First six months of 1998 were the warmest on record for period in Northeast
By Blaine Friedlander
The first half of this year was the warmest Jan. 1 to June 30 period for the Northeast since records were first kept in 1895, according to climatologist Keith Eggleston at the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) at Cornell University.
The average temperature for the 12 Northeast states during the six-month period was 45.3 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 4.1 degrees warmer than the normal 41.2 degrees, an average of temperatures over a 30-year period. The previous record for the first-half period was 45.1 degrees, set in 1921.
Will this warm trend continue for the rest of the year? "It's off to a good start, but it's hard to tell what will happen the rest of the year," says Eggleston. "If El Ni–o was a major contributor to this warm trend, then that has ended now. And that could indicate conditions closer to normal for the rest of year."
For the period from Jan. 1 through May 31, Northeast temperatures averaged five degrees warmer than normal. The normal average temperature for the period is 36.5 degrees Fahrenheit, but this year it was 41.5 degrees, making it the warmest such period in 104 years. The previous record was 40.8 degrees,also set in 1921.
May was the sixth consecutive month in the Northeast with warmer-than-normal temperatures, with an average daily temperature of 60.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4.3 degrees warmer than normal. In Maine, it was the second-warmest May on record with an average daily temperature of 56.3 degrees, or 5.5 degrees warmer than normal. New York state enjoyed its third- warmest May ever, with an average daily temperature of 54.8 degrees, which was 5.6 degrees warmer than normal.
However June was cooler than normal in the Northeast, halting the six-month warm period, according to preliminary data gathered by the NRCC. The average daily temperature for the Northeast in June was 64.5 degrees, slightly cooler than the normal 64.9 degrees.
Precipitation during May averaged close to normal for the Northeast with 3.92 inches, compared with the average for the month of 3.85 inches.
Connecticut and Rhode Island, though, received ample rainfall in May: Connecticut with 6.29 inches, compared with its normal 4.29 inches, and Rhode Island with 6.04 inches, compared with its normal 3.86 inches. Vermont, however, measured only 75 percent of its normal rainfall (2.75 inches vs. 3.69 inches).
The 12 Northeast states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Vermont.
May 1998 Weather Records New Records