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Steamy Nights in the Big Apple: UPDATE 7/20

By: Christopher C. Burt, 7:56 PM GMT on July 18, 2013

Steamy Nights in the Big Apple: UPDATE July 20th

Temperatures in New York City bottomed out at 81° on Saturday July 20th, the third consecutive day above 80° and possibly breaking or tying the record for such. On Friday morning (July 19) the minimum fell to just 83° in Central Park (1° short of the all-time record) and 86° at La Guardia Airport (tying their record). Cooler air is now filtering into the region and the heat wave should break on Sunday.


The official Central Park site in Manhattan fell to just 83° Friday morning (July 19th) just short of the all-time warmest low temperature of 84° set on July 22, 2011. At La Guardia Airport in Queens the minimum was 86°, tying their all-time record of 86° also set on August 2, 2006. Bridgeport, Connecticut tied their all-time record low maximum temperature with 80° (previously seen on July 4, 2002). The city is enduring its 7th consecutive day with 90°+ temperatures and 3rd consecutive day with minimum temperatures remaining above 80°. I'm not sure if this is a record for the site but am confident it at least ties such. This has been the first 7-day stretch of 90°+ temperatures since a 9-day stretch August 11-19, 2002. The longest 90°+ period in the city’s history was 12 days from August 24-September 4, 1953. So far this month Central Park has averaged 81.7° (through July 20th) and thus has a shot of besting its warmest single month on record of 81.4° in July 1999. However, cooler air is expected to overrun the region by Sunday and another big heat wave does not appear to be on the horizon at this time, so it is unlikely the 1999 figure will be topped.

Heat indices have hovered around 105° for much of the NYC and Philadelphia area with some 110°s being reported at local amateur weather stations although the official site at Dover, Delaware had a heat index of 110° at their 1 p.m. observation time (93° with 78° dew point: 63% humidity) on July 18th.



METARS for New York's Central Park official site as of mid-afternoon Friday July 19th. The minimum of 83° was just 1° short of the warmest low on record of 84° set on July 22, 2011. NWS-New York City web site.

A large swath of the nation is enduring 90°+ heat this Thursday although no truly extreme temperatures are being reported from anywhere. For the most part the heat wave is fairly typical of what one might expect in mid-July east of the Mississippi River.



Temperature map for 5 p.m. EST on July 18th. 90° temperatures stretch from Montana to New Hampsire and southward. UCAR map.



The oppressive heat is being caused by a near-record warm dome of air over the eastern third of the country as seen in this map of 500 mb-level temps. The surface maximum temperatures would be hotter than what we have seen so far if drought conditions rather than flooding rains had preceded the heat wave. Map from Washington Post Capital Weather Gang.


Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Extreme Weather Heat Mini Blog

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

The Baltimore Inner Harbor station consistently shows very warm readings. The overnight low was 83. Not sure I believe that but it was steamy! The July average for the Baltimore Inner harbor station is 93/75, more like Texas than the mid-Atlantic. A couple years ago it recorded lows of 88 for a few days.
Got relief from the storms today, 12 degree drop in 2 hours or so, I stopped checking the thermometers for a bit...

Yesterday wasn't so bad as the Nashville NWS portrayed it as, 96 with a Heat Index of 101. Felt more like the summers I was used to 8 years ago.

At least I don't have to deal with the humidity east coast people have to deal with, ugh!
Quoting 2. BaltimoreBrian:
Quel est, en France métropolitaine, l'endroit le plus chaud au mois de juillet?


The warmest minimum temperature in France was recorded on August (not July) 12, 2003 with a 25.5°C (77.9°F) reading at Paris. The link you sent represents what Meteo France considers the highest minimum max temps for July but only for a POR beginning in 1981. I would assume warmer max mins have been set in other locations (for both July and August) at other times perhaps previous to 1981.
Good morning Mr. Burt,

actually the highest minimum temperature in France ever recorded was a 30.3°C (86.5°F) reading in Menton, on August 6, 2003.
http://climat.meteofrance.com/generated/integrati on/img/produits/pdf/bcm_R6J8CXX3IAG.pdf

The article linked to "BaltimoreBrian's" comment refers to the highest July average temperature in France.

Best wishes!



Quoting 4. weatherhistorian:


The warmest minimum temperature in France was recorded on August (not July) 12, 2003 with a 25.5°C (77.9°F) reading at Paris. The link you sent represents what Meteo France considers the highest minimum max temps for July but only for a POR beginning in 1981. I would assume warmer max mins have been set in other locations (for both July and August) at other times perhaps previous to 1981.


This is a record for Paris only. Cote Azul has recorded much warmer minima.
That's what I get for calling this heat spell "typical" in the DC area as I did on a response on Lee Grenci's blog Wednesday.
It is now approaching "unusual" with three consecutive
80 minima at DCA and dewpoints now staying above 70F even
in midafternoon with temps in the mid 90s. Today, Friday 7/19 looks
a bit worse even!

I thought last night of the constant reports of unbelievable heat, day in, day out, we used to hear when we were over in Iraq a few years ago.

We are not there anymore but the Iraqis still are.

Boy did I feel sorry for them when I thought about it. How do they stand it?

How did our people stand it either, especially our troops that had to carry around or wear 30-40-50 lbs of equipment?

It is funny how sometimes thinking about the weather makes you think of so many other things.

"93° with 78° dew point:"

That's no fun.
Quoting 7. georgevandenberghe:
That's what I get for calling this heat spell "typical" in the DC area as I did on a response on Lee Grenci's blog Wednesday.
It is now approaching "unusual" with three consecutive
80 minima at DCA and dewpoints now staying above 70F even
in midafternoon with temps in the mid 90s. Today, Friday 7/19 looks
a bit worse even!


You might be interested in watching this video featuring Naomi Oreskes about the conservatism of scientists.
The DC area broke the record consecutive 80+ nights period with five.
Slight cooling Saturday afternoon and Sunday though ended this period
and a recurrence does not look likely in the next two weeks. Many other such streaks in worse heat waves were broken by convection but what we got this time was not enough and happened early enough we stayed
above 80 (moistening actually produced a 91/80 temperature/dewpoint
spread Thursday evening.


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