As 2011 comes to a close, there is no doubt that it has been an extraordinary year in weather. We saw the full gamut of wild weather, both here in New York City and across the United States.
Locally, in NYC, we had a variety of exceptional weather events. January became the snowiest month on record with 36 inches of snow. Our second hottest day of all time came on July 22nd with a high temperature of 104°F. In August, Irene became the first hurricane to make landfall in the city in 26 years. The storm contributed to August becoming our wettest month ever, with 18.95 inches of rain. October brought us an early season snowstorm that left 2.9 inches of snow in Central Park, a record for the month. Overall, 2011 brought us 72.8 inches of rain. That is 22.6 inches above average and marks this year as the second wettest in city history.
Nationally, some form of severe weather impacted nearly every state in the U.S. this year. This included blizzards, tornadoes, drought, wildfires, flooding, extreme heat, and hurricanes. According to NOAA, a new record for “billion dollar weather disasters” was set in 2011 with one-dozen extreme events. These twelve natural disasters alone are reported to have taken 646 lives and caused $52 billion worth of damage.
What a year it has been!