May was another month of wild temperature swings in New York City. Producing several cases of weather whiplash, highs ranged from a chilly 48°F to an unseasonably balmy 86°F. In the end, however, these extremes balanced each other out. The city’s mean temperature for the month was 62.2°F, which is only 0.2°F below average.
On the precipitation side of things, May was unusually wet. The month brought the city a relatively rare spring nor’easter and several impressive thunderstorms. One of which produced golf ball sized hail on Staten Island, one the city’s five boroughs. Overall, 19 out 31 days posted measureable rainfall that added up to 6.82 inches for the month. While that is a soggy statistic, it was not the wettest May the city has seen. That dubious honor belongs to May 1989 when 10.24 inches of rain was measured in Central Park. The city, on average, gets 4.19 inches for the month.
Credit: The Weather Gamut
A powerful thunderstorm moved through New York City on Tuesday night. Generating strong winds and heavy rain across area, it also brought hail to Staten Island, one of the city’s outer boroughs.
According to reports, hailstones measuring 1.8 inches in diameter came down in the Bull’s Head neighborhood. Roughly the size of golf balls, it was the largest hail reported in the city since 2011.
The storm was strong enough to warrant a tornado warning for the area, but luckily no twisters touched down in the five boroughs. Nonetheless, the large hail is a testament to the storm’s intensity. Simply put, the stronger the updraft of a storm, the longer hailstones remain suspended, allowing them to grow larger.
The largest hailstone ever recorded in the US was found in Vivian, South Dakota on June 23, 2010. It measured 7.9 inches in diameter and weighed 1.94 pounds.
Large hail fell from an intense thunderstorm over Staten Island, NYC on May 28, 2019. Image Credit: Staten Island Advance/ J Yates
Spring is a transitional season where a few cold snaps and warm spells are not that uncommon. This week in New York City, however, it felt like we jumped from March to July in only seven days.
On Monday, May 13, the high topped out at a mere 48°F. This set a new record for the coldest high temperature for the date. The previous record of 49°F had been in place since 1914.
Then, on Monday, May 20, the mercury soared to 85°F. While not a record breaker, it was the warmest day of the year in the city, to date.
The normal high for this time of year is in the low 70s.
Credit: The Weather Gamut
A late season nor’easter soaked the northeastern United States on Monday. Heavy rain triggered flood alerts and advisories from Virginia to Connecticut, and areas further north reported snow.
Here in New York City, 0.70 inches of rain fell in Central Park. This came on the heels of the 1.32 inches that fell the day before when a separate storm system moved through the area. To date this May, the city has received 3.70 inches of rain and it is only the middle of the month. May, on average, brings the city a total of 4.19 inches of rain.
The storm also ushered in unseasonably cool temperatures, making it feel more like March than May. The high in NYC only made it to 48°F on Monday, setting a new record for the coldest high temperature for the date. The old record of 49°F was set in 1914. The normal high for this time of year is 70°F.
This storm was the result of a deep dip in the jet stream that moved over the region, which, in turn, helped generate an area of low pressure off the coast. Producing gusty northeasterly winds, it was categorized as a nor’easter. While this type of storm is more common during the fall and winter months, they can develop any time of the year.
A late spring nor’easter soaked the northeastern US. Credit: weather.com
April 2019 was unusually warm in New York City. It produced 18 days with above average readings, including one day where the temperature reached a summer-like 80°F. Overnight lows were also mostly warmer than normal. In fact, on April 14, the mercury only fell to 60°F, setting a new record warm low temperature for the date. In the end, the city’s mean temperature for the month was 55.5°F, which is 2.5°F above average. That means April 2019 is now tied with April 1985 as the city’s eighth warmest April on record. The city saw its warmest April in 2010, when the average temperature for the month was 57.9°F.
This April was also above average in terms of precipitation, with 18 out of 30 days producing measurable rainfall. In all, 4.55 inches of rain was measured in Central Park. Of that total, 1.03 inches fell on a single day. The city, on average, gets 4.50 inches of rain for the entire month.
April 2019 was NYC’s 8th warmest April on record. Credit: The Weather Gamut
It felt more like June than April in New York City on Friday. The temperature in Central Park soared to 80°F, marking the city’s first 80-degree day of the year.
Topping out at 17°F above average, the day was unseasonably warm. However, it was not a record breaker. That honor belongs to April 19, 1976, when the mercury soared to 92°F. The low temperature was 58°F, which is also warmer than normal for the date.
This spring heat was the result of a ridge in the jet-stream that allowed warm southern air to move further north than it normally would at this time of year. These balmy conditions did not last long, though. A heavy rainstorm moved through the region over night and brought temperatures back to more seasonable levels.
Summer does not officially begin until June 21.
Credit: The Weather Gamut
March 2019 felt like a weather roller coaster in New York City. Producing several days of weather whiplash, highs ranged from a frigid 26°F to an unseasonably balmy 75°F. In the end, however, these extremes nearly balanced each other out. The city’s mean temperature for the month was 41.7°F, which is only 0.8°F below average.
In terms of precipitation, rainfall was also slightly below normal. In total, Central Park reported 3.87 inches of rain, which is 0.49 inches below average for the month.
Snowfall, on the other hand, was abundant. After experiencing a snow drought for most of the winter, the first few days of March produced 10.4 inches of snow in Central Park.That is more snow than the city saw in November, December, January, and February combined. March, on average, typically only brings the city 3.9 inches of snow.
March 2019 felt like a temperature roller coaster in NYC. Credit: The Weather Gamut
The calendar says March, but it felt more like May in New York City on Friday.
The temperature soared to 75°F in Central Park, missing the record high by just 2°F. But, with the mercury only dropping to 49°F at night, it did tie the record warm low temperature for the date that was set in 1913.
The normal high and low temperatures for this time of year in NYC are 49°F and 35°F, respectively.
With below normal temperatures dominating the beginning of March, this sudden warm up felt like weather whiplash. Just a week earlier, there was snow on the ground with snowmen dotting the landscape in parks across the city.
But, as with most things that go up, they must also come back down. Cooler conditions are expected to return over the weekend.
What a difference a week can bring: the same snowman in Central Park one week apart. Credit: Melissa Fleming
On this day in 1888, one of the worst snowstorms on record hit New York City. Here is a look back at some of the facts from that historic storm.
Snow fills the street and sidewalk on Park Place in Brooklyn, after the Blizzard of 1888. Credit: NOAA.
- 21 inches of snow was measured in Central Park, the 4th largest snowstorm on record for the city
- Wind gusts reached 80mph, causing blizzard conditions
- Snowdrifts reached as high as 30 feet in parts of the city.
- The storm shut down transportation systems and left people confined to their homes for days.
- It took NYC 14 days to fully recover from the storm.
- As result of the paralyzing impacts of this blizzard, the city moved all overhead wires underground.
March rolled into New York City this year like a lion.
Below average temperatures and snow have been the prevailing weather stories all week. In fact, the first four days of March produced more snow than the city has seen all winter. To date this month, 10.4 inches of snow has been reported in Central Park. On average, March typically brings the city a total of 3.9 inches.
This winter, overall, has been below par in terms of snow in NYC. Including the record snowfall in November, the city has seen 20.5 inches of snow so far. The season usually brings the Big Apple 25.8 inches of snow, with February producing the biggest storms.