The season officially changed to autumn over the weekend, but it felt more like summer in New York City.
The temperature in Central Park hit 87°F on the equinox. Then on Sunday, it soared to 91°F, setting a new record high for the date. The previous record of 89°F was in place since 1959.
At this point in September, temperatures usually peak in the lower 70s. But with a stubborn ridge of high pressure sitting over the region, warm equatorial air is flowing further north than it normally would at this time of year.
If you are ready for autumn, fear not. Temperatures that are more seasonable are expected to return to the city later this week.
Climate Week NYC begins on Monday.
This annual global summit takes place alongside the UN General Assembly and brings together leaders from a variety of sectors, including business, government, and civil society, to discuss climate change. Organized by The Climate Group since 2009, the goal of the conference and its affiliate events is to raise awareness and keeping climate action at the top of the global agenda. This year’s event will focus on the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and UN sustainable development goals.
Public events in support of the summit’s mission are scheduled all week around the city, from September 18-24. They range in style from panel discussions and seminars to concerts and exhibitions. For the full program of events, go to the Climate Week website.
Credit: The Climate Group
August was unusually mild in New York City this year. Of the month’s thirty-one days, nineteen posted below average readings, including an unseasonably cool 68°F on August 29. Furthermore, the month typically produces four days with readings in the 90s, but this year we only had one. In the end, the city’s mean temperature for the month was 74°F, which is 1.2°F below average.
In terms of precipitation, August was mostly dry. Overall, 3.34 inches was recorded in Central Park, marking the fourth month this year and second in a row to deliver below average rainfall. The city usually gets 4.44 inches of rain for the month.
August 2017 was unusually mild in NYC. Credit: The Weather Gamut
Monday marked the first time in decades that a total solar eclipse was visible in the continental US. The path of totality was about 70 miles wide and passed through 14 states, from Oregon to South Carolina. The rest of the country, however, saw varying degrees of a partial eclipse.
Partial Solar Eclipse 2017 seen from NYC. Credit: Melissa Fleming
Here in New York City, the magnitude was only about 72%. Nonetheless, this celestial event had a noticeable impact on the local temperature. Our weather station in mid-town Manhattan showed a drop of 3.7°F as the moon briefly obscured the afternoon sun.
The next solar eclipse that will be visible from the east coast will take place on April 8, 2024. So, hold on to those eclipse viewing glasses!
The solar eclipse peaked at 2:44 PM EDT in NYC. Credit: The Weather Gamut
Ten years ago today, an EF2 tornado roared through New York City. It was the strongest twister on record to hit the Big Apple.
NYC Tornado of 2007. Credit: NYT
With winds measured up to 135 mph, it left a trail of destruction nine miles long from Staten Island to Brooklyn with the hardest hit neighborhoods being Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. The storm toppled trees and knocked out power to more than 4,000 customers. It damaged hundreds of cars and dozens of homes, including five that had their roofs ripped off. The storm also dumped 1.91 inches of rain in just one hour, which caused flash floods and the temporary suspension of subway service during the morning commute.
Historically, tornadoes have been rare events in NYC. In recent years, however, they have been happening more frequently. Of the eleven twisters that have touched down in the city since 1950, seven have occurred since 2003.
Note: Tornado ratings moved from the Fujita Scale (F) to the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF) in 2007.
July was a month of extremes in New York City. It delivered five days with temperatures in the 90s and the city’s third heat wave of the season. However, it also produced a few unseasonably cool days. On July 14, the high only reached 73°F, tying the record low maximum temperature for the date that was set in 1963. The average high for the date is 84°F. Nonetheless, the heat and the chill balanced each other out in the end. The city’s mean temperature for the month was 76.8°F which is only 0.3°F above average.
July is usually the city’s wettest month, but this year precipitation was slightly below normal. Only eight of thirty-one days produced measurable rainfall. Overall, 4.19 inches was recorded in Central Park. Of this total, 1.78 inches (42% of the total) fell in a single day. On average, the city gets 4.60 inches for the entire month of July.
Credit: The Weather Gamut
June 2017 felt like a temperature roller coaster in New York City. Highs ranged from an unseasonably cool 58°F to a balmy 94°F. June also brought the city its second heat wave of the year. In the end, however, the cold and warmth balanced each other out. The city’s mean temperature for the month was 72°F, which is only .06°F above average.
In terms of precipitation, the city was wetter than normal. Overall, 4.76 inches of rain was measured in Central Park. Of this total, 84% fell during three separate heavy rain events that each produced over an inch of rain. On average, the Big Apple gets 4.41 inches of rain for the entire month of June.
Credit: The Weather Gamut
A violent thunderstorm lashed the New York City area on Monday afternoon. Strong winds and heavy rain were seen across the region.
After days of hot and humid conditions, a cold front moved in from the west and triggered these powerful storms. According to the NWS, 1.35 inches of rain was measured in Central Park and wind gusts reached 34 mph. Flash floods and downed trees were reported in Manhattan and the Bronx.
Below is a short video of the soaking rain seen near Madison Square Park in Manhattan.
The summer solstice is still a week away, but New York City is already sweltering through its second heat wave of the year.
The threshold for what constitutes a heat wave varies by region, but here in the northeast, it is defined as three consecutive days with temperatures reaching 90°F or higher. This week, the mercury in Central Park soared to 90°F on Sunday, 93°F on Monday, and 94°F on Tuesday.
The high temperature on Monday tied the record for the date that was set in 1973. Monday also posted a new record warm low reading – known as a maximum minimum temperature – of 76°F. The previous record of 73°F was set in 2015.
The last time the city saw temperatures reach the mid-90s was August 2016. The average high and low for this time of year in the Big Apple is 79°F and 63°F, respectively.
This dramatic heat 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 can feel oppressive, they can also cause a number of health problems. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the city and encouraged people to limit their time outdoors.
If you are not a fan of the heat, fear not. Weather that is more seasonable is expected to return later this week.
The second heat wave of the year is baking the Big Apple. Credit: Melissa Fleming
May was a month of weather extremes is New York City this year. Highs ranged from a cool 53°F to a record warm 92°F. May also produced the city’s first heat wave of the year. However, with 24 out of 31 days posting below average readings, the chill won out in the end. The city’s mean temperature for the month was 61.1°F, which is 1.3°F below average.
In terms of precipitation, May was unusually wet. In all, 6.38 inches of rain were measured in Central Park. Of this impressive total, 3.02 inches (47% of the monthly total) fell in just a few hours on May 5, setting a new rainfall record for the date. Another 1.61 inches came down during an unseasonable nor’easter on May 13. On average, the Big Apple gets 4.19 inches of rain for the entire month of May.
Credit: The Weather Gamut