This report describes the historical weather record at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (Buffalo, New York, United States) during 1956. This station has records back to December 1947.
Buffalo, New York has a humid continental climate with warm summers and no dry season. The area within 25 mi of this station is covered by forests (48%), grasslands (32%), built-up areas (10%), and oceans and seas (9%)
Daylight saving time (DST) was observed at Buffalo, New York during 1956. There were two time changes during 1956:
1956 was a leap year and thus has 366 days rather than the normal 365. Leap years occur every fourth year and the extra day is always February 29th. In 1956 February 29th falls on a Wednesday.
The summer and winter solstices and the spring and fall equinoxes mark the passing of the seasons. They fall on nearly the same day each year, with differences of a day or two depending on the year. In 1956 they occurred on:
|Spring Equinox||Tuesday, 20 March 1956.|
|Summer Solstice||Thursday, 21 June 1956.|
|Fall Equinox||Sunday, 23 September 1956.|
|Winter Solstice||Friday, 21 December 1956.|
The hottest day of 1956 was June 15, with a high temperature of 90°F. For reference, on that day the average high temperature is 75°F and the high temperature exceeds 84°F only one day in ten. The hottest month of 1956 was August with an average daily high temperature of 77°F.
Relative to the average, the hottest day was October 17. The high temperature that day was 80°F, compared to the average of 58°F, a difference of 22°F. In relative terms the warmest month was October, with an average high temperature of 65°F, compared to an typical value of 59°F.
The longest warm spell was from October 25 to November 9, constituting 16 consecutive days with warmer than average high temperatures. The month of October had the largest fraction of warmer than average days with 77% days with higher than average high temperatures.
The coldest day of 1956 was December 30, with a low temperature of 6°F. For reference, on that day the average low temperature is 22°F and the low temperature drops below 9°F only one day in ten. The coldest month of 1956 was January with an average daily low temperature of 20°F.
Relative to the average, the coldest day was March 25. The low temperature that day was 11°F, compared to the average of 30°F, a difference of 19°F. In relative terms the coldest month was May, with an average low temperature of 44°F, compared to an typical value of 48°F.
The longest cold spell was from March 15 to March 29, constituting 15 consecutive days with cooler than average low temperatures. The month of May had the largest fraction of cooler than average days with 77% days with lower than average low temperatures.
The longest freezing spell was from January 16 to January 28, constituting 13 consecutive days with temperatures strictly below freezing.
The clearest month of 1956 was October, with 65% of days being more clear than cloudy. The longest spell of clear weather was from June 6 to June 16, constituting 11 consecutive days that were clearer than they were cloudy.
The cloudiest month of 1956 was December, with 42% of days being more cloudy than clear. The longest spell of cloudy weather was from November 26 to December 1, constituting 6 consecutive days that were cloudier than they were clear.
This station reports both the quantity of liquid precipitation and categorical observations of precipitation (e.g., moderate rain, or heavy snow). Both are subject to erroneous reports, but the former is particularly prone to false reports, especially ones indicating an excessive quantity of precipitation. Please bear this in mind when reading the extrema reported in this section.
The day with the largest quantity of precipitation was July 13. That day saw 1.559" of liquid (or liquid equivalent) precipitation, compared to a median value of 0.140". The month with the most precipitation was August, with 5.921", compared to a median value of 3.224".
As determined by quantitative measurements, the longest dry spell was from October 8 to October 23, constituting 16 consecutive days with no measured precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of dry days was October, with 84% of days reporting no measured precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some measured precipitation was February, with 76% of days reporting some measured precipitation.
This station reports when significant weather events (including precipitation) are visually observed at or near the station. Such events do not always correspond to measured quantities of liquid equivalent precipitation, such as when the event is near by not at the station, or in the case of solid precipitation that does not melt in the collection basin.
The day in 1956 with the most precipitation observations was January 9. There were 24 hourly weather reports that day (out of a maximum of 24) in which some form of precipitation was observated at or near the station. The month with the most precipitation observations was January, with 388 hourly present weather reports involving some form of precipitation.
As determined by the present weather reports, the longest dry spell was from October 8 to October 20, constituting 13 consecutive days with no observed precipitation. The month with the largest fraction of days without observed precipitation was October, with 74% of days reporting no observed precipitation at all.
The month with the largest fraction of days with at least some observed precipitation was January, with 94% of days reporting some observed precipitation.
In this section we consider only those weather reports that indicate liquid precipitation. For the purposes of this analysis, we include thunderstorms even though some thunderstorms are not accompanied by liquid precipitation.
The month of 1956 with the largest number of those reports was May, with a total of 119 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was December 7, with a total of 24 reports.
This station reports when snow is observed falling but does not report the quantity of snow that has fallen or the depth of snow on the ground.
In this section we consider hourly weather reports that contain an observation of falling snow. These reports do not necessarily correspond to accumulation.
The first reported snow fall in 1956 was on September 20; the last was on May 16. The month of 1956 with the largest number of those reports was January, with a total of 316 reports. The day with the largest number of those reports was December 29, with a total of 24 reports.
Humidity is an important factor in determining how weather conditions feel to a person experiencing them. Hot and humid days feel even hotter than hot and dry days because the high level of water content in humid air discourages the evaporation of sweat from a person's skin.
When reading the graph below, keep in mind that the hottest part of the day tends to be the least humid, so the daily low (brown) traces are more relevant for understanding daytime comfort than the daily high (blue) traces, which typically occur during the night. Applying that observation, the least humid month of 1956 was October with an average daily low humidity of 47%, and the most humid month was December with an average daily low humidity of 67%.
But it is important to keep in mind that humidity does not tell the whole picture and the dew point is often a better measure of how comfortable a person will find a given set of weather conditions. Please see the next section for continued discussion of this point.
Dew point is the temperature below which water vapor will condense into liquid water. It is therefore also related to the rate of evaporation of liquid water. Since the evaporation of sweat is an important cooling mechanism for the human body, the dew point is an important measurement for understanding how dry, comfortable, or humid a given set of weather conditions will feel.
Generally speaking, dew points below 50°F will feel a bit dry to some people, but comfortable to people accustomed to dry conditions; dew points from 50°F to 68°F are fairly comfortable to most people, and dew points above 68°F are increasingly uncomfortable, becoming oppressive around 77°F.
To take some examples, and basing our categorization on the daily high dew point in 1956, January had 31 dry days, no comfortable days, and no humid days; April had 22 dry days, 8 comfortable days, and no humid days; July had no dry days, 28 comfortable days, and 3 humid days; and October had 13 dry days, 18 comfortable days, and no humid days.
The highest sustained wind speed was 49 mph, occurring on March 11; the highest daily mean wind speed was 29 mph (November 16);
The windiest month was February, with an average wind speed of 14 mph. The least windy month was August, with an average wind speed of 11 mph.
Visibility is the maximum distance at which a given reference object or light can be clearly discerned. In the United States, visibilities that are greater than or equal to 10 miles are typically reported as 10 miles.
The day of 1956 with the lowest average visibility was January 9, with an average visibility of 1.6 mi. The month with the lowest average visibility was January, with an average visibility of 5.8 mi. With an average visibility of 9.5 mi, the month of October had the highest average visibility.
The cloud ceiling is the altitude of the lowest layer of clouds that are at categorized as broken (mostly cloudy) or overcast (cloudy). If no such cloud layer exists then the ceiling is unlimited and no value is reported.
The day of 1956 with the lowest average cloud ceiling was June 22, with an average cloud ceiling of 0'. The month with the lowest average cloud ceiling was January, with an average cloud ceiling of 2302'. The month of October has the highest average cloud ceiling, with an average cloud ceiling of 20642'.