Today in New York Weather History: Christmas Day Highlights (December 25)
Today's high/low of 32°/17° made this the eighth Christmas in the past 15 years with a high of 32° or colder, the greatest concentration of cold Christmas Days on record.
Snow began falling mid-afternoon, and by midnight seven inches had accumulated (an additional inch fell after midnight). After 9 PM winds gusted to 30 mph. This snowfall exceeded the Christmas snowfall of 1902 by half an inch, making this the snowiest Christmas Day on record (a record that still stands).
Today was the thirteenth (and last) day this month with a high of 32° or colder.
Today had the winter's first high of 32° or colder (but there was no white Christmas - the winter's first measurable snowfall would arrive tomorrow evening).
Under clear skies, today's very mild high of 62° (two degrees shy of the 1889 record) was twice as warm as Easter's bitingly cold high of 31° (the only Easter with a sub-freezing high).
A two-week deep-freeze loosened its grip as the temperature climbed from 20° to 51° after dark. (The average high/low of the previous two weeks was 28°/17°.) The milder air was drawn up by a coastal storm that lashed the area in the PM hours with 50 mph winds and 1.26" of rain.
Every day between Dec. 19 and Jan. 2 had well below average temperatures except for today, which had a high of 51° under mostly sunny skies.
With a high/low of 39°/33°, this was the first Christmas since 1955 that was completely above freezing. Despite these temperatures the day dawned with a thick mantle of white left from the snowstorm of 12/23-24, that dumped 6.6" of snow on the City. This was the fourth Christmas Day of the past five to have an inch or more of snow on the ground.
One year after the high reached 60° on Christmas Day, today's high was 59°. It was also rainy, with 0.65" falling between 11 AM and 9 PM. Today's high was seven degrees warmer than Easter Sunday's. The rain that fell today was the last measurable precipitation to fall this year, which was by far the driest year on record - just 26.09" was measured at Central Park, nearly seven inches less than the previous driest year - which was last year.
Yesterday's snowstorm ended in the wee hours of Christmas morning, leaving seven inches on the ground at daybreak. Skies cleared in the morning, and temperatures were well below average, with a high/low of 32°/23°.
Under clear skies it was windy and very cold, with a high/low of 23°/13° (sixteen degrees below average). Wind chills were between zero and +5° for much of the day.
The day started sunny, but as an intense winter storm approached, clouds moved in during the afternoon and light snow began falling after dark, with 2.1" on the ground by midnight. Temperatures were quite cold, with a high/low of 29°/14°. (The worst of the storm would be on the 26th, with the City getting an additional 4.2" of snow, and then a lashing of rain accompanied by winds gusting over 40 mph.)
Just three degrees separated today's high and low (32°/29°), the fifth day since Dec. 11 to have such a narrow diurnal variation - highly unusual since a typical year averages just two days with a variation this narrow. This was the third year in a row in which Christmas Day had a high of 32° or colder, just the second time with a streak this long on 12/25 (the other occurred in 1883, 1884 and 1885).
One month after the first measurable snow of the season fell, the second snowfall of the season occurred early in the evening. And like last month, it was the same insignificant amount - 0.1".
Most of the 1.8" of snow that fell on Dec. 23 was gone, but a mix of sleet/snow/freezing rain this afternoon and evening accumulated 0.5", giving the City a touch of a white Christmas. The day's high occurred as midnight approached, with the temperature reaching 33°.
The first snow of the season arrived on Christmas night, and by daybreak on 12/26, 3.1" had accumulated (just 0.4" fell on 12/25). This was the third year in a row in which measurable snow fell on Christmas Day, the only time snow has fallen on the holiday in three consecutive years (but none of the years had an inch or more of accumulation).
Santa needed an umbrella as steady rain in the pre-dawn hours amounted to 0.79" (this was on top of 0.69" that fell yesterday evening). The rest of the day was overcast and raw, with a high/low of 45°/35° - which was almost identical to Easter's high/low (44°/34°).
It was a very mild holiday that started off rainy; 0.87" fell, mostly around daybreak (5-8 AM). While the day's high of 61° was the mildest since Christmas Day 1940's 62°, the morning low of 50° was the mildest ever on Dec. 25 (until 2015). Today's high/low was nearly identical to that of this year's mild Thanksgiving Day (61°/50° vs. 60°/51°) - and it was milder than this year's Easter Sunday (55°/42°).
This morning's frigid morning low of 1° below zero (30 degrees below average) was the coldest reading of the year, and a record for Christmas Day. And making the cold even more stinging, gale force winds produced a "feels like" temperature of -25°.
Two years after the coldest temperature ever recorded on Christmas Day, today's high of 64° tied 1889 as the mildest Christmas reading on record (until 2015). It was also eight degrees milder than this year's Easter Sunday.
Similar to three years ago, Christmas Day turned out to be the coldest day of the year, with a high of 13°/low of 4°. The day was 27 degrees colder than a typical Dec. 25 (41°/29°).
Today was the twentieth day this year in which 0.01" of precipitation was measured (between 1-2 AM), the most of any year in the 1970-2022 period. The annual average is eleven days.
The temperature tumbled all day, from a morning high of 48°, to a biting cold 20° by midnight.
It was a wet Christmas Eve/Christmas morning as 1.05" of rain fell during Santa's peak travel time, 7PM (yesterday)-3AM.
This was the third year in a row in which Christmas Day had the mild high temperature of 53°.
Just two days after a high/low of 66°/57°, today's high was a frosty 31° - the first day of the winter with a high temperature of 32° or colder.
Today's high of 59°/low of 41°, fifteen degrees above average, made this the mildest Christmas in twelve years. The high/low was on-par with this year's Easter Sunday (61°/43°).
Today's high of 28°/low of 19° made this the coldest day of the month.
With a high of 27°/low of 15°, this was the coldest Christmas Day since 1989. It was also the coldest day of the winter (later tied by Feb. 22).
A sloppy winter storm produced the most precipitation ever measured on Christmas Day (1.30"), and the most snow (five inches) since 1909, when seven inches fell. Morning/afternoon rain changed to snow later in the afternoon. This was the first Christmas Day snowfall of an inch or more in thirty-three years - and the last time measurable snow fell on the holiday (through 2022).
It was calm and cold (high 32°/low 25°) the day before a blizzard moved up the coast, a storm that seemed to come from out of nowhere.
With a high of 31°/19°, this was the coldest Christmas Day since 2000. This was quite a contrast from three days earlier when the high/low was 71°/61°.
Today's mild high of 62° (reached shortly before 4 AM) was twice as warm as last Christmas - and two degrees warmer than Easter Sunday. Showers in the early morning hours made this the fifteenth day with precipitation this month - the most of any month this year.
For the second day in a row a record high maximum and minimum temperature were set. The high of 66° occurred just after midnight. The low of 57° was seven degrees milder than the previous record. This was the month's fourth record daily maximum and fifth record minimum. And for the second year in a row Christmas Day was warmer than Easter Sunday.
At 43° today's mean temperature (eight degrees above average) was identical to that of Thanksgiving Day (one degree above average). However, the high/low were slightly different, with today's high of 50° two degrees warmer than Thanksgiving Day, and the low of 36° two degrees colder.
A fierce storm lashed the area overnight with rain and strong winds that gusted to 45-65 mph (a gust of 47 mph was clocked at Central Park). The 0.92" of rain that fell was the third greatest amount to fall on the holiday (behind 1945 and 2002). The high, reached a few hours before daybreak, was 61° - the eighth time the high was in the 60s on 12/25. After the rain and wind exited, sharply colder air moved in, dropping the mercury to 29° by midnight. With today's mild high, 2020 became just the second year (2015 is the other) with highs in the 60s on Christmas Day (61°), Thanksgiving Day (65°) and Easter Sunday (63°).
The day featured clear skies and cold temperatures, but today's high/low of 28°/14° was nearly twice as warm as yesterday's frigid 15°/7°. This was the first Christmas Day with a high of 32° or colder since 2013. The last time the low temperature was so cold on 12/25 was in 1989.
Lots of Christmas Memories reading this (1983 and 2002 in particular). Thanks for the blog all year, and Happy Holidays to you & yours.
Posted by: Ken K. in NJ | 12/26/2015 at 11:24 AM
And one more added from this year ...
Thank you for being a reader, Ken, and for your holiday wishes. All the best to you in the new year!
Posted by: Rob | 12/26/2015 at 02:56 PM
Merry Christmas thanks for all your hard work. I read the weather NYC weather archive everyday what great weather memories this blog brings up.
Posted by: Jeff Hirschman | 12/25/2020 at 01:23 PM
2020 is the first December ever with at least ten inches of snow to also have a 60° reading on Christmas Day. further, 2020 joined 1940 as the only two Christmas Days on record to have a high in the sixties while also having a low that was colder than 40° on the same day.
Posted by: William | 12/25/2020 at 07:35 PM