The tri-state area is bracing for potential record-breaking heat this weekend, with a May heat advisory issued for New York City for the first time in nearly two decades. So just how unusual is this kind of heat for the metro area at this time of year?
We haven’t recorded an 80-degree day in Central Park so far this year. The last time that happened was Sept. 18, 2021. Central Park is expected to hit that mark and then some on Saturday when the mercury could hit 90 or higher in most places.
A heat advisory has been issued for most inland areas starting Saturday at noon, when temperatures are expected to move above 90 degrees. It'll feel a few degrees warmer, even possibly around 100 degrees, though, at the hottest part of the day.
You may be wondering just how unusual it is to get this kind of heat so early in the year. In fact, we average one 90-degree day in New York City annually in May. This year we’ll probably wind up with two: Saturday and Sunday. Typically, the month with the most 90-degree days recorded on average in the city is July (six).
This weekend’s tri-state heat will be near record levels. If we do break records, it will most likely happen on Saturday. That’s when temperatures will be higher and the target records to beat are lower.
If you’re wondering what the upper limit is for heat in the region during the month of May, it's well above where we’ll be this weekend. The highest temperatures on record for the entire month are 98 or 99 degrees in most places.
Interestingly, we have never recorded a 100-degree day at any of our climate reporting stations in the month of May.