Did you know that today is the anniversary of Redfield's Hurricane? On this date in 1821 a estimated category 3 or 4 hurricane made landfall at Jamaica Bay, making it the only major hurricane to ever directly hit the city. Within an hour the storm surge at Battery Park raised water levels 13 feet, the highest storm surge until Hurricane Sandy. Despite happening at low tide, the surge flooded Manhattan up to Canal Street, reportedly "throwing down chimneys, unroofing buildings, and prostrating trees in various directions."
"When the gale was at its height it presented a most awful spectacle," one newspaper reported. "The falling of slate from the roofs of buildings, and broken glass from the windows, made it unsafe for any one to venture into the streets.
The storm gets its nickname from early American scientist William Redfield, who noticed while traveling from central Connecticut to the Berkshires to tell his in-laws that their daughter (his wife) had died, that the trees damaged by the storm fell in different directions, deducing that hurricanes are large vortexes rather than straight-line wind storms.
Today's weather is blessedly less dramatic, but with a high of 92 degrees yesterday became the hottest day of the year! According to the National Weather Service that is only the 14th time in almost 150 years of observations that the warmest day has occurred in September. There is still plenty of heat to contend with today and tomorrow, but the passage of a weak cold front last night has put an end to the oppressive humidity. For this afternoon we should see a high in the upper 80s, but with the dew point dropping into the mid 50s the heat will be much more bearable.
Look for pretty much the same conditions tomorrow as high pressure sits off the New England coast. Thursday's high should be in the mid to upper 80s under lots of sun. The humidity will start to build back up on Friday as the wind starts coming out of the south. Right now it looks like Friday's high could reach the upper 80s and there is a chance of isolated showers or thunderstorms. The threat of a storm is higher on Saturday as the heat and humidity continue to build ahead of an approaching cold front. While 90 degrees is possible on Saturday, Sunday is expected to warm only to the upper 70s behind the front.