The New York Post wrote an article the other day exclaiming that this summer is one of the mildest summers on record in New York City. Sure it is! If we extend the meaning of "on the record" to include that time when the earth was covered in lava.
Almost two weeks ago, The Vane featured a post called "Is 2014 the Year Without a Summer?" in which the answer is "no." It seems like an exceptionally cool summer because of the hellacious heat waves we've experienced in the past few years.
The entirely reputable and hardly sensationalist New York Post relied mostly on eyewitness reports to arrive at their conclusion that this is one of the mildest summers on (shop owner Ahmad Hussain's) record.
"This is the coldest I've experienced in a while," said Ahmad Hussian, whose father owns a store called Sun & Fun on Surf Avenue. "Not a lot of people are coming here at all, but I have sold a lot of hoodies."
Monica Ghee, who has been working a game called Coney Island High Striker for 45 summers, said the boardwalk clears out at night.
"It's been a strange season," she said. "There's been no real summer so far."
The article also uses high temperatures to gauge the mildness of the summer, noting that New York City hasn't hit 100°F once in 2014, and that the city's only seen 4 90°+ days this summer.
That's the wrong way to look at it. In the previously-linked post, I took a look at the average temperature in July for all 144 years of Central Park's weather observation records. When one takes a look at the average daily temperature, this past July doesn't even rank.
New York City
At New York City's Central Park, the mean temperature so far this month is 76.6 degrees, placing the month at #65 in the station's 144-year history. Like Boston, this July is on track to end just a little warmer than cooler in the record books.
NYC's high maximum this month was 91 (which it hit twice) and the month's low maximum was 74.
When you look at both June and July together, 2014 features "the 59th coolest summer out of 144 years of records."
Over the next three weeks it will take a blizzard or a heat wave that reaches 110°F for a week to nudge New York City to one extreme or the other. Right now, summer 2014 sitting in the middle right around average. It's nice. Slightly-warmer-than-mild, maybe? We'll call it "mild adjacent." But it's not one of the mildest summers ever. It's not even close.
Nuance doesn't make for a good story.
[Images via NBC's Parks and Rec / author]