds with gusts in excess of 40-mph.

Moving from Sunday into Monday, the over-night low in Central Park fell to a chilly 43°F. That is the coolest May temperature the city has seen in three years. It was also just one degree shy of tying the record low of 42°F set in 1878. Our normal low temperature for this time of year is 54°F.

With Memorial Day – the un-official start of summer – just two weeks away, many New Yorkers will be happy to hear that temperatures are expected to rebound to more seasonable levels later this week.

NYC Monthly Summary: April 2016

April 2016 was a weather rollercoaster in New York City. We had highs that ranged from a balmy 82°F to a chilly 43°F.  But, in the end, the cold and warmth averaged each other out. The city’s mean temperature for the month was 53.3°F, which is only 0.3°F above normal.

In terms of precipitation, April’s famous showers were few and far between this year. The city received a mere 1.60 inches of rain in Central Park. On average, NYC typically gets 4.5 inches of rain for the month. With these parched condtions coming on the heels of scant rainfall in March, the city was listed as “abnormally dry” on the latest report (4/28) from the US Drought Monitor.

Credit: The Weather Gamut

Credit: The Weather Gamut

Revised Numbers Show January 2016 Blizzard was a Record Breaker in NYC

After further review, it turns out that the Blizzard of January 2016 – also known as Winter Storm Jonas – was a record breaker for New York City.

According to the NWS, the storm dumped 27.5 inches of snow in Central Park and not the previously reported 26.8 inches. That makes it the city’s biggest snowstorm on record. The previous reading was a tenth of an inch shy of the now old record that was set in February 2006.

The error was found during an investigation launched in the wake of the historic storm. Snow measurement techniques at eight different sights along the east coast were questioned, as storm totals seemed too high in some places and too low in others. In a statement, NWS Director, Louis Uccellini, said, “Snow measurements are extremely difficult to take because precipitation is inherently variable, a problem compounded by strong winds and compaction during a long duration event.”

In NYC, the mistake stemmed from a communication issue rather than a problem with measurement technique. The Central Park Conservancy, the group responsible for measuring snowfall in Central Park, called their numbers into the NWS office by phone and one of the measurements was written down incorrectly.

In the grand scheme of this massive storm, an extra 0.7 inches of snow may not sound like a lot, but every fraction counts when it comes to records.

Blizzard 2016, NYC. Credit: Melissa Fleming

New Yorkers enjoy the record 27.5 inches of snow dumped on the city by the Blizzard of 2016. Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park, NYC. Credit: Melissa Fleming