The City University of New York is a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. The Weather-Ready Nation initiative is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness, responsiveness, and overall resilience against extreme weather, water, and climate events. As a WRN Ambassador, CUNY is committed to working with NOAA and other Ambassadors to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather.
New York City Weather Risks
Coastal storms, including nor’easters, tropical storms and hurricanes, can and do affect New York City. It’s important New Yorkers take the time to prepare. All residents should have a plan in the event they need to evacuate or ride out the storm at home. For more information, click here and view the resources below.
Extreme heat is one of the most significant hazards facing New York City. Generally, extreme heat is defined by temperatures that hover 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region, last for prolonged periods of time, and are accompanied by high humidity.
On warm summer days, the city can be as much as 10 degrees warmer than its surrounding areas. The city’s infrastructure — largely made up of asphalt, concrete and metal — traps the heat. This is known as the “urban heat island” effect.
During the summer months, New Yorkers are especially vulnerable to heat-related hazards. A heat wave’s duration plays an important role in how people are affected. Heat waves are particularly dangerous for children, seniors, people with cardiovascular disease, and people taking psychotropic and other medications. To learn more, click here and visit the resources below.
While high winds are commonly associated with severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and nor’easters, they may also occur as a result of differences in air pressures, such as when a cold front passes across the area. High winds can cause downed trees and power lines, flying debris and building collapses, which may lead to power outages, transportation disruptions, damage to buildings and vehicles, and serious injury. To learn more, click here and visit the resources below.
Thunderstorms and Lightning
Regardless of their severity, all thunderstorms are dangerous. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes. Strong winds, hail, flooding, and tornadoes are other dangers associated with thunderstorms. A typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 20 to 30 minutes. Of the 100,000 thunderstorms that occur every year in the United States, only about 10 percent are classified as “severe.” For more information, click here and visit the resources below
While tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, they are found most frequently in the United States. Tornadoes account for an average of 65 fatalities and 1,500 injuries nationwide each year. Tornadoes are typically spawned by powerful thunderstorms, but sometimes accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land. Most tornado-related damage results from wind velocity and wind-blown debris, as well as large hail. Though generally associated with the central United States, tornadoes occasionally occur in New York City. Such events can occur with little or no warning. Click here to learn more and visit the resources below.
New York City winters, which often bring extreme cold, heavy snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain, can pose serious hazards. It’s important to prepare for winter weather-related dangers. There are several steps you can take to stay safe before, during, and after winter storms. For more information, click here and view the resources below.